But, vacation’s over. I’m starting the trek home to Canada. Should be there sometime tonight.
See you on the other side.
But, vacation’s over. I’m starting the trek home to Canada. Should be there sometime tonight.
See you on the other side.
19 years ago, my wife and I looked at one another as we sat in a cafe in London and said, “Well, with us starting a family, we may skip a year in our annual European vacations.”
That was 1989. Nineteen years later, we’re taking our next trip. And in the meantime, we’ve had three great children, who are growing up to be wonderful people.
Would I change a single decision we made in the past 19 years? None that I can think of.
Kids. They’re the gift that just keeps taking – and giving.
Today is the first day of the new Canadian Do Not Call list. Our chance to get back at the obnoxious, persistent, call-at-any-time telemarketers by signalling that they do NOT have our permission to call us ever again.
Obviously, I’m not the only person trying to register on the Do Not Call list. On several successive attempts, I was greeted with this message.
Clearly, the registry’s operators underestimated just how many of us really, really want to stop being interrupted by telemarketers.
But, if like me, you want to reduce the number of unwanted interruptions on your residential or cellular telephone line, you can try your luck to register online with the national Do Not Call list. Hopefully, by the time you try, you’ll be able to get through.
Oh. Of course, the registry does offer the old fashioned way to register by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889). But when I called, I received only a busy signal.
Oh well. I guess the Do Not Call registry doesn’t really want us to call after all.
Hurrah. Success. Finally, on day 2 of the registry, I was able to register my home and cell numbers on the Do Not Call list. Now, telemarketers have until November 1 to remove me from the list. I’m looking forward to the sound of silence.
I read Terry Fallis’ Best Laid Plans in the original self-published edition. And it left me with a smile at every sitting, from beginning to end.
Terry’s protagonist is the noble idealist that we all wish actually would populate the halls of power. Come to think of it, as a long time friend of Terry, there was a lot of Terry in his hero. Terry for PM?
Terry has written about something he knows well. As a one time political aide, he writes about the political machinations with an insiders eye. And he brings out the humour and fun for us all to share.
The only problem with the book? It ended. So, time for Terry to write a sequel. Maybe our hero should find himself in the Canadian Embassy in Washington as a representtive of the newly elected government?
The Best Laid Plans. A great, entertaining read.
But blogs are not like network television. There’s no need to fill a complete schedule. So I’m not even going to try to compete with the wave of coverage of Google Chrome that’s coming across the blogs I read.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some more posts about the first round of Third Tuesday social media meetups for this autumn plus my views on other lower profile, but equally deserving social apps like BackType. But in the face of all the attention that’s being focused on Chrome, why waste good topics by posting today?
I concede. It’s officially Google Chrome Day.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit that a longstanding relationship with a friend has withered to the point that it’s really just a memory. We cling to those memories of better time even though we don’t see one another day to day. And when we do, it’s just not the same.
That’s the way it is with Technorati and me.
There was a time when I would visit Technorati several times a day. I would regularly refer to Technorati to learn about a new blog I’d discovered. What author had registered ownership of the blog? How many inbound links came to it and from whom?
A blog’s Technorati Authority would provide a quick indicator of whether a blog was being paid attention to and by whom.
The Technorati search engine provided me with a unique view of content. Not only could I find the most recent posts on any topic, but I could also filter them by the Technorati Authority – selecting posts from all blogs, those with a little authority, some authority or a lot of authority.
And Technorati first introduced me to the concept of persistent search. It was the first search engine I found that enabled me to define a search and then subscribe to the results in my feedreader – telling me right away about new content that satisfied my search criteria without having to regenerate the search terms.
I registered ProPR on Technorati and followed the increase of my own authority (Yes, I visited daily just to watch the number increase.) I even registered my Twitter stream with Technorati and was delighted to see its authority climb as others linked back to my Twitter ID.
I could even rely on Technorati’s then-CEO, David Sifry, to post a quarterly analysis of the state of the blogosphere/ live web.
So, Technorati meant a lot to me. It was a search engine, a reference point to assess the relative weight of blogs and a source of analysis and insight into the growth of social media.
A relationship is only strong so long as both parties are committed to it. And over time, I began to feel abandoned by Technorati. Management changes, money problems, a loss of focus, failed partnerships, service outages – all took their toll. I began to rely less and less on Technorati.
And just when my faith in Technorati was being challenged, Google enticed with its own social media search engine. I began to hang out more often with my new Google friend.
As I divided my loyalties, I noticed that the results from Google Blog Search was finding posts and content that Technorati was missing.
But my emotional attachment with my old friend Technorati kept me coming back. I’d continue to routinely set up persistent searches on both Google Blog Search and Technorati.
On top of this, Technorati was failing to maintain its innovation leadership. Technorati authority was the bluntest of instruments. But it had its own authority, being widely cited and incorporate in indexes like the AdAge Power150. But despite the fact that its many users criticized the basic methodology, Technorati failed to improve. It left the field wide open to startup AideRSS to make the big advance with its PostRank algorithm.
