February 25, 2003

Teeming swarms of angry introverts

Must be a lot of oppressed introverts out there. While introverts make up only 25% of the general population, they seem to make up a very high percentage of the blogging community -- the article is ranked first at both Blogdex and DayPop.

Posted by dreeves at 6:59 PM

Caring For Your Introvert

Jonathan Rauch on the special needs of introverts:

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication.

Funny. Smart. True. Link (via A&L Daily)

Posted by dreeves at 1:49 PM

February 17, 2003

Words of the day

Over the last few days, dictionary.com's excellent Word of the Day service has provided a very interesting sequence of words, especially when one considers that they intersect with Valentine's Day...


11th: spurious: not genuine; false; illegitimate.
12th: waylay: to ambush or accost.
13th: ingenue: a naive girl or young woman, or an actress representing such a person.
14th: osculation: the act of kissing; a kiss.
15th: voluptuary: a person devoted to luxury and the gratification of sensual appetites.
16th: enmity: hatred; ill will.

Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by dreeves at 11:17 AM

February 14, 2003

Trunk Monkey


Does your car have a trunk monkey?

Update: I know the link is broken. I don't have a copy of it, and no, I'm not going to send one to you.

Posted by dreeves at 1:37 PM

February 12, 2003

Dave Winer and the integrity of Bloggers

I caught roughly the last third of the session Dave Winer held last night at Harvard (also documented here, here, here, and here).

It was a really good session, with some interesting people and conversation. A couple things were quite apparent:
1. As Steven Johnson pointed out today, the blogging community is incredibly precocious and self-aware. There's a very clear belief in the importance of the movement and its power to change things.
2. Only two women in the audience out of about 35 total participants.

One of the more interesting threads of discussion revolved around questions of integrity and the obligations of the blogger to his audience. Dave pressed Dan Bricklin on the unwritten rules Dan uses to filter what he writes about on his weblog.

What struck me most about the exchange were the radically different ways people perceived their weblogs. Dave seemed to see blogging almost as a professional obligation -- to him, integrity meant a coherent, rational system of deciding what to post, and what to filter. In this scheme, bloggers must be conscious of their audience, and blog in such a way that exposes their process and their rules.

Dan, on the other hand, seemed to view blogging as a much more personal thing -- that he posts when he has time, as much for himself as for anyone else, and in a way that is decidedly unprofessional (which is not meant here in its usual, pejorative sense -- merely that he doesn't sense a great obligation). This different sense of obligation translates to a very different interpretation of integrity; where Dave thinks it means "not whole," Dan thinks it means "not false."

Which brings us to one of the great things about the web. Both can coexist, and people will decide who they want to read for themselves. So far, I probably fall on the unprofessional end of things, in part because my occupation requires a certain level of circumspection, and probably also because I haven't yet made a consistent habit of it.

Anyway, last night's session was interesting -- thanks to Dave for holding the discussion.

Posted by dreeves at 8:38 PM

February 11, 2003

Buy Duct Tape, stop a terrorist

CNN reports that heightened anxiety over a terrorist attack is leading consumers to empty store shelves of... duct tape?

Posted by dreeves at 9:08 PM

February 10, 2003


Yes, everyone is linking to it. But few things have recently given me as much geek pleasure as Konfabulator, an engine for creating beautiful little Javascript apps on Mac OS X to go out and get structured data of some sort. Hard to describe, but the little apps in this screen shot should give you a little idea.

Posted by dreeves at 10:26 PM



Posted by dreeves at 10:12 PM

Franco-German resolve

Found: the secret text of the Franco-German-sponsored UN Resolution concerning Iraq. Brilliant. (via Instapundit)

Posted by dreeves at 9:09 PM

February 9, 2003



Posted by dreeves at 12:39 PM

Is it safe?

If you're wondering whether or not it's safe to go to the store, stay up to date with the Homeland Security Status menubar application. (Windows/Mac)

Posted by dreeves at 12:25 PM

eBay goes Google

Over the past few months, I've noticed that eBay has been experimenting with different entry pages. This morning, I saw the most radical test yet -- a simple, Google-style front page that puts the focus directly on searching.

Obviously, one has to wonder why they're pursuing this thread. Do people perceive eBay as too complex? Do most visitors come to eBay to browse, or to locate something specific?

Currently eBay's existing home page is the only place visitors ever see items that isn't somehow included in their search results, and advertisers presumably pay pretty dearly for that placement. However, because the user hasn't yet indicated interest in anything, the display is completely untargeted, and most likely results in very low rates of clickthrough.

Over the past several years, eBay has moved far beyond its garage sale roots and become a destination for buying goods of all sorts, new and used. My guess is that eBay, as part of its continual hunt for alternative sources of revenue, is considering implementing a Google-style targeted advertising infrastructure based on search keywords. For advertisers, this has the obvious benefit of hawking their wares to visitors with a demonstrated interested in their goods; and for eBay, a very scalable and pervasive way to extract advertising revenue from all levels of eBay merchants, rather than just the rare few able to afford the splash screen.

Once this is in place, the home page -- busy, and irrelevant to most users -- can be reduced to its most important, primary task: search.

Posted by dreeves at 11:51 AM

February 7, 2003


We're getting buried in warm, wet snow here. Here's what my car looked like when I got to work:

325is, covered with sludge

Posted by dreeves at 4:33 PM

February 2, 2003

The Greatest Living Australian

...is apparently Kylie Minogue. For the London Evening Standard, this symbolizes a dilution of greatness. (source: A&L Daily)

Posted by dreeves at 10:49 PM

Yesterday, by the BU Bridge

Inspired by a link my dad sent me, I went on a long 2-hour walk yesterday down through Cambridge and around through Allston with my digital camera. Very good thing.

Posted by dreeves at 9:38 PM