It’s an interesting time. Spring is busting out. Oil is washing ashore.
I’ve been in a low gear for quite a while now, partly for reasons of my own and partly due to circumstance. I feel like an upshift is coming, and that I’m personally ready to pick up speed, but the corners are still blind.
Do I need to keep my foot on the brake, against the straining engine, or can I drop the pedal and go? An interesting question, which I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to answer in advance.
It’s an interesting time.
- The Big Picture: April 30, 2010
I would give the first image a Pulitzer on the spot. The last image — if the hurricane-shaped sprawl is indeed oil — is rife with irony.
If you’re wondering how hard it’s going to be to clean up this oil spill, imagine that a crude-oil bomb has exploded in your closet and your job is to clean your clothes. The immediate response you just had — that you would simply throw away your clothes and start over — is not available to flora and fauna. They have to wear it.
- Shakespeare: The Question of Authorship
A book review about a smart book that takes apart all those entertaining claims that Shakespeare could not have been Shakespeare.
Every mystery is not a secret. Every silence is not a lie. The play’s the thing.
- Crown Restructured Into Distinct Groups; Shaye Areheart Books Closed
Another small nod to consolidation and cost-cutting in the publishing industry. As with previous reports (see the Update here) there’s little information about how many jobs will be lost, and how much payroll will be cut. The new branded emphasis on authors with celebrity-driven platforms (meaning built-in audiences and name recognition) is predictable.
There is more content being produced and distributed than ever before. Literally. But relative to the explosion of available content there are fewer newspaper pages and magazine pages and book pages being pushed out the door.
Something has to give, even if only haltingly. This was a halting give.
- Why new hard disks might not be much fun for XP users
An unnecessarily restrictive (and fear-mongering) title for what is otherwise a very interesting article on changes coming to the ubiquitous hard drive. Has any piece of hardware ever been so critical and so routinely ignored — and so insanely cheap?
…hard disks are not actually very reliable. We all like to think of hard disks as neatly storing the 1s and 0s that make up our data and then reading them back with perfect accuracy, but unfortunately the reality is nothing like as neat.
Instead of having a nice digital signal written in the magnetic surface—little groups of magnets pointing “all north” or “all south”—what we have have is groups pointing “mostly south” or “mostly north.”
By the way…have you backed up your data lately?
- 36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It also stands for Selling Empty Operations.
In the past five years (if not ten), I’d be hard pressed to think of an aspect of computing that has been afflicted with more hype and misinformation — often characterized as ‘advertising’ or ‘helping’ by practitioners — than search engine optimization. As a practical matter, the people who make their living selling SEO services have done a wonderful job convincing the uninformed that they need SEO more than they need oxygen, and Google’s market dominance of search has certainly helped in this regard.
But do you really get something for the money you pay for SEO? Do you get anything?
My own answer is necessarily subjective, but I take a dim view of most SEO claims. It’s taken me eight months of blogging to get my name (Mark Barrett) on the first page of Google hits for that search. On the other hand, it only took me a month or two to drive the word ‘Ditchwalk’ to the first position for that term. As to SEO, I didn’t do much more than load WordPress, add a plugin or two, and blog.
This particular article is pro-SEO, but it still does a good job of batting down some of the SEO hype that people might use to pry open your wallet. Read the first ten suggestions, the press on if your inner geek is intrigued.
- Jeffrey Lewis
Too clever by half, or an author who doth protest too much? You decide.
It is an undeniably beautiful day today. The lilacs are in full bloom. The sky is a shimmering blue. The temperatures are up after days of cold rain.
Still, the blackness creeping ashore occupies a corner of my mind, speaking to the scale of my world and the scope of my reach. I know I need to put gas in my tank.
Thankfully, for the next two days, I have nowhere to go.
— Mark Barrett