Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Only 8% of Americans read blogs says Dave Poltrack

I found this quote from my cousin in the Sacramento Bee (link no longer available):

"One of the things that's probably overstated by the press is how many people are visiting online blogs," Poltrack said in a presentation to TV critics. "I think you all blog each other, but I'm not sure the rest of the world is joining in the process that much."
In a conversation later, Poltrack said he would guess the majority of people who do read blogs are bloggers themselves.
"That does not leave a whole lot of real people who spend their time with blogs," he said.

Hmm, interesting observation Dave. I know a number of "real" people that may not read blogs but use variants of them. There is nothing new and revolutionary about Blogs.... they have a long history. The term "blog" is a shortcut for "web blog". It's such a silly word that produces fun spin-offs like "blogger" and "blog-o-sphere". Ouch!

In the olden days of the 70's when I worked at DEC we used to depend upon notes conferences to do our job. Along with the notes about VAXes and operating systems, there were the personal interest notes conferences like "Archery", "Beer Making" and one of my favorites "UFO's". There was even a conference named "ASKENET" (aka ask the enet), which the user could post a question and presumably someone would know the answer. DEC developers came up with Alta Vista, the first searchable full-text database on the web (think Google precurser).

What does any of the this have to do with those real people who are not reading blogs? They are being replaced by search engines like Google who do read blogs. For example a Google search of poltrack will find about 19,100 hits, many quoting Dave's words, many of these hits are from blogs. I find this interesting and ironical that Google is doing all this reading that real people can't find time for.

I suspect a number of people (maybe exceeding the 8% blog-readers) read customer reviews when they purchase items online. Customer reviews are not technically blogs but they have similar characteristics. A site such as has many of these. I always read reviews of products BEFORE I buy them. Most of the reviews are written by real people who are not shy about telling you the truth before you make your purchase.

What I appreciate about the internet is it's egalitarianism. Individual postings and web sites exist with the same public access as corporate giants such as CBS and Texaco. There was no cost involved with creating this blog, the web sites or the picture gallery except the internet access cost. I suspect that in the future corporate interest will push to create a tiered structure which will give faster connectivity to folks who are willing to pay big $$, but currently it is fairly equal so blog away gentle readers, blog away.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Newbie Poster here

Trying hard to post here... of course I have a tutor (John) right by my side who is trying to convince me this accelerated learning curve is "heady" . I am finding it mildy confusing!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Overhyped Nor-easter has come and gone

Feel free to comment on this posting and any others. Just click on the "comments" link at the end of this article (under the robin). I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Wasn't it warm and cozy during December and January? I was enjoying the fruits of all that global warming. Then Valentine's day reminded us that it is winter. If you watched the news you would think that it was a new ice age. Weatherpeople with yardsticks and videos of jacknifed trucks. If you live in upstate NY then you really have a problem because the cold winds blowing over a thawed great lakes can produce an awesome snowfall. We get a similar effect with a Nor-easter which spirals in ocean moisture. I have the great option of working at home during inclement weather. I can't tell you how great that is. Not only do I work at home, but I have a window facing bird feeders. Samantha (cat formerly known as Paris) finds birds to be quite interesting. Sam is an inside cat, I've had my fill of animal attacks, car accidents and other mishaps.

I've noticed something interesting. Apparently the warm weather has made it easy for some of the birds to hang around. Can anyone explain why I see robins (harbingers of spring) hanging around in 12 degree weather? These are fat little things and they are dining on Holly berries.

I do get the regular winter visitors. Chickadees, Titmouse, and flocks of wild turkeys. I actually ate lunch on the picnic table in December, but alas winter has arrived.

This is the most under-used item in the yard. When the thaw occurs, the clouds of black flies and mosquitoes make outdoor dining impossible

Yup, a robin... no migration for them

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Longfellow's Wayside Inn

There are many benefits to having a boss located in a different geographic area (Houston). One important benefit is that when he did visit, lunch was on the company tab. New England is rich in history, but I sometimes take that for granted. I was completely unfamiliar with Longfellow's "Tales of A Wayside Inn" until my co-workers suggested this Inn as our lunch destination. I always think of the Boston Post Road only having fast-food restaurants and radiator repair shops, so this came as a pleasant suprise. The food was good and the prices were reasonable (even if we had paid). Unfortunately we did not have enough time to see some of the nearby sites including the "Wayside Grist Mill" and "The Redstone School" (of "Mary had a Little Lamb" fame). It's worth surfing to the site

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Global Warming.. Our Fault or Cosmic Rays?

Brrrr! It sure is cold this week. How much impact do we have on global warming? I have no doubt that we are soiling our nests... but could this be a natural warming process? How much do we know of natural cycles in the geological timeframe?

Is it possible that Cactus will grow in New Ipswich??? As a matter of fact they can!