links for 2010-07-28


Age of Discovery not Dead


This is one of the most exciting things I’ve read in a long time.  This story appears in the National Post this morning.

Having just returned from Alaska and seeing the huge impact that glaciers can have on the environment, it’s easy to see and understand how this could happen.

If you’re interested in discovery and history, you’ll want to follow this.

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Thanks, smjb – CC

Thanks, National Post, for making this the lead story this morning when there could have been so many other sensational things in competition for the top spot.

links for 2010-07-27


Readers Without Posting


It was with amusement that I sat down in my blogging chair last night and decided to take a peek at the analytics for this blog.  I don’t normally spend too much time there but periodically check in to empty the spam and approve any messages that are being held for approval.

I had expected to see a flat line graph.  After all, I had been pretty much off the grid on holidays and so there were no original posts or scrapings from my Delicious account for about a week or so.  Instead, I found readers.  In fact, as you’ll see below, there were 61 of them on July 22 when there was, in fact, nothing new posted.  What a deal!  No time, no effort, no proofreading, no editing, no posting, no bandwidth and the blog still gets readers.  Could like get any better than that? 

Well, yes, as I look to the left of the timeline, there were days with hundreds of readers who visited when there actually was something that I had made available.

 

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Now, I’m not in this for the numbers.  I use the blog as a way of recording my thoughts and observations as things pass my way.  My only regret was that I didn’t have these tools years ago.  In particular, I think of all of the great computer science problems that I could have documented and had fun solving.  Oh well.

So, why the readers?

A couple of reads this morning helped understand this. 

First of all, Stephen Downes had reflected on D’Arcy Norman’s post about class blogs.  My comment to this interesting post dealt with the difference between product and process.  In my mind, product puts a period at the end of things.  You’re done – finished – stick a fork in it.  Process means that the discussion is never officially over – as long as there are willing participants, let things continue.  In my mind, that’s where the true power of blogging resides.

Secondly, Sue Waters had posted an entry “What You Wanted to KNOW About Blogging”.  She shared some of her thoughts and tips about creating a successful blog.  There are some good tips in there including some about reader loyalty.  Hopefully, some of the 61 are loyal readers and not just drivers by looking for a train wreck!

And yet, there’s still something about readers that show up when there’s nothing new.  Let’s hope the number goes beyond 61 now that there’s new content!

links for 2010-07-26