Social Media

Change starts at home

There was a conference in the UK called Our Social World that ran last week. According to the front page:


Demonstrating to you the benefits of the new internet technologies and the benefits of opening up communications with your customers and fellow workers without email!

Who should attend:

You if you are involved in running a business, charity or education and you are interested in improving communication within your organisation and with your customers.

So it’s all about communication, and the power of the blog. How forward thinking of them. However, looking at the the list of speakers, I found no new faces, exactly one women, a great deal of whiteness, and virtually no diversity. Oh, and a woman presented the speakers. Ooo.

Demonstrate what benefits of the new internet technologies? That they’re perfect for maintaining the status quo?

After the last few weeks — last few centuries, really–we should be more acutely aware of what happens when people are grouped, and excluded by, factors such as race and economic class. Diversity isn’t just a ‘thing that people have to do’ so that people like me won’t bitch.

Doesn’t matter if those who presented are nice people, liked by a lot of folks–those that attended and presented should be asking what went wrong, and what can be done to make it better. Especially since they’re promoting this so-called ‘brave new world’.


Splitting by topic

In the past, I have split the weblog into pieces based on subject matter and interest. However, most folk read weblogs through aggregators now, so it makes more sense to split weblog topics into different syndication feeds rather than different weblogs.

This is a mixed-bag weblog, which means I write on anything, and I mean anything. Not all of you are interested in reading everything I write. For those who are interested only in writings on certain topics, I offer to you the following syndication feeds. My posts are guaranteed to fall in whichever of these is most appropriate:

Technology Feed: All items related to technology and the field of IT, web, and computer science. This includes RDF and semantic web postings, as well as weblog tech how-tos, digital identity writings, and so on.

SemanticWeb Feed: All items specifically related to semantic web and RDF.

Directions Feed: All current events commentary, discussions on politics, and opinion pieces. This includes the writings that also incorporate history into the work, and the discussions related to women and feminism, gay acceptance, and human rights–both national and international.

Sensory Feed: All writings about photographs, featuring photographs, poetry, reviews, literature, personal philosophy, cooking, relationships, art, and so on.

Outdoorsy Feed: All outdoorsy, environmentally related discussions, including those on weather and the environment, space, giant squid, my walks throughout the Ozarks, and so on.

Folk Tales and Stories Feed: Featuring the longer posts that mix reality with imagination, throwing in a little culture and history; mixing it up into a soup of humor or humanity. This also features my more oddball posts, and the humorous ones like Parable of the Languages.

I’ll be adding these to the header for autodiscovery, and there’s still the main feed, which includes everything. The comments feed will also include all comments for all posts.

Then there is, of course, the ‘nofeed’, where you don’t subscribe to any feed, and no longer read this weblog. That is, also, a viable option.


Point and shoot vs SLR

Doc, who seems to have the worst luck with keeping his equipment going, talks about having to rent a D70 after his Coolpix 5700 broke:

I really missed the CoolPix last night. It’s not nearly as responsive or flexible as the D70, has 1 less megapixel, and a UI that may actually be worse; but I can take better pictures with it, mostly because the flip-out viewer allows me to shoot candids from all over the place. I don’t have to heft a contraption the size of a surface-to-air missle launcher up to my eyeball and set off conditioned responses (Smile for the camera!) in the direction it’s pointed.

I have the D70, a camera which I’ve been exceptionally pleased with. It’s lighter than my Nikon 8008s, and can do about everything I want it to do. Best of all, it works with all of the lenses I’ve collected over the years for my film cameras.

What Doc needed to know was that most of the functionality of the D70 isn’t needed on scene, because you can take a photo in Nikon’s NEF RAW format and then adjust the image at leisure later. Also, if you set the camera shutter and aperture to auto, the film speed to 400, the lens to autofocus, and the white balance to auto, it is pretty much point and shoot.

As for stealth mode when taking the pictures, I’m still trying to figure out how Walker Evans snuck(sneaked) a camera under his coat in such a way that no one noticed it, or him, or heard the shutter closing with his famous series of street photos of subway riders. Even if the camera was small, a lens peeping out of a coat is a lens peeping out of a coat. If he could do this successfully, it’s a piece of cake to do something similar with the D70 at a wedding where people are partying and most likely drinking champagne.

Doc may look a little odd at the wedding dressed in a big overcoat, though. In California.