Josh (the blog)

Hey there. I’m Josh, a SydneyCanberra-based maker of Internets. I don’t update this very often.


Akismet a few days in

It is like rain after many hours of stifling humidity: it is like falling onto bed and being asleep in moments, pausing only to realise the satisfaction of being still after a long day.

I can check my email again and be excited to see a new message, because chances are it’s from a real person. (Comment notifications are now worth having turned on and generally sensible). At first it was simply too strange to comprehend, but now I am revelling in the brilliant relief it provides. Perhaps, now, using web publishing software will be enjoyable again.

I’ve been thinking a fair bit of late about the psychology of brand control (be that personal or corporate branding), perplexed from a few months back when bands first started putting their myspace URL next to (or in place of) their expensive-developed-by-Sony/BMG/Universal/…-records-Flash-powered-yuppie website. In doing so I nearly went (nearly being quite a few times), “you know, the LiveJournal crew never experience the kind of crap I’m putting up with” and switched. Of course, users exist behind a magical wall, too, but that’s beside the point — If I was going to switch, it would be (at least in part) for social reasons, and there’s no-one cool using (“Cool” is in the eye of the beholder — for me, Robert Scoble is not cool, or, at very least, not someone to be emulated)
So, anyway, I’m not spending an hour a day moderating comments. That figure is truly obscene given that on an average week I might only get ten to fifteen genuine comments, if that. A lot for very little in return. I nearly switched off the comments altogether a couple of times, but I’m too much of an egocentric prick to deal with that very well. So now things are better.

I’m now free to do more of… something. I’ll probably find out exactly what that is about the same time as everyone else. Besides, all the cool kids use Myspace or Facebook nowadays, anyway, so the audience isn’t a big deal much — only Facebook is smart enough to import my RSS feed as “Notes”, whilst Myspace is still gushing generic ColdFusion error pages. It is the biggest piece of crap hackjob high profile website I’ve ever seen. It’s a good thing their only revenue comes from advertising partners whose ads are hosted on other servers, otherwise I would so be expecting a massively expensive class action lawsuit when they get their crappy website pwned by some script kiddie who’s messing around with a spot of SQL injection for the first time.

Not that I’m even a programmer. But I nearly found one today. Please be praying that I get geeks better than the ones at Myspace for the current thing that’s quietly baking away. I’m hoping to present it to nearly a thousand people over the next two weeks and haul in some unemployed/looking-for-more-exciting-work programmers in that process.

Random observation — It’s funny how I talk about that project on here with a completely different voice to the one I use on the other blog. I haven’t got any issues with complete strangers reading what I write here, so long as it’s taken in context (i.e. I’ve ranted about spam before, I’ve ranted about cool/uncool SocNets before, I’ve ranted about how horrible I find Myspace from a usability/technical perspective before, so my holding them up as Thebes to my Athens is entirely acceptable). The problem with writing for a blog read once off by complete strangers is that every article has to stand alone. It actually ceases to fit within the “blog” genre, because chronology is pretty much left for dead. Which is kind of a shame, but whatever.

In summary: Akismet saves sanity. Losing control is sometimes a good thing. Myspace is horrible. Josh/CYIADA nearly might possibly maybe have a programmer so please pray for “us”. Myspace is horrible. Corporate/project blogging necessarily takes a different form (mode, style, whatever) to individual blogging. Myspace is horrible.