Clay Shirky on “Situated Software”

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In his latest essay, Clay Shirky makes great points:

  • Scalabily is rarely necessary
  • Community interactions should be part of good designs
  • Software doesn't need to be built for “everyone” or “forever” — sometimes writing software for your mom for six months is just what's needed.

Recommended.

Good examples of “live” fiction on the web?

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I am trying to convince a friend of mine with an interest in writing (stories, more or less based on personal experience) that she should publish through the web. She’d be doing it as a creative outlet, not with a particular financial or “book” goal in mind, so the standard “publishers won’t touch web-published content” worries aren’t really relevant. My feeling is that much of what drives the blogosphere should (and probably does) apply to less diary-style writing as well.

I wanted to send her some pointers to examples that would show the breadth of what “people are doing” on the net, but I quickly realized that much of what I read is either too ‘non-fiction’ (whether technical or legal or political or…) or too ‘big media’ (e.g. Salon), and much of the more ‘individual’ content I run across just isn’t very good or very inspiring. I do enjoy sites like Ftrain (if for no other reason than I enjoy Paul’s design sense), but I’m seeking other samples that span a larger literary spectrum. (Someone tell me if technorati or some other site can help do this—I’m not having much luck with automated searches).

So, I’m asking the readers of this blog if they have suggestions that I can pass onto my friend—fictional pieces, biographical pieces, poetry, whatever. Preferably sites where the author has figured a way to engage the readership in discussions about the work. Email me or add a comment. Thanks!

You know you’re in Canada when…

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You know when you’re in Canada when a co-worker sends an email explaining that he’ll be late today because:

Subject: Delayed this morning (bears in our yard)

I’m waiting for the local ranger to show up. They should be here any minute.

Blogroll

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I follow (more or less assiduously) a fair number of blogs and other
news sources, using bloglines, which I
recommend. If you're curious, they are:

Stupidity

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One of the nice things about taking a day off is that it really does
help clear the mind. And it gives one the energy to tackle painful problems, like:

Why is the tv-out signal not working since I cleaned up the mess-o-cables in the back of the new PVR?

even in the face of painful recent history involving:

  • reinstalling drivers
  • messing around with control panel configurations for hours
  • rebooting n times
  • getting depressed at the complexity of things that should be simple

So I figured I'd try something silly like plug the video card in
another PCI slot, “just for fun”. At which point I realized that I'd
plugged the cable going to the RF converter into the video
capture card, not the video out card. Sigh.

Clay Shirky on "Situated Software"

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In his latest essay, Clay Shirky makes great points:

  • Scalabily is rarely necessary
  • Community interactions should be part of good designs
  • Software doesn't need to be built for “everyone” or “forever” — sometimes writing software for your mom for six months is just what's needed.

Recommended.

The magic of referrals?

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I'm not quite sure how href="http://online.effbot.org/2004_08_01_archive.htm#20040815">Fredrik found out about my blog.
I suspect it's because I linked to his blog, one of the very few people
who know about my blog clicked on the link, and he looked at the
referrals from his logs. Fascinating (yes, I know, i'm easily amused).

Investigation makes me think my brother's the key link. He's even more
easily amused, which is good ;-)