Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Twitterverse Scrabulous World Championship Series

Twitterverse Scrabulous World Championship Series

That's me up in the first bracket. I'll be bringing my mad Scrabulous skills facing off against Deb Coates. Once the game gets going, I'll post an update or two.

Wish me luck.

Tojo

National Novel Writing Month


My intro to National Novel Writing Month.
nanowrimo.org

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The couple that shares hockey..


The couple that shares hockey..
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
can share anything!

The shot is of my boss and his wife, taken at the Blues hockey game. Somehow the box tickets came down to our group, woot! Myself, coworkers and kin showed up. Free snacks were provided.

I don't know much about hockey, but no kidding, a fight broke out moments after the first puck drop. It was funny and sad at the same time.

I'm one of only two that brought a camera. My boss brought a point and shoot along. I did share and let my boss snap a couple of me. Ha.

Was it worth going even if I have no clue? Yes. The best thing? My boss is an avid photographer, and we enjoyed a conversation about camera, classes and color vs b/w.

All in all, not a bad use of my evening. Between the metro and the drive, I made it home in a quick hour.

More photos can be found by clicking on this one.

Tojo

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nanowrimo Or What To Do With My November

Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. To quote from the site:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.


It's all about the writing. For 30 days, you write whenever, wherever and whatever you can towards a 50,000 word novel. Yes, 50,000 in 30 days.

I'm going to make a go of it this year. This will be my first time and I'm looking forward to the challenge with anxiety and excitement. I know one other writer, a veteran of Nanowrimo. I'm hoping for daily encouragement from her and to do likewise.

This blog post is both to clue you in about Nanwirmo and to clue you in that I'm participating and would deeply appreciate support. If you know me, I gladly invite prayers, happy thoughts, well wishes, as well as Diet Pepsi, and various snacks. Feel free to provide any and all. Also welcome are blog posts and comments to encourage me along the way, and keep me honest.

Obviously asking for a cheering section out there. I'm making no promises but that I'll give it a try.

To close out this post, I challenge any and all of you to consider visiting Nanowrimo and give it a go.

St. Louis Blogger Links Round Up - Attempt 1

Marriage 101

Jeannette Eats Spaghetti

Mamalogues

Golden Practices

News Bitch

The [non]billable hour

W.O.B.L. in training

Dwight Wannabe's Writing Manifesto

Epic Black Villany

There were more and I've already posted a couple of those. I'll try to post them as a find them.
You could do worse than to explore at the links above.

Tojo

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Good food.. good friends…

Good food.. good friends…

So my new friend Blaquepen blogged about the Friday night blogger gathering. I'm so glad she mentioned me. Heck, she did one better and linked to me and highlighted one of my photos from the evening.

To top it off, she said great things about the rest of the folks and linked to most of their personal blogs. Good stuff.

Thanks Raquita.

Photophlow


haven't tried it yet? even heard of it? Love Flickr? Want another way to browse and chat and share? Check it out.
http://www.photophlow.com

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See me photograph

Want an intro to me as a photographer? Check out some of my favorites, 20 to be exact.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tojosan/sets/72157594419279661/

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And so it begins. @ Jesse’s Blog

And so it begins. @ Jesse’s Blog

The title says it all. Drop by and check out Jesse's blog. It's an interesting first post.

Todd

Twitter > IM

Has Twitter replaced IM for you? It nearly has for me. Since uncovering more folks to be contacts with on Twitter, I find I forget to even log in to the IMs.

What about you? Find yourself carrying on 10 conversations on Twitter and your Yahoo chat strangely idle? Your Google Talk untalkative?

And now you have manage to get your conversations down to sound bytes?

Give me some feedback on this please.

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Testing to Twitter and beyond

So Utterz claims I can post here and twitt there. Let's see.

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Voice vs text only

Voice does come across as more real, however, it also is worse than text if the person speaking gets flustered or is a poor speaker to start with. I'll take confident voice but only if it's short and to the point.

Mobile post sent by tojosan using Utterz Replies.

Scrabulous on Facebook - Sneaky Feature

Ever strained to figure out just where your opponnent played QI? Or HOW? Now you don't have to guess. The folks at Scrabulous have given us an easy way to tell.




Now when you hover over the last word message, you get reverse image highlighting. Notice in the picture above that the tiles for OAR show clearly against a shadowed over background. Excellent feature. To note, it only shows played tiles, to me the best way to show.

