One of the best things about the internet is the ability to share stuff with friends and others. It can be stuff you've made, done or written, or it can be stuff you've found. Lots of people like doing this so much that there're sites dedicated to the whole idea, or have that sort of function built in as an attraction to users.

Making it easy makes sense

If you're creating content, encouraging others to share what you've written with their friends normally makes sense. Making it easy for them makes it likely that they'll do it. Well, normally, some churlish types are less likely to share something if the site's trying to make it easy. No pleasing some people...

The first weblogs were, literally, logging the web, they existed to share cool stuff found. Now? Billions of aps out there. Awhileback, Debi polled her readers to find out what they like to use, I'm just going to ask.

coding sharethis buttons

I'm coding a share this set of buttons, initially for my and [personal profile] miss_s_b's layout, but eventually to possibly be submitted as part of the core function of Dreamwidth. I don't want to have too many little buttons, but I think I can make it so users can choose which buttons appear on their layout, and today I finally asked how I could strip the html, a silly little problem that'd be stopping me for weeks. I also want to have it only display on public entries, but that's a lesser issue.

I want it for my reading page, to allow easy sharing of links for me. That it might encourage others to share stuff I've written is an added bonus. If I ever get around to writing again regularly.

So, already coded I have Facebook, Livejournal, Twitter, Dreamwidth, Blogger, StumbleUpon, and LibDig (the last being, obviously, a very niche sharing tool). What major tools have I missed?

Unfortunately, as far as I can see, I can't do one for, let alone custom installs, as the post page is always within your own subdomain, if someone shows me a hack to get around it or an alternative URL, I'm very much all ears.

What link sharing sites do you read or use?

So, having joined the network of a new Facebook friend[1], I thought I'd check out my page. Still got 8 'fans' and not verified as me. But there's a new widget (see sidebar) that can auto confirm it's me and give a direct link to it for new readers. Probably worth it, I thinks.

So, having installed it, verified myself, and everything, I follow the link to the website they've set up to support it, Not bad, and possibly a useful resource (need to explore a lot more). But, as is always the case, the 'similar blogs' category throws up interesting results from the algorithm. Here's a screenshot:

Piccy! )Some guesswork about how the Algorithm got me similar to Dizzy Thnks )

Help me!

[1] [ profile] andrewducker, who most of you should probably be reading as he posts more than me currently, on frequently similar topics.

[2] Why I think Dizzy is an arsehole )
Dizzy doesn't think, and I'd rather not be associated with him. Help me out? Danke.
OK, it's 2.30am and I'm wide awake thanks to a very ill 4-year-old, who's now off to the hospital with Mum and Granpa. So random amusements before I go to clear up.

Via a locked post from a normally great source of info, a rather off-the-wall webcomic, no ongoing plot, just many many silly vignettes, this one is class:
obersalzberg:: The home of Hitler, 1933--Doubt creeps in

And in good news for those of us still using the place, Facebook has woken up to the application spam problem and given many many ways to fix it. I reject almost all invites out of hand these days, I never did want to be a bloody vampire thankee muchly, and I definitely don't want to find out how gay I am. Of course, that half of the apps are made by data miners, spammers and arseholes makes me even more cautious, I'll stick to the ones that are actually useful. Or made by people I trust.

Meh, rambling. The rest of these I got from random people and don't appear to have saved who from, bit of a backlog. Long term readers will know I tend to like remakes, re-imaginings and new versions of old classics, so that they're redoing The Day the Earth Stood Still could be a good thing. Except they've cast Keanu as Klaatu. All aboard the failboat now? I don't recall ever seeing that boy act. Ah well. Indiana Jones IV: I need a pension is on its way, I'm looking forward to it, but it appears I need a companion, any volunteers? Jennie thinks, and I quote, that it's mysogonistic boy's own adventure bollocks, so is refusing, which is fair. Given that exactly the same can be said for Bond and she's a huge fan I don't really get it, and that it's boy's own adventure bollocks is surely the entire point? Anyway, [ profile] aaronace gives us a nice fan-mix of the theme tune with clips from all the films. I liked it anyway. This one's a bit late, but meh. Some random bloke's guide to a succesful relationship and not being that ex. Think I mostly agree, opinions? Last up, how to make money in an era where copies can be made for free.

I sleep now, I hope. G'night all.
This is very very cool. MySociety have finished [ profile] chrislightfoot's (RIP) London travel-time maps with the help of some cash from the Department of Transport. You can play around with a flash version that compares travel time to Westminster with property prices, etc. Rather nice. The hotspots nearer the edges around train stations and tube stops are a nice touch.

[ profile] rhythmaning brings us The Future of Social Networking: PensionBook

The New Bond movie is called Quantum of Solace, based around a short story in For Your Eyes Only, which I think I've read. Daft title, anyway. But more important, a new MI6 agent will be played by Gemma "Head Girl from St. Trinian's" Arterton. Sorry, I'll stop drooling now. So that's one we'll be going to see then.

