Archive for the 'blogging' Category

In Mourning – co.mments Shutting Down Due To Spammers

commentsBoo.  Hiss.  There is a lot of complaining about spammers, but now they have crossed the line.

Announced on the site this week:

co.mments will be shutting down Jan 11, 2009. It’s been a wonderful ride, unfortunately regular upkeep, and our friendly spammers, have turned it into a chore. I need the time and energy to focus on other things, so sadly, I’m going to shutdown the site by the end of this week. Thank you all for your support, Assaf

Cote clued me in to co.mments two years ago.  In my book, this site was the hands-down sleeper hit of the Web 2.0 world.  It provided a personalized and surgical way to slice through web conversations.  My co.mments feed in Bloglines was the first feed I checked – every day, no exceptions.

What a drag – is there anything to replace this?  I will seriously miss this service.  Thanks for the ride, Assaf.


I finally grew too weary of Blogger and have switched over to WordPress, so you can find my new blog here: Scott Mark. I ditched the pretentious blog title, and gave up all of it’s attendant Google juice (you would be amazed how many Google hits you get for having “application”, “architecture”, and “enterprise” in your <title> tag). I remember a comment Bill de hOra made a long time ago – something along the lines of “why all the goofy blog names”? I agree, and now I’m just myself. Same great content, though. 😉

I also have a new feed here, so please update your subscription if you remain interested. I repointed the old feed for now, and will probably drop it soon.

New Identity Blog at Burton Group

If you haven’t seen it yet, Burton Group has a new Identity Blog, and I’m sure it will be great, based on what I have seen in their research and individual blogs. I am a huge Burton Group fan, and strongly recommend subscribing if you are a technology decision maker.

The quality is high, but there are a 2 key things that set Burton apart from other large firms, and make me a fan. One is that they provide seriously in-depth research rather than just uber high-level summaries and pretty charts. The other is that they provide enterprise licensing, so anyone in your organization can browse and access research. Very 2.0 don’t you think?

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Blog Hiatus

I have been on a serious hiatus lately from both blogging and blog reading, and frankly it’s great. It’s high time for me to re-think my blogging habits and my subs. This comment from Chris Coulter on Scoble‘s blog nailed it – just don’t start!!

I also can’t find the reference right now, but Bill de hÓra had a very cool GTD-like suggestion awhile back around organizing subs into daily/weekly/monthly reading folders. I seriously need to do that.

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Office 2.0 Podcast Jam is On

It’s official – the Office 2.0 Podcast Jam Is On! Anne tossed out the idea recently (you really need to read the full comment thread on that fantastic post) and the idea has got legs. She called my bluff and I’m in, along with a bunch of other bloggers/writers/podcasters (far more interesting than I).

If BarCamp is the original unconference, then a podcast jam by non-participants is the new ununconference. I will be podcasting on Office 2.0 For The Enterprisey, and have some thoughts down already. Please share yours if you have something to contribute, or have questions I should address. Also, please followup with Anne (or me if you prefer, but she’s the real brains behind this) if you are interested in contributing a podcast.

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Curious What Offline Blog Tools People Use

Thinking about starting to use an offline editor for posting, and curious what anyone can recommend. So far, I have seen mention of these in other posts:

But no strong recommendations either way… would appreciate recommendations both for and against various tools if anyone has them.

co.mments To the Rescue

I complained awhile back that since beginning to read blogs one of the things I have found extremely frustrating was finding a way to watch ongoing conversations rather than just initial posts. My man Coté came to the rescue and clued me into co.mments . Note: as a measure of my appreciation, I actually took time to type the HTML entity, rather than the trailing-apostrophe, ASCII version! 😉

This is exactly what I was looking for, and I very heavily recommend that you start using this. I had previously tried using cocomment, which worked okay, but I didn’t always want to participate in conversations to watch them. co.mments lets me easily add tracking to a conversation with a bookmarklet, and I can easily just lurk rather than participate.

co.mments is completely Web 2-ish. Not only does it have a name that it easy to type but hard to say to your friends, it has a wicked cool fade-in at the top of the page to calmly reassure you that you will be notified of updates, and you don’t even leave the page.

They have a great tracking page on their site (again, very Web 2-ish), but I am even more stoked about the RSS feed. I added the feed to my BlogLines, and now I get notifications of updated conversations, right next to my other subscriptions. This is serious converstation tracking, folks!

So far it has worked well with most blog platforms underlying the blogs that I read – sorry but I haven’t done a complete rundown. The main drawback I have found so far is that it doesn’t work with people who use HaloScan for comments – which seems to occur when people seek good medicine for the bad Blogger disease of no trackbacks, and figure why not use it for comments too. (can’ wait for you to switch Anne! 😉

Well done co.mments and thanks Cote, you are saving me time everyday!

