CPH127: Design and Innovation are Boarding

CPH127 is a promising new blog from like-minds in Copenhagen:

This is a brand spanking new blog about the major influence of design as a motor for innovation, and like wise the other way around. We are neither 100% design-focused nor are we 100% business-focused. Our team consists designers, MBAs, dot-com entreprenours and all the other folks you would never expect to be on this kind of blog. Welcome aboard – we are about to take off!

Thanks to Gavin for the heads up.

MT’s Innovator’s Dilemma

OK, just one more blogger-blogging-about-blogging-tools post and then I’m done. We might view the MT price increase through the lens of the innovator’s dilemma. They moved upmarket, and the open source, free, and otherwise interesting competitors suddenly looked like compelling options to those of us on the leading edge of the blog tool curve.

What if SixApart had released MT as open source at the same time they started charging for it? It would basically follow the Red Hat model: get the raw (e.g. Linux) functionality for free but pay for easier installation, more features, and support. For companies, it’s a no brainer expense, and the rest of us happily run our software for free. It’s quite hard to convince our brains to accept the risk of giving away the software, but we’re starting to see enough examples to learn from experience.

New, Improved NBS

I’ve hired a crack team of stylists, programmers, and librarians to re-organize my five+ years worth of blog posts from four different blogging systems. Work is in progress, but you can start basking in the sheer joy of:

  • A proper RSS 2.0 feed that includes all posts
  • Permalinks and trackbacks
  • Categories now displayed in the navigation for easier exploring. The librarians are still cleaning those up and classifying older posts
  • Posts that post-date the hand-coding era (August ’99) are all in the template system, yielding proper archives.
  • Newer posts will actually validate.

Thanks for your patience while we strive to facilitate a pleasurable surfing experience.

Audio Blogging

Audblog is an audio blogging service, allowing you to record an audio post from any phone which gets converted to an audio file on your server. I had the reverse idea a while ago, an RSS aggregator that would convert your favorite feeds into an MP3 file for listening away from the computer (oh LazyWeb…). Also, Audblog’s Audblog-to-email would be interesting to use with email enabled phones too, basically giving you inbox-style voice mail without all that crazy complicated VoiP software in between. Right now AT&T sends me an email when I get a voicemail message at home, but what I really want is the damn message!

Bill hates audio for thinking, which I agree with. But Bill and I are here in New York, car free. Much of the developed world spends an hour or more in a car or on public transportation each day listening to something, why not their favorite authors’ daily writing?

Blood Book

Mark Bernstein has an interesting review of Rebecca Blood’s The Weblog Handbook.

For Blood, as for many diarists, the exercise of writing is its own reward. “If you allow yourself to begin posting entries based on what you think someone else wants you to write,” she warns, “you are missing the point of having a weblog.”

to which Mark points out a bit of contradition:

More seriously, Blood’s romantic conviction deters any extensive discussion of craft. If simple authenticity is the goal of weblog writing, and if you — the Audience Of One — are the only reader that really matters, then what craft is needed?

This is a balance I sometimes struggle with. Ideally I’m crafting words others will enjoy as well, words that still propel my own ideas. Isn’t that usually the case in publishing? Or journalism?

Rebecca nails it when she says, ‘The more your weblog reflects your interests and your world view, the stronger your voice will be.‘ I’ve always thought ‘voice’ is the most significant reason I like some blogs over others.

Comment Engines

Just an implementation note…I recently spent several hours researching and trying out comment engines. The various hosted systems like YACCS can be quite nice, but when their servers slow down it slowed my site down. There are some nice PHP systems, but that was a learning curve I wanted to avoid. I ended using SnorComments2, a simple little Perl-driven system. Set up was painless, it doesn’t require any additional Perl modules, the interface is highly customizable, and it even has its own little admin interface.

Within Tinderbox, I set up a Boolean attribute for notes that let’s me turn on comments or not for each note.

Comment Survey

Because the Noisy One values your opinion he asks, should Noise Between Stations offer you, my dear visitor, the ability to add comments to each post? Your answer here. (Survey closed.)

Update: The survey revealed 75% in favor. Comments included:

…you might find them annoying after awhile, and after awhile you might find that you are writing more for the audience than yourself…and after awhile you might start to filter your own writing.

Too many cooks spoil the soup. If I wanted to read others’ comments, I’d read their weblogs. Buck the trend and keep NBS comment-less…

Let your thoughts stand in splendid isolation, i’ll link to them then we can all argue over at my place…

Of course! finally!



On occasion I’d like to bat around an idea here, but I don’t want to change the nature of what I originally wanted NBS to be, so I plan on putting in comments sometimes.

It’s funny when I see a high-traffic site link to something interesting on a lower-traffic site, and in so doing ‘stealing’ the community by hosting comments regarding said link. This isn’t my reason for wanting comments here, but it’s worth observing.

Instantaneous Posting

There’s a sidebar on your blog and it too is a blog. But it’s simply a list of links. And the list is powered by your visitors. They stop by and, like a coin in the metal box at the cathedral, leave you a link. The metal box in this case is a text box with a ‘Post it’ button. No seperate pages, no passwords, nothing else. The page refreshes and the link is added instantaneously.

(I kinda like the cathedral metaphor, because the donations benefit all future visitors)

I’m sure this is a quick scripting excercise, but is anyone already doing this, or does the script already exist?

Is this mike on?

Testing, testing…great, this seems to work. As threatened, I’ve moved my blog from Blogger to Tinderbox. As a first step I’ve simply replicated all the current functionality, so you shouldn’t notice much difference. Links should open in new windows these days.

Gradually I’ll be using all the goodies of Tinderbox to do fun new stuff here, and will explain the reasoning behind the move. But I need more time.

I haven’t had the chance to test my layout with all of the usual browsers, if you see something odd please let me know.