Lastly, um, WTF? DC Comics to kill off Batman?
DC says issue 676 - entitled Batman R.I.P - will "change the legend of the Dark Knight forever!". The blurb adds: "Who will live? Who will die? Who will be Batman? The answers are sure to shock you in Batman R.I.P."
They "killed off" Superman, now what, Bruce Wayne dies but Grayson take son the mantle? Or something even more daft. Written by Grant Morrison, so there is at least hope that it's not awful. Hope, I said. Ever the optimist, me.
This is getting old:
Errors while loading page from application

There are still a few kinks Facebook and the makers of Scrabulous are trying to iron out. We appreciate your patience as we try to fix these issues. Your problem has been logged - if it persists, please come back in a few days. Thanks!
Apparently it's probably a problem with Facebook not Scrabulous, but still. For those of you waiting? Sorry—I have 12 games active, and I can manage to succesufully load maybe one or two each time I try. Of course, loading up my game against Duncan and seeing he'd got his 3rd bingo of the game (a challenge game no less) and had more than doulbe my score of 260 (which is normally fairly respectable) was, well, a little depressing.

Anyway. Loads of stuff I could talk about, but, well, apathy strikes. In the meantime, have a honeycomb ina bell jar, via [info]boing_boing[1], and also at the site itself, a nice set of Devilish greeting cards. I'm probably going to have to give it its own filter, but boing boing truly is a directory of wonderful things.

[1] Gotta love the [ profile] ljaddons plugin and the programmable insets, right?

Oh yeah, the crosposter seems to be failing miserably, I'll give it a kick at some point.
Chris Dillow responds to the question:
Iain Dale is inviting people to complete the sentence, "you know you're a Conservative when..."
OK. Here goes:
7 typical unthinking Tory positions )
The comments to both posts are comedy brilliance as well. Plus more than half at Iain's made me want to say "no doofus, that makes you a liberal" (note the lack of capitalisation there is deliberate, not all liberals are Liberals, and unfortunately a chunk of Liberals aren't liberal—there are also liberals within all the main British parties).

NB: Caveats about conservatism )

Hmm, I know, let's turn this into a little meme. Duncan informed me earlier that Facebook now has a Political Compass application[1]. My liking of the Compass as a good way of broadly assisting you place yourself and opinions remains strong, and the app is fairly good, so...

Either install the Facebook App [2]or complete the test on the main website, and post your results either in a post or in a comment here. It's been ages since we did this, lots of new friends and people may have clarified their opinions if they've done it before.

I'm now at:

Economic Left/Right: -2.50

Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.69

Political Compass graph )
Which means I've moved (again) further down (I used to be at -5) and also closer to the center (I was at -5 there as well). So that's 4 times I've taken it (third on here), and each time I've moved further down and further to the middle. I remain convinced that it's because they're classifiying support for markets on the left/right spectrum when as they're strongly an aspect of econic activity, they should be on the up/down axis.

Alternatively, of course, we could try to answer Iain's questions: You know you're a conservative when.

Anyone else looking forward to there being an actual Tory policy on something? I dunno, thinking of running an anti Govt tactical voting campaign isn't made easier when it involves you persuading people to vote for Mr Cameron's Flip Flops...

Footnotes... )
Quoth [ profile] mapp:
you'll probably beat me on this game, what with "zones" as your opening word.

I reply:
yeah, Zones was a good one; OTOH, Jennie recently hammered me with 3 bingoes in one game, things can turn around quickly.
Facebook | Scrabulous:
Last move was MANKIER by Mark R for 73 points
Did I call it there or what? (By the way, that last link won't work until the game is over, which may be awhile, I need to plot). OTOH, I may be a bit distracted for a bit...
Facebook | Scrabulous:
Need another day.

What we did last night did not work, we need another day to get this running.

There's no point in letting everyone try to play and face errors, so we're closing it for some more time. Please check back in tomorrow.

Any programmers with experience in load balancing please email . We can do with some support in that area.

Sorry folks ... trying our best to give you the best.
Because, and I know oyu're out there, his addict needs his fix. And, you never know, there's a chance I'll get a win rate approaching 50% at some point before hell freezes over...
OK, with all the fuss about the latest fandom controversy, many of those not involved in fandom at all (which, let's face it, is a huge chunk of LJ including me) might be wondering why it affects them and why it's more evidence towards the site dying off. Indeed, [ profile] publicansdecoy posted a poll yesterday and followed it up today with another point about what he likes about Livejournal as a platform and network. And I don't disagree with him on any of those points.
Livejournal needs money )
Money needs users, and they're off )
Site usage is dropping, and has been for a long time ) In order for the site to continue to exist, the owners need to make money.  They're failing in this.  Now?

[ profile] liz_marcs: The fat lady sure does sing, [ profile] brad is leaving SixApart, and [ profile] insomnia suggests that he don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. The site owner is bored and is leaving. To go work for Google it seems. Mark thinks it's because he's seen the writing on the wall, and we've been aware for some time he wasn't happy with the way things are.
Long term, the LJ we know is doomed )

And that's why I'm preparing to both jump ship, and make it easy for everyone to follow. There are services that replicate LJ utility, there are ways of keeping up with blogs on many platforms in a manner that's as easy as your friends list. They just require a bit of know how. So, when I've got time (and work has hit me with a bit of extra stuff), I'll begin to write up what I'm specifically doing. Because it'll be easier to be prepared.

