Blog Networks on Facebook.

Today, I discovered Blog Networks after reading Sarah Parez’s posting “Blog Networks like MyBlogLog for Facebook” on ReadWriteWeb. Blog Networks is a new Facebook application that allows you to embed your favourite blogs (including your own) into your Facebook profile so that your friends can read and rate your thoughts and the thoughts of others that you value. An interesting feature is that the easiest way to claim ownership of your own blog is to get your friends to verify that you own it which is both a social and viral way of getting the word out.

The picture illustrates my set up with ReadWriteWeb, O’Reilly Radar, Technology in Teaching, Lifehacker and of course Fresh and Crispy. Blog Feeds comes with a set of popular widely read blogs to choose from and you can easily add your own or other people’s. Presumably, friends see and can comment on the latest articles in your minifeed. If nothing else, it’s be a useful way to share RSS feeds without mentioning RSS!

Google I/O Day

Last month Google hosted the first of its Google I/O conferences in San Francisco. I’d like to report that I was there, but I wasn’t (although I did watch the keynote the day after it was given). The video recordings of the speakers (hosted on YouTube) and their slides (mostly shared on Google Docs) that have been on-line for a few weeks now. With term finally over, I can become a virtual conference delegate and today was my first chance to catch up with some of the more interesting talks. If you’ve been following me on Twitter you’ll note that I watched/will be watching:

There are lots more talks to view and lessons to be learnt, and it’d be great if more big companies and conference organizers did this sort of thing.

Wordle Tag Art

Following on from Chris Hall’s discovery of Wordle, here’s the Wordle-art tag cloud for my bookmarks. Interestingly this indicates that I’m a typical geek (look at the size of the programming and development tags). Interestingly my courses EG-259 and EG-146 (both on Web Development) feature largely. I’m also apparently keen on the Web and self-improving tutorials! Of course these are only my public tags!

Bike Ride: NCR 43 Swansea to Pontardawe

[![]( Took a trip up [National Cycle Route 43 ]( Swansea to Pontardawe and back. It was a very windy day and the last 3 miles along Swansea bay was into the wind and a bit of a killer. In other news, my wife Renate got a puncture and had to push her bike home from the Liberty Stadium while I went on ahead to cook the dinner. Puncture repair kit will be next on my shopping list (some would probably say it should have been first).
Pictured (left) is one of the 1000 way-posts that The Royal Bank of Scotland have sponsored on the national cycle network. This [![]( is about 100 m from the Pontardawe Inn which is also pictured.

Good vibrations

After today’s *lunch and learn* session on [Web2.0 at the Chalkface](, Paul Latreille inspired me to have another look at [Netvibes]( I’ve been playing with it on and off since I got home this evening and I’ve launched another version of [my life online]( as a Netvibes public page. See []( for more. Come on over and be my friend.


My new public “stalk me” page on Netvibes

Not sure which of T[umblr](, [Friendfeed ]( [Netvibes ]( I prefer. But I guess the real question is *which do you* prefer? Perhaps you could leave me a comment to let me know.

Sunday Ride

My wife and I took our new bikes along National Cycle Path number 4 from Brynmill to the Mumbles (Verdi’s) then back to Blackpill and up the Clyne Valley to the Railway Inn. A pint of Three Cliffs Gold then back to the Bay Cycle path and home. Comfortable ride, but it is flat! Gorgeous weather today: hope it stays that way.

Today I Became a Cyclist Again!

After a long hiatus during which our last pair of bikes have been rusting away in the corner of the garden, my wife and I splashed out on a new set of two wheeled touring machines today. Fitness is low: a short trip to the new Swansea Library in the former Guildhall (now “Civic” Center) nearly killed us! Still the wind was blowing in our faces on the way back! More journeys planned, though we’ll need to build up to the Gower circle!

iTunes: worth another look?

I agree to some extent with Jack Schofield (Apple’s Safari gives Windows users another problem, Guardian Technology Blog, 30th May 2008) when he states that “Apple’s ability to program Windows is a bit of a joke.” There are at least three things wrong with iTunes (especially on Windows Vista):

  1. the arrogance of the assumption that when you import your media library you want it to translate all your Windows Media Player files into AAC files! This both doubles your storage requirements at a stroke and fills your alternative media player’s libraries with duplicates.
  2. the complete failure over several release cycles to cope with Vista’s User Access Control and create a usable version that doesn’t break permissions on every update.
  3. the adoption of the updater as a trojan horse to install the Safari (web browser) for Windows.

The latter was the straw that broke the camel’s back and my reason for uninstalling iTunes a couple of months ago.

However, that said, there is one feature that I have not been able to find in other media software; that is the slick way that podcasts are linked into iTunes and more especially apple’s iPod players. Why can’t other media players do what iTunes does and synchronize the new podcasts to my MP3 player and delete the ones that I’ve listened to on the next update? That feature (which presumably only works on iPods) and the announcement (reported by your correspondent elsewhere) of the availabilty of some selected Open University courses on iTunes U make me think that it may be worth giving iTunes another chance. Perhaps it would be worth getting an iPod too; especially now they do movies (for rental and download)! Plus the iPod touch looks so sexy. Just like an iPhone but without all that redundant phone stuff!

Disruptive Technologies: Digital downloads, iPlayer and Google Friends

In today’s Guardian and Media Guardian there where three articles about how Web technologies are having disruptive effects on traditional media and even (in one case) on one Web 2.0 poster-child technology itself. Here’s a quick summary with links to Guardian On-Line:

  1. In the Financial Pages Katie Allen discusses the potential effects on sales based on downloading might have on the DVD. In short, it might go the way of the VHS in as little as 10 years!
  2. In the Media Guardian, Gareth McLean discusses how the BBC iPlayer is transforming television.
  3. Also in the Media Guardian Jeff Jarvis comments on the Google FriendConnect service and it’s possible impact on Facebook (who controversially refused Google access to Facebook friend lists). Again in summary: by refusing to be open, Facebook may end up being a dead-end.