Evening Reading: 4/21/09

Online Reality Show: Penelope Trunk makes a lot of excellent points about the uber myth that is blogging as a way to make a living.  People continue to confuse the software platform that we call a blog with the guy next door pounding away at the keyboard.  They are very different things, and most of the high traffic “blogs” are either old media sponsored, new big media owned or online pioneers who made a gigantic space grab while the rest of us were still trying to decipher stock quotes in the newspaper.  Meanwhile, some continue to hype the myth while one of the few who hit the blogging lottery is realizing that the best way to make a small fortune through blogging is to start with a large fortune.  All in all, it’s a case of wishful thinking overwhelming horrible odds.  Like Vegas, only not as fun to watch.

Wally Bangs Department: Wally has a flyer from Cantrell’s, one of my old Nashville hangouts.  I saw a lot of good music there back in the day.  Oh, and one night some biker chick flashed me there.  That was awesome.  Really, for those who wonder if I’m kidding.  The other best writer on the net is Will Truman.  Here’s one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read, and here’s his latest masterpiece.

Deep Art Ment: I love old album covers by obscure bands like this.  Here’s another one by the same band.  Listen to them @ YouTube.  Not bad.

What to Do with the Empty Bag: Mashable has a fun read on protecting your online identity.  So how does one becomes an “online identity expert”?  Is it an apprentice thing, like Castaneda and Juan Matus, or is there a degree in online identity?  There’s nothing as wonderful as watching “experts” fill the perceived vacuum of a new area of popular interest.  I wonder whatever happened to the hordes of Y2K experts?  I obviously agree with the personal branding idea of a central online location that connects to other websites.  Too bad the entire social media movement is designed to prevent that from happening.

Sour Grapes Department: This is going to sound whiny, but only because I am whining.  I continue to be amazed at how many “big” blogs say the same stuff I’ve already said over and over.  Yet I rarely get included in their conversations.  On the other hand, it’s mostly an equal, unequal playing field.  Very little about the blogosphere is based on merit, so most unaffiliated bloggers are in the same leaking boat, thus proving again the point Penelope makes above.  Louis Gray‘s well-deserved profile being one of the few examples where hard work alone pays off in the blogosphere.  I’d love to see him become the next self-made blogger to get hired by one of the “big” blogs.

Mac Mini Department: PC World takes another look at the Mac Mini media center.  Dave Wallace thinks this might help.  I hacked my Mac Mini as soon as I got it.  It’s a tough little computer.

Bad Java, Bad: Trying to sneak software onto computers is so nineties.

Windows Agony Prevention: Here’s how to make Windows Explorer stop treating every single folder like a video collection.  Restore the Windows Explorer columns to sanity.  This drives me crazy.

Double Edged Logic Department: A Techdirt commenter makes a very good point about the newspapers’ Google complaints.  If Google is robbing them, then they are robbing the people who actually do the newsworthy things they write about.

That’s Not Funny, Bone: Here’s everything you need to know about the funny bone.  Which runs along the runs along the humerus.  Get it?

FriendFeed Chaos: FriendFeed is simply too chaotic unless you live on it, which I don’t.  It desperately needs RSS output for filters, to allow you to output filtered content to other locations.  More than that, it needs an RSS feed that contains only the most recent one or two items that each of your friends have posted.  Until then, it’s useless to me.  It got a lot of well-deserved buzz when the beta was released, but it needs to give users a way to slice, dice and export content.

Freaky Photo of the Day: ID this interesting photo for a free subscription to Newsome.Org.

I Had No Idea: That CompuServe still existed.  CompuServe was my initial gateway to the pre-internet.  I have fond memories of the Sports Simulation forum back in the day.  I was so awesome at Front Page Sports Football.  Great career play implementation, that has still not been matched.