Thanks Scrabulous team.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Eleanor Mann has her own website

Eleanor Flannery Mann

Merlin Mann, of 43 Folders, is the proud parent of Eleanor Flannery Mann. Check it out; she's got her own website.

Congratulations!

St. Louis Blogger get together


New Friends
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
So StL Working Mom had a great idea, get some St. Louis located bloggers together. Invites went out and on Friday, Oct 26th, we hooked up at the Schlafly Bottleworks.

Dennis Kennedy of Dennis Kennedy Blog and Matthew Homann of XPLANE were just two of over a dozen bloggers that made an appearance.

Also along for the get together was Dana Loesch of Mamalogues.com, News Bitch, Marriage 101, Raquita (aka Blaque Pen), Kristin, and even more I didn't snag a blog link from were there.

What a great experience on both a personal level and a networking level. The bloggers ranged in topic from logging from the point of view of a working mother to PR bloggers.

What did I push? You'd think my blog of course right? But instead, I found myself pushing tech adoption for bloggers. Heard of Twitter? Facebook? Well if not, then you are missing out on two great ways to spread the word about your blog. Heck, spread the word about yourself too.

I'm being introduced to new folks everday through these mediums. Are they perfect? Of course not. Do they provide something you don't get just in reader comments and view on your blog? Definitely.

Just a few examples from my own experience. Being able to chat with Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki. Big guys on my list anyway.

Enough about that rant.

I really wish we could do another of these get togethers every month. This was a great idea that Marijean, aka StL Working Mom, had. Hopefully this is just the beginning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Seesmic Poetry Reading

Seesmic Blogging Tip

If you've followed me on the net for a while, you've seen this already.
Here it is in Seesmic.
Blog Tip #47

Monday, October 22, 2007

I dreamt that we took a.....


I dreamt that we took a.....
Originally uploaded by Nanna J.
picture of some part of ourselves everyday for a year. What's even odder, people I don't even know, are doing it too, and they were in my dream.

Wonderful final shot by my wife.
365 is over, but never forgotten.

Thanks for the memories


Thanks for the memories
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
No fancy picture here. First a toast to *Karen, Simis, and Nanna J. These ladies and I didn't just take self portraits, but grew and matured along side one another. We exchanged emails, and chatted, and became more than just Flickr friends. Cheers to us all.

Another toast to those that came along side. Those fine Flickr friends that cheered us on, laughed with us, cried with us, and shared of themselves. There are so many to salute, and to list you all would take all day and make me cry. Thank you!!!!

And a final toast, to the founder of this group, Chris Maverick, who gave me a gift that gave a whole year long and that will always be with me. (Lynn, make sure he sees this.)

Nanna J's shot is more creative and fun, but so true too. it's hard to believe a year of self portraits and self discovery is behind us today. It's like a dream.

Thank you and cheers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tumblr Funding

Tumblr Takes 750K Series A

Not much to say here, but Tumblr got funding from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.
The article linked to above makes the obvious statment that Tumblr is not a competitor with Twitter. Duh?

Tumblr is a way to blog with spontaneity. You can blog a link, text, a quote, chat or even video. It's as easy as a button your browser bar, or clicking a button on your Tubmlr site.

The nice thing is that when you click the browser button, you can choose to write about whatever you are Tumbling. Or, choose to write nothing at all and just post it.

Another good feature, being able to reblog something. If you are on someone's Tumblr blog, you can choose to tumble it yourself with just one click.

If you've not tried it out, give it a go, tumble something. It's quick, it's easy, it's fun.

Another year?


Another year?
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
As the last couple of days is upon me for the 365 project, it's time to consider a 2nd year.

Pros:
1. I'm already taking a picture a day
2. It will guarantee I take at least one picture per day
3. I could use the practice
4. Continues my self exploration

Cons:
1. More of me on the net
2. It is a discipline
3. It is sometimes a burden
4. Does anyone else care

So anyway, if you have an opinion, feel free to comment here on the blog or on the photo it self by clicking through.

Inside the Mind of a 9 Year Old File-Sharer | TorrentFreak

Inside the Mind of a 9 Year Old File-Sharer @ TorrentFreak

Great "interview" with a 9 year old. Funny but gives some insight into how young minds often think about file and music sharing on the net.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Google News Application on Facebook

Google News Blog: Google News goes social

The title says it all. Google has brought the official Google News application to Facebook. It takes just a moment to get started and instant news.

During the set up, it allows check boxes for the standard news headings, as well as allowing custom news topics. I chose Twitter, Apple and Google. Surprisingly, Google's own news about the Facebook application wasn't included in the top three.

The application comes with the now standard Facebook expand arrows at the top of each section with Share + buttons on each article. However, clicking the full coverage button takes you to Google News @ the Google web site. That's a bit disconcerting. Additionally, the section are not able to be relocated as on the main Facebook profile pages.

All of that said, this is a beta version and will likely improve in short order.

Give it a go here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Face of the Season


Face of the Season
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Or how I get my Halloween on.

My Ultimate Movie-Themed Halloween Costume courtesy of Fandango

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kevin Rose in new Captain America comic??

"A figure wearing a DiggNation t-shirt that looks suspiciously like Kevin Rose is on the cover to Captain America: The Chosen #6 holding Captain America's shield! The cover is by artists Mitch Breitweiser, i'm assuming a fan of DIGG."So goes the quote with the picture. The artist is actually a fan, and Kevin is apparently a fan of comics.Check it out.Todd

read more | digg story

Scrabulous on Facebook - Flash me?



My favorite Facebook has a problem (in my own opinion only); it's a flasher. Yes, it uses Flash. Is that a bad thing you might ask? To be honest, not really.

I'm a big fan of some Flash done right ala Scrabulous, but I think there's still a rpoblem. The folks out there are missing something ... a big part of the player base. You might wonder wear if they have both a standalone website, and a Facebook application, both of which are free.

Yes, they are missing out on the players on cell phones. Believe it or not, they are a market. Thanks in large part to very advanced phones coming out these days with full blown browsers. So how does one best support these small screen users? With Ajax of course.

Ajax combined with a wee bit of customization is all it takes. Examples? Apple has bundle of them listed now. But just one example will do here, Facebook. Faceboook already had a custom view for iPhone users that works quite well.

So in summary, my dear favorite Facebook app team, please please consider making a phone friendly version minus Flash.

Yours,
Tojo

Photrade Beta - a Blognation exclusive

Blognation Canada an Exclusive: photrade Launches Easy Photo Sharing & Selling

: "One thing about all these sites is that they let you share your photos, but not let you earn money from them."

That comment really summarizes the thrust of the article. Tris Hussey highlights for us what Photrade is, and gives us an idea of how easy it will be to use.

Photrade will allow you to post, share and sell your photos. An additional feature is an optional ad, to allow for extra click income.

I'm anxious to get an invite and give it a personal review.

Thanks Tris for this article.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Guess who I'm playing against on Scrabulous

Rajat is one of the brothers that founded Scrabulous. Friendly enough and accepted my invite to play Scrabulous on Facebook.

Come join us there.

Networking Your Way To a Triple-Word Score - WSJ.com

Networking Your Way To a Triple-Word Score - WSJ.com

"Scrabble addict Rachel Zylstra is playing five games at once. For her move in one of them, she's just plunked down a seven-letter bingo, the word 'SAINTED,' for 74 points. The game is taking place over the Internet against her friend Gretchen. 'She's a good friend,' says Ms. Zylstra, a 27-year-old executive assistant in New York. 'I know she can handle it.'"


So begins an interesting and informative article at the Wall Street Journal. Scrabulous is one of the most fun and successful Facebook applications to date. Brought to us by the Agarwalla brother of Scrabulous.com, the games is both addictive and easy to play.

The article goes into the history of how Scrabulous got started and came to be on Facebook. It also shares some statistics that will definitely impress.

It also mentioned this little tidbit.
For Nick George, the bigger issue is players getting outside help. The 46-year-old Tokyo-based multimedia producer is one of the game's top players, with more than 1,000 wins and fewer than 140 losses.


I so want to be that guy. :)

Anyway, please click through and read the full article. Also check out Scrabulous on Facebook. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Scrabulous on Facebook - last weekends updates

As I mentioned in this article, Scrabulous did some updates to the Facebook side of things over the weekend. During that time not only were some bug fixes up in, but Scrabulous was given a facelift. Below is a screenshot with some of the key changes marked out.



Aside from updating the look of the tiles and tray, and the buttons below them, I have three other favorite updates. First and foremost, the messaging window is most appreciated. Formerly an envelope was in the icon toolbar, and there was no indication that your opponent had posted a message. The new message area moves up and scrolls similar to a standard chat window. Second, the last word box has been spiffed up a bit. Previously, the tiny text showing the last move and points was all that was there. It has a mouse over overlay now which just shows the word and score in bigger lettering. Good for those of us with weaker eyes. And we all know who played the last word anyway. Finally, my third pick, is the icon menu. Revamped, it has been made cleaner and more distinct. Not a huge change but quickly spotted.

