In which I observe how the Internet works

Well. You take one little piece that’s been sitting around, polish it up a bit and send it out into the world. And what do you get?

Well, if you mention a published author who monitors the web for linkbacks, you get a comment. Perhaps a shout-out to a larger audience. And then some new readers.

This really shouldn’t surprise me. After all, I’m the teacher who keeps preaching to his students about how the Internet works.

“What you say online,” I point out, “resonates.” Sometimes they nod. My words occasionally, I think, tend to worm their way into their conscience, given sufficient repetition.

It’s nice to be noticed. And to those sharp-eyed visitors who’ve noticed I haven’t otherwise posted on this site in over a year… well, it’s not like I haven’t been writing. But more about that later.

So thanks to all for the notice. I’ll be around.


The future of the book

It’s been in the back of my mind that I need to update this blog a bit and get back to writing here. Eventually, I’ll have some more thoughtful things to say. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, check out this video on “The Future of The Book” from tech and design consulting firm Ideo.  As I play with the iPad, it certainly gives me a lot to think about.

(via Will Richardson’s

Would you stay 20 innings? 20 ways to decide


(Chad Davis/Flickr/CC-A-SA)

In honor of Saturday night’s 20-inning marathon between the Mets and the Cardinals, the guys at YES put up a poll during the Sunday afternoon broadcast.

Question: Would you stay for a 20-inning game?

I’d like to say yes without hesitation. But honestly, there are several factors involved.

So, here are 20 questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to remain for a 20-inning game.

  1. Are we still here because of the teams’ skill or because of their ineptitude?
  2. Can I talk them into reopening the beer stands?
  3. How long a drive do I have home?
  4. How much am I willing to pay the babysitter?
  5. If the concessions are closed, can I subsist on the calories I ingested earlier in the game?
  6. Do I enjoy earning a salary?
  7. Do I grasp the significance of a 20-inning game?
  8. How many times has the PA system played Rick Astley?
  9. Can my bladder make it until the bottom of the inning?
  10. Are there enough people in my life I can brag on for having stayed 20 innings?
  11. Am I sitting in one of the dugouts?
  12. Do I have an ownership interest in the team?
  13. Is my name Omar Minaya?
  14. Are the restroom attendants too busy watching the drama to deal with the overflowing toilets?
  15. Do I turn into a werewolf every full moon?
  16. Does my ride turn into a pumpkin at midnight?
  17. If I’m in the upper deck, is there enough oxygen at this altitude for me to remain another inning?
  18. Is my voice too hoarse to cheer / heckle / insult the players / manger / umps / fans?
  19. Have the ushers mentioned a “security escort” to me?
  20. Do I believe that eventually the manager will ask for volunteers to pitch an inning?

Congratulations. Your tweet’s in the Library of Congress.

As if there was any doubt what you post on the Internet doesn’t ever go away.  The Library of Congress announced today they will be archiving every tweet ever sent since Twitter’s start in March 2006.

And it’s not just tweets about your ex the LOC wants:

So if you think the Library of Congress is “just books,” think of this: The Library has been collecting materials from the web since it began harvesting congressional and presidential campaign websites in 2000. Today we hold more than 167 terabytes of web-based information, including legal blogs, websites of candidates for national office, and websites of Members of Congress.

Creepy?  No more so than the Internet Archive, which has been doing the same thing since 1996.

So boys and girls, think twice before you hit that send button.  It’s going to the Library.

Thanks to BoingBoing

I want an iPad too

I really want an iPad after watching this video:

According to the child’s father, the kid was familiar with the iPhone interface, but this was the first time she had seen an iPad.

I honestly have such mixed feelings about this.  I love that Apple has created such an intuitive interface that a two-year old can work with it.  She’s obviously a smart kid.

But there’s a part of me that’s screaming “too soon!  too soon!  Go color.  Read a printed book.  Go play outside!”

On the other hand, perhaps I need to get my 4-year-old set up on the computer pronto.  She’s obviously behind.

What if Shakespeare talked just like you?

Just had to throw this out there for the general population who may not be familiar with SparkNotes or their “No Fear Shakespeare” series.

It’s not as though I’ve got a grudge against the site — I recall when it was just a bunch of Harvard graduates cranking out study guides.  One of my favorite teaching activities was to download a chapter of a poorly written sparkNote and have my class poke fun at it.

Now, the guides are a lot better.  So I’m reduced to poking fun at their advertisements.

So.  What if Shakespeare talked like you?  Who’s got the best answer?