blogging 2.0?

so here’s the rub: i’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with my blog and i know my posts are getting less frequent and lower in quality. i also know that i am spending less time on other peoples blogs, especially less time commenting, than ever before. my posts are getting sparser and so are my readers.

at first i was attributing this to being busier with work. i’ve been more consistently busy over the last year than ever before, but i’ve had super busy periods in the past and still managed to post.

the reason, i’ve realised, is social networking. it’s not so much a time thing as an overstretching of information. i want to comment on the new spice girls video? do i blog it? do i digg it? do i twitter it? do i facebook it? at the moment i have everything feeding into my facebook and my twitter feeding into my blog so it’s a combination of all three but i wonder how much i am repeating myself to the same people. add in to that work related posts on my portfolio site and journal/news articles on deiantArt and – gobby as i am – i’m feeling spread rather thin.

interestingly, it’s not just affecting how i write but how i read. i’ve become so used to constant staus updates on facebook and gmail and little messages here and there that i want everything in one place now. facebook is really starting to work for me now the way i suppose myspace has worked for others in the past. after i’ve spent an hour on there looking at everyones new pictures and reading their updates i can’t really be arsed trotting off to all their seperate sites – and i’m sure they feel the same way about mine.

aside from the bizarre desire to expel my ramblings to the world one of the other big draws for me initially with this blog was also presentation and playing with, at first, blogger then wordpress itself. however now that i’m using wordpress as a backend cms in around 90% of the websites i build for other people as well as having switched my portfolio site to wordpress i don’t really have the same need for a visual playground that i did.

so what now?

i’m really not sure. i don’t think i’m ready to give up on marilyn’s shampoo just yet, but am i merely prolonging the inevitable? i don’t have the time or energy needed to invest in it as my focus point any more..

and if anyone is still reading your thoughts would be greatfully recieved đŸ˜‰

sacrafice the virgin. now!!

we used to be with telewest for both our broadband and phone connection and quite frankly they were brilliant. no connectivity issues and wonderful customer service. easy to get through to on the phone, flexible and helpful.
then they were bought out by virgin media.

i have never had an issue with virgin as a company in the past. i kind of like branson in a weirdy-beirdy balloon riding kind of a way…

but oh man they are shit.

the first bad sign was the little pamphlet that came through the door announcing their services. it was instantly clear that i am not their demographic eg: a wanker. telewest were aimed loosely at the average domestic market with premium business services on top. virgin are aimed at those tits in the doritos adverts. as far as i can see their promotional literature seems to be far more about haircuts than broadband..

we are supposed to be on a 20mb connection for which we are paying £37 per month and honestly i feel more like we are on dial-up. it drops out all the time and it creaks through youtube.
and the customer service is completely shocking. if you ever get through.
and if you don’t believe me – have a read of these…

  • Review by
    Guest.
    on 17th Dec 2007


    User Rating : 0
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    0

    Virgin used to be the one brand name you could rely on for customer
    service. We are paying for “up to 8Mb” yet rarely getting above 500k.
    (we did once hit 4Mb in the middle of the night) Ping rates are poor
    and customer service is appalling. Tied in to a 12 month contract but
    seriously considering c …
    Guest.’s full review
    | 75 words

  • Review by
    Guest.
    on 16th Dec 2007


    User Rating : 1
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    0

    Virgin Broadband is terrible. I made a terrible mistake going with
    them when we moved house. Virgin Broadband says we are logged on at 7.6
    MB and the exchange is just down the road. The download speed is like
    having a modem again, it drops to 15 to 18 kbs in the evening. During
    the day it can go a …
    Guest.’s full review
    | 90 words

  • Review by
    juliannerobins
    on 15th Dec 2007


  • User Rating : 0
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    0

    Virgin used to be the one brand name you could rely on for customer
    service. We rarely get above 500k on an “up to 8Mb” connection, (we did
    hit 4Mb once in the middle of the night). Ping rates are poor, (goodbye
    online gaming) and the line constantly drops. Customer service is poor,
    they don’t want …
    juliannerobins’s full review
    | 109 words

  • Review by
    Guest.
    on 10th Dec 2007


    User Rating : 0
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    0

    Don’t use them as it is the worst broadband I have ever had I don’t
    usually complain however this is rubbish 4mb line is worse than 56k
    modem i had 5 years ago.
    Guest.’s full review
    | 58 words

  • Review by
    acidcobra
    on 10th Dec 2007


    User Rating : 2
    Respect :

    0

    For a large company they know how to treat their customers with the
    lies and cons that they come out with. Why did ntl have to sell out
    cause virgin seem to not know now to treat customers well, and with all
    that talk then sort the internet out and they mite not loss so many
    customers.
    acidcobra’s full review
    | 70 words

