Thursday, May 12, 2005

Filtering feeds

Many people worry about filtering information in their feeds, leveraging searches and watches for specific terms. To me, though, the feeds are the filters. One of the best things about RSS/Atom is finding people who you trust to filter the vast amount of information available on a particular subject area for you.

For instance, Jack Vinson serves as my KM filter. While KM is among the topics I follow, it's not something that I can spend much time on. Before I met Jack at CSCW, started reading his blog and finding value there, my KM research was haphazard at best. Now I get a steady stream of relevant KM information. The blog/KM intersection that Jack occasionally writes about is of particular interest to me.

Russ Beattie is my mobile filter, but it is a completely different sort of "relationship." I spend less time on the mobile space then I do on KM. I've never met Russ, and we tend to disagree on lots of things - AJAX, the relevance of screen size, the usefulness of a quarter VGA screen, etc. He's responded (with vitriol) to comments I've made on his blog, but he wouldn't recognize my name or this site. However, his extreme passion for the mobile space, his personality, and the fact that we often disagree makes him a good filter for me in this space.

On the other hand, I read scads of blogs about collaboration-related topics. This is where I serve as a filter for others -- not just via the blogosphere, but in my role as an IT architect. What's important isn't just what's going on in the world at large, but how it affects or could affect our company. Similarly, I read Bruce Schneier and the endlessly revolving InfoWorld security columnist, but I rely heavily on Guy and his coworkers for analysis of what's happening in IT security.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Getting under the hood

Mark Pilgrim has published Dive Into Greasemonkey, which looks like a great way to learn how to put Greasemonkey to use. I'm looking forward to spending more time with it. I'm particularly interested in seeing if I can use GM_setValue and GM_getValue to further modify LibraryLookup to allow users to select which libraries they want searched without having to modify the code themselves.

Meanwhile, Jon has been Greasemonkeying around with screencasts and password generators. His rebuttal of Nate Root is dead on. Greasemonkey will cause headaches for IT managers, but it will alleviate some too. Extensibility is a good thing. Greasemonkey pain isn't really any different from Excel macro pain or Access data pain.

50 ways to kill your computer

How exactly is a Red Screen of Death worse than a Blue Screen of Death? Dead is dead, unless the red death is somehow more painful. Given this cue, my co-worker David suggests a panoply of color screens:
  • Red Screen of Agony
  • Green Screen of Nausea
  • Teal Screen of Indecision
  • Yellow Screen of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt