We call it April Fools DAY for a reason!

We don’t call it April Fool’s Week. We don’t call it April Fool’s Month. I don’t know how we can make it any clearer, but April Fool’s Day is just one single day people! Here’s what Wikipedia says:

April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day, though not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1.

So why then, are pranks becoming so common post-April 1st? Last week the hoax was that a podcaster was taking over for Imus on CBS. This week the hoax is having a trademark on the term “podcast” in Canada. Who knows what we’ll see next week. I’m sure there are others I haven’t come across too.

What’s the point of posting a hoax more than two weeks late? It does nothing but cause confusion, however temporary it may be. I suspect the people posting these late pranks are simply trolling for traffic. And in that respect, I guess it works. However, I think “scanning” is becoming more and more common as a result of the thousands of posts and articles created each day, so it’s becoming easier to fall for a hoax.

This comment from “Se7en” on Scoble’s post is worth thinking about:

Sigh, and bloggers wonder why they aren’t considered credible.

I’m all for some humor once in a while, and I believe you need to read things critically no matter what date is on the calendar. That said, I think April Fool’s Day pranks post April 1st just plain suck. Please don’t post them.

O'Reilly's Code of Conduct – Stupid!

Yesterday, Tim O’Reilly posted a blogging code of conduct. It was created as a result of the Kathy Sierra thing. Quite a few people think it’s a good idea, other’s don’t. Mike Arrington is part of the latter group:

The code of conduct and the mass of bloggers lining up behind it scares me a lot more than the hate comments and death threats I’ve received in the past. I won’t support it.

Mike is absolutely, unequivocally, 100%, DEAD ON.

The blogosphere doesn’t need a code of conduct. What a stupid idea.

On the Kathy Sierra thing

Recently there was a big furor in the blogosphere about some hate mail that Kathy Sierra received. She cancelled a scheduled conference appearance as a result. Obviously it’s sad and disappointing when anyone receives hate mail, but why is Kathy’s case any different? I’m pretty sure that people receive hate mail all the time (and lots of comments on blogs around the web this week seem to confirm that).

I don’t often agree with Dave Winer, but I do today:

People aren’t going to like this, but it’s true — when a woman asks for a riot she gets one, and almost no one comes to the defense of a man who is attacked. Who’s more vulnerable? Well, honestly, it’s not always a woman.

Those who provided the riot Ms Sierra asked for, unknowingly, I’m sure, attacked at least one person whose health is pretty fragile. I wonder how y’all feel now that you know that. I wonder how you’d feel if that person died in the midst of the shitstorm. Someday if we don’t change the herd mentality of the tech blogosphere, that is likely to happen. I don’t want to be part of the herd on that day, that’s why I won’t join herds.

Hundreds of people (perhaps thousands) have posted about Kathy’s situation and how they think it is awful. How many of them actually mean it? I don’t know, but I think there’s a pretty large echo in here. Especially among the so-called A-listers this week, it definitely seemed to me that speaking out against the hate mail was simply the “in thing” to do.

I never intended to post anything about this topic. I certainly wasn’t about to follow Robert Scoble’s lead and stop blogging for a week. I don’t think Kathy’s case deserves any special treatment. I didn’t want to contribute to the useless echo. In the end I decided to post this simply for my own future reflection.

Here’s some related stuff if you want to find out more:

My love-hate relationship with Twitter

Post ImageI have a love-hate relationship with Twitter going on. Actually, in a lot of ways, it’s quite similar to my love-hate relationship with Outlook 2007. They’re both extremely useful, yet both horribly slow. Let me explain.

Twitter is great for quick status messages, or jotting down thoughts that don’t deserve an entire blog post. I love that Twitter allows me to use it however I want to. For example, I went to get my free coffee from Starbucks earlier, and wanted to Twitter it. Except I couldn’t. The first problem is that for some reason, Twitter seems to ignore my cell phone. Then it will magically start working, only to stop again a couple days later. Worse still, the Twitter website is inaccessible far too often. Like right now, I can’t get the site to load. It totally sucks, I hate it.

The question of whether Twitter would be useful during an earthquake makes me laugh – it can’t be useful if it’s not up! And thus far, it seems to have a hard time accepting my random coffee-related messages, let alone important messages sent during a disaster.

I would use Twitter so much more if it actually worked as expected.

Are bloggers talking about Edmonton?

