Viewing blogs on mobile devices

There has been a bit of talk recently about viewing blogs on mobile devices.  Dave Winer has even built a tool to help out.  Personally I don’t tend to use a mobile device to view anything, the costs are just too prohibitive here in Australia.  However I do think the idea is very cool and when I saw a Alex King’s plugin for WordPress I decided to give it a try.

So here is the mobile edition of my blog:-

http://www.specht.com.au/michael/wp-mobile.php

It was very easy to install, hope you like it.

Find It in Pre-Beta

Trevor Cook dropped me a note today saying that a new classifieds service has gone into pre-Beta in Australia. The service is FindIt.

One the surface it is a classifieds tool just like CraigsList, Google Base and many others. The scope compared to other Australian services is different, FindIt has categories covering Jobs, Real Estate, Vehicles, Marketplace (think eBay), Directories, Events, and Community. From day one the site has lots of neat features, RSS, tags, comments, Google Maps.

What will be how the jobs side of things shakes out in what is already a very crowded market in Australia.


Checkout call center jobs at JobsInCallCenters.com.

Blog name

I am in search of a new name for my blog.  Kevin feels I should keep the old one I do see his point but I am still going to change it.

For now I am looking at calling the blog “Wabi Sabi” a Japanese term which roughly acknowledges three simple ideas nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.  Something I felt fits with blogging.

To quote Wikipedia:-

The words wabi and sabi do not translate easily. Wabi originally referred to the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society; sabi meant “chill”, “lean” or “withered”. Around the 14th century these meanings began to change, taking on more positive connotations.[1] Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and man-made objects, or understated elegance. It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.

Wabi and sabi both suggest sentiments of desolation and solitude. In the Mahayana Buddhist view of the universe, these may be viewed as positive characteristics, representing liberation from a material world and transcendence to a simpler life. Mahayana philosophy itself, however, warns that genuine understanding cannot be achieved through words or language, so accepting wabi-sabi on nonverbal terms may be the most appropriate approach.

Not sure if the name will stick but I thought I would give it a try for a week or so.

Using Google Calendar

I recently upgraded the version of Norton Internet Security I have running at home, this has meant that I can now use Google’s Calendar on my home PC.

Now I am looking into how to use Google Calendar for our household calendar.  My vision, if you call it that, is to have a family calendar editable by both my wife and I.  Then we can both also have a personal calendar, synchronised to work calendaring systems and PDA’s.  This way we can both keep up to date on what is going one.  The final piece of the puzzle would be to get a mini-tablet PC attached to a bracket in the kitchen/family room so that we can view the calendar’s in the morning an evenings to ensure we don’t forget anything.  The mini-tablet PC would replace the old fashioned paper calendar that typically hangs in our kitchen.  (The other uses for such a device are massive but let’s keep to the calendaring side of things!)

So far I have achieved the following:-

  1. Got my work calendar sync’ing with my very old Palm Vx (very easy)
  2. Set up a personal calendar on Google (very easy)
  3. Set up a family calendar on Google (again very easy)
  4. Got my wife to use Google Calendar (a bit harder)
  5. Shared all 3 calendars so that we can both view each others personal calendar but both make changes to the family one (very easy)
  6. Tested Companion Link to see if I can sync my work calendar with my personal Google Calendar – FAILED.
  7. Now waiting for feedback from CompanionLink support.

I am not sure where the problem lies but my some of work calendar items are not appearing in the right time on my Google calendar, and my Google calendar items are not appearing in my work calendar. 😦 

I know I am not the only one looking for such an integrated solution.  Alex King has recently put a call out for an end to end calendaring solution.

 

uCheez: Employment Site Shuffle

More Testing of Live Writer

As I mentioned I am testing the new Windows Live Writer, but having a couple of issues with posting to my blog.

Tod Hilton was nice enough to help out and put me in contact with a couple of the developers Joe Cheng and Mike Munroe.  They have had me use a tool called Fiddler to analyze the HTTP traffic, very nice.

This post is to test if their solution works, if it does then answer will be in the next post.

Using Second Life for training

I have been following Second Life for awhile now just watching what happens.  Personally I feel the potential for the environment is huge we just need to get over the gambling and sex that currently occupies a majority of Second Life.

This is changing, there has been several conference run in Second Life, Cory Doctorow has done a book reading, people are even conducting business within the environment.

Today I noticed Robert Scoble posting about using Second Life for corporate training, an interesting use of the environment.

A new name and a new look

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my blog title and how it really does not fit, a similar problem to Heather.  What with my change in jobs and being out of all things HR and HRIS from a professional point of view I think it needs a change.

Before I commit to a name change I have changed the design and simplified.

One of the major changes, other than the lack of colour, has been the removal of the sidebar links and other “cute” little things.  Including in that change is the removal of the top 10 posts (this may return) and the monthly archive.  Instead I have added a conversation tracker to bring out discussions that sometimes take place on older posts.

Another change is the removal of Google Adsense from the main page, the ads still appear on all non “home page” views.  I am playing with the different views to see if it makes any difference in the ad revenue. 

Windows Live Writer

One of the cool new tools released this week has been the Windows Live Writer, an offline blogging client from Windows Live and it is not just for Windows Live Spaces.

Writer is a great client for Windows Live Spaces but also works with other weblogs including Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress (and many others).

Writer supports RSD (Really Simple Discoverability), the Metaweblog API, and the Movable Type API.

We want Writer to work well with every blogging service out there. If you can’t get Writer to work with your blog, we want to know.

There are even some plugin’s starting to appear.

I have been playing with it over the last couple of days, you might of seen a Temporary Posts thingy as the tool tries to workout my style sheet, which it failed at 3 times. Overall not a bad little tool, this is the first post written in it.

Update: The tool did not seem to recognise that the post was published and still has this post in a Draft status.  I guess that is why they call it Beta.

Mobile flash cards

On my way to work this morning I was listening to Chris Pirillo talking to James Wen from Positive Motion, about their new tool called Mobile Prep a mobile phone flash card program.

Atf irst I was a bit skeptical about the product but listening to James and hearing his vision of how he wants to change mobile education I was very impressed.

The program allows users to create a desk of virtual flash cards and install them on their phone.  Easy enough.  From here the enterprising desk creator can earn money by selling their desk to other Mobile Prep users.  Very cool.

The tool also has built in quizzes with progress reports, this is where things got really interesting.  It could be extended into an eLearning platform.  Think, students finishing a class immediately download the next desk of cards, take the test and load the results back into the eLearning tool so the teacher knows what to focus on next lesson.
James also talked about the ability to build multi-demensional cards.  For example in the legal profession where you need to learn multiple facts about a single case, each type of fact is connected to a key on the mobile phone, case precedents are always connected to the 5 key.  This way you each time a new case is displayed you can test yourself on the different facts by pressing the same key on your phone.

The tool can be used for all sorts of learning, including professional development, CPD points and other certification processes.

The biggest issue?  Seems like the tool is only available on certain networks in the US, very sad.