A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Tag: Blogosphere Page 2 of 4

Banjo and Open Source

I don’t remember how I found it in the first place anymore, but I recently started listening to a new podcast called PC Load Letter.  It’s two guys that used to work together on Subversion (and now work together at Google) talking about open source software and related topics.  So far, there have only been three episodes, each fairly short, and I’ve enjoyed them.  Especially the banjo in the intro/exit music.  If you like open source software and banjo picking, this might just be what you never knew you were looking for.

A Christmas Shopping Story

Charlie Reading So Charlize and I were out Christmas shopping for Kelly a couple months ago.  We went to Barnes and Noble to see if there were any good books for Mommy.  We entered the store on the second floor through the kids section, so I grabbed a book for Charlie to read while I was shopping.

Charlie Reading While walking through the store, we got lots of looks.  I guess people have never seen a (then) 15 month old reading in her stroller.  What do they expect her to do in a bookstore?  Just sit there?  Well, apparently, the book was too elementary for her because, as you can see from the pictures, she finished it in a hurry.  She even read it 2 or 3 times.

Well, I was browsing the books and saw one that interested me, even though I was supposed to be shopping for my wife.  I stopped the stroller on the side of that aisle and took a quick look at the book.  (I don’t even remember what it was anymore.)  Since Charlie had already read her book 3 times now (maybe even 4 by this point), she started looking around and found one that looked particularly interesting to her.  She leaned forward in her stroller and grabbed this one off the shelf by herself.  Seriously.  She almost dropped it, but when I saw what she was doing I helped her out.

Charlie Reading The book she picked?  Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers.  I’m not sure what interested her most: the interview with Mary Jo Foley or the one with Robert Scoble.  In either case, she really seemed to be attached to this one and had no interest in me putting it back on the shelf for her.

Charlie's BooksShe read this book for a while, but never finished it.  I think it was physically just too heavy for her little hands.  Either that or she got frustrated reading about The Unofficial Apple Weblog.  Eventually, we left it with the first book on a table in the coffee shop after drinking a venti something-or-other and a bottle of Fiji water.  I’m thinking I should add it to her Amazon wish list.

I know I will undoubtedly miss many moments in her life, but I want to keep that to a minimum.  When possible, Kelly and I try to capture as many things on camera as we can so that we always remember those moments that we don’t miss.  And so we can share them with family and friends who don’t get to see her very often.  Thank God for camera phones.

Three Years Of Mind Tapping Gooeyness

So I’ve been writing on this site for just over three years now, and this post is #230.  I really enjoy it and wish that I had more things to say and more time to say them.  That said, I’ve got a few goals for the blog for the upcoming year.  In order:

  1. Write more technical posts
  2. Write more community-focused posts
  3. Write more personal posts
  4. Less blogging about blogging

I’d really like to get up to around a dozen posts per month, but I won’t be too disappointed it stays in the 1-2 per week range.

I also have a goal of becoming more active on other social sites, starting with Twitter.  I’ve twittered about 20 things in the last week.  I have to say that using a desktop client (I’m using twhirl right now, but will try any suggestions) is SO much easier than using the Twitter website.  I’ve also been connecting with more people I know on Plaxo and LinkedIn.  I’ve been using Plaxo for a few years now, long before the whole Pulse networking thing.  I really like how it keeps my contacts and calendar in sync across computers.

I have a Facebook and MySpace account, but still can’t seem to really get interested in those.  I also can’t seem to get into the whole del.icio.us thing — I just don’t bookmark that much stuff, and when I do I use Google bookmarks from the toolbar (that’s really the whole reason I have the Google toolbar these days).  Maybe if I saw someone using del.icio.us in person, I would be inspired.  Maybe not.

So anyway, enough blogging about blogging.  Thanks for reading.

Seeking Twitter Client Suggestions

Who uses Twitter?  Please send me suggestions for what clients you use and what you like and don’t like.  There’s lots of info out there, but would prefer to hear from people I know.

I’ve tried Twitter a couple times, and have posted a total of three tweets, one of which was today.  If I can make it easy enough for my lazy butt to do it, I’m planning to be more active.

Same as always, leave a comment on this page or contact me with your suggestions and/or thoughts.

Deeper in .NET 2008 Registration Open!

I’m very happy to announce that registration for Deeper in .NET 2008 is now open.  You can visit the site now to get the latest info and register to attend.

Lots of the info is still in the works, but there is definitely some good info out there now.  In addition to all of the info about our sponsors (we have six so far!) we’ve announced three of the speakers that will be coming to Milwaukee on April 5 for Deeper in .NET 2008 (DiDN).

We’re very happy to have Jason Beres from Infragistics returning to Milwaukee.  Jason has been at all but one of our Deeper in .NET conferences and has spoken for us more than just about any other single speaker (that’s one of those unverified statistics, but it seems to be about right).

Also, joining us this year courtesy of INETA is Mark Miller from Developer Express.  I’ve never experienced the pleasure of seeing Mark present myself, but everyone I speak to tells me that I’ve been missing out.  His presentation is sure to keep you entertained and informed.

Our third speaker for Deeper in .NET 2008 is Richard Campbell.  You may know of Richard from his company Strangeloop Networks, or perhaps you’ve heard him as co-host on .NET Rocks!  I spoke with Richard on the phone the other day and he sounds just as excited about coming to Milwaukee as we are to have him.

More speakers, the schedule, and the details of the different sessions will be posted in the upcoming weeks, so please keep checking back on the site for the latest info.  I’ll also try to post updates on my site as more details are finalized.

