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Diary
By coryking (Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 09:22:28 AM EST) dinner, band, verona, artclick, your mom, digg (all tags)
Catostrophic show failues, digg, everything inbetween

Wanna look like these hip, cool people?, then Dont forget your towel!.



One of the things I didn't like about digg was it's comment system.  Comments were too spatially isolated & cluttered so it was hard to follow any kind of discussion.  In addition they went with the "meaningless numerical moderation" system that slashdot and scoop use, which was used exactly how it is always used on mainstream websites; it wasn't.  If you look at the old system, nobody used it except the hard-core nerd contingency.  If you look, people dont use the system on kos either (you dont here either).  That puts a dangerous amount of power into the hands of the very few who understand it.

Looking over their new system, it looks like they have done most everything right.  Threads only descend one level deep, which I've been thinking is a good idea for general discussions.  In addition, they've gone with the "thumbs up / thumbs down" rating system, which is MUCH MUCH more intuitive and easy to use.  You can see the moderation system is now actually being used.

My only suggestions are that it is still to cluttered and disjoint.  The placement of the avatars create a huge visual barrier between comments.  They need a better way to show the hiarchy, like put a line in front of the nested comments that leads back to the parent.  They also need to make it easier to enter replies to a parent comment.  When you click on "reply" it should roll down an edit box right where your new comment would go.  I bet they are working on this, because the edit feature does it.

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Last night the lady and I went to the High Dive in Freemont to see our friends play in their band Verona.  It was a disaster.  Everything that could go wrong did.  First, the booking agent placed them after a heavy metal band (which was preceded by a "pink floyd" like band) - there was no audience consistency; you have drunk idiot moshers (heavy metal) + old dudes (pink floyd) + hipsters (verona).  Second the sound man did a shitty job of mixing in Kyles vocals; their guitars started the show with this wonderful buildup and then Kyle is supposed to hit it.  Hit it he did not.  It sounded like the mike wasn't even turned on!

At the same time, Kyles custom made distortion pedal went out.  My friend, an electrical engineer who is also in the band, built it for him as a prototype.  This was the second show it was used.  The first time they used it live a few days before, it worked perfect and sounded excellent ("buttery" as Kyle put it).  Whatever happened this time made it not work at all- probably a wire came out inside.  Hopefully my friend can perfect the design and put it on a printed circuit board instead of just a breadboard.  As an aside, for those who know how distortion pedals work, you'll be amused to know that LED's were used in place of diodes for visual effects & coolness factors.

The band who played before them left for some reason (rude!), so they couldn't borrow another one. So now Kyle is up there playing with no distortion on his guitar.   They play for about 4 more songs and BAM, the drummer breaks his snare!  This spell doom for the entire show and they are forced to stop.  They only plaid 4 of the 8 songs they were gonna play.  Suck.  Too bad, they usually play really good shows.

So basically everything that could go wrong did:

  1. Shitty soundman coupled with piss poor speakers and mikes
  2. Shitty booking, the booking agent put a friggen heavy metal band before them, and before that (I gather, I didn't see the first band) it was a 60 year old "pink floyd" like band.  There were drunk idiots trying to mosh during Verona!
  3. Distortion pedal failure.
  4. Snare drum failure.
It was amusing to watch all of them get piss ass drunk after though :-)  Like the minute they called it quits, they all started to drink like madmen!  I dont blame them though, they were pretty pissed off...

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On the business side of the fence things keep on moving.  I've decided to discontinue all black clothing from store.  The black just didn't look as good as the brown.  If you are thinking of buying black, you've got until next Thursday!  Did I mention how much zen cart sucks?  I'll probably buy X-Cart sometime after this batch when I get a running inventory going.  That or I'll merge it into my existing shopping cart codebase.

Speaking of codebase, I spoke with a law guy on Thursday.  I'm not going to say much but I will say copyright law is very, very interesting.    The lawyer told me exactly what I wanted to hear, which is good because now I can get started working on my idea; artzaar.  But the details of artzaar is for another day. 

Speaking of open source.  In my research, I was going through (shudder) slashdot comments and looking at the blogs of the few lawyers to do open source work.  Have you heard to some of these guys?  They sound just like brainwashed cult members; almost scarily so.  For example, read this thread.  It is painful to read and full of circular references like "All software should be open source.  Why?  Because proprietary software is immoral and unethical.  Why?  Because all software should be open source.  Why? ...".  If you follow the link to the "expert" it is the same circular argument.  I'm sorry slashdot guys, but that sounds  exactly like what brainwashed cult members would say.  "Why is the $SACRED_BOOK valid?  Because $GOD wrote it.  How do you know $GOD wrote it?  Because the $SACRED_BOOK says so."  Scary.  Basically it means most of these people can safely be ignored just like we can safely ignore LaRouche supporters, socialists, and PETA.

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If you are thinking of starting a software company, I cannot recommend JOS's Business of Software forum enough.  Some very, very smart people inhabit that forum.  I've been dabbling with the idea of joining the local chamber of commerce or something similar as well.  Some people recommend the ASP (association of shareware professionals) which I guess has a thriving private forum to talk marketing and other fun things.

