My Garden Journal
So, I’ve taken some heat recently for not keeping up my end of the bargain, regularly posting to this blog and all. Truth is, I’ve been spending my blogging hours (and hours and hours) elsewhere, trying out some new capabilities of Last.fm & MSN Spaces. Both of which generate RSS feeds which you can clearly see displayed there on the right. Pretty sweet ones too about which I will elaborate.
Stowe has stated that he ” wouldn’t break up my world into a thousand tiny pieces,” and i have agreed with him. Why would you want to manage multiple accounts, and links, and processes, especially when there seem to be pretty decent tools out there that could do it all? But like him, I have been won over by some of these tools and their various specializations, combined with the relative ease of reusing what you do in one site, anywhere else. As we are increasingly able to join these “small pieces” via rss and the like, I think there are some real advantages to the distrubted approach of creating a digital identity. It is reflective of the very nature of the web itself. A more detailed review could follow if I cannot summarize my thoughts sufficiently here….
I’ll start with my MSN space
Like many knowledge workers, I keep a list of people I work with closely listed in my MSN messenger. This is the default app for most people i think, particularly in a heavily microsoft dominated work place. Immediately upon the release of MSN spaces, my MSN presence expanded in functionalitty to include a full blog, a gallery, and several other less than useful features and I (along with all other msn users) had a built in audience ready to go. Ok, so it doesn’t have tagsonomy, it’s true. Which I do miss. Still, alot can be accomplished with folders and categories, so I proceeded to make it my “garden blog”. Just to try out more than anything, but I found once I started using I had to keep using it. You can add photos and blog them and all your messenger buddies get to see. As far as RSS feeds go, It seems to have a particularly rich feed including items from all the tool. I’ve aggregated the full feed for your pleasure.
Now my lastf.m. journal is a bit different.
For one thing, the act of keeping a journal is intentionally tied to your music listening experience. The custom player displays the currently playing track, artist, and album, each of which is linked to the related last.fm page. From there, it is one click to make a post in your journal, and the link to the track, artist, or album is built in by default. Furthermore, anytime you wish to reference a track, artist or album, you simply have to correctly type the name of the reference, highlight it, then click the appropriate icon and the link is built into your post. Alot of the usability is attained through knowledge you already have, and less depends on figuring out how to add link.