No, I didn’t vanish

I know that I wrote back in September that my posting on this blog would increase.  And I later wrote that I’d be blogging my experiences from India during the month of October.  Well, that was the intent, but life got in the way.  Actually, a bad hard drive, terrible connection issues in India, and other major challenges got in the way.

Luckily, most of my intended posts from India survive the hard drive crash.  Those will be posted shortly.  And, for the time being, much of that other stuff has been either pushed aside or dealt with.  So, I’m back (again).  At least, I will be back to a normal schedule of writing here by this weekend.

Information overload; rethinking my RSS feeds

Like most information junkies, I’ve regularly added feeds to my Google Reader simply because the author may have had one, or two, interesting posts that managed to catch my eye. Adding a couple every month, while not removing any, has led to total information overload. At last count, I had nearly 300 feeds plugged into my Google Reader. Most of those feeds aren’t very active, but the volume of information that arrived throughout the day eventually got to be so much that I had to take the decision to assess the real value of each feed. As a result, I’ve begun to pare down my feeds by using certain rules. One rule that has worked effectively for me is consolidating to one ‘master’ feed on certain topics. A good example is the gadget space. Engadget is the undisputed king. While the other gadget sites do cover the space slightly differently, I couldn’t see the reason to be plugged into Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and the others in this area. On an average day Engadget floods my reader with posts about most everything I would want to know about. On good days Peter, Ryan and Co. give us the best coverage of events on the web. That’s good enough for my gadget fix. So, I’ve dropped the other gadget sites, and reduced my gadget load substantially. I have kept extraneous gadget sites like Gear Diary and The Gadgeteer because they cover the space from a totally different perspective.

Another rule that I’ve adopted is that, although I’m a quick subscriber to a blog, I will quickly unsubscribe if the topics venture way off base. The exception to this rule are those blogs that are truly personal. Many of those personal blogs are the most fascinating ones in the blogosphere. And, since my own blog tends to meander a bit, I figured I should allow other personal bloggers the same latitude that I give myself.

I’ve also dropped almost all of my Getting Things Done (GTD) based subscriptions. Reading about the latest quasi-GTD tool, or some oddball hacked version of GTD has gotten to be really boring. Now true lifehack sites, like Merlin Mann‘s 43Folders and Lifehack are keepers. There is always a nugget of wisdom or two on these feeds.

Blog update: Comments may be broken

I’ve been so busy of late, that I haven’t upgraded WordPress…it looks like commenting is broken on the blog. Sorry for those who were trying comment. If are looking to get an invite to Grand Central, please email me directly.

I’ll upgrade the site this week, and make sure comments get back on track.

Update: I’m out of Grand Central invites.

Is Nokia reading this weblog?

Engadget (who else?) has unearthed some hazy pictures of a possible Nokia N800 successor with a sliding keyboard.  As I wrote back in February:

Nokia may have built a better device if they had incorporated a slide down keyboard. Given the ?bump? on the backside that accommodates the camera and stylus, adding incremental depth to the unit by adding a slide down keyboard would have made it much more useful.Nokia may have built a better device if they had incorporated a slide down keyboard. Given the ?bump? on the backside that accommodates the camera and stylus, adding incremental depth to the unit by adding a slide down keyboard would have made it much more useful.

I know that I’m not the only one who has seen this deficiency in the N800, so it’s encouraging to see that Nokia may be listening (and reading) to user feedback on this device.  The only troubling point on the leaked pictures is that it looks pretty ugly.

Is JotSpot finally ready to be unveiled by Google?

InsideGoogle is reporting that JotSpot may finally emerge from the Googleplex as a part of the Google Application Suite for enterprise customers.  It was just a few days ago that I expressed concern that JotSpot seemed to have fallen into some void at Google.  It’s good to hear that the wiki application may finally be ready for prime time.

Hopefully, this time the news is for real (not like the last time).

Thanks to Googlified for the update.

