Please stop cluttering inboxes, start blogging

There are still lots of people out there who continue to send far too many emails to friends, coworkers, family, etc. Many of these emails are usually mass-forwards to laundry lists of people. While I’m sure some of these are quite amusing/interesting/inflammatory, they all frequently have the same effect:  clutterying up inboxes.

To these people, I would like to  suggest they do what so many other net-savvy people have done, specifically blogging. Blogging is essentially the same thing as sending out that armada of email, except that it is seen when and how the end user desires. If you haven’t quite figured out the whole blog thing, or think that its too technical, rest assured its actually quite simple. In fact, websites like WordPress, blogspot, and livejournal do all the work for you. And this tutorial explains how to get started on your new blogging adventure.

After you’ve created your new blog, don’t immediately send out a barrage of ‘Check out my new Intarweb!’ emails.  First try to find your friends’ blogs and comment on them, leaving a link to your own.  Its a little more polite.

Don’t think you need to abandon your friendly emails though, these can still be quite pleasant when not sent in bulk. A few rules of thumb for writing a blog instead of an email:

  1. Is your mailing list large enough that you need to use BCC?
  2. Do you have to think about to whom you want to write the email?
  3. Does it envolve sending an image or video?
  4. Are there more people than just your recipients that might find the email interesting?

If you found this useful, then you might also do a quick google on RSS or go take a peek at Google Reader. Most blog platforms allow you to subscribe using RSS and use software like Google Reader to read all your blogs in one simple interface.

Read More

Oklahoma City Gun Club Google Map

I recently visited the website for the Oklahoma City Gun Club and upon visiting the map section of the page realized they were using some “old tech” that was hardly descriptive enough. In order to even find out where the map was oriented, I first had to find a map with the roads on it. I decided this just would not do, so I created a new Google Maps version. Hopefully, this will replace the version on their website and people will have an easier time finding the place.

Just for good measure, here is the embedded version:

View Larger Map

Read More

Litigation only Stifles innovation; The business world vs. Google

There is a sad sort of phenomenon that the world populace has been subjected to for most of this era, and it is becoming increasingly prominent and obvious. The root of this problem is businesses inability to evolve at the same pace as technology. A new product or technology arises and becomes popular and instead of embracing this new way idea to increase business the corporations’ first strategy is litigation. It is always litigation.

The record industry was terrible about this during the Napster era, and has only in the last few years started to really embrace this new technology. The movie studio’s are now attacking Google Video and YouTube. Warner aside, these people don’t see the benefit of these sites. For almost any sort of market, exposure only increases your sales. This has been proven quite adequately with mp3s, and I can’t imagine it not applying just the same with video.

Lately people have been ridiculing and litigating Google for everything they are doing, because they are making money. They are well within fair-use laws. Their news site only shows a short clip from the author’s site which the reader must go to in order to read the full article. The book search that they have created works similarly, a small excerpt is shown with a reference to the full work, this is the same rights that someone writing a paper would get, why is it not applicable to Google? Because they are displaying ads? They are not SELLING the book, nor the excerpt. Why should they have to share their ad revenue?

People complain that their copyrights to their content are being infringed, when in reality they should be thanking Google for the added exposure. They should try to harness this new exposure and maximize their profits from it. Litigating new technology only stifles innovation. Google is giving consumers exactly what they want, an easier way to find and absorb content. If the content providers/producers were making this as easy as Google is, then THEY would be making the money and even still they are only GAINING from Google’s distribution of their content because it always points back to the source.

This really comes down to people being angry about not getting money. Even if the money being made is not directly coming from their content, but only indirectly associated with it. As I understand it, Google has an opt out mechanism for excluding content from their search products. If these people don’t want their content — which is FREELY viewable — to be redistributed then they can simply exclude themselves, but that is not what they want. They WANT to be included, but the want a share of the revenue to which they have no right. Shameful, simply shameful.

Read More

YouTube, Google Video and more in WordPress

After being very irritated for some time at the lack of support for videos inside wordpress, I finally stumbled upon a plugin that makes it seamless. It supports YouTube, Google Video, IFilm, .mov, .mpg, and .wmv and it integrates it all right into the graphical editor. It allows you to post a movie to wordpress with just a single click. Viper007bond is a genius. Track down Video QuickTags over at geeklimit.

Read More