  • Review by
    thevellas
    on 6th Dec 2007


    User Rating : 1
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    0

    I have just left Demon after they reneged on an agreement about
    speeds. I joined Virgin and unfortunately so far they are even worse
    than Demon.
    With Demon I was getting 300kB/sec at good times with Virgin on the
    same line with the same equipment I am lucky to get 50kB.
    I am suspicious of thei …
    thevellas’s full review
    | 70 words

  • Review by
    scepticalDavo
    on 21st Nov 2007


    User Rating : 3
    Respect :

    0

    Been with NTL for 10 years since virgin came into our life its been
    nothing but stress, bills are wrong monthly so I canceled Direct
    Debit’s and now get charged £5 for paying over the phone, now they say
    I cant upgrade my Broad Band service to 20mb unless I sign up for a
    Direct Debit again.
    scepticalDavo’s full review
    | 92 words

  • Review by
    dianne wallaceLance Corporal
    on 19th Nov 2007


    User Rating : 0
    Respect :

    0

    We are not happy with Virgin Broadband. We have had to pay extra to
    get the service going and it is still not working. Virgin promised a
    new modem and over 2 weeks later we are still waiting. In the meantime
    no internet. When we talk to them they say they will follow it up but
    cannot call us back to …
    dianne wallace’s full review
    | 158 words

  • Review by
    lucian769
    on 15th Nov 2007


    User Rating : 2
    Respect :

    0

    Its supposed to be 4MB but in the 7 months I’ve had it, it has never
    passed about 0.5MB. Between 5.30pm and midnight its a nightmare. Even
    if I’m not downloading it still is like dial up when just browsing
    sites. I really want to get out of this contract as soon as possible.
    Customer service is a …
    lucian769’s full review
    | 62 words

  • Review by
    zuluha
    on 14th Nov 2007


    User Rating : 0
    Respect :

    0

    Try some other broadband, but definitely not virgin (in my
    opinion).I really want to switch service provider but can’t be bother.
    zuluha’s full review
    | 68 words

i think my first new years resolution will be to find a new broadband provider…

Blogged with Flock

happy 25th birthday to the smiley :-)

[photopress:070918_Scott_Fahlman.jpg,full,pp_image]

25 years ago this week professor Scott E. Fahlman first used the computer “smiley face”
he posted :-) to an online e-bulletin board at 11:44 a.m. on September 19, 1982.:-S :-\

It has been fascinating to watch this phenomenon grow from a little message I tossed off in 10 minutes to something that has spread all around the world,” Fahlman was quoted as saying in a university statement. “I sometimes wonder how many millions of people have typed these characters, and how many have turned their heads to one side to view a smiley, in the 25 years since this all started.

issues with internet explorer {sigh}

it seems i have been having some problems with marilyn’s shampoo crashing ininternet explorer. i was a bit wary that this might happen after i put up the digg widget in the footer because i’d had problems with external javascript on a flickr badge before. however i must confess i hadn’t got around to checking it myself yet (toothache, birthday, blah blah blah) but as it turns out yes indeed it was causing problems.
so, i dutifuly stripped out the digg code only to refresh and find the page still crashing. hmm.
process of illimination, i thought, and pulled out all the external things i had added recently, replacing them one at a time to find the culprit.

turns out that blessed ie (7 included) was taking issue with:

the digg widget
the last fm widget
and
the twitter plugin

all of which work just dandy on firefox and safari.
honestly, i could cry…

i will try and find an ie-compatibale solution to these as i really liked having them – especially the twitter plugin – but i wish i didn’t have to…

Che Would Be Proud Of You


Che Would Be Proud Of You

Originally uploaded by fraserspeirs

this photo by fraserspeirs is without a doubt one of the funniest things i’ve seen this year.
he’s young, so i’ll forgive him. but i’m sure he will probably grow up to be a full blown upper-middle class psuedo-commie wanker and then i can hate him properly.
in the meantime i’ll be lovingly ironing my ‘i heart capitalism’ t-shirt ready for a trip to the glasgow apple store myself today…

colour 2.0

just dandy

yesterday i discovered the website colour lovers – possibly the first ever, wait for it, colour themed social networking site. yes, really.
in the past i have used sites such as degraevev’s colour palette generator as tool to find the hexes that compliment imagery on a website or so on but colour lovers is a whole other ballgame. along with a bunch of really useful tools such as the ability to download adobe, css or html versions of the palettes there are also all the conventions of any other social networking site such as chat,friends, groups, rating systems and so on..
initially i thought this was maybe the geekiest thing i’d ever seen but the more time i spent on the site the more i felt it’s actually almost the opposite.