Cumulative Thoughts on the Blogosphere, Blog Tools, Podcasts, and the 26-Hour Day

I actually dislike the term blogosphere, but it is an unavoidably convenient term to capture a variety of things related to public conversations. I have been blogging for several months now, and thought I would share random thoughts.

The Wanderers

I have had some amusing visits from searchers – I’m sure these positions have changed, but here is what I was when I saw them come through:

  • Second hit for an MSN search on “scott fertilize”. I have a feeling this person was looking for a lawn product… unfortunately all they got was ramblings about EA, but would probably be just as helpful (if not more) for their original intent. 😉
  • Hit number 5 for a Google search on “Management” + “ivory tower syndrome”. Trust me – it’s because I’m cynical, not because I have it (have blogged to prove it).
  • Second hit for a Google search on “strangler pattern” – I feel kind of bad, like I stole this spot from Martin and Mike, who got me started on that idea…
  • Hit number 7 for an MSN search on “content tagging aggregation”
  • Hit number 4 for a Google search on “gut and replace refresh cycle” – I kind of like that one.
  • Hit number 10 for a Google India search on “mashup architecture”.
  • Hit number 21 for a search on “great architects” from Google South Africa!! Not sure what to make of that…
  • Hit number 21 for a Google Blog Search on “social software in the enterprise”
  • Hit number 13 for a Google search on “difference between application architect enterprise architect job” Probably a disappointed visitor… I don’t think I’m helping clarify that at all.
  • Hit number 3 for a Google search on “leadership resume points”
  • Hit number 5 for a Google Blog search on “coaching youth baseball” (I noticed that I was a couple spots behind a post entitled “Confessions of a Bad Christian” – I thought the Vatican cleared youth sports under JP II ?)

My Friend Blogger

I am glad to see that IE hits on my site are down to around 25% – the lame Blogger templates have a IE bug that cause the right nav text to get hosed up, and I’m too lazy (and not HTML savvy enough) to fix it. But a friend is giving me hints.

This is my first blog, and I chose Blogger just because it was easy, but it’s missing some pretty basic things that would make it way better.

  • Why do I need to use HaloScan just to get trackbacks? Trackbacks seem fundamental to blogging IMHO.
  • Why not have categories? (not that I really want to spend time categorizing my posts… I have thought off and on about starting to use Technorati tags, but just haven’t started – I supposed that would pay better dividends that categories local to my blog.)
  • Why the display bugs in the OOTB templates?
  • Why freak people out on the comment form with the default “login to Blogger”? The simple forms from TypePad, etc. seem to encourage commenting…

The Problem With Public Conversations

Generally, why does Roller seem to be the only blogging platform that let’s you subscribe via email to be notified on updates to conversations that you participate in? One of the worst parts procedurally of blogging in my opinion, is trying to keep up with conversations you participate – but it’s really the most valuable aspect. Maybe I would get overloaded if all of the platforms had that, but I still appreciate the occassional email update on old comment threads from Matt’s blog. Cocomment is a cool idea and might help, but seems to be experiencing integration woes, and I always forget to use it when dropping a quick comment. So for now I mark posts keep new in Bloglines and check back periodically. I would appreciate any suggestions on this.


I am going to bite the bullet and replace my toy MP3 player sometime this year with something that actually has capacity – but where are the podcast-friendly features? What do you mean I can’t reliably bookmark MP3s – how lame is that? Sure I am an eMusic addict at this point, but the fact is that I use my player for podcasts more than music at the moment. I can’t belive I can’t reliably bookmark in Winamp, either… If you have a suggestion on a podcast-friendly large (20GB+) player, please share. I feel like there are many blog-style features that could be rolled into desktop media players (adding footnote style hyperlinks, bookmarking segments for note taking) but aren’t – don’t know why someone hasn’t come up with a meta-data / XML solution for those.

Stop the Clock

Blogging has proven to be a time commitment. I suppose if I just shot out brief posts and didn’t ever create that Bloglines account, it wouldn’t take quite as much effort. But the gains for me have been the exchange of ideas and making some great contacts, both of which require a time investment. I seriously wonder how some peole crank out posts – between trying to keep up at my day job, working some side efforts (writing mainly), and spending time with the family, I’m thinking I need a 26-hour day to keep doing this! But I will keep at it, because I’m learning constantly, doing better at my job because of it – and it’s fun.

A big thanks to those on my blogroll, and to those who have me on theirs – it’s been a fun ride and it’s not over.

Diabetic Runner Challenge – 500

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