Lastly, the logo contest on artClick is running smoothly.  I think I've saturated the photographica crowd and need to look elseware to get more members.  Right now the site growth is just about zero and most of the visitors come from photographica.  I have to think of another audiance to target to bring the droves in.  I think a logo & a lighter colored site design will help but I also need some tools to empower the users to spread the gospel on their own.  The people who visit and post now are very loyal, I just need to give them the tools to spead the word.  Like the "email to friend" needs to work again (long story why that doesn't work anymore, fucking spammers) and I need to make the badges more prominent.  I'm thinking a batch of stickers and some t-shirts would help too.  I have also been thinking of ways to auto-post a link on your personal blog every time you write a story on photographica/artclick.  Flicker does it, why cant I?  Anything to get the gospel of artclick out there into the market...

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Anyway... tonight I'm having my brother and his ladyfriend over for dinner.  I better go clean this dung heap up.

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I digg it | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
wow by coryking (2.00 / 0) #1 Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 09:37:10 AM EST
Adsense spidered this page right quick.  I'm seeing ads for snare drums!


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Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

digg you say? by rmg (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 11:37:12 AM EST
their comment system doesn't look too good to me. not being able to reply to replies is pretty wack. your ideas about flat comment displays intrigue me though, and i see how this might be seen as some kind of hybrid of the threaded and flat approaches. i have to say though, from what little i've seen of the place, it looks like free republic's flat threading system is pretty good.

if you want to get out the word on your site, you could try trackbacks to art people's blogs or something like that. or there's deviantart and places like that.

when it comes to the email to friend thing, why not just put emails through an approval queue?




[t]rolling retards conversation, period.

Emails by coryking (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 11:42:22 AM EST
Here is the condensed version of what happened.  I didn't limit or escape the message body's content lenght.  Spammers will actually exploit that kind of system by injecting MIME fragements to get the mailer to send messages to a long list of email addresses.  The solution is simple - limit & properly escape the content (whatever that means).  I just need to do it.

I'll look into the trackbacks.  I need to play with my toy flickr account and see what exactly it "auto posts" to your weblog.

I thought the hybrid system was interesting because most news stories like that don't promote a linear discussion; there are many things to talk about.  The semi-threaded approach doesn't look as cluttered or hard to read as a fully threaded system.  I think digg just needs some tweaks to the apperance of the system to give it a more polished look.

None of them would apply to my sites where there is only linear discussion.  The hybrid thread system looks like it would apply quite nicely to Kos & slashdot type sites.


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Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
digg by cam (2.00 / 0) #4 Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 03:39:22 PM EST
I find that layout confusing. I am not sure who is replying to who. It is fine if there are only about ten comments, buit soon as there is any complexity to the conversation it needs stepped threading.

I also consider comment rating to be either encouragement, or the removal of repugnant comments with zeros. Rating is mainly to enable the community to censor the truly repugnant without the need for an editor to get involved.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

yup by coryking (4.00 / 1) #11 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 10:53:54 AM EST
The layout needs work.

I think having the one level nesting is perfect once they fix the layout.  It prevents annoying cascades that nobody reads (besides the two people who are writing it) and it isn't like flat comments where you can't have different discussions at once. 

I think you'll see more of it once the way to lay it out is more standardized.  Fully threaded comment systems are too isolating and do not help promote a true community discussion.  Right now, digg needs to improve the presentation layer - but that is a topical flaw, not a fundimental flaw in single level threading.

Numarical ratings sound great in theory, but in practice they go unused by the vast majority of readers.


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Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
Rational Ignorance by cam (2.00 / 0) #16 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 02:05:49 PM EST
I dont think rating systems have to be used universally by every user to be effective. It is enough that those who care have that ability.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
breadboard??? by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #5 Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 03:57:46 PM EST
that's like using a clay body prototype as an actual car body.

I never really considered face-to-face contact a possible thing. -CRwM

no... by coryking (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 08:26:31 AM EST
it wasn't a breadboard actually.  I'm just not sure what you call it.  There was solder involved, it just wasn't on a PCB.


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Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
"protoboard" by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 09:42:56 AM EST
As long as things are soldered down, you can make them mechanically sound.

I never really considered face-to-face contact a possible thing. -CRwM

[ Parent ]
FUCK TEH DIGG! by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 03:52:11 AM EST
NEWSVINE MOTHERFUCKER!

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
wow by coryking (2.00 / 0) #12 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 11:01:43 AM EST
I never really looked at that website.  Very, very, very nice looking.  I really like their 3 column layout - very clean & sharp.

Thanks for the heads up!


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Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
On the GPL by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:13:01 AM EST

The GPL leaves me in a fairly non-specific mood these days:

His occasional personal attacks aside, I think Torvaldez has been mostly reasonable on the issue: The GPL is generally a good thing, but not everything needs to be released under it etc.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
i'm sick of it too by coryking (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 08:28:56 AM EST
but I am glad that I finally saw a law guy regarding it.


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Dog food. Snack for some. Feast for others.

[ Parent ]
your third bulet point by joh3n (2.00 / 0) #13 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 11:46:53 AM EST
from the bottom sums it up for me perfectly

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[ Parent ]
artClick logo by fluffy (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 12:08:15 PM EST
I've been kinda-sorta working on a logo, though at the rate I'm going it probably won't be done by the deadline. You probably wouldn't like it anyway, though.
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ceci n'est pas une signature
i like plaid
Here's my vote-- by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #15 Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 12:55:00 PM EST

Perhaps with the slogan running down the mouse cable?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

I digg it | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback