The 3 Most Annoying Attention-grabbing Blog Post Headlines

Have you ever noticed that there are several headlines used repeatedly by bloggers and other digital writers, all of which are designed for nothing else than to try to grab traffic? Not that there is anything wrong with trying to grab traffic, but more often than not these posts are nothing but fluff, and simply play off public opinion regarding some polarizing topic.

The three which annoy me most are:

  1. Technology is Dead! – applied most commonly to the PC, and anything to do with Microsoft
  2. 10 Reasons Company  X got everything wrong!
  3. 10 Things you MUST do today or your career will DIE!

Note that it is not always 10 things – some of us can only count to 3.

Those are my favourites – what are yours?

Re-focusing

So, the time has come to re-focus my blog a little around what I am currently working on. In the last year, I have gone through a fairly significant transition in my career. After close to a decade in a product-oriented startup, I have moved into a consulting role at T4G. This is a big change for me, at least it feels like it – the mental shift from focusing on products, product features, and product life-cycles  to focusing on client engagements and project-oriented work. My mind tells me that in many ways the two are not so different – they just feel very different.

The main focus of my work (at least initially) is on portal technologies, specifically SharePoint. In addition to the engineering and mechanics of implementing SharePoint solutions, I am focused on a number of other related topics:

  • A repeatable approach to delivery of SharePoint solutions
  • Process/methodology models for SharePoint implementation
  • Estimating models for SharePoint projects
  • The art of the possible – what could clients be doing with SharePoint

I will also be spending a significant amount of time establishing a Moncton office for T4G. By the way, if anyone knows any SharePoint resources (or good .NET or ASP.NET resources in the area, send them my way 🙂 ).

While my new role is as a consultant in an consulting company, I do not plan to abandon my roots in software development, software development processes, and programming. I also maintain a strong interest in innovation processes. Finally, there are a number of technology areas I am continuing to investigate, including Tablet PC applications, Silverlight, Office Business Applications, Social Networking, etc.

I am also hoping to have more time to blog a little more regularly 🙂

Christmas Break time

Time to take a few days off. I do not plan to post anything over the holidays – in fact, I intend to avoid being online to the greatest extent possible.

Also note that I will probably not be on reviewing comments either, so if your comment does not get moderated/approved right away, do not assumed I have rejected it. I probably just have not looked at it.

Cheers, and Happy Holidays. Enjoy time with your families, and whatever deity you’ve chosen (or not 🙂 ). Remember that none of this technology stuff is that important, and remember what is.  

What language is that?

We have all become familiar with various forms of slang, lingo, emoticons, abbreviations, and acronyms used in the IM and Texting world.

Well, today I had an experience which indicates I may be a little too used to it. I was browsing through various blogs (not ones to which I subscribe, just random ones), and came across a blog I was having trouble understanding. The author seemed to be using way too much slang, etc. After about 30 seconds of trying to interpret this post – it suddenly occured to me: this post was not using internet slang, it was in another language altogether!

Where am I?

I just realized that it has be almost 2 weeks since I posted anything substantive here. Once again, life gets in the way of blogging. I have also been in a fairly negative place with respect to the whole software/high tech industry and evaluating what part I want to play in it, so anything I write tends to wander off into a rant.

I have a couple of longer, multi-part posts I have been working on, and hope to get someting out this weekend.  

8 Answers to the Question: Why do you bother?

I liked Andrew Garrett’s post 8 Answers to the Question: Why do you bother? I absolutely agree with his points, but wanted to add a couple of my own (only slightly serious):

  1. It gives me a chance to write (with words and everything), something I do not get to do as much as I would like in my “real” job. Writing is like anything else, if you do not do it often, does it ever get hard to do!
  2. Ego. I have opinions, thoughts, ideas. I have lots of them, on just about every subject. And of course I believe everyone should have the opportunity to hear them 🙂 .
  3. It gives me a place to write things so that I will not lose them. My stuff is all right there, and hopefully will stay there as long as I need it. I am notorious for writing down ideas and losing them (or not writing them down, and still losing them).
  4. It gives me a place to say things, when I cannot find anyone else to listen – and it does not creep people out as much as when I sit and talk to myself!
  5. It gives me a place to indulge my obsession with numbers and statistics, as I watch the counter move (ok, slowly), and try to find a correlation between tags and reader count.
  6. And finally, because it is still fun!.

