Meanwhile... enjoy the picture of clouds to the right (click on it for the larger version). I took that with my Nikon D90 out the window of one of the many planes I've been on lately.
Sigh... noticed this morning that I haven't written here since March 30th and, well, it's April 15th! I've been using "Things" lately on my Mac to track all my "to do" items and that includes ideas for blog posts that I want to write. Things has been working great... the app for the iPhone works really well, too. Unfortunately, all it really does is highlight how many things I want to do that are hard to fit into the 24 hours of a day... I've got a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-n-n-g-g queue of post ideas at this point... but much of my writing these days has been over on Voxeo's blog site or on my site for my new book. Hopefully soon I'll be able to turn some of those ideas into actual posts...
Well, I admit that I didn't quite realize how horrid this site looks on an iPhone. But when Ryan Schoeffler tweeted me such a message, I knew even without looking what was wrong.
And yes, I'll fix it. ;-)
You see, back in 2006, TypePad, who I use for hosting this Disruptive Conversations blog, Disruptive Telephony, Blue Box and a few other blogs, didn't have the range of layout options I wanted. Specifically, they didn't have the three-column layout with a main column on the left and 2 sidebars on the right - and that was what I wanted.
So, not having an issue diving into code, I hacked on the site.
I dove into TypePad's "Advanced Templates", learned the language, learned the structure and built off a TypePad Hacks post from early 2006... all to build the template for this site and for Disruptive Telephony. It worked very well. John Unger over at TypePad Hacks even gave me an "AHA! Award" for my redesign.
However, it was a hack. And sometimes... hacks break.
And so it was that about a year ago, I had to re-style Disruptive Telephony after one of my posts completely broke the layout. By this time, TypePad had come out with an "official" layout of "3 columns with a big col on left", and so I moved DisTel to that layout. The good news ever since was that not only did the layout no longer break (and the few remaining IE6 users could read the site! ;-) ) but that also I could make use of new TypePad developments which were not easily available to users of their "Advanced Templates".
I need to make the same move here on Disruptive Conversations.
It just... takes... a... chunk... of... time...
Maybe this week... maybe next... but yes, iPhone users (and I am one myself), I hear you. Thanks for caring enough to tell me.
As I mentioned previously, I have decided to experiment with an email newsletter. The first version went out last Thursday night, November 5, 2009, at around 11:42pm US Eastern time.
If you signed up to receive it, and haven't seen it yet, you probably should check your spam filters. I can assure you it did go out. :-)
If you didn't sign up, you still can... for a number of reasons I am not creating a web archive (yet, anyway) of these newsletters, so you only get it if you have signed up.
Having fun with it so far... interesting little experiment...
For some time now, I've been playing with the idea of starting an e-mail newsletter. Several reasons... but primarily because I am curious about using it as an adjunct to all the writing I do online. I write across a good number of sites and yet there are common themes that are woven into all my writing - primarily this one:
to try to tell the story of all the changes that are going on all around us in both the way we communicate and also the tools we use to communicate.
That theme is here on Disruptive Conversations, over on Disruptive Telephony, in Blue Box podcasts, in my Emerging Tech Talk video podcasts and definitely also in what I write on Voxeo's blog site. It's also a theme in some of what I post on Facebook and Twitter, too.
I don't know how often I'll send out the newsletter. Knowing me, I expect it will vary in frequency. Right now I'm thinking it will probably include items such as:
- Major pieces I've written or produced somewhere in my network of sites that I think would be interesting to a larger audience.
- Updates on upcoming conferences where I'll be speaking and where we might be able to meet.
- New projects or initiatives - or other bright, shiny objects I'm chasing.
- New tools I think people might find useful.
- Random personal updates or other notes.
Again, it's still very much in the formative stages (what kind of information would you like to receive?)
It also, quite frankly, gives me a chance to experiment with iContact, a service I've been wanting to try for a while.
Anyway, if you'd like to join me in my little experiment, you're welcome to do so and I'd be honored to have you along for the ride. The shiny new sign-up form is here:
I'll probably be sending out the first newsletter in the next week or so. Being the security/privacy nut that I am, you can be sure I won't sell your name or do anything like that. That's not my style.
If you do sign up, thanks for doing so.
P.S. And yes, because I despise the link-spam bots out there that clog up systems by filling out forms on sites, I do require you to confirm your email address. I know it's one extra step, but really it's better for all involved...
Earlier this week I enabled "TypePad Connect" for this blog and my Disruptive Telephony blog so that you can now sign in when commenting using your "identity" from TypePad, Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, or many others. Nicely, you can also, of course, simply enter in your name, URL, etc. like you always could before on this blog. The difference is that now down above the comment field you should see this:
If you click on the "more..." link, you will be taken to a site to choose the account you want to use:
I'm particularly pleased about the ability to support OpenID, something I've written about both here and over on Disruptive Telephony, although that's not particularly surprising given Six Apart's support for OpenID in the past.
