Bloggy Blog

Ramblings and Rants

I rolled out my bloggy blog to complement the original photo blog part of my site. Hello and welcome!

I installed WordPress to power the blog and WP Framework to integrate the WordPress loop ect. You have to supply your own xhtml code and roll your own php tweaks but... the zen approach of the WP Framework makes creating custom themes for WordPress much easier. Excellent for the DIY crowd -- highly recommended.




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    Update on Open Graph

    I’ve been testing Facebook’s Open Graph “Like” buttons since they launched in April, and wanted to post an update.  I think Open Graph has merit for users and publishers, but there are latency issues causing me to rethink how I implement the protocol.

    Overall it’s clear that you can do all kinds of things with Open Graph, including those bordering on the creepy. I’m not a fan of creepy so staying clear of spooky games that would freak out my visitors.  (Surprise!  Betcha you didn’t know I knew that about you!)

    But, as long as publishers make it opt-in and transparent, it has the potential for great stuff.  It makes for an efficient use of the social graph–it makes sharing easy and sharing drives traffic.  In fact, in just one month on my site Facebook went from rank #4 to #1 in referring sites, beating out Google.  Facebook has maintained the #1 position since.  Google has always been my #1 traffic source (and that traffic isn’t going down) so this is quite interesting.

    The downside is that there are latency issues involved in Open Graph, since a tagged page can’t fully load until Facebook responds.  Nothing new here — every external tag has the potential for latency.  I already have multiple third party javascript tags on every page (for Google Analytics and Google Checkout) but haven’t found them to be a problem.  However, on a “photo roll” page on my site there might be a dozen or more photos, and each photo has its own Like button.  So, while the latency for each button load is small, a dozen buttons (or more!) on a single page add up.  My photo roll pages load but don’t scroll until all the buttons are loaded.  That’s not a great user experience(!)

    So, I plan to keep testing the Like buttons, but new sections will only have Like buttons on individual photo pages (not the roll).  This should make latency a non-issue.  However, it will also hide the buttons from most users, since my visitors tend to browse photos on the photo roll pages, and less often view the detail (photo enlargement) pages.  I thought it was cool to scan a photo roll and instantly see all the “liked” photos…  now you’ll have to view a photo’s detail page to see if that photo is liked.  In a perfect world without latency, I’d continue with multiple buttons on the photo roll (fun and useful) but I can’t have pages acting wonky.

    Once I see how this use of the Like buttons compares with my previous implementation, I’ll standardize on one approach.  More later!

    Orange Shirts Leaving the Haight

    I learned Spain had won the World Cup not via TV or Twitter or other communication channel — it was by orange shirts leaving the Haight.

    I was watching the game and paused my TiVo in overtime to run a short errand that couldn’t wait.  I’d catch the end when I got back…

    As I was returning, a car with two glum looking guys–both in orange jerseys–turned the corner.  They were heading up Clayton, leaving the Haight.  This could only mean one thing — the Orange (The Netherlands) had lost, and the exodus (losers) from the Haight Street bars had begun.

    Was my theory correct and the Dutch the sad losers?  I pulled out my phone and checked Twitter.  Goal Spain! tweeted the NYTimes and several others.

    I unpaused TiVo when I got back but the suspense was over.  Orange shirts were leaving the Haight.  Game over!

    Tom Petty and the Promise Breakers

    This one is bizarre.  I get a lot of spam and most of it is random.  But a consistent spam king going back ten years is rocker Tom Petty.

    What’s going on Tom?  I forget how you got my e-mail but it was about ten years ago.  That was fine.  I requested to unsubscribe since I was happy just listening to your tunes — no need for the fan mail.  That lasted a bit, and then the e-mails resumed.  I unsubscribed again.  And that worked…  but only for a few years.  You’d be back!   The last time was in 2006; I saved a copy of that unsubscribe since I wanted to see how long you’d hold off.  Fresh Petty-mail arrived on Saturday.  Four years, that’s restraint!

    The e-mails have all been sent to an account that I haven’t used in a decade but still monitor.  The only one who uses it is Tom.  I’d say he has a good memory but actually it’s the opposite.  OK, end of rant.  🙂