Category: "Blogging"


02/08/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Blogging

I read through a lot of blogs in a given day, racing through RSSOwl, my feed reader of preference. Some I read to find a good item for our OSBI (Open Source Business Intelligence) Daily. Some to keep abreast of what's happening to enable the TeleInterActive Lifestyle. And some for personal edification.

I was amazed today as to how often I came across someone using the word "grok". I've been happily seeing more adoption of this word, but today it seemed nearly every blog, article or news item I read had the word "grok" at least once.

It was always used correctly: "to fully and deeply understand"; but I can't help but wonder how many of the authors using "grok" grokked the word's origins. It's Martian and not from any Terran language at all. It comes from the fertile mind of Robert A. Heinlein, and was brought to Earth by Valentine Michael Smith in Heinlein's wonderful 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

The word "grok" is only poorly understood by us earthbound folk, as it is deeply related to the Martian religious practice of eating their dead while overseen by the spirit of the newly departed. Here's the best explanation I can find in the novel.

"... a Martian dies when he decides to die, having discussed it with and advised by his friends and having received the consent of his ancestors' ghosts to join them... One second he is alive and well, the next second he's a ghost with a dead body left over... his closest friends eat what he no longer has any use for, 'grokking' him, as Mike would say, and praising his virtues as they spread the mustard. The new ghost attends the feast himself... by which [ceremony] the ghost attains the status of 'Old One'..."end quotation
-- Jubal explaining to Duke, chapter xiii, in Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Here's some of the places I've enountered "grok" today.

And more, for a total of 23 different blog posts. I do hope they remembered the mustard, and used a good quality one like Sierra Nevada stout & stone ground. &#59;)

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Flocked Blog Editor

10/24/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Computers and Internet, Blogging

I went back to the Flock Blog editor, as in my earlier post I had said that one advantage our b2evo JavaScript bookmarklet has, is that if you highlight text on a web site you're visiting and click on the b2evo bookmarklet that you had previously dragged into your browser toolbar, you get the title of the web page as the title of your blog, the url of the web page, and the text that you highlighted copied into the b2evo editor. This bookmarklet works in Flock, as it does in Firefox, Opera, other Mozilla browsers, and even IE.

The Flock blog editor doesn't do that if you highlight text and just click on the feather-pen looking icon.

You can, with a bit more effort, nearly duplicate this in Flock, according to their web site.

11. Blog This!

You can easily blog interesting web content with Flock, in just a few clicks.


1. Highlight a passage on a web page that you would like to blog about.
2. Right-click that selection and choose Blog This.
3. The blog editor opens with that selection already inserted. Not only that, the selection is properly formatted as a Blockquote and appropriate citation is included.

Other ways to Blog This:

1. Open the View menu and choose Topbars and then Blog Topbar.
2. Highlight a text passage and drag it to the box labeled "Drag stuff to blog it!"

Or you can use the Shelf (see The Shelf, below).

13. The Shelf

The Shelf is a scrapbook for interesting web content that you want to blog about later.


1. Open the Tools menu and choose Shelf.
2. Drag interesting URLs, pictures or text snippets from any web page onto the shelf.
3. Click the Blog Editor icon (that looks like a feather pen).
4. Drag items from the Shelf into your blog post.


* When you drag text snippets, Shelf items are automatically formatted as Blockquotes and citations are added.
* The Shelf is only for web content. You can't use it to upload items, or drop content from your computer onto it.end quotation
-- from the Flock Web Site, Thirteen Things You Can Do With Flock

Right clicking on the highlighted material and selecting "blog this" does get you the highlighted text and the web site's URL in the Flock Blog Editor, though the post is untitled.

When I tried to view the Blog Topbar, and try that method, I got that never ending looping error that Flock can't access my Blog account(s). So, I can't see how the Blog Topbar works.

The Shelf seems to work as described above. Though I can't fully test the blog editor at this point in Flock's evolution.

I have to say that I like the b2evo bookmarklet better. The built-in blog editor is touted as the coolest feature of Flock, with the syncing of favorites as the next coolest. I'm not impressed by either of these features.

What does impress me is the History Search. More on that when I've built a history in Flock to search.

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Trying to Join the Flock

10/22/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Computers and Internet, Blogging

Flock doesn't advertise b2evolution as one of the wiki(blogware) packages that it supports, but setting up my blog almost worked. Flock went into a loop at the end of setting up claiming that there was an error, and I needed to check my account settings, though it didn't give me an opportunity to do so. After, clicking on "OK" for or closing the error message, it just popped right back up. But when I went to Tools | Options > Blogging, there were all our blogs, properly identified.

So, will this work? Hitting "Publish" now...

Nope, it didn't work, so I'm publishing from my normal b2evolution interface. I got the error "Oops. There was a problem..."

