All entries for Thursday 16 December 2004
December 16, 2004
This is a response to Robert O'Tooles recent blog which I feel represented some of the frustration that the blog creators feel at the way the changes to the system have been recieved by blog 'power users' or 'divas' as I heard us called :)
1. think about why you use Warwick Blogs, list the things that you get out of it.
I use warwick blogs as a way to express myself, develop a writing style and produce something which I feel has value as a work of art. I choose to do this in a humourous manner because I like to bring laughter into peoples lives. I feel that everyone should learn to laugh. The things I get from warwick blogs:
– I have made new friends. There is a perception that the warwick blog 'power users' were quite cliquey (generated in part by our excessive meta blogging at times). Yet when I first started blogging I knew almost none of the people who are regular commenters on my blog. Since I began blogging I have made several new good friends, for me it has been a way to meet people, not just hang out with the same old friends.
– A public place to display my art works; from prose, to sketches, to 3d models.
– A place to voice my opinions on the issues of the day whatever they may be, whoever they may offend (within the bounds of the AUP).
– A source of constant amusement and entertainment.
– A place to recieve opinions and thoughts from everyone else.
2. consider how those values are dependent upon the ways in which you like to do things, and upon your working, studying and social practices.
I'm a lighthearted soul and I like to laugh at myself and at life, some people don't have this attitude. I'm very technologically competent, some people aren't. I like to sacrifice goats some people dont… (oops, the funny crept in)
3. consider how lucky you are that the University has developed a system to help you do those things.
This question has a certain 'shut up and be grateful for the scraps we throw you' kind of attitude to it. Yes I'm grateful, I love warwick blogs thats exactly why I'm so passionate about it and I'm not going to stop trying to change it for 'the better', as I see 'the better'.
4. now try to consider people with different values and different practices – if you can't come up with lots of examples, then you really are narrow minded!
I'd like everyone to embrace blogs. I also think you are very optimistic if you think you can convert everyone to blogging, some people don't like journals, some people don't like technology, some people aren't very good at putting their thoughts into written words and some people are just too busy (or think they are).
I'd like the warwick blogs community to expand as much as the next person more views, more ideas, more creativity! These are things I crave, yet I do not think that by changing the system in the way it has been you will achieve these goals. Instead you will just alienate many existing users as it seems to be doing at the minute.
5. consider if your view of what Warwick Blogs should be like will also provide a system that is attractive to them.
I think the old system was not perfect or even that good, I think the new system (by which I mean the home page, I like favourites, excellent idea) is worse. It is not attractive to anybody that I can imagine. Not me, not new users. New academic/serious users would like a homepage that appealed to things that they are interested in, perhaps thoughts on the latest blah blah or exciting developments in yadda yadda. I would suggest several broad blog categories (not like the individual blog categories we have now) that people can subscribe to. Blog users could choose which broad category to chuck their entries into and if people aren't subscribed to that category then they will never have these posts offend their sight. Instead of monitoring each post to place on latest entries, editors could instead make sure that people are correctly assigning 'categories' to their entries so that funny posts do not slip into the serious pile.
6. consider if this will lead to an un-feasibly complex system.
More work to set up, yes, but a satisfactorily simple result when finished. It will allow people who want to see everything that ability without having to manually add every blog to their favourites. They could just subscribe to a whole 'broad category' of blogs (funny/serious/reviews). Deciding broad categories would be the hardest part.
7. now think about the difficult task that eLab has in pleasing as wide a population as possible.
Hey thats your jobs, just like its mine to steward people at arts centre events. :)
There, I can do serious too.
As I was enjoying a delicious dinner the other day with my good friend Herman, sipping on a fine Merlot and discussing the issues of the day, it came to me that many people will never get to enjoy such a wonderful evening.
Tigers make excellent dinner companions, always ready with a quick witticism or a nugget of timeless wisdom, their outstanding awareness of all issues political and philosophical means they are never short of an opinion. Yet, like many such special creatures on this wonderful planet; tigers have another side. They are extremely sensitive to social faux pas, make the wrong move in the presence of a tiger and you are dead meat, socially speaking. A tiger will ignore you for weeks after the slightest miss-step, and their respect is not easily won back.
All however is not lost, as an experienced diner with our stripey feline bretheren I can offer you invaluable pearls of awesome sense that will keep you in any tiger's good books. Please sit up and listen carefully, I will say this only once.
Dan's guide to having dinner with a tiger
The first and most important thing to remember is your pre dinner preparations. Tigers will appreciate the finest restaurants (make sure there are plenty of vegetarian options available) and a substandard eatery just will not do. A tiger will not even turn up for the likes of Mc Donalds or Jamie Oliver. This is not the only important consideration however, you must also ensure that your own appearance is in a suitable condition to be seen out with such a magnificent fellow. Tigers like hats, especially top hats.
Assuming you have managed to get the restaurant right and styled yourself appropriately; for awesomes sake remember to turn up on time! There is nothing a tiger hates more than a lack of punctuality.
So you've managed to avoid messing everything up so far, you've sat down at the table with you new tiger friend and the time has come to order. Most tigers will ask you to order for them pretending that they can't pick up the small menu with their oversized paws. This is in fact a clever ruse, the tiger is testing you. Based on the meal you select for yourself and the tiger he will form an almost total picture of your character:
- Red meat for the tiger, salad for you – The tiger will interpret this as a sign that you are unimaginative, puny and worthy of dining only with rats. Usually he will leave immediately through the window in a single bound.
- A fish meal for the tiger, the same for you – This selection will make the tiger respect you on the surface but under his placid exterior he will secretly loathe you for your black hearted soul. You will never become closer than business partners.
- Crab for the tiger, lobster for you – An almost perfect choice, the tiger will relax immediately and begin discussing the merits of the euro. You have shown him your true understanding in the finer points of food ettiquete.
We are nearly there, you are at the table tucking into your delicious lobster and conversation is flowing freely, there only remain a few general tips to ensure that you both have a pleasant, enjoyable evening:
- Don't mention Indian politics. The asian subcontinent is very close to all tiger's hearts and it is easy to offend a tiger with an uninformed contribution to the political process there.
- Keep the cage door firmly locked.
- Don't be tempted to stroke that lovely stripey coat. This is very bad manners, most tigers will initially seem to ignore the grave insult but will refuse to speak to you ever again afterward.
- Do not on any account respond to any requests to inspect the tigers wisdom teeth.
- Stay away from religious discussions if you are easily offended; tigers are renowned for their scathing critiques of the religious establishment. They may also lose crucial respect for you if they discover you have faith based leanings. Tigers are creatures of science.
- If your hallucinogenic drugs start to wear off at any time; make your excuses and leave.
I hope these tips have been useful and allow you to make some good new friends, but remember; a tiger is for life, not just for christmas.