Friday Blogkeeping

1. Deferral Of Final Giles Brindley Post1

I had indicated to some folks that today’s post would resolve, to the extent possible, ongoing issues about Professor G.S. Brindley’s unusual contribution to medicine. And, that was indeed the plan until 1 AM this morning when I serendipitously discovered a new source of pertinent information. To expand and incorporate that material, some of which contradicts data I had gleaned and published here, I am deferring the final Brindley post, which I now anticipate publishing Monday, 6 Nov 2006.

I apologize for the last minute change.

2. Explanation of WhereTheHeck

Some may have noted the new “WhereTheHeck” tab at the top right of each blog page. Clicking there reveals the Official, Super-duper, Google-powered WhereTheHeck search engine for this blog.

I’m auditioning this Google-flavored search tool but have retained the WordPress search box which appears in the left sidebar on every page. My reading thus far, after only a week or two, is that the Google search does a better job on those pages of this blog Google indexes. The newest posts can’t be searched until the Googlebot visits and adds them to the index and there are a few older posts that, for reasons I don’t understand, Google doesn’t index. If you try this sucker out, I’d like to hear about your results.

3. Explanation Of Links To Social Bookmarking Sites

These links, which appeared on the Heck Of A Guy blog about three weeks ago, are those icons (hovering the cursor over the icons reveals the name of the linked site) under the heading “Share & Enjoy” that follows each post.

The only purpose of these links is to provide easy access to social bookmarking services. Social bookmarking services are web sites that enable users to organize and manage internet bookmarks (this is a significant advantage for those who use more than one computer; if one can access the net, one can access his or her saved bookmarks) but also provide a means by which participants can share each others bookmarks.

The idea, in oversimplified form, is that sharing, for example, a way cool Heck Of A Guy post, enriches those who are thus introduced to the joy that is Heck Of A Guy (I suppose it works for other sites too), enhances the self-esteem and rep of the viewer who did the sharing, and, incidentally, increases exposure of Heck Of A Guy, thus accelerating its conquest of the known world. There are a multitude of these bookmarking sites; I’m currently displaying links to Del.icio.us, Digg, Furl, Fark, YahooMyWeb, Reddit, Blogmarks, Blinklist, and Spurl. The folks who crafted the WordPress plug-in that enables these links have a concise chart explaining how each of these and many similar services work at Maxpower Social Bookmarking.

4. Explanation of Tags

Tags are those words that follow “Site Search Tags:” at the end of every post between “Links To Social Bookmarking Sites” and “Possibly Related Posts.” These appeared on this blog only in the past few days.

The Wikipedia defines a tag as “a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information it is applied to.” Tags can do all sorts of useful tricks in the internet universe, but my chief interest in using them is intra-HOAG blog indexing. Clicking on one of these terms should find any other Heck Of A Guy posts with that same tag. Clicking on any tag from the tag list in the illustration (which applies to the post, A Sketch Of Sketches Of Frank Gehry)should pull up all the posts labeled with that same word. (E.g., clicking on “architecture” finds all Heck Of A Guy posts tagged with “archtecture.”)

There are disadvantages:

  • Each post has to be individually tagged by hand (there are automatic tagging tools but I haven’t found one that is reliable). I’m working backwards in my spare time and I’m somewhere in mid-September. It will be a while before all posts are tagged.
  • Tags are arbitrary. I may interpret “architecture” as more or less inclusive than a reader.
  • The mechanism isn’t perfect. This is a kind way to say I can’t get the darn thing to work yet on Heck Of A Guy although it has functioned without a hitch on AlignMap for some time. I’ll let you know when it’s functional here.

If it’s such a hassle, why bother? Well, when the description of a blog’s contents runs, as this one does, from eclectic to bizarre, categories are of minimal aid, and word searches don’t help much if a reader doesn’t know that I’m more less likely to call house plans “architecture” than I am “house porn.” Tags help a lot – when they work.

  1. The number of possible puns I eschewed in the title of this item (but not in this footnote) is almost as impressive as the fact that, prior to this footnote, I had not included a single intentional sexual pun in two full postings about Dr. Brindley. To indicate the potential this topic offers, one alternate heading for this agenda item, “Deferral Of Final Giles Brindley Post,” included the words, climax, premature, interruptus, raised, and rigid. []

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