Find new stuff with the image wall

While everyone seems to be running to the new kid on the block, Google Reader, I stuck with Bloglines because I prefer the old-style interface and the sorting options over the new fangled web 2.0ish Google upstart.

At the same time, I’ve lusted after some of the new features of Google Reader but Bloglines have been busy with a new feature I quite like called the Image Wall. The wall is basically a collection of images grabbed from the latest posts that Bloglines sees. The wall refreshes continuously bringing in new content as you’re watching. Clicking on an image leads to the Bloglines preview of that post where you can then click through to the actual post.

It’s not perfect. The images don’t always fade in correctly, sometimes stuttering or suddenly appearing or changing for some reason. That’s only a minor problem compared to the big one. When you hover an image, a popup appears with a large verson of that image, and allows you to mark offensive images. Unfortunately to get to an image in the middle of the wall you have to move your cursor over other images, thus suffering more popups. If you haven’t tried it, image what it would be like to mouse over a Snap Preview powered page full of closely formatted links. Ugh.

Besides that problem I really like the idea. I found a blog with an hour’s worth of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody remakes yesterday because they included a screen grab from that song’s video. Unfortunately my browser crashed shortly afterwards so I can’t share it with you. I can see you’re disappointed.

Just in case you’re worried about such things, you have to click through the following disclaimer each time you activate the wall.

The Image Wall is comprised of dynamically generated images from user feeds and may contain material of an explicit sexual nature or other adult content.

You do read the small print don’t you? Don’t go complaining that you weren’t warned!

bloglines-imagewall.jpg

Edit: Looks like Bloglines have listened to the complaints and have responded.

Effective today, Bloglines will move the Image Wall to its own, new domain at http://www.bloglinesimagewall.com. Now, any school, library, parent/guardian or third party filtering service can add this full domain to their list of restricted domains to be blocked.

Voting in the blog awards is easy

How to vote in the Irish Blog Awards in three easy steps:

  1. Visit the voting page at http://www.awards.ie/vote/
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Scroll down to “Best Photo Blog” and select “In Photos” from the drop down list.
  4. In “Best Contribution to the Irish Bloggersphere” select “Donncha O’Caoimh”
  5. In “Best Technology Blog/Blogger” select “Donncha O’Caoimh” again.

There, no confusion. No wondering who all those people and blogs are. Hope that helped and thanks for voting!

PS. Thank you to Damien Mulley, the brains behind the awards, and to the sponsors of the above categories: Pixenate, First Partners, and Bitbuzz!

PPS. Damien will enter everyone who votes into a draw for a copy of “Vista Home Premium”. That of course might not be to everyone’s tastes, but you can always give it away to your worst enemy if you win..

We are live from BarCamp South East!

Here I am blogging away at BarCamp South East. It’s been a great day so far. My talk was scheduled for 10:50am which was a relief to get out of the way. Feedback has been positive too and horrors of horrors, I actually enjoyed the talk! Video and podcasts will be online eventually and I’ll update this post when they’re available. Elly left Bernie’s dictaphone on the seat next to me, Joe and Conor had video cameras so I’m sure you’ll get to hear or watch me talk about WordPress one way or another if you’re interested!

Thank you all for the comments on yesterday’s post. I’m hopeful that things will return to normal sooner or later on inphotos.org!

Now, I’m off to look around and mingle with the rest of the attendees!

Just spotted on Lifehacker, is How to manage kids in the home office, a topic brushed upon in my talk.

I’m sitting in the Drupal talk now by Alan Burke and Stephane Corlosquet on the laptop. John Handelaar is showing off his voter site written in Drupal. It’s a great presentation on the power of Drupal and it’s plugins.

Ken McGuire has a review of the day, and apart from everything else, and it was great to talk to Justin Mason finally.

Great day. I think everyone’s looking forward to the next one in May!