There's a larger story to be written here about TypePad Connect and how it is part of the greater battle going on both with regard to your "identity" across blogs and also where your comments are stored. The Read/Write Web had a great article on the topic a year ago when TypePad Connect first came out. For me, since both this blog and DisTel are already hosted on TypePad, the issue about having your comments reside on TypePad's servers is irrelevant, really, since they already are. Another time, though, I'll write more on the larger story.
In the meantime, feel free to leave comments through being logged into those services (and saving yourself filling out the form).
As you have no doubt noticed, my last post here was April 23rd... what happened? Well, our second child was born April 24th, and as any parent of a newborn can tell you, you enter this wonderful yet challenging vortex where your time is entirely in the service of the wee one... ;-)
I'm slowly getting back up to speed now, though, and so you'll see more posts appearing here and across all the other blogs where I write...
UPDATE - Mar 26: I received confirmation from TypePad that they are experiencing a problem with comment spam:
Thanks for your note. We are currently working on a known issue with comment spam, and we will have this rectified very soon. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause!
Hopefully they will have this fixed soon.
Unfortunately, I have had to move this blog to moderating all comments, which I really did not want to do. I like having unmoderated comments because: 1) the comments appear quickly; and 2) there's no interaction required on my part for the comments to appear.
I've been running the blog this way for a couple of years now - with just requiring a CAPTCHA to defeat automatic comment spam bots - but for whatever reason that approach is no longer working! Within the last day alone, I've had about a dozen spam comments get through the CAPTCHA and wind up being posted on the site. I don't know if some spammer out there has figured out an automated way to defeat the CAPTCHA that TypePad is currently using, or if they are paying actual people to answer the CAPTCHAs so that the posts are posted, but whatever the case I'm sick and tired of both having the vile stuff on my web site and also in dealing with reporting the spam and getting it off my site.
It's strange to me, because it's only this DisruptiveConversations.com site and not my other sites that are also hosted here on TypePad (at least not yet, anyway). I'm just tired of this:
So I'm still going to require the CAPTCHA, but I'm also going to moderate all comments.
I'm going to keep monitoring the flow of comment spam and perhaps at some point soon I can turn off moderation and let the comments just start flowing again.
If anyone else at TypePad is having this problem recently, I'd love to hear about it. Please do leave a comment and I'll approve it as soon as I can. Thanks.
... Fine, actually.
2008 turned out to be a great year on so many different fronts... despite all the larger economic challenges. I had hoped to write up a longer end-of-year retrospective post, but alas, here it is, the end of the last day of the year.... That fact, in and of itself, speaks volumes about what a year 2008 was - A blur!
I think the single biggest thing I want to say right now as 2008 draws to a close is simply this:
Thank you to all of you who have continued to read my various posts... who have provided comments... who have answered the many questions I've thrown out there... who have challenged my viewpoints and forced me to defend - and refine - my positions... who have commiserated and rejoiced... who have sent me email suggestions... who have met up with me at conferences... who have generally just participated in this larger community. I've met some amazing people throughout the last year, learned an incredible amount and had a lot of fun along the way.
The community around this wacky industry in which we work and play continues to awe and inspire me. It's a privilege to be part of it and I look forward to working with many of you even more in 2009.
Happy New Year to you all!
 And for those unfamiliar with REM, here's the song I'm referencing in my title.
Just a note to readers: I expect that for the next 3 to 4 weeks I won't be doing all that much blogging here due primarily to our impending move to Keene, NH, and the collision in timing of three different threads of my life:
- We've now put up the signs and are officially selling our house here in Burlington, VT. Check out the website for more information, to see pictures, read the blog (yes, of course, it has one), etc. If you want to buy a house in Burlington, we'd love to hear from you. (And personally I'd enjoy it if the ultimate buyer found it through a blog. :-) We're going, at least initially, the For Sale By Owner route so naturally that will occupy some of our time (hopefully!).
- We are closing on our house in Keene, NH, on May 15th, although we are not planning to actually move down there until mid-June.
- A major new project landed on my plate at work that should be both fun and something in which I'll learn a lot... but it's going to be rather all-consuming and the deadline is also right around May 15th.
Add in some presentation deadlines, the ever-constant flow of email and generally the next few weeks look to be rather chaotic. I don't expect to be writing here or probably anywhere other than perhaps Voxeo's blogs (since writing there is part of my job). We'll see. I'm sure I'll still be twittering, because that's so easy to do. Otherwise, I expect you'll see more here starting in mid-June. That's the theory, anyway!
After getting a second phone call of someone offering me a job because they had read on www.danyork.com that I was out of work and looking for a job, I finally got a chance to update the main page. In part the delay is a case of "the cobbler's own shoes". My web site has been online since 1996 and desperately needs to be updated on a technology end (you'll note that I don't have domain mapping set up, so danyork.com actually redirects into my lodestar2.com site). I just haven't made the time to do so. That was actually on my list of things to do if finding employment took a while, but then I landed rather quickly at Voxeo. So the main page of the site is updated - and comments or opinions about what I wrote on the page are welcome. Before I had a pseudo-resume... now I changed it to talk a bit more about who I am.