One of the weird things about blogs is that, as much time as people put into creating interesting and useful content for them, it's rare that anyone goes to the trouble to read back through older entries unless they're really looking for something specific, or are otherwise very committed to the content.
I don't expect that most of my readers here will bother with browsing through archives just for the fun of it, so I already make available a couple of topic-related mechanisms to find what you're looking for: the list of post tags (visualized in the image shown here), the category tree, the search form, the list of top-rated posts, etc.
Today I'm introducing another way to get to my core content, an index of my signature blog posts. This is a list of my more substantial and well-considered essays on a variety of topics, and I think it represents well the thinking and writing I've done on topics I'm passionate about. I'll try to keep it updated regularly, and I hope you find it useful.
This is my inventory of the false or misleading choices presented to us in the mainstream narrative of how we select the President of the United States. They're presented by our culture, our media, our parents, our friends. They're presented as "the way things have always been" and "get on board with this or you'll be left behind" and "don't be an idealistic fool by believing anything else" They're presented with confidence and vigor, and they're spread far and wide: Continue reading False choices in selecting the American President
I attend a variety of public lectures at Earlham College here in Richmond, and while the speakers are usually quite satisfactory in both content and style, I find myself repeatedly shocked at how poorly some of the students conduct themselves in the Question and Answer segment of the programs. Self-absorbed, oft-incoherent, rambling diatribes are unfortunately a recurring experience, and even just a few minutes of this can completely change the sense of how the event went overall - and perhaps determine what impression the guest speaker takes out into the world about our community. (Surely neither I nor my peers were like that when I was a student there, right?)
I always make a mental note to write down some suggestions for improving this situation, and now that the academic year is ramping up again with plenty of lectures and convocations on the schedule, I thought I'd hold forth. So, here are my 5 tips for how to get the most out of Q & A time at public lectures: Continue reading 5 ways to maximize Q&A time at public lectures
Those of you who follow my blog may not always bother to check in on the other parts of my personal website, which is understandable since they're much more static than the weblog. I do try to use the actual home page of the site as a fairly current jumping off point for various other projects, events, and adventures I'm involved in, and today I launched a redesigned version that organizes all of that a little bit better. It also has a photo that reflects the facial hair experiment I'm currently participating in.
The only major content component that didn't come over from the old design is a sampling of my Flickr photos, but I didn't get the sense anyone was really exploring my photography through that channel, and there's still a direct link to the photo stream on the new page. And, I added direct links to a lot of the other sites/tools where I have content or information posted.
The old design is preserved for posterity. I welcome any feedback.
It's been a while since I posted one of these, here are a few highlights from my Delicious link feed:
This past weekend I attended Blog Indiana 2008, a conference by and for bloggers in the region, which I mentioned here a few months ago. Overall, I would call the event quite a success. For $50, participants had access to a weekend packed full of rich and informative sessions, great networking opportunities with friendly and good-natured people, good food, and a lot of fun - a pretty excellent deal by most measures, especially in the world of tech conferences.
I really appreciated that it was a "grassroots" conference, organized by Noah Coffey and Shawn Plew of Indianapolis, and not a big corporate conference organized by people trying to sell us stuff. Sure, there were corporate sponsors (Summersault was one of them), and there were some grumblings about session leaders spending too much time promoting their own products/services. But on the whole, this was a group of people who are passionate about new media and wanted to get together to see what else was out there, talk about some of the issues that come up, and just get to know each other better. Oh, and we also totally geeked out on Twitter.
Continue reading Blog Indiana 2008 Reflections
This is a republishing of a series of blog posts looking at the pal-item.com Terms of Service, discussing what they actually mean and how they might impact your use of the Palladium-Item website. (The Palladium-Item is Richmond, Indiana's daily newspaper.) You can view the original posts where they appeared on the Pal-Item site: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
The pal-item.com Terms of Service (TOS) are the policies and terms that the Palladium-Item and its parent corporation, Gannett, have set forth for the use of their website at pal-item.com. When you visit the site in your web browser, you are subject to those terms. Opinions vary about whether the TOS can be considered a legal contract between you and the Palladium-Item, and how enforceable the terms might be. But one thing is clear: as websites like pal-item.com become more interactive and encourage more user submission of content, it’s in your best interest to understand these terms and how they affect you. Continue reading Discussion of Pal-Item.com Terms of Service