the fact that i found myself staring, a little breathless, at this colour combination for a good five minutes means that i am still in touch with something absolutely basic to visual art and almost as un-geeky as you get. i’ve found that my journey from the conceptual bullshit degree i did has been largely a journey back to aesthetic. it’s not that i am shallow, or that i only enjoy shallow art but sometimes i think that we have a lost a lot of our pleasure in the visual aspect of the visual arts. so concerned with concept, contect and functionality that we hardly ever take the time just to stop and look.
it pleases me that so many artists and designers are using something as modern and technology based as a social networking site to embrace something as ancient as pleasure in colour. i’m sure the site will be a very useful tool for me but more than that it has something reflective, playful and energising about it.
my new favourite thing!

four of my favourites:
you are hurting mejet screamersunset at the sea.Band-Aidâ„¢

four of my own:
evepeachy keen
seamed stockingsno parking

possibly the most annoying spam email ever?

[photopress:d993662fb2734c648a1520aa87a34dab_b.jpg,full,pp_image]
some wankers from ‘neatvibe’

christine posner to earlysmu 18:41 (7 hours ago)

uhm, sorry for emailing you but i found your profile the other day and i think your privacy settings are too high because i couldn’t view it. i like your style and was hoping to find out more about you. if you want to send me an email back. we can go from there. you could view my profile if you are curious. I prefer using neatvibe, so if you want you can look me up there. http://Christy.member.neatvibe.com
hope to hear from you soon. bye for now!

1) what profile, where?
2) how could you ‘like my style’ if you couln’t read my ‘profile’?
3) how much exactly are neatvibe paying you?
4) if you even exist

fucks sake.

poke me! pet me! feed my! bite me! add me!

[photopress:pig.jpg,full,pp_image]

following on from the myspace vs bebo post i di d a litle while ago, the tme has come to review facebook. yes, yes, i know – it is insane that i am now a member of 3 social networking sites (5 profiles between them) but what can i say… i’m a ‘joiner’…

FACEBOOK

    basic ethos
    bebo for grownups.
    on the surface it’s all very preppy and ‘literate’ but once you’ve been bitten by the ninth zombie in a row you may begin to question that…

    8/10

    typical user profile
    college students, professionals, stephen fry. people who’ve never had a myspace but used to be on friendster

    8/10

    functionality
    very good, very like bebo. no lags or errors. pages can become a bit overcrowded with pointless applications (see below) but you do at least have the ability to minimise these.

    9/10

    aesthetic
    the facebook interface is pleasant enough if you like blue but sadly there is no way to customise it. i apreciate that they want to keep it streamlined and away from the visual hellpit that myspace has become but it would be nice to be able to at least change the colour scheme. this is where bebo is really winning above all others.

    4/10

    self-promotion
    apparantly it’s good to get and find work through, particularly if you are involved in the arts though so far i haven’t used it that way myself. they do have a jobs section and a pretty good local network system however so far it does seem more geared towards play than work. i think that unlike bebo it probably is possible but unlike myspace you would have to try quite hard to be noticed – this may change with time and increased numbers of users though…

    6/10

    twiddly bits
    like bebo you can’t embed anything of your own however you can upload your own videos which you can then post.
    there is a fantastic function where you can import ‘notes’ (blogs to you and me) from any rss feed meaning that i can import my posts from marilyn’s shampoo automatically to facebook as well as being able to add extra facebook-specific ones when i feel like it. this is a brilliant feature for bloggers as it keeps my facebook ‘blog’ active without me having to duplicate work. LOVE IT!
    there are also an absolute multitude of ‘applications’ that can be added to your profile. some of these i find strangely addictive (visual bookshelf, throw food, fluff friends) some that fritter away nicely without you having to do anything (twitter, last fm, youtube, import notes) and some that i just find a bit annoying to be honest (fortune cookies, vampire bites, tattoo me) though obviously one man’s annoying is clearly another man’s addictive….
    the most irritating feature of these application is that everytime someone pokes, bites, tattoos or whatevers you the application has to be added to your own profile for you to be able to view it. this is really anoying because of course curiosity always gets the better of you and you end up with all this shit on your page result in a weekly crap-cull.

    10/10 for the good bits

    3/10 for the annoying bits

    = 7/10 total

    hookability

    initially very high but the fun of ‘wacky’ applications may wan quite quickly

    7/10

closing marks

42/70

previous scores

bebo: 43/70

myspace: 26/70

it’s strange i assumed it would come out higher than bebo because i’ve been using it a lot more recently but when i actually filled this out i realised how much the things that bug me really do bug me a lot. however i think if they removed the need to add every application to view stuff folk have sent you and added some basic customisation it would soar above bebo. it may not have won the battle but the bits that are better are so much better that i suspect it may win the war in the long run.