Archive for July 25th, 2006

Technorati have been busy

The last week has been a busy one for Technorati from my “outsider’s point of view”. Firstly, Technorati are now indexing this blog properly again (it only took about 100 days and two emails), but I forgive them because it all works now, and is even indexing scheduled posts after they appear, which sounds like they’ve either setup periodic RSS feed checking, or are taking notice of post timestamp (if that gets sent in the “ping” when I click “Publish”).

The other day (July 20 to be precise), I received the following email from Janice Myint from Technorati Support

Hello Samuel,

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delay in getting back to you. We’ve been experiencing a backlog in support and
are working hard to address everyone. I’ve taken a look at the issue regarding picking up your pings for
“samuelgordonstewart.com”. After making a small adjustment, I’ve sent our spiders to revisit your page and your blog has been
indexed with your most recent posts.

http://technorati.com/blogs/samuelgordonstewart.com/

Everything now appears to be working as it should, but please let us know if you experience any problems in the future. Do
not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for using
Technorati!

Best Regards,
Janice Myint
Customer Support Specialist
Technorati

I’m very pleased about this, and I even replied to Janice’s email to express that sentiment.

Dear Janice,
Thanks for fixing that, I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to do so. I hope you get through the backlog of support tickets soon.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

The other thing that appears to have been keeping the staff at Technorati busy is a redesign of their website and an upgrade of their backend software, as a means of celebrating their third birthday (happy birthday by the way).

The new site is much easier on the eyes, faster, and much easier to use and navigate. Quite a bit of work appears to have gone in to it, and it looks like that effort has paid off.

All in all, a busy and redeeming week for a company I had almost given up hope on.

Well done Technorati!

Samuel

July 25th, 2006 at 03:07pm

Transcripts of Samuel’s Persiflage

I have recently been thinking about the idea of having transcripts of Samuel’s Persiflage, there are multiple reasons for this, including making the content of the podcast easier to find (search engines are good at reading text), making it easier to quote where needed, providing a means for people with hearing difficulties to access Samuel’s Persiflage, and even as a means for avoiding distraction whilst listening.

I generally listen to podcasts whilst in front of the computer, this unfortunately makes it very easy to become distracted, and I find that I follow podcasts with transcripts better than I do podcasts without them…in fact some podcasts which occasionally become complex and technical (such as Security Now!) are even easier to comprehend and understand when following along with the transcript.

I quickly dismissed the idea of writing the transcripts myself, as I am very slow at transcribing audio, and quite frankly I don’t have the time to do that, so I went in search of a transcription service, and after trialling a few of them I have settled on Tech Synergy’s podcast transcription service.

There is a small cost involved, and as such I have decided to stagger the production of the transcripts of the older episodes. The current plan is for one transcript to be delivered per week (starting with the latest episode and working back). Episode six is being transcribed as I write this, and I will have it online later this week.

This is very exciting for me, and I think it will provide a valuable service to existing listeners, as well as a more efficient way to attract new listeners. I will probably include the transcript download stats in the monthly Blog View Stats.

Samuel

July 25th, 2006 at 01:30pm

Save ACTION Postcards

I’ve already written a fair bit about the proposed cuts to ACTION Buses (see here and here), but RiotACT recently mentioned that the Transport Workers Union were handing out postcards for people to sign and post to Chief Turnip Jon Stanhope. RiotACT only had a tipoff at that stage, and I have been waiting to get my hands on a postcard before saying anything.

Yesterday evening on my way home from work I was very pleased to have the bus driver hand me a postcard. The postcards contain some background information on the proposed cutbacks, and even feature a reply paid address so that you don’t have to pay to send them. The postcards go to the Transport Workers Union who will then present them to the Chief Turnip.

I will be filling my one out and sending it in, but I have taken the liberty of doing a couple things first.

I have scanned the postcards for your benefit, and I have also produced a downloadable form for those of you who wish to convey your disappointment with the proposed cutbacks, but do not have access to a postcard. You will need to mail the form and pay for the postage (50 cents, surely that’s not an issue) as I’m not sure of the legalities of simply mailing something to a reply paid address if it is not officially printed. The download link for the form (in Acrobat PDF format) can be found below.

ACTION Postcard Front
ACTION Postcard Back

If you would like to convey your disappointment with the proposed cutbacks to ACTION, to the Chief Turnip, click here to download the form. When you have filled it in, please post it to

Transport Workers Union
PO Box 649
PARRAMATTA NSW 2124

Samuel

July 25th, 2006 at 01:19am


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