Monthly Archives: January 2006

Tweaks

Been trying to cleanup the design a little bit on the BbPIK home page. It is WAY too easy to burn time fiddling with this stuff, but I’m having fun.

In other news, I have sent 13 questions to my cousin Jonas to kickstart my Q & A program. I’m looking forward to getting his answers, but I have no idea yet how I’ll shoe-horn them into the design of the site.

Does anyone know a good, and by good I mean good AND free, forum software that I can use on the site? The one that my hosting company provides is ugly and doesn’t give you many options for improving the layout.

Sad revelations and resilient resolve

So in an effort to get more familiar with some blog-oriented tools I ran the BbPIK blog through feedburner. The results were very enlightening: Circulation = 0. That’s zero, zilch, nada. The song says one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do…, but let’s face facts, one completely trumps zero. At least with one you can talk to yourself, but zero? Clearly there is room for improvement.

So in the interest of improvement:
First up I’ll be adding a few more links to the shop. I keep thinking of people I know that have written books, or had books written about them (now that is a neat thing). I’m also toying with following through on an idea that the smartest guy I know suggested: interviewing some of these people I know and adding the interviews to the website. I’ll have to think about this some more, because when it comes to advice from the smartest guy I know, I usually have to work very hard to come up with a good reason NOT to follow through – after all, otherwise I’d have to give him credit! Finally, I need to add to the front page a few more links and explanations as to how I know the people I know, otherwise what’s the point?

On Taking Things For Granted

A friend of mine (and future author of a book by someone I know) is currently looking to pay the bills so she is going on a job interview tomorrow. She emailed her resume to me, and I critiqued it for her — certainly not a remarkable series of events in this day and age, but I’m old enough to remember when something this simple would have seemed miraculous, or at best a kludgey and expensive proposition sorted out by fax machines and excessive long distance charges. I also remember when I thought erasable typing paper was a pretty nifty concept. Yet I didn’t even think twice about it while I was reading her resume – this reproduction of a digital artifact sitting on a hard drive very far away – now printed and in my hand with red ink and scribbles. My document, her document, the catalyst of an intense, but enjoyable conversation. Would we have done this so casually if we were still using dialup modems? She would have had to dial in, send the email, log out, disconnect, call me, chit-chat and tell me about the email so I would see it tonight, hang up while I dialed in, etc. Still pretty amazing, but nowhere near as immediate as what we experienced tonight. I know I’m being corny, but this stuff changes the way we do things, changes the assumptions we work from, and yet we adapt to it fast enough to take it for granted.

RSS – interesting

I found a cool website yesterday featuring a tool called Feed2JS. Basically, you enter the address of an RSS feed and it creates some javascript that you can cut and paste into your html. The result makes your page call their server (hosted somewhere at Maricopa Community College), their server parses the RSS feed and document writes it into your website. You can set a few basic parameters and CSS styling. Pretty cool. I don’t know if there is a catch, but I used it to set up the side bar links to this blog on the BbPIK shopping page. If I find any major hitches I’ll post about them here.

After fiddling with that I went to a NYE party hosted by a couple of my neighbors. It was a fun party, but I don’t think any of that crowd have written any books… yet, so no new additions to the website ;)