Dear Numbers-Obsessed Social Networker:

This is a response to the article: Dear Web ‘Celebrity’ Who Never Follows Anyone Back, I think you’re missing the point of social media.

Two opinions:

First, why should I follow you back? Are you interesting? Just because you find me interesting is no reason to get petty because I don't find you interesting. If a WebCeleb followed all 15K followers he had, he'd get... well, he'd get 15K users worth of updates -- ie a flood of stuff that would drown out any use he might have had for Twitter except as a broadcast medium. All because Twitter's filtering tools SUCK, since basically it boils down to "everything please" or "no thanks".

If you are interesting, I might follow you if I think I might have a conversation with you.

Second. If you are interesting but I don't think I would have a conversation with you, or I suspect that due to your 15K followers you'd never see my pitiful attempts at conversation, I'll throw the RSS feed of your tweets into my Google Reader. That way I'll see what you say, if you are interesting, and I can dump your RSS feed easily if you get boring.


In conclusion: be interesting, and don't get stuck in the trap of equivocating "number of followers" with "importance".

Look to Star Trek for guidance: "Don't try to be a great man, just be a man and let history come to its own conclusions."

And yes, I just went there.



There's a reason why you can't sell "hi-fidelity" CDs these days. That reason is simple: audiophiles are a dying breed.

Today, kids don't spend their money on a sound system for the living room. They spend their money either on an iPod, or on a car stereo.

And what's common to both these musical players?

They are both used in what can only be charitably described as HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS.

If you are rolling down the road at 120 km/h or sitting in traffic, there are going to be other noises in your environment. Your car, other cars, pedestrians, city noises in general. Subtlety isn't going to get recognized in such an environment.

So naturally, people want music that can stand up to the environment. Thus, the flatter, bass-enhanced type of music that we see these days.

Music has changed from an end in itself to a lifestyle accessory. An enhancement, something that makes the day go by a little more easily.

And while that means that "music as art" may be slipping away, it does mean that there are more people who want music as part of their lives.


Clay Shirky on Newspapers

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable
The newspaper people often note that newspapers benefit society as a whole. This is true, but irrelevant to the problem at hand; “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model.


Prize Time

Ontario lottery corporation blasted for Benz giveaway amid auto crisis
During question period at the provincial legislature in Toronto, Conservative MPP Ted Chudleigh asked the Liberal government why the OLG is giving away 22 Mercedes-Benz B200s during its April "License to Win" competition, instead of cars made by Ontarians.


Responding for the Liberals, Smitherman said he agreed "entirely" with Chudleigh's question and added he had a face-to-face meeting over the contest with OLG chief executive officer Kelly McDougald.
No word on whether McDougald defended the decision on the basis that the Lottery Corporation wanted to give out prizes people would actually like.


James Allen said something very interesting:
Someone yesterday said that I got it wrong about Honda and Michael Schumacher back in January. Sure, it did not work out, but they were talking… In the old days stories like that ended up being wrapped around fish and chips after 12 hours. In the modern age they are carved forever into the ether.
(Emphasis mine.)

It is interesting how the Internet appears somehow more permanent than some of the media which has gone before it. Posts made ten years ago are almost as findable as posts made today; our collective history is available to everyone as never before. The history can be accessed in as raw or as filtered a format as you'd like.

True, in 200 years it is likely that practically none of it will remain, and as a resource for the future it is likely lacking; archeologists won't be able to resurrect a RAID group from a single recovered drive. But it is interesting that our ability to recover the near past from internet activity is changing how we think about permanence.


Happy 6th Birthday SnipSnap

Just over six years ago, I installed my first instance of Snipsnap. Snipsnap is the wiki-blog (or "bliki", to use an invented word) software that is running on my wiki site. According to the software, since then I've added over a thousand entries.

The wiki has gone from a private tool, to a website exposed from my systems at home, to a website that's on its own dedicated box in a hosting facility.

I've had many thoughts about the software, chief among them that I don't like the java thing that runs it; I have even done some rough planning on designing a replacement. This would change some of the things I'd like changed, while leaving intact the syntax of the actual entries.

The one thing that SnipSnap has going for it is that it has a relatively short learning curve. This means that it is easy to get information into it, and once you do that the inertia of the existing information acts as a deterrent to throwing it away and replacing it with something else.

Eventually I'm sure I'll have to do something about it, either finding the gratuitous time required to write my replacement, or change to something else. The software isn't being developed any more and it is only a matter of time before either it won't run in a modern environment or someone finds and exploits some gaping security hole.

But still: six years. That's an age in Internet time.