rfunk: (Default)
A few weekends ago I went to eRubyCon: three 9-5:30 days with nearly 100 other Ruby programmers learning about the Ruby programming language, how best to take advantage of it, related technologies, and general programming practices.

It was really interesting and I learned a lot, but I won't bore you with the details. (If anybody really wants my notes let me know and I can email them.)

The worst part of it was that the weather was beautiful all weekend, and I was stuck inside an office building all day Friday through Sunday.

It was also a little awkward at times because I knew only a few people there and I'm not very good at meeting people in large-group situations. I did meet a couple people though.

I noticed two interesting socio-technological things though. One was that, at this OS-agnostic tech event, about 80-90% of the laptops people brought were Macs. Even the Microsoft presenter was using a MacBook and running OS X. (The remainder seemed to be split between Windows and Linux.)

The other thing I noticed was that Twitter has become an important way for these tech people to communicate what cool things they're working on. The question people were asking each other all weekend was "What are you on Twitter?" All the presenters gave their Twitter IDs in their presentations. And, when the wireless network was working, people were Twittering during the conference, using it much like IRC (which people were also using). So when I got home I went ahead and created a Twitter account -- to reserve my username if nothing else.


I first heard of Twitter when [livejournal.com profile] stega started using it a couple years ago, but I didn't quite get the point. I still don't, actually. It's most obviously similar to Facebook's "status" feature (and I've semi-linked the two together), but that's just the beginning. It seems to be a single channel used for lots of different things simultaneously -- microblogs, microblog-commenting, conversations within groups, and a fair amount of net-surveying and "lazyweb" research.

One important factor is that Twitter can be used as either a private or a public channel, but that switch is per-account rather than per-message. (I've gotten spoiled by LiveJournal's flexible access controls.) Opening it to the public certainly encourages the community aspect, but may not work so well with the idea of constantly reporting what you're doing. My account is set private for now.

Twitter shares LiveJournal's "friends-list" idea of using your account to see a stream of updates from chosen people, and that alone seems to be a useful way to use it. (Unlike LJ, the people you watch have no special privileges to see what you write.) Other accounts seem to be write-mostly; for example, the Columbus Dispatch puts headlines out on a Twitter account.


While I'm on the social-networking topic, I might as well mention that it looks like the most popular migration target for LJ people now seems to be Facebook. Which of course doesn't have nearly the fine-grained access controls LJ has, shoves the writing into a corner rather than having it center-stage, and promotes meme-like things to top-level constancy rather than making them ephemera. But at least it's sort of community.

One major contrast I've noticed is that LiveJournal is really good for meeting and getting to know new people, while Facebook is horrible for that, but is good for reconnecting (at least superficially) with people from your past.


Oh yeah, one more thing to bring this full-circle. LiveJournal is written in Perl, a language that has been declining in popularity. Facebook is written in PHP, a language that is cursed and annoying while being useful and popular and easy to learn. (MySpace, by the way, is written in ColdFusion, which I thought died five years ago.) Twitter is written in Ruby, the fast-rising language I went to the conference about.
rfunk: (eye)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 08:50am on 04/12/2007 under , , , ,
Is it better for LJ to be owned by a Bay-Area company that just wants to make money with questionable regard for its customers, or a Russian company that just wants to make money and do Putin's bidding? (Have you heard about the current state of Russian media freedom? Or that LJ is literally synonymous with blogging there?)

I'm starting to think about moving to someplace like InsaneJournal, GreatestJournal, or Blurty. Comparisons can be found in various journals and Wikipedia, and migration instructions can also be found in various places. InsaneJournal seems to be the most popular migration choice right now, according to my brief research. Note that (if their LJ code is recent enough) they should all support Livejournal users logging in using OpenID, and possibly vice-versa.

I've now created an [livejournal.com profile] rfunk account at all three of those. I don't know whether I'll move, or which one I might move to. I'll probably at least try to back up to one. Of course, the network of friends at LJ is vital and the reason I came in the first place, so I'm interested in where others might go too.

Maybe [livejournal.com profile] dachte's scheme of a personally-hosted blog gatewaying into LJ is the way to go.
Mood:: 'cynical' cynical
rfunk: (Default)
Since LiveJournal allows us to indicate our moods, it was used by a couple of researchers to "seek out where happiness lies in our everyday lives," linking words in posts with moods. Through "linguistic ethnography", they derive a recipe for happiness.
Read the PDF here, or read the summary at the GoogleSystem blog.

I will note that according to their compilation of LJ moods, Saturday is the happiest day of the week, and night the happiest time of day. I'm off to ensure at least the first one, and probably the second as well....
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 12:45pm on 27/03/2006 under , , , ,
I've had some surprising technical sucesses lately....
Read more... )

On the other hand, I finally got around to looking into the fact that my FunkNet icon no longer showed up as the "favicon" for my LiveJournal pages. Turns out LJ apparently started filtering out the HTML tag I used to make that work, forcing their pencil icon back. :-(
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 03:39pm on 16/01/2005 under , , ,
So, all those people who backed up their livejournals when they heard about the sale to Six Apart may have had the right idea after all, even if it was for the wrong reason.

Slashdot had some comments on the LJ outage, including some Informative comments from LJ admins [livejournal.com profile] bradfitz and [livejournal.com profile] denisep/[livejournal.com profile] rahaeli. My favorite comment there (among many funny ones):

A great disturbance in the Force... (Score:5, Funny)
... as if millions of teenage girls suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

I'm on the MadCow cluster, so I had to wait until this afternoon to exist again on LJ, while most people came back last night. I survived by anonymously sucking on my friends' friends lists, and luckily didn't need to gnaw my own keyboard off. (OK, actually we had a great visit with a friend last night.)

Around the time that LJ went down Friday, I got a brief firsthand look at some real-life downtime. Read more... )

rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 03:29pm on 04/06/2004 under
Maybe everyone else already knows about this, but I just discovered how to see all of a LJ user's pictures.




rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 04:06am on 18/05/2004 under ,
First I introduced her to reading email at home, and life was never the same.

Next I introduced her to newsgroups, and she got sucked in.

Now after wanting a web site for a long time, she's set up two accounts here. So go say hi to [livejournal.com profile] nontacitare and [livejournal.com profile] kateryndraper.

Luckily it's summer so she has more time for this sort of thing now.
Mood:: 'amused' amused

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