23 May 02007

Some tweaking to this site

I know things have been quiet here for some months, but do not despair: this site is not limping towards terminal decline; it will be back to its normal self eventually. Reculer pour mieux sauter, and all that. Probably you won't see a major burst of energy here for a couple of months, but please be patient.

In the meantime, I have been slightly more active on my book blog. To make these entries more visible here, I've created a del.icio.us account to record the entries and provide a linkroll with summaries of them, which you can see on the right hand side of the home page, about half way down.

I've also changed my feedburner RSS feed so that it now combines articles from this site with the brief del.ico.us summaries of entries on the book blog. That means it no longer includes a feed of my furl bookmarks, but that is still available separately, as before. I hope this doesn't incite a riot among those of you who subscribe to the feedburner feed (I suspect a yawn is more likely), but if it does I will reconsider.

8 May 02007

Give me back my tags: portable attention data

Locked up tagsHaving recently moved and been caught up in a silly broadband snafu, I spent a couple of weeks without regular Internet access: the previous entry on this blog was composed in the local pub, which offers free wi-fi along with a pint of Youngs bitter. This interrupted form of net access is fine for keeping up with important emails or news on the web. What I missed, though, was the Last.fm tag radio streams that I've built up over the last six months (in fact I missed them more than my CD and LP collection that I still haven't been able to unpack for other reasons).

Throughout this disturbance I had continuous access to my iTunes library (3,000 tracks — large by some standards, modest by others). Many of the artists and tracks in the library are ones I've tagged on Last.fm, but I don't have access to those tags from within iTunes or without Internet access.

What I really wanted to do was apply my Last.fm tags to the relevant entries in my iTunes library. And my MyStrands tags, while I'm about it. In fact I started tagging with MyStrands first. My tags are still there, but I rarely (if ever) add to them these days, as I realised I was very constrained in getting value out of them. But I tag a lot on Last.fm: I find it a great way of gradually expanding the penumbra of music that I know a bit about, but don't know very well. Firstly, it can be like listening to the radio and using tags to mark the songs you want to come back to, or include in a playlist. Secondly, if I read a review or a story about a band that sounds interesting, I tag them for checking out later.

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