And so it ends…
Finally, I am throwing in the towel on Technorati. I no longer receive benefits that justify the time to go to the site and conduct a search. Google blog search reliably provides me with more complete results. So, why spend the time setting up and reviewing search results from a second service that has proven itself so unreliable?
And as I have come to doubt the completeness of Technorati’s search results, I’ve grown ever more reluctant to place any reliance on Technorati Authority.
So, at the end of the day, I find myself rarely going to Technorati.
The only time I use it now is when I am doing social media monitoring for a client. Why? Because as superior as it is, Google isn’t perfect. And Technorati is still better than the field of also-rans (Ice Rocket anyone?). And when I’m doing work for a client, i need a “second dip” to be sure that I haven’t missed anything. So, for now, I turn to Technorati as backup. A far humbler fate for Technorati than I had once expected for it.
Are there social media tools and apps for which you once had high hopes that you now find yourself using and visiting less often? Tell us about it.
To get the ball rolling, I’m asked Dave Fleet, Bob LeDrew, Mitch Joel, Colin McKay and Shel Israel to tell us about a social media tools with which they once had a warm and deep relationship with that has now lapsed.
I just spent four days in Charlottetown , Prince Edward Island. A beautiful place that is famous for its ocean vistas, rolling red farmland (yep, the oxidizing iron turns the soil red), Confederation Centre of the Arts (the stage production of Anne of Green Gables is in its 40th year), endless red sand beaches and historic sites (Canada was born here when the Fathers of Confederation met in 1864 at Province House.)
So, what did I do when I was relaxing there? I created user generated content. Not the kind that I usually create here (words followed by more words.) While I was in Charlottetown, I put PlanetEye ‘s picture uploader and geotag features through their paces.
I uploaded about 100 pictures of the attractions and historic areas of Charlottetown, North Rustico Harbour (the epitome of a Canadian east coast village), the beaches and cliffs of Prince Edward Island Park (look for the picture of the fox that trotted right up to our car while holding a rabbit in its mouth) and, of course, Green Gables (if you’re the parent of a girl, you’ll know what that is.)
I uploaded photos from my flickr page directly to PlanetEye. It was simple. Took about 2 minutes for each batch of 20 to 25 pictures. And then the geotagging worked perfectly. I simply dragged and dropped my photos onto a map in the location where I’d taken them.
I just returned from lunch to discover this in my inbox:
ORILLIA, ON, April 30 /CNW/ - The suspense felt by five finalists for the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour came to an exciting conclusion today for Terry Fallis and his novel The Best Laid Plans. The announcement was made at a celebratory luncheon on the grounds of the historical Stephen Leacock Memorial Museum in Orillia, Ontario. Fallis will receive a $10,000 prize courtesy of TD Bank Financial Group for his winning entry. "It is somehow appropriate that this year's winner be an author with an interest in the foibles of federal politics as Leacock himself had more than a passing interest in the subject. He'd be delighted with the comic antics described by Fallis," said Wayne Scott, President of the Leacock Association. The Best Laid Plans, Mr. Fallis's first book, centres on a cranky and reluctant political candidate who consents to run in a federal election based on the fact that he is "certain-to-lose." He accepts the task with the proviso that he won't campaign, give media interviews, canvass door-to-door, attend all-candidate meetings, use lawn signs, have contact with campaign workers or even be in the country during the election campaign! As the reader can well imagine, things do not turn out as anticipated - the key to successful comedy. The other books nominated for this year's award were The Gum Thief by former nominee Douglas Coupland; Spanish Fly by former two-time Leacock medalist Will Ferguson; And God Created Manyberries by Ron Wood; and King John of Canada by Scott Gardiner. The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 as a means to honour the dean of Canadian humourists and to perpetuate humorous writing in Canada. Some of Canada's finest authors - Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies - have all been recipients of the award over the past six decades. Last year's winner was CBC broadcaster and author Stuart McLean for Secrets of the Vinyl Cafe. The award is presented each year to the most humourous English-language book written by a Canadian and in addition to being presented with the silver medal, the winner also receives a $10,000 prize from TD Bank Financial Group. The Leacock Association is also grateful to its other generous sponsors: Osprey media, Lakehead University and Orillia's Thor Motors. Both the medal and the cheque will be presented to Mr. Fallis at the annual Leacock dinner to be held June 7, 2008 at Geneva Park near Orillia, Ontario.
Terry, all of us at Thornley Fallis and 76design are tremendously proud of you!
And now, will you please select us to be the agency that does your national book tour?
Previous posts about Terry’s nomination:
I want to wish all my American friends Happy Thanksgiving.
And today you have one more thing to celebrate. That you didn’t have to commute to work this morning through 15 centimetres of snow like we did in Ottawa.
Of course, we’ll be able to ski in a couple weeks. Just something to think about when I invite you to speak at a Third Tuesday!
Have a great, happy and warm holiday.
The joy of living in Canada. We woke up to snow this morning – on April 16!