The Merlin Show: A must see

Merlin Mann, a truly unique and engaging character (electronic hobo to some) launched a new video-cast last month that’s simply called The Merlin Show.  It’s already become a must stop for me.  Merlin’s most famous for running the wildly popular 43folders website – the name is based on David Allen‘s Getting Things Done productivity methodology.  With The Merlin Show, he extends the conversation beyond simple tools, gadgetry and hipsterness (although his obsession with the Mac is still prevalent) to deeper conversations with some of the more interesting people you’ll find in the bay area.  Although there have only been a handful shows so far, the show’s feed is high on my priority list to watch when I’m in between my daily next actions.  Even if you’re not productivity obsessed like some of us, I’d recommend stopping by the site to catch an episode or two Merlin’s new adventure.

Not a lot of killer buzz coming out of CES yet

I know, the show has just started, but I have yet to see any ‘killer’ gadget emerge from CES 2007. Engadget, as usual, is all over CES, but a lot of other bloggers are swarming Las Vegas too. reports on the OQO 02, the nicely updated ultra compact computer by OQO. It looks impressive, given that it has built-in WAN (Sprint EV-DO) capability, and a bunch of other refinements. It is, however, still very expensive at $2,000 a pop. Closer to $1,000 and I’d really be interested.

Also on the portable front, SlingMedia is revving up a release of its software for Slingbox access via the Palm 700p. JkontheRun contributor Kevin Tofel has the low-down here. The Slingbox is a great little device that allows you to place shift your television viewing. By place shifting, I mean you can watch whatever the Slingbox is hooked up to from a location that is physically distant from the location of the Sling. With the addition of a Palm client, I’ll be able to watch television from our DirecTV connection anywhere the Palm can pull down an EV-DO connection. Nice.

Michael Gartnberg of Jupiter Research explains CES 2007 nicely in his post:

The big theme at CES is integration and not convergence

This year, it’s all about how to integrate the diversity of devices that consumers are using into a whole that allows for the information and content they want to flow seamlessly from device to device.

One of these days I’ll find the time to make it to a CES. Until then, I’ll just rely on the great blogging that’s going on in Sin-City!

Daylife: A new type of news site launches

This is worth checking out. Daylife is a new website that can best be described as a mashup between an RSS reader and a traditional news paper. It launched today, and is generating some buzz across the web. I think that the site layout and simplicity will be a great way to introduce the concept of aggregation to the masses of net users that get freaked out by the mention of ‘RSS feeds’ and ‘aggregators’. And, despite what Michael Arrington says, it’s not all that bad for those of us who need a nice visual break from Google Reader or meme tracking websites.

Performancing blog editor now available as ScribeFire

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Performancing being sold to PayPerPost.  As we learned more, I was happy to see that their blogging plugin for Firefox was not included in the deal.  Now we’ve got confirmation with the introduction of ScribeFire.  Ryan Carter over at Download Squad has some details:

Performancing Firefox plugin is now ScribeFire – Download Squad

Now you know that PayPerPost acquired Performancing, right? The Performancing Firefox plugin (the blog editor) is now rebranded as ScribeFire. I’m glad the plugin is still its own entity. I am a huge fan of it, and I would hate for any kind of merger, acquisition, or take-over to mess with it. I like it just the way it is.

powered by performancing firefox

Sad to see Performancing sold off to PayPerPost

Michael Arrington broke the news yesterday, Performancing – makers of the excellent blog posting add-in for FireFox – has been acquired by PayPerPost. PPP has been very controversial in the blogging world, as it operates a service whereby bloggers get paid by product companies to blog about their respective products. Hired guns, essentially. Many have argued that this amounts to blog spam…others are less kind. As for me, I’m sad that Performancing sold itself to PPP; I can’t imagine they were the only offer around for this toolset. I’ve been using Performancing to post for a while now, having switched from BlogJet (which is excellent too, but not as ‘in-line’ as Performancing is), but I may consider leaving it as my blogging tool of choice given these turn of events.

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » PayPerPost In The News Again

They will be announcing the acquisition of blogging tools and services company Performancing

UPDATE:  It looks like I, and others, may have come to the wrong conclusion on the PPP acquisition of Performancing.  As Matt states, PPP is buying some of the assets of Performancing.  This deal does not involve the Firefox add-in.  That’s great news.  I guess all’s well on the blogosphere this evening.