I was wondering if the renderers would work through Flock. Renderers are plug-ins to b2evolution that allow us to take shortcuts when writing a blog, two examples are in this post. To get the wikipedia link above for blogware, I just typed the word "wiki" "(" "blogware" ")", and note the dots under "b2evo" - hover your mouse cursor over such a decorated word and get a tooltip definition.

Of course, b2evo has a toolbar plug-in that works well with Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, IE and allows me to blog about any web page I'm on, opening this interface, complete with URL to what I'm blogging about.

That's OK. I like this interface. The Flock editor isn't as complete, nor does it have the b2evo smiley toolbar. :>>

I'll keep playing with Flock and see what other features work, duplicate what I have in toolbars or folders (like a personal bookmark toolbar with syndicate and tagging folders), and what doesn't work.

Nice UI though. I really like the cool blues.

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Weblogs Purchase Confusion

10/07/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Computers and Internet, Blogging

Just remember, don't confuse AOL buying Weblogs, Inc. with Verisign buying XX(

Update 2005.10.07:12h12:

While the above points to the Om Malik and Silicon Beat stories in which I first read about these acquisitions, as well as to the web sites for Weblogs, Inc. and, I've been told that this doesn't help to clear up the confusion.

Weblogs, Inc. is, arguably, the first mass media organization built on wiki(blogware), and produces almost 100 blogs, including one of the most popular blog sites on the Internet, Engadget, in categories such as Consumer, Media & Entertainment, Technology, and Life Sciences. AOL, Inc. is the old electronic bulletine board system that once competed with the likes of the defunct Compuserver, The Well and Prodigy, and now competes with Earthlink as an ISP and Yahoo! as an Internet Portal. It is the last of the mass-market closed content, members-only sites with its own client software. There is an obvious fit between AOL, the content server, and Weblogs, Inc. the content producer/server. I predict a lessening of popularity in the most popular Weblogs, Inc sites and an increase of poplularity for their lesser known sites.

wiki(Dave_Winer,Dave Winer's) is a RSS pinging service, most used by, duh, weblogs to announce a new post/article. VeriSign is the Internet security company best known for their SSL certificates. Here's what Dave has to say about the deal.

And please, go to Kottke's original post.

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TagHop and Feed Categories

I recently posted about Categories for news feeds and blogging, in relation to suggesting additional categories for Bayosphere Citizen Journalists' articles and for organizing the RSS, RDF or Atom feeds to which one might subscribe in a feed reader. You can read the original post in either the TeleInterActive Lifestyle or Bayosphere. Steven Livingstone-Perez responded, via trackback, in taghop: Managing Categories

Joseph A. di Paolantonio recently blogged how he re-organized his categories to use technorati tags and is hoping to move toward a better fine-tuned folksonomy.

While i belive this is useful, I still see a few factors that I hope taghop.ORG can address when looking to perform such an activity.end quotation

-- StevenR2 in taghop: Managing Categories

So, I've spent some time since I saw Steven's response reading about Taghop, both in the COM and ORG domains. I created a Taghop account and added some URLs, for blogs from the TeleInterActive Press and Bayosphere, and used some of the "public" URLs for various news organizations. Taghop allows one to relate the tags/categories to others' tags or categories, and allows one to do so regardless of where one uses those tags, such as So, Taghop was the impetus that I needed to create a account. &#59;D

I'm still getting the feel for things at Taghop, and Taghop is in beta. Perhaps Steven can answer some questions for me, and please don't read anything below as a criticism.

  • I found a "developer's page" - Is Taghop Open Source?
  • What license is being used?
  • Scaling: the presentation of how blogs are related seems a bit cumbersome, but the "example" showing graphical relationships is cool - perhaps a "map" of relationships might be better than a list. Or I may not understand how the relationship presentation works
  • Is there anyway to add a tag/category to multiple URL's at once? It took me quite a bit of time to add the few URL's and tags that I've done so far.
  • I see that there is a toolbar for IE, when is one coming for Firefox, Mosilla, Opera, Safari, etc? I don't use IE, except to test new CSS; so I'm not sure if the toolbar answers my above question.
  • Is the best use of Taghop to have accounts at, flikr, Bayosphere, your own blogs, and the like, and to use Taghop to relate among one's own various accounts, web use and online social networks? That is, I get the feeling that one shouldn't try to import all of their bookmarks or blogmarks to Taghop, but only general or personalized pages at other online services that use a tagging system.
  • How could Taghop help me achieve my goals of creating some "starting point" categories for our upcoming syndication aggregator/feed reader/blogging service and some more general categories for Bayosphere Citizen Journalists?
  • What are the different purposes of taghop.COM and taghop.ORG? How should we use each to best help taghop?

Steven, Taghop looks like an interesting project/product/service. Perhaps you could help us understand Taghop better, and answer my questions, via a post on your blog, with a tracback here. I look forward to conversing with you.

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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

View Joseph di Paolantonio's profile on LinkedIn

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