Monthly Archives: December 2007

A year of travel

We’ve been talking at home about our range of travels this year.

Ola is the clear “winner”, and has travelled pretty widely – Cuba, Portugal x 2, France, Belgium x 2, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Poland x 4, Germany and the UK (with a trip to Scotland). An international starlet in the making.

My travels have been more limited in terms of the numbers of countries covered, but arguably over greater distances – the US, Thailand, up and down to Scotland a few times, and across to Poland a couple of times. I’ve finally learned to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, too 🙂

Environmentally, this is probably a pretty depressing read. Maybe we should plant a few forests to make up for it.

Happy Christmas to all those who take the time to read my blog! Your attention and comments are appreciated. I’m looking forward to talking to you more in 2008.

Annoyances and discoveries

Little annoyances

Twhirl on OS X refuses to remember the configuration option NOT to play sounds when new messages arrive, between restarts anyway.

My Facebook profile sometimes doesn’t load, I just get a blank page.

Little discoveries

ecto 3 can correctly tag WordPress posts – you need to configure Blog Settings-> Templates-> Tags to put the tags in the Keywords section of the post. It then doesn’t add Technorati links to the post, but what the heck.

Quick Look in Leopard will preview a .vcf file (but, kinda oddly, not a .vcard file).

The improved stats page on the WP.com dashboard now means that I see a link to the specific day of my largest-ever number of hits, and the graph is animated, faster to draw, and works in FF3b2.

A very talented consultant I’ve just spent the past couple of months working with has a blogtwo, in fact – this is a good thing.

On Seesmic, Viddler, and WP.com video

Video twitter?

Whilst I was away I managed to get hold of one of the rare invites to try out Seesmic, a new “video twitter”-like service that is currently in alpha. Today, I finally got around to trying it out. Within a few minutes of posting my first entry, I started to get responses…. so I was immediately drawn in. A true social experience from the start.

seesmic-ui.jpg

Embedding video on WP.com

Then I decided that I’d quite like to be able to embed the odd Seesmic post into my blog, and that’s where things fall apart slightly. You see, if you are hosted on WP.com, only certain types of video or embedded content is supported, via short tags. According to the FAQ, that list includes YouTube, DailyMotion, Odeo and a few others. Seesmic offers embed code below the video, but WP.com strips it out.

That’s OK. WordPress.com is a free service, and I agreed to and accept the terms and conditions, and that includes limitations around embedding content.

Only, actually, the list of supported formats includes more than those mentioned in the FAQ. I posted a couple of items from Viddler this year. I’d thought that Viddler support was documented, but now I can’t find the explicit reference about it in the WP.com FAQ, the forums, or on the Viddler site…. in fact I’d thought that Viddler used to actually show the short tag for embedding on WP.com on the video’s page, but evidently I was mistaken (or the feature has been removed).

Why is this relevant? Well both Viddler and Seesmic offer Flash-based players, so I would have thought Seesmic isn’t too much of a stretch. It’s alpha, of course, so it’s fair if the WP.com folks want to wait before doing anything about it.

So I spent a bit of time scrabbling around looking for ways to embed Seesmic; remembered Viddler; failed to even find the information about how to embed Viddler, let alone Seesmic; and now I’m mildly annoyed.

The Seesmic experience?

So what do I think of Seesmic? Interesting. I’m not sure how much I will make use of the service, but we’ll see what happens. The interface is a little icky in places… For instance although you can “post reply” to a video, there’s no obvious way of seeing replies to your own unless you follow people or trawl the public timeline (update – ok now I see the “previous reply” link below the video, d’oh!). Finding and following friends is not as smooth an experience as I’d like, either.

I still like Viddler. A lot. I’ve not had much reason to use it, but the fact that I can annotate a video is really, really nice. I notice that I can effectively suck in content from elsewhere into Seesmic, but I’m not sure whether it will consume Viddler. Maybe I’ll take a look at that.

2008, the year of video-me? Who knows. I notice that video blogging is a big part of Quarterlife, so maybe it’s another scale waiting to be tipped.

Year Two

A quick line to record the fact that this blog has been around for two years as of yesterday.

We’re all packed up and ready to travel back to the UK overnight. It’s a race to the finish to get things completed with my current customer.

A couple more travel shots to tide things over until I (eventually!) resume some semblance of techie service around here:

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Tuktuk and motorbikes

Sights and colours of Bangkok

It has been a busy week so far. We’ve worked through the public holidays and weekend to get to the stage we are at, too.

Yesterday we did finally take some time out for some R&R, and took the opportunity to see some of the sights.

Thai flags at nightOrnate roof

HandwrittenGrand Palace Wall

The full set of images is on Flickr, and I’m adding more as I finish them.