Nice little pats on the head

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Isn’t it special? All these publications coming out with articles about weblogging, such as the new one at CNN.

Don’t we feel precious, all these nice little pats on the head?

Why is Josh Quittner the definitive authority on weblogs, do real people use the word “cool” that much in their conversation…

…and who the fuck cares?


Say What?

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Jeneane Sessum just posted a note that had me going “say what?” about half way down.

I can sympathize with Jeneane that she misses her husband while he’s working in Japan, but I can’t agree with her when she generalizes her own personal sense of lonliness and temporary loss of his presence with sayings such as:

Look, the absence of testosterone in a household, combined with an overabundance of estrogen, is just not a good thing. I’ve seen it in companies I’ve worked for. Those places where the first meeting in the morning means two or three women crying, or at least one of them walking out in a fit of rage, punctuating their departure with a slammed door.

I haven’t worked at a lot of companies that are controlled by women at the top, primarily because I’ve worked at larger corporations and control of these types of companies is still male-dominated. However, I’ve worked at a significant number of companies where my upper level management is female, and I’ve never noticed a difference in the number of women “…crying, or at least one of them walking out in a fit of rage…” at these companies.

To be honest, I’ve not really noticed that much of a difference, good or bad, in overall behavior of a group based on the sex of the upper management.

Regardless of the preferred expression — tears or words or actions — excessive emotionalism at work occurs in both sexes. Sex of the boss, number of men or women in the group, sex of your co-workers — none of these purely sex-based characteristics play into this one.

Group dynamics is a lot more complex than basic rutting behavior.

To say that women need to have men to somehow “balance” them in the work place or home because of an estrogen/testosterone thing is to support stereotypes that can only hurt both sexes, professionally and personally.


Dot Com Bust Redux

I’m assuming the only reason that the RealNames failure is getting air time is because the former CEO has published its business dealings with Microsoft.

I glanced through Keith Teare’s papers at his personal web site, and just can’t see the fuss.

Microsoft chose to terminate the relationship with RealNames. With the nebulous nature of the product, the overall opinion against such centralized technology in today’s market, and the business proposal I don’t see how anyone could be surprised by this decision.

RealNames owed Microsoft $25.5m on May 2nd. They didn’t have it. They issued a counter-proposal. Microsoft wasn’t interested. RealNames bites the dust.

Teare believes that Microsoft isn’t demonstrating vision in its current direction, and is seeking solutions that it can control. Maybe so, but consider the proposed future direction for RealNames: Centralized, proprietary, flat architectured Keyword technology in partnership with a company such as Verisign.

I have a hard time identifying with one proprietary, centralized, patent-holding company fighting back at another proprietary, centralized, patent-holding company.

However, I do have sympathy for the 75 people in Redwood City that lost their jobs.


Wash U at Blog U

n case you’ve curious about the type and quality of programs at Blog U, I want to assure you that we have one of the best domestic engineering programs in the country.

For instance, one of our learned professors is considered an authority in the field of receptacle reclamation. Indeed. Why, he’s know throughout the world for his expertise.

He’s joined by others in the staff who take great pains in preparing and presenting the training material in a manner sure to inspire even the most hesitant of domestic engineer trainees.


More on search engines

A previous posting has outgrown its comments, so I’m continuing it here.

I said:

Webloggers aren’t influencing decisions — they’re influencing the information that influences the decision, and that’s dangerous.

When webloggers act as a cohesive group to deliberately influence the position of a link within Google’s search results, this is influencing the information, not the decision. It is not equivalent to lobbying, which is an attempt to influence a decision. And it is not reflective of the interest of the populace — its a deliberate and coordinated action.

To repeat, this is a deliberate attempt to influence the flow of the information. And this is dangerous.

Will the results that Google returns influence people? Not for larger issues that are well publicized. However, in issues of business and with less well publicized issues, this can make a difference. How much so, we don’t know — we would need Google’s usage patterns and statistics to measure this.

Should webloggers not link because of this? No, because the problem doesn’t rest with webloggers — it rests with Google. The technology behind Google’s ranking system breaks with weblogging.

A link is just that — a link. It’s a great way to connect people into a community, or to let others know about new information. However, it shouldn’t be treated as a vote.

Google needs to get smarter; the technology that links the web together needs to get smarter. And we webloggers need to stop treating Google as a favorite pet that never pisses on the carpet — especially when we’re standing in the middle a puddle.

Continued here