Okay, so I really like the new look, and you wonder if I'm a total fan boy and couldn't complain if you paid me? Well, not true. I have one complaint. Previously when you hit the dictionary lookup, it automatically displayed all of the two letter words. Now that requires a second click. Not a huge complaint I know, but hey, I use that feature frequently. :)

Good work Scrabulous crew. Keep it up.

Where do you hang your virtual hat?

Case-Notes from the Artsy Asylum: Coworking - A Place to Hang Our Digital Hats

The article linked above describes how the workspace of Reynolds Clary & Associates came to be. At least from desire to layout and design. The author walks us through what needs drove the creation of this unique virtual work environment.

To quote:

More noddling around the idea made me sure that we needed more than desk space but less than a commune. The space had to be workable for people either alone or in groups. It had to enable if not foster working cooperatively. It had to work for larger group meetings if needed. And it had to be functional for those with diverse skill-sets and interests.


The key points included usability, comfort and not just a place to hang out.

Inspiration was drawn from such places as Cubespace and Workspace.

Included in the article is a testimonial video from someone working in such a real world shared work space.

Please do click through.

Another article worth reading is "The Role of *Stuff* in a Virtual World". The article discusses the role of virtual counter parts to real world objects. The base reasons we love these objects in a virtual world? Comfort and familiarity. Pumpkins and turkeys can even be key things in the search for making our virtual experience an easier and more productive one.

Personally, I'd extend the thought behind the article to the fact that those counterpart objects provide the right amount of background for our brains to be comfortable ignoring it. Heck, in lots of the SL world, there is plenty that practically shouts to be looked at, heard or both. A shared work space needs to be one where our brains can focus on the task at hand.

After visiting the Reynolds Clary shared workspace in SL, I'd say it would be quite the comfortable place to work. Now if I can just learn how to blog from in-world, I'll be set.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A quick visit to the offices of Reynolds Clary

In my previous article, I told you about Susan Reynold's new shared office space concept being implemented in Second Life. I took a few moments to visit there at Susan's invitation.

I'd like to share a couple of shots from the shared space.







The coolest thing I found is the variety of animations in use. The photos above exhibit just three of several well crafted animations. My favorite is a sitting animation involving reading papers on a desk.

Overall the space is very nice, and is set up for a conference room, and smaller meeting rooms. There is plenty of seating including the outdoor lounge chairs.

Overseeing all of this area is a lone turkey. :)

I'll report more about this space and it's creators in the future. Keep your eyes out for me in SL, Tojo Lemieux.

Building Community in First and Second Life

Case-Notes from the Artsy Asylum: Building Community in First and Second Life

Just what the title says is what the article is about. Susan brings together a way for folks just starting off and those wanting to try something different in Second Life to work, relax and join forces. The idea might be likened to the Synergy centers growing around the US today.

What Susan proposes is a shared work, rest and play place; a place located away from both brick and mortar and the wilder and louder sides of Second Life its self.

The article presents the challenges facing individuals and small businesses today, and how those can be addressed with such a shared space.

Do you want to get something going in Second Life but don't have all of the time or other resources to get something rolling? Then Susan's idea might just be for you.

Me? I'm going to talk to her directly about this wonderful idea.

Do check out her article at the link above. Tell her Todd sent you.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What do programmers want in a work environment?

I'm a programmer and I'm wondering what other programmers look for in a work environment. Or are the jobs scarce enough that you'll work whereever pays you?

My Top Five
1. Respect for the work
2. Adequate compensation
3. A modicum of independce
4. Semi-private work space
5. Trust that the programmer is doing his/her best for the project

What are your top 5?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Glasses by Skitch


Glasses by Skitch
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch.

Skitch is a program that lets you create, modify and share images from your Mac to the world. I'm checking it out in beta.

Scrabulous - Update Weekend on Facebook

My buds at Scrabulous are at it again with updates. Check this out.




But not only are they doing another update, they did another while I was gone. Notice the new last play entry next to each game? That's a feature I've wanted for a while now and I welcome happily! Great work on the stream of updates recently Scrabulous. Keep it up.

On a small note, feel free guys and gals at Scrabulous to replace one of your ads with the dontations button once in a while. :)

Yours,
Tojosan