June 14, 2010

Disqus Amongst Yourselves

Filed under: Blogging, Software Blog — marcstober @ 10:42 pm

This blog now uses Disqus for comments.

Blog comments are a funny thing. If you have something to say, do you leave a comment, or create your own blog post? Or share something on Facebook or Twitter or any of the myriad sites for that sort of thing? And as a blog owner, do I really want anonymous (probably spam) comments, or do I want people to become part of my social network and share their comments?

With Disqus, I can let people sign in with an account (Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, and others) they probably already have, share their comments on one of those other services if they want, and generally getting all the networky goodness that we love the Web for in the first place. I no longer allow anonymous comments, but if you don’t want to relate your comment to your Facebook or Twitter profile (and even then, you can just establish you identity that way without posting to your profile), you can just create a Disqus account not linked to anything else. (There’s probably some societal value to truly anonymous comments, but there’s only so much I can do with this blog.)

Sometimes people use a comment to try and contact me, and it’s not really something that needs to be published, so I’ve also added a new contact form.

May 17, 2010

Blog Redesign

Filed under: Blogging, Software Blog — marcstober @ 1:37 am

I finally redesigned my blog. (See before and after pictures above.)

I changed the tagline to match one I’m using on Facebook. (“Repairing the world” is a reference to tikun olam as well as to fixing bugs in computer software as my day job, if I’m being cryptic.)

Color Scheme Designer was very helpful.

Otherwise it’s just visual changes, no new features (yet!).

Comments welcome.

October 12, 2009

Good Old-Fashioned Blogging with Press This

Filed under: Blogging, Elsewhere — marcstober @ 9:41 pm

The original meaning of “web logging” was to post links–perhaps with comments–to pages you visited. Today, bloggers like Douglas Bowman (designer for Google and Twitter) have come up with elegant solutions mixing original content with links. I’ve tried sharing interesting things found elsewhere via Reddit, Facebook, and other Google services, but I really wanted to collect them here on my own blog, and with WordPress and Press This, now I can! It provides a “share on WordPress” type of button. I even created this post via Press This! (Ok, I actually just created this whole post to see how it works.)

Blogging is about more than sharing your ideas. It’s about sharing your discoveries: quotes, images, videos, announcements from awesome blogs like this one. And it’s about doing it quickly.

Collect and share bits of the web easier and faster than ever with Press This, the new WordPress bookmarklet.

via Press This Bookmarklet « Blog « WordPress.com.

March 4, 2008

Information, Design, & Society

Filed under: Blogging — marcstober @ 12:41 am

A while back I added the tagline “information, design, & society” to this blog. I wanted to explain what it means.

This is an aspiration. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever write about my kids. It does mean that I see this blog as my small contribution to the compendium of information that is the World Wide Web, and I try to offer content that is unique with the hope that some reader finds it useful or interesting. Taking the words one at a time:

Information refers to my profession of Information Technology, and also to information in the related, broader sense: how we advance our goals by organizing, selecting, and disseminating words and other data.

Design can be many things; it is often visual, sometimes functional, and always creative. While design is often thought of as the province of fields like architecture, I tend to follow a fundamental design process in everything I do, from writing to making dinner. For this blog, design topics include home improvement projects, professional work, or simply better ways to experience life. Of course, design relates to information, in the design of information systems and the graphic design through which information is presented.

On one hand, society refers to blog posts about politics, religion, parenting, or what’s going on around town. On the other hand, “information, design, and society” is a powerful combination. The politics of information and the design of information systems can affect people for good or bad. If this blog is really successful, it will be because I find something valuable to say on this topic.

Now the fun stuff: typography. Originally, I set each of the words in a different font that I chose to reflect each concept, but I didn’t think the fonts were different enough and it just looked like a mess. The new font is Andalé Mono. I had first thought to type the tagline as “information | design | society,” but I thought that made it sound like I was running a society for information designers, and those vertical bars are so 90’s anyway. 🙂 I used an ampersand because they’re fun. Programmers will recognize that the double slash between the tagline and “Marc Stober’s blog” is the syntax used in some languages to separate a line of code from comments placed at the end of the same line.

Incidentally, the idea for this tagline came to me while viewing a design exhibit in the new Institute of Contemporary Art (the ICA), which I recommend you visit, especially if you’ve been to Boston before and are looking for an alternative to the regular museums.

August 29, 2007

Announcing Marc’s Indispensable Computer Tools List

Filed under: Blogging, Software Blog — marcstober @ 8:53 am

I’ve started a list of useful computer tools I call Marc’s Indispensable Computer Tools List. It’s not much yet, but you can check it out; I hope to add more later.

I’ve set this up as a “page” in WordPress (as opposed to as a blog post, like this one) because, conceptually, it doesn’t belong at a certain point in time; but I’m hardly a WordPress master so we’ll see how that works out.