Category Archives: Weblogs

Back Online

I was offline for a while yesterday, but all should be good now.

Loch CreranOf course you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t, so it’s a pretty pointless post.

What I am writing is clearly self-evident, but all the same I thought I would let you know

“Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Blog’s I didn’t write in 2012

Many of my blog posts are written in response to something that someone else has written. I read a lot of other people’s blogs and when I find something I find interesting I star it (in Google Reader speak). Preston Guild Torchlight ProcessionI’ll then go back and look at the stared items and write about them. Sometimes though I have more stared items than time to write, sometimes when I go back to the stared items I’m not sure what I should write. So the number of stared items grows over time.

Here’s a list of blog posts that I didn’t write based on articles that I sound interesting:

Potentially for Because it’s Friday’s

Potentially for Technical, Learning and Social Writings

How’s that for an eclectic mix of information?

I’m not saying that I won’t return to some of these in 2013, but as so much information gets published all of the time it’s unlikely. If there’s something you’d like to write about out of this list just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

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WordPress 3.5 Installed

WordPress 3.5 was released today. I’ve updated a couple of the sites that I look after and everything is looking great (apart from one thing, but I’ll get to that). Huge congratulations to the team, it looks like it’s another quick and easy upgrade.

Preston Guild Torchlight ProcessionI’m using a number of the common plug-ins and all seem to be OK so far. These are the ones I’m running across the sites that I’ve updated:

  • Akismet
  • All in One SEO Pack
  • Better WP Security
  • FD Feedburner Plugin
  • Google Analytics for WordPress
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • WordPress Firewall 2
  • WP Security Scan
  • WP Super Cache

I did have to reconnect JetPack to my Worpdress.com account, but that’s not really an issue.

The one thing that appears to be broken is the new Twenty Twelve theme installation. On both sites it’s reporting that it’s missing its stylesheet:

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Actually, it’s not just the stylesheet that’s missing, the theme directory it’s completely empty. Fortunately the work-around is simple; delete the twentytwelve directory off the server and install the theme through the dashboard interface. Not sure I’m going to use it, but wanted to have a look all the same.

What I blog (and don’t)

There’s been a few discussions internally (at my employer) about blogging in the outside world and how to avoid releasing important company intellectual property.

On the path to Maiden MoorMy own approach to this dilemma is as follows:

I avoid talking about things that I am directly working on, I’m never going to talk about a customer project, for instance.

If I’m doing some research to formulate a point of view, for the organisation, I might talk about the reference sources (if they are publicly available) but I’m not going to talk about the research itself. I’m not releasing any secrets if information is already known, and it’s already known if it’s published somewhere on the internet.

If the reference source is available to me in a privileged way I’m not going to even acknowledge its existence, but there are fewer things that are like that these days. Thankfully, we seem to be heading to a more open world.

I feel quite happy to talk about methods of doing things. In talking about Rich Pictures and Concept Mapping I’m talking about methodologies that are, again, publicly known. I’m not going to talk about how I have applied them to a specific customer problem or project though.

I might talk about my personal experience, as I have in the my changing workplace series (which I must get back to), but I’m going to do so in a generic or abstract way. Again, I’m not going to talk about customers or colleagues which is as much about privacy as anything. I am likely to talk about technologies, but that’s because they are publicly known.

There are lots of things that I talk about that aren’t directly linked to my job, and there I make a judgement about whether the subject is near enough to what I do to avoid it, or far enough away for me to talk about it. My recent post, The Light Bulb Conspiracy: A Documentary is a good example of this, I experience the impact of planned obsolescence so I’m interested in it, but it’s not a direct consideration in my work. My post The March of the Freelancers is a bit closer to my work, but I still concluded that it was far enough away and already publicly available so wasn’t an issue.

All of my Because it’s Friday or quote posts are publicly known and rarely relate directly to my work so don’t give me to much to worry about.

There’s also a whole load of posts that you could fit into the title: have you seen this? Here I’m just trying to link the people who read this blog with something interesting. Again, it’s publicly known, I’m just pointing it out, a bit like a guide on a walk pointing out the scenery.

You’ll also notice that I don’t have any form of disclaimer on my site about it being my personal opinion, the reason for this is that I’ve concluded that they don’t make any difference. You’ll also notice that there aren’t any copyright notices, because I’d rather be open, I have considered putting a creative commons notice on just to make it clear where I stand.

I know that others work to different frameworks, but I thought I’d highlight mine.

Slowly picking up the threads

I’m currently going through an experience that I’m sure many people go through at this time of year.

RibbleheadIt isn’t possible for me, or for many other people, to leave on summer vacation with a clean plate and a clear mind. There are inevitably things that continue on while we are away and there are things that we need to pick back up on our return. These things aren’t just ‘work’ thinks, there are many things outside of my workplace that are also in the same place.

I try not to multi-task anything because I know that I’m very poor at it (I’m also quite sceptical of anyone who tells me that they are). But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things which are part completed or tasks that follow-on from other tasks left floating in mid-air.

The problem is that sometimes it’s not always easy to pick up where we left off and there are follow-on tasks that we know are there but can’t remember quite what they were. We have lists and write reminders to help us, but they don’t always quite get us there.

One good example of this are the set of blog posts that I’ve been writing on my changing workplace. If you are a follower of these updates you will have noticed that I haven’t written a new one for a couple of weeks. The truth is that I wrote the last post prior to my two week break and scheduled it to be published on the first week of absence with the intention of writing another one on the week of my return. The problem is, I’ve forgotten where I was up to. The thread of thought and the progress along that thread has slipped out of my memory and I now need to go back before I can go forwards.

It doesn’t help that I’m a better starter than I am a finisher. I’d rather pick up a new thread than finish the old one. So sometimes I get part way through a thread and just leave it there.

So apologies that you haven’t seen more meaningful updates from me, they will be coming, but it’s going to take me a little while to get back up to speed.

(I’ve also got some photographs to upload from our holiday, not many this time, but it’s another job I need to get around to)