Anyone else out there sick of “Us versus Them”? Afterthought…

This morning I had an afterthought regarding my post last night Anyone else out there sick of “Us versus Them”?

I recognize that there are cases where the debate is necessary, or at least may be perceived as necessary. So, in that case I would add one more item to my “guidelines”:

6. If you absolutely must try to convert people to your point of view (in violation of item 5), try describing what is positive about the solution you support, rather than ranting and raving about why the alternative is evil and will bring about the downfall of civilization as we know it. (“Microsoft is evil” is not a valid argument).

(Note this is one of the biggest problems of our time, not just in software, but everywhere. Look at our leadership – no one presents viable, intelligent alternatives to anything, they just bash the opposition.)

Anyone else out there sick of "Us versus Them"?

Well? No, I am not talking about politics, war, or religion (though I guess I could be). I am talking about the software/technology business. There are days the whole business just annoys the crap out of me. Let me step back a bit…

I was just on Google Reader, reviewing my various RSS feeds – specifically my Digg feed. I know I should stay away from that feed, but I just cannot seem to – it is like watching Fox News, or listening to clips from Howard Stern, even though I know something in there is going annoy me, bug me, disgust me or otherwise create negative feelings, I just cannot resist looking.

What typically ticks me off on Digg is a post (usually more than one) on the following ongoing us-versus-them arguments:

  1. Linux versus Windows
  2. Mac OSX versus Windows
  3. Open Source versus Microsoft
  4. Open Source versus any commercial software
  5. ODF versus Open XML
  6. Java vs C++ vs .NET versus any other language
  7. Dynamic languages versus any other languages
  8. Web Applications versus Desktop Applications
  9. And many many more

At any given time on Digg, on blogs, and in the “regular” press, you can find lots and lots of people blathering on about these subjects. Sometimes, you can even find me blathering on about them. Most of these posts are characterized by the following:

  1. They are poorly written, grammatically incorrect, etc.
  2. They are very emotional, and often hate-filled (and occasionally filled with colourful metaphors)
  3. They are low on factual information
  4. They imply (or more often, openly state) that anyone who disagrees with the post is so completely stupid that they do not deserve to live

Here are a few examples: So you think that Microsoft’s Open Office XML is ‘Teh Shiznitz’?, Virtualize Windows on Linux? Microsoft Says No Way!, Surprise: Microsoft not so ‘open’ after all?, Is the era of Microsoft Ending?, and a lot of the VistaSucks blog.

There are days that I feel if I hear/read/see one more of these stories, I am going to trash my computer, tie my belongings in a kerchief on the end of a stick and become a hobo. In a more productive vein, I would like to suggest the following guidelines:

  1. Use whatever OS you like. If you like Linux, use Linux. If you like Windows, use that. Same for OSX. Heck use CPM if you want.
  2. If you are a programmer, use whatever language you want, or which makes sense for a given project. If your employer will not let you use the language you like, stop whining and get a new job.
  3. If you like MS Office, use it. Same for OpenOffice or StarOffice.
  4. If Web Applications make sense for you, use them. If you like desktop apps, use them.
  5. Whatever you use for whatever you do, please shut up about it, and stop trying to convert everyone in the world to your point of view!

Do Trackbacks work to ZDNet?

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post regarding the death of Microsoft as reported in a ZDNet blog posting, and also provided a trackback to the post using the provided URL (http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/wp-trackback.php?p=1313). The original post still shows that there are no trackbacks to the post.

i wonder if there is a problem either with Trackbacks from WordPress (I do not think so, since others seem to work) or at ZDNet?