Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, December 13, 2021

It’s been a couple of days now since I officially cut myself loose from the working world.

I think I’m already bored.

Bored enough to get back into the grind? Well, maybe not quite. But I must say, I’ve got an inkling of what former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner feels like these days:

Not surprisingly, in recent weeks Eisner has asked his retired friends what they do all day, confiding in one that after working out and reading the paper in the morning, he’s at a loss for how to spend his time.

So you could say I’m experiencing a less-grand version of Eisner’s life. Except, you know, without all the millions of dollars in assets and stuff. And a friend pointed out that, while I do read the paper every morning, I don’t work out (I don’t need to); so I have even less with which to occupy my time!

Maybe I could hook up with Eisner in whatever new venture he cooks up. Hey Mike, I’m available! Let’s do lunch. But be sure to check my cred beforehand.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/13/2005 06:57:18 PM
Category: Business, General
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FeedBurner is taking RSS to the next level with FeedFlare, a souped-up version of its re-syndicated website feeds service. It’s a value-added enhancement that offers subscribers easy ways to forward or bookmark a feed item; further development promises even more doo-dads.

Some see this as a natural consequence of the growth of RSS:

The reason I’m excited about this is because my feed gets around 5-6 times more coverage than my actual website these days. My feed is where the action is, not my site. So any way I can find to improve the user’s experience and introduce more interactivity into my feed, I’m going to snap it up! If people are 5 times more likely to read my content in an RSS Aggregator than on my website, there’s no use me fighting it - I have to start bringing functionality to my feed. That’s what makes FeedFlare so promising…

I’ve felt for a while now that RSS is a first-class citizen of content publishing, arguably more important than HTML nowadays (according to my own blog stats anyway). So RSS feeds deserve first class functionality and interactivity too - and Feedburner is delivering it.

The last time I checked, this blog’s feed was the second-most trafficked part of the site. It’s still well behind the old-fashioned index page, so the popularity of syndicated feeds varies depending on the predominant audience. I imagine that techie-oriented sites would be the ones that had the highest incidence of exclusively feed-based traffic. I still don’t think RSS and its variants are going to overtake conventional site content on the Web; it’s a power-user approach that’s never going to appeal to mainstream users, regardless of the packaging. Still, you could argue that, by this stage, a site (particularly a blog) just isn’t fully-formed unless it has a feed option.

But all this begs the question: Is something like FeedFlare consistent with the stripped-down purpose of feed syndication? It seems to be following the path of ad insertion into feeds or viral marketing through the same channel. It could be inevitable that, as a format becomes more widespread, it attracts enhancements that stray far from what it was originally intended to carry (which encapsulates the evolution of the entire Internet itself, actually). But just because you can juice it up doesn’t mean you must — nor that present users will go along with it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/13/2005 06:32:36 PM
Category: Internet
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I don’t know if others have been experiencing this, but Google’s Gmail has been making a pest of itself to me.

In addition to the newly-integrated RSS Web Clips widget (which makes me wonder if it doesn’t undercut the standalone Google Reader), Google’s also been teasing the Google Talk instant messaging app on the Gmail inbox page.

Frankly, I’ve got no use for either, despite all the gee-whiz potential. It makes me wonder what other little trinkets Google will promote via this method. Although if you think about it, it’s a natural extension of why Gmail was launched in the first place: Email is the one thing that consistently engages users, so it’s the perfect vehicle through which to promote new offerings.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/13/2005 05:49:07 PM
Category: Internet
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Just when you thought you knew all about the king of Tampa’s strip club scene, he unveils a shocker: Mons Venus owner Joe Redner revealed that he is homosexual, and thus is personally victimized by Hillsborough County’s ordinance barring recognition of gay pride events.

You can be sure that Ronda Storms‘ blood pressure just went up a few points

Given how successful a Tampa landmark the Mons Venus is, I think every girlie joint in the land should put a gay man in charge. If every strip club were like the Mons, oh what a world this would be…

Actually, I think it’s a dodgy legal premise that a case like this isn’t as concrete as it might be unless the plaintiff can demonstrate personal injury. It’s like saying you can’t file suit against a company that makes faulty stoves unless you’ve suffered first-degree burns from one of their products. Why should Redner’s sexual orientation matter here? He’s protesting a discriminatory law; this suit should be considered and decided on that basis alone. (Of course, when it comes to Redner, it’s never a straightforward issue.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/13/2005 11:14:33 AM
Category: Florida Livin', Society
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