Because I love this place, I love the way it's networked and let me meet a lot of cool people. And I hate to see it dying. But it is dying, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. So I want to keep you guys even after it's dead.

ETA: Posted a follow up at [ profile] no_lj_ads, specifically linking to this post with a very well done set of graphs emphasising the points made above.
Very good article at ReadWriteWeb on the massive growth of Facebook:
As well as quantity, Facebook has on its side that it is a very sticky site - 50% of registered users come back to the site every day. Facebook is generating more than 40 billion page views per month, from 24 million "active" users - 50 pages per user every day, which is very very high. In comparative terms, Facebook is now the 6th most trafficked site in the U.S. and gets more page views than eBay.
Facebook is getting the new users that want privacy )

Livejournal dropped the ball, Facebook took it and ran )

The new applications mean Facebook truly can conquer the web )

Community is what these sites are about )

Any site like this needs new users to keep feeding in, else it withers and slowly dies. LJ is dying, and the owners are helping kill it. Ah well.

Happy Birthday Christy-Lou!

And, also, happy birthday to [ profile] tyrell, the European Union, Patrick Troughton and Richard O'Brian (via). That's some pretty good company right there. On the subject of good company:

while my camera really doesn't like to take low-light pics, the panorama function is actually quite good. #More pics from last night in Reading on this Facebook gallery.

I'm sorry, I just have to say this again. Riff Raff is 65! Ouch. (wonders if there are any Crystal Maze episodes on YouTube)
Right then. First of all, I've been playing around with Facebook, and am actually fairly impressed. It's sort of taken the basic idea of MySpace, and done it properly. I'm especially impressed by the photo sharing and hosting options, integrates incredibly well into your profile, and you can note friends are in pictures, and it shows up in their profile. Rather nice actually. Plus, it gives you things to do while there, and the events feed is very impressive - I've imported my journal as a series of notes from the RSS feed, that was cool. Mat Bowles' Facebook profileAnyway, as I've not really uploaded them properly before, I've made an album of photos from the the days out last year that I actually took my camera for. It includes [ profile] raksaksa's barbeque in Dawlish(with, weirdly, many pics of [ profile] big_blue_bear cooking, and also the trip [ profile] jantshira, [ profile] faeriecween and I took up to Dartmoor near the end of the summer.

On the tangential subject of RSS feed, [ profile] doctorvee/[ profile] dr_vee_feed has, in another case of being in my head, written an interesting take on the problems with RSS and other feeds:
I have had an up and down relationship with RSS. When I first started using it I thought it was a great way to just surf the web more quickly. No more visiting blogs to find that they hadn’t updated. No more visiting news sites to find that there is no news.

The problem is, once you have subscribed to more than a few dozen RSS feeds, it simply doesn’t work like that.
I (still) prefer LJ for feeds, if I miss stuff because I'm away, I don't feel like I've a massive backlog, and can just look at a much more filtered view, without having to mark all unread. I keep thinking of experimenting with some proper feedreading software, but I do everything else via web based services these days, seems a bit of a backwards step TBH.

And via the lovely SB, a possibly daft but worth signing anyway petition to recognise the contribution of 2000AD:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to award knighthoods to John Wagner, Pat Mills and Alan Grant, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the great British comic, 2000AD
Go sign. Now.

Last up, [ profile] jonnynexus has an idea for a more inclusive version of Talk Like a Pirate day:
13 November: International Swear Like a Fucking Trooper Day!

How cool would that be? Anyone want to knock up a logo?
Sounds like it might be a plan...
Two things. Livejournal this week launched their new ESN system. I love it, I can track comments on interesting posts, and getting everyones new userpics in one little bit of the site is just cool. That's not the topic. When Brad launched it, he described it as "non-stalkery", and I agre, it's not. On that discussion (in [ profile] news here), many people commented that this was good, and compared it favourably to the new Facebook stalking features. Now, I don't use Facebook, it's only available to students, and, well, much as I'd like to be again, a) I'm now working and have no money and b) they wouldn't take me back in. So what, why do I care?

Well, because people can at times be stupid. Y'see, the new, controversial, Facebook features? Don't tell you any information you couldn't already find out, and could be switched off anyway. If you're on Facebook, or know someone who is, spread this link around, as those making a fuss seem, on what I've read, to need a great big slap for not actually getting what public, private and "social network" actually mean.

The utter cretin’s guide to privacy on Facebook

Second point. I'm playing around with a WordPress install on Voting TaKtiX. Ye gods it's good. So very very good. It's so much easier to use than Blogger and LJ. Importing all my old posts from NLE was so easy. Wait, I said my old posts. It even managed to recognise Paul as a user, and set him up as one, automatically, without me telling it to. Now all I need to do do is figure out how to style it (there are some good features on The Slant that I like the look of), go through the archives and categorise every post of note, get everyone linking to NLE to update their blogroll, shut down NLE formally and invite the other new authors in. All I need to do. That's about a months worth of spare time all on its own. Why didn't I do this a month ago?

Oh, because I thought installing software on my webserver would be difficult. D'oh!
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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