Post ImageIn my last post I was sort of wondering who Edmonton bloggers are and what they are talking about, but perhaps just as interesting is what bloggers are saying about Edmonton. If you do a quick search for Edmonton at any of the many blog search engines, you’ll find a large number of results. Here are some interesting ones I picked out:

And of course there’s a ton of discussion about the Smyth trade.

So I guess the answer is yes! Bloggers are talking about Edmonton.

Why do you blog?

Post ImageDarren Barefoot is presenting a session called “Why We Blog” at Northern Voice next month, and as part of his preparations he has launched a short online survey. There’s only sixteen questions and it’s pretty quick to fill out, so if you’re a blogger, why not help him out? I just completed the survey so I can affirm that it is quick and painless. Oh, and there’s prizes too:

One randomly-selected person who completes the survey will win an iPod Shuffle.

Another randomly-selected survey completer will win two Lonely Planet books–Micronations and Experimental Travel.

I obviously want to promote the survey, so I’m also giving away one CAN $50 gift certificate to a randomly-selected person who blogs about it. Just link to http://www.whydoyoublog.com and you’re qualified to win.

So if you are a blogger or have been a blogger in the past, fill out the survey here.

Read: Why Do You Blog?

Engadget Numbers and Misconceptions

Post ImageAs you probably know, Engadget is one of my favorite blogs. I read it all the time because I know I’ll find something new and interesting. And as last Tuesday proved, I’m not the only one who reads Engadget! It has been widely reported that Engadget had 10 million page views that day (with CES and the Steve Jobs keynote going on). Managing editor Ryan Block says the numbers were actually higher than that, and sets a few things straight:

Again, we quoted that traffic was “into 8 figures”, counting the rest of the Engadget network (Mobile, HD, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish) and that’s even more still. I’m not going to discuss numbers, but I was very proud of what we accomplished, and I’d have been proud if we only did 10m.

He also says they had increased uniques, suffered absolutely no downtime, and attributed most of the reliability and performance to WIN’s Blogsmith platform. Whatever the actual details, it’s clear that Engadget did amazingly well on Tuesday.

Congrats to Ryan and team, and keep it up!

Read: Ryan Block

Northern Voice 2007

Post ImageI finally registered for Northern Voice 2007 today. The annual conference has become a tradition for me, and this year the timing is perfect as it falls on the tail end of reading week. The organizers posted the schedule yesterday, and even though it is still a work in progress, it looks good. I don’t see a keynote however – perhaps it will fill the time gap from 9:30 to 10:15?

If you’d like to attend Northern Voice, you can register here.

Read: Northern Voice

Continuing trouble for TechCrunch?

Post ImageBack in September I wrote that in my opinion, TechCrunch had started to lose its edge. I based my comments strictly on the kind of content that had been appearing on the popular Web 2.0 blog. Since then I would say the content has improved. Not that I have been tracking it that closely, but it seems as though it has improved.

TechCrunch appears to be having other problems though. Last week Michael Arrington had something of a meltdown, which you can read about at Valleywag. And just yesterday Michael announced that writer Natali Del Conte was leaving TechCrunch after just three weeks:

She’s gotten an offer from another company (again, I’ll let her make any announcements on that), but was willing to stay on part time with TechCrunch. I appreciate that, but I want our writers to be completely focused on TechCrunch and not working with competitors. She also told me the comments were really getting to her, and the turmoil from last week (TechCrunch UK, NYTimes debacle) played a part as well.

That announcement did follow some good news for TechCrunch though – it entered Technorati’s top 5 for the first time.

I put a question mark in the title because I think Michael should see this as an opportunity for TechCrunch. I think he should spend some time to find the right editor, and I would also suggest revisiting the comment policy. Some of the most valuable information is found in comments, but they need to be effectively policed too. Perhaps implementing a community rating system a la Digg would be wise.

Hopefully we’ll see an even better TechCrunch soon!

Three years of blogging…

It was three years ago today that I started this blog. And after three years of posting I can honestly say that I enjoy it more now than I did when I began.

A few days ago Darren had an interesting post where he looked a bunch of popular blogger’s very first posts. They aren’t what you’d expect in a lot of cases. My first post was fairly introductory, but that’s because I actually had a different blog for a month before this one got started. Unfortunately, it has been lost (at least I can’t find it anywhere), and that’s why I consider this one the start of my blogging career.

Sounds funny doesn’t it, a blogging career? Well call it what you will, I’m just getting started!