Conor O’Neill has posted videos of my talk on his blog. I could embed them here, but he went to all the trouble of uploading them, so go visit his blog and check them out. There are bits there about scaling WPMU by hashing blog_ids and partitioning databases, as well as how to get past the 32,000 file limit of ext2/ext3 in the blogs.dir files directory. Also, if you work from home I discuss my experiences doing the same, and communicating within a virtual company.

Bernie has posted the first podcast of my talk. He’s posting the second half tomorrow about working from home and in a virtual company.

The second part of Bernie’s podcast is online today! In this part I talk about working from home and balancing work and home life. Should be of interest to everyone working from home!

Irish Blog Awards on March 3rd

The second Irish Blog Awards will take place on the 3rd of March in Dublin. Damien wants to know if you’re going so leave a comment on his post if you’re interested. I have yet to make up my mind but there’s already a number of comments left and it will probably be even bigger than last year!

If your company is looking for exposure in the blogging community, there are a number of sponsorship slots still left to fill. More details on the page linked above.

Nothing left to read

My aggregator is empty. Things are quiet on the Internet and I’ve finally clicked and scanned through every one of the 230+ blogs in my Bloglines account.

But no, that’s not true. I opened The Dilbert Blog in a new tab for further reading because Scott Adams always seems to have something that will catch my attention and imagination.

That’s the dilemma I face. Many blogs have only one or two posts before I get to read them. Usually I can scan through them quickly. On an (almost?) daily basis Scott writes long lengthy essays on everything from free will, to religion, to the war in Iraq and to hypnotism that I find irresistible so I always skip “The Dilbert Blog” because I know I’ll be sucked in and spend the next several minutes reading and wanting to blog about at least one of his articles. Scott’s posts are gone once I click on another blog, but the rest of them are crying out for attention too! What is one to do?
I put the Online Photographer in that category as well.

A good blog, like a good book, is something you can get lost in and forget yourself in. It tickles your brain cells and gets you thinking. What blogs do you put off reading until you have quality time to really enjoy them? What are the blogs you know you can’t read by skimming over them?

Moved home last night

This blog moved home that is, I’m still tucked up in Blarney!

I moved to a slightly more beefy linode 200 VPS at linode.com and thanks to Michele at Blacknight the dns changeover took place quietly and unobtrusively last night around 1am. Hopefully you’ll see a slight improvement in page download speed which should improve over the next few days as I tweak settings and give MySQL more memory.

Conference Hijacked by French Politics

It hasn’t been a good time for the organisers of Le Web 3 in Paris, France. First of all their WiFi was down or sketchy and while that’s simply an annoyance and is a terrible reflection on the WiFi provider surely things couldn’t get worse?

They did. In place of the advertised speakers, two French presidential candidates spoke. Wasn’t this conference supposed to be about web technology? I can’t wait to see what they do next! How will they better today’s fiasco? I would certainly be looking for a refund, especially if I had travelled from abroad.

Worse than that, at a conference where the majority of the delegates were not French, the two political candidates addressed the audience in French (and Sarkozy didn’t even take questions).

News overload again

You go away for a few days and come back to a news aggregator that’s just brimming with posts and articles and teasing you with nuggets of information that you really don’t have time to read. 10 posts there, 20 here, 200 in boingboing. Time to be selective, I really should prune the number of blogs I’ve subscribed to. How many do you read? I have 190 feeds, plus about 10 feeds related to me, wordpress and Automattic. *phew*

It was worth it however. We were in Dingle for an extended weekend. Despite the warnings of a hurricane it only rained on us once on Saturday morning. For the rest of the time we could have been somewhere exotic under blue skies and fluffy white clouds. The number of tourists from the US and Canada was great to see. The price of the US Dollar in Euros certainly makes it expensive to visit here for Americans and the Canadian Dollar isn’t doing too well either. I can’t wait to get cracking on the photos I took. Check out my photoblog, In Photos.org, over the next week for those!