Monthly Archives: February 2006

A word on ideas

It seems that it is much easier to brainstorm good ideas than it is to actually execute on them. I’m still playing with Pligg, and by playing I mean that I have trashed my original install, gotten a different download (Pliggbeta5) and have re-uploaded it. Hopefully I’ll have better luck installing this time.

I’ve got other ideas too. One is to start a story thread using WordPress. Years ago, the smartest guy I know (SGIK) and I started a story which blossomed and thrived fora time through the magic of email correspondence. A couple of other friends chimed in occassionally, but mostly it was the two of us spontaneously trying to out-funny, out-weird, out-cool each other with a very James Bond/ Monty Python/Tom Clancy-ish storyline. It was a blast! Very fresh, very fun, and certainly rough around the edges. So I think I am going to set up a blog, give the SGIK editorial access and start the ball rolling again. More on the story as it develops — literally!

A couple of longshots…

I’ve got a couple of friends who have written books, but they are not yet published works. In fact they are still pretty much rough drafts. They were both participants in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month, a very cool project started a few years ago that has inspired many a fledgling writer to hammer out a whole, if hurried, novel in the space of just one month. The month of November to be exact. Many start out on Nov.1 with high hopes and the attrition level is high as the relentless writing pace takes its toll, but many do succeed in cranking out a 200+ page yarn before the Nov. 30 deadline. Two of my friends have done just that and I think it would be great to make their manuscripts downloadable from this site. As the title of this post suggests, I think it is a longshot, but if they do let me post their diamonds-in-the-rough, please be kind in your critiques of their work. Hey it takes a lot of moxie to write a novel in 30 days!

To Pligg or not to Pligg?

I’ve downloaded the beta of Pligg, an open source version of Digg which is a very cool site that let’s end users select and rate the content for a forum of articles on technology topics. If you aren’t familiar with it, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. I am certain you’ll find more than a few links there that are worth following.

The Pligg engine has many features that I think would be great to use for my next addition to the BbPIK site. I want to have user registration, submission of blurbs that would be open for voting on and for commentary, and I love the idea of a “karma” system to give visitors a sense of the community’s collective credibility. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to research or fiddle with Pligg, which has got me worried that it might have too much overhead for my site’s modest ambitions. Does anyone out there know of an open source tool that would fulfill most of the features mentioned above, but is a little leaner? Thanks!

Questions for Sid

I got distracted playing with the cosmetics of the site, I got distracted helping my girlfriend recover from her root canal, and yes, I got distracted bailing water out of my flooded basement, but now I’ve got my on the ball. A baseball that is. A very old baseball from Boston. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well the first clue would be to read We Changed the World, the you would certainly be able to guess that in my roundabout way all i’m really trying to say is that I’ve finally sent off a dozen interview questions to Sidney Pike. Try to keep up, would ya?

On the right track

Well I must have been on the right track with the Books By People I know idea because Amazon is now launching a program to connect authors with their readers through web technology. I have no plans to abandon my project, but I must concede that Amazon gets just a handful more visitors to their website than I do to mine (although I would argue that a finer class of people visit www.booksbypeopleiknow.com).

For those of you that have published, you may want to check out the Amazon connect program:

Amazon Connect

I believe the way the program works is that they set each participating author up with a blog which is then made available through the power of Amazon’s search capability to every Amazon customer who has previously purchased a book by that author. On the customer side they are calling it a “plog”, short for personalized web log. It sounds like a good way to stay in touch with your readers.

Not much to do with it

A few improvements.  Cleaned up the links a little on the side, but not a lot of new meat here.  I’ve been busy with my non-virtual activities.

For instance: I went to an interesting meeting tonight talking about wireless gaming technology.  It was very phone-centric, but a lot of interesting questions were asked.  Discussions touched on the problems of diverse hardware platforms, the latency of the wireless networks as an impediment to multi-player games, and the Hollywood-like issues of risk-averse producers controlling the creative process.  Good stuff, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with any of the usual BbPIK content.