I mentioned earlier that we have six sponsors signed up so far.  We’re very thankful to New Resources Consulting (Platinum), Edgenet (Platinum), Centare Group (Gold), Stratagem (Gold), Compuware (Gold), and Exacta Corporation (Silver) for getting involved and supporting the group.  Without them there wouldn’t be a conference this year.

We still need more sponsors, though, to make DiDN a huge success, so if your company is interested, please have them contact me and visit our sponsors page for more info.

So sign up today and start telling everyone you know about Deeper in .NET.  If you blog, blog about it and trackback here or send me a link.  Tell your co-workers, family and neighbors.  I’m very excited about DiDN and it’s coming up soon on April 5 (just over 7 weeks away)!

Holiday Party 2007 — Already Sold Out

I recently posted about a Holiday Party that Microsoft is sponsoring for the WI .NET Users Group.  Well, unfortunately, a mere 3.5 hours after making the announcement, the event has filled up.  The Chicago .NET Users Group is also having a similar event, and theirs "sold out" in 2 hours.

Microsoft had a particular number of licenses available for us at this event, and we have already reached the limit.  My contact there is working to see if there is anything that can be done to add more, but he’s not sure yet what will be available.

If anything else comes up and more space is made available I will definitely make an update.  I apologize for those of you that wanted to register but were not able to get signed up in time.  This booked up much faster than anticipated.

Please check back regularly in case more seats are added.  I will send a newsletter update as well if that happens.

Deeper in .NET 2008 – Planning

So, if you’re a .NET developer in southeast Wisconsin, or if you’ve read my blog for a while, you may know that I am the president of the WI .NET Users Group (UG).  You may also remember that in spring 2006 we had a day-long conference called Deeper in .NET 2006.  It was a great event, with several hundred attendees and five nationally recognized speakers.  Best of all, since the UG is sponsor supported, Deeper in .NET was completely free for all attendees.

Well, after a hiatus in 2007, we are currently planning Deeper in .NET 2008 right now.  While no plans have yet been finalized and everything in this blog post is tentative, I wanted to share some of what we have in mind to get community feedback.

Currently, we are planning to have DiDN08 on April 5, 2008.  The format will be similar to previous years, and we will have 5-6 sessions over the course of the day.  As usual, we will be trying to attract the top speaking talent we can find to present of the topics that are the most interesting in the Microsoft development world.

Although we are already in contact with a few potential speakers, I’d like to give everybody this opportunity give their ideas for both speakers and topics.  Have a burning desire to hear your favorite speaker or author right here in your own backyard?  Let me know.  Really want to find out more about Microsoft’s latest and greatest product that will meet the impossibly difficult business need you are facing at work?  Leave a comment.  Have any other ideas about the conference, or about the UG in general?  My ears are open.  While I can’t promise miracles, I will promise that we will review every suggestion and try to make this conference what our members want it to be.

Also, if you’re a past or present sponsor of the UG and are interested in finding out how you can get involved with this thriving community, let me know.  I will be sending out some e-mails over the coming weeks to those that have sponsored or expressed interest in the last couple years, so be sure to watch your inbox.

As time gets closer, more and more info will be available on the UG site.  In the meantime, I’ll be sure to post anything here on my blog tagged with DiDN.  If you’re a blogger, by all means, blog about it, and trackback to this post, and/or tag it DiDN.  And if you blog, be sure to check out our Evangelist program.

WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas!Ho, ho, ho!  I’ve got an early Christmas gift for those of you who are .NET developers near the Milwaukee area.

Microsoft and the WI .NET Users Group are teaming up to throw a little holiday party this year.  Many of the details are still in the works, but plan on having a lot of fun.  We’re trying to arrange some extra prizes and perhaps some better food than we have at our normal meetings — not that there’s anything wrong with pizza, though.  We’re also checking the possibility of having an XBox setup for some gaming that night.

Also, and this is pretty exciting, in addition to the fun and food, bring your computer and you will have a chance to install the RTM bits of Visual Studio 2008.

Yes, Microsoft will be providing licensed versions of Visual Studio 2008 for those who bring their computers and install right then and there.  Once they’ve installed VS2008, we will take their contact info and Microsoft will ship them a licensed version in the coming weeks.

The date has been set for December 11, and we will probably be meeting at the Waukesha Microsoft office.  Please register now if you plan to attend.  Microsoft would like to get a good head count to make sure we are prepared with everything. 

So, tell all your friends, your co-workers, your boss, your family members, your neighbors and the waiter at your favorite lunch establishment about it.  And blog about it.  You can link back here or to the "official page" at http://www.wi-ineta.org/holiday.  Who knows, maybe we’ll have another Evangelist blogging contest?

Keep watching my blog and the event page for updates as more info is available.

The Best Spam Comment Yet (Matt Berther)

Saw this today in my feeds.  Matt posts about one of the comments his blog has received.  Here’s a snip:

hello , my name is Richard and I know you get a lot of spammy comments ,I can help you with this problem . I know a lot of spammers and I will ask them not to post on your site. It will reduce the volume of spam by 30-50% .In return Id like to ask you to put a link to my site on the index page of your site…

That’s a pretty clever business model.  I should look into it…  [;)]


Well, according to my blog control panel, before this post I’ve posted 199 times.  That makes this post #200.  As you can see from the table below, my post frequency had suffered for a number of months last fall and winter, but I’ve been making an effort to pick that up again.  I think my goal is to average at least 1-2 posts per week.

Post Frequency

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2005   9 14 11 15 13 14 11 6 6 4 5
2006 10 14 6 7 7 4 1 3 4 5 0 2
2007 1 1 1 8 2 4 5 6        

One of my plans for blog topics is to look at my site logs and try to choose topics based on traffic and search terms that lead to the site.  A quick examination, though, leads me to believe that I should be writing more about Chuck Norris.  That can’t be right, can it?

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