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Jan 22
2008

The “Click-A-Lot Effect”

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

It happens every so often. You write your post the night before, ready for the morning. You get your post onto MyDigitalLife when you wake up / get into work, ready to see if you’re going to get a couple of clicks. And within the next few minutes, your post is off the main page, as everyone else has done the same thing as you.

 

Since being on MyDigitalLife, I’ve noticed some common trends. Person A complains about something. Everyone else complains about the same thing. Yeah, they’re providing their own objections and analysis, but it’s all very much the same thing at the end of the day. Where’s our creativity people?!

 

Much like Facebook, I have my trusted circle of friends. The authors who’s posts I’ll always read (well, based on the title). These people inspire something in me, either because they provide constructive criticism, information, and generally give me something in return for my writing (and that something would be the force behind me continuing to attempt to write). Then I have my “useless list” – the people I never bother to read. Basically because I’m so used to those Authors writing nonsense (that is to say, it is nonsense to me).

 

Click-a-Lot day seems to bring the worst out of most people. They write boring, repetitive articles that don’t do anything [for me], other than to move posts further down the list, getting rid of the potentially good ones that have been well thought of, and specially saved for the day.

 

It seems to me, that a lot of people tend to “scramble” to get something up onto the site, in the hopes of gaining more clicks. Quality slackens, as there is this perceived rush to get something onto the site. Then, before you know it, the “Click-a-Lot Effect” occurs (something I'd like to coin - I’m referring to something akin to the “Slashdot Effect”), as highlighted in the opening paragraph. New posts, all arriving quickly push your well thought out, imaginative post down into the dregs of the Blue Nowhere, never to be seen by other people.

 

The result is, your good posts don’t received the recognition they deserve. If Author’s were clever, they wouldn’t go for their silly little sometimes uninteresting posts that mean very little to some people in the community that has become MDL, but would rather strive to write one singular, good to awesome post. This has a two stage effect. One, good posts are often put up on the Top Blog section of the site. This promotes your blog, gaining you extra clicks because effectively, you’re on the ‘front page’. Secondly, it slows down the rate at which new posts are added, leaving your post on “Hot from the Citizens” page. This results in, yes, your article potentially being read more often.

 

I firmly believe that sometimes the allure of making money misguides people into thinking that by going overdrive into the endeavour that it will perform better. However, the true art of doing anything successfully, is through careful planning and foresight.

 

But that’s just my opinion, and you’re entitled to your own.

 

 

By the way, if you didn't read my post on Reducing Power Consumption because of the "Click-a-Lot" effect, you can read it here.

Jan 22
2008

Reducing Power Consumption

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

It is my opinion, that the larger power-consumers of the modern world are the big multimillion rand / dollar companies. Those companies that have in excess of one floor of building space. And when do they consume the most power? When they don’t need to – at night.

 

I’m sure many of you have driven along William Nicole at night and noticed those buildings with all their lights still on – probably with their computers still running (even though their screens may be off, or in a power-savings mode, their computers are still on, drawing in power).

 

When I worked at Ernst & Young in London (More London Place), they took a great approach to counteracting the [mis]use of power. There are infrared sensors located on each floor, that when they detect movement, do they fire up the lighting for that section of the building (notice section, and not floor). Okay, so the mild problem in the late evening when most people had gone off to home was that on the odd occasion, you would suddenly be placed in darkness, but quickly standing up or waving your hands was generally enough to get the sensor to kick in and return the lights up above.

 

Another useful thing was that everyone in the office did all their work off of laptops. Not only did we have backup power should we run out of power, but because there is a security policy dictating that all laptops need to be secured at night, it meant that there were never any laptops attached to the mains when they weren’t in use. Policies, while many people may hate them, can be useful.

 

I know a lot of companies use the night time to provide updates to their computers, but there is a technology called “Wake-on-LAN”. This allows a computer that’s been turned off to be turned back on remotely. This could provide a window of opportunity to turn on a computer, apply the updates, and then turn the PC back off (programmatically). Wake-on-LAN can even be used with Internet technologies. I used to keep my old machine setup for Wake-on-LAN through my modem, so whenever it detected a phone call to home, it would turn on the machine for me. This was especially handy with the age of mobile phones, as I could simply ring home once, and my machine would be booted up into Windows by the time I got into the door.

 

Another use of technology would be to use the Hibernate functionality. Hibernation is a useful technique that essentially dumps the contents of your RAM onto your hard disk. What this means for your PC, is that when you restart your machine, the RAM is restored from the hard disk, effectively allowing you to resume your work from where you where (I’ve been able to resume games, music, video’s without them losing their current buffer position, meaning uninterrupted play – even though I’ve turned off my machine, and moved to another position).

 

Other companies have resorted to the use of solar power. Pole mounted solar panels are used to not only provide shade for parked cars (kind of like our car-ports), but also generate electricity during the day. Google is but one company to do this (article link). In South Africa, this could be a huge boon to generating electricity during office hours.

 

If companies produced some efficient policies to help reduce the power they consume, not only would they reduce the cost of running the business, but would also have a positive environmental impact. Less energy consumed means there’s less demand for energy, meaning there’s less need to consume natural resources to generate all that electricity.

 

Jan 21
2008

Rainy Monday... Charmed's virus

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

RULES
1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, MP3 Player, or whatever on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say? Ex: Rolling Stones - Gimme SHelter
Here goes!

1. How would you describe yourself?
It's your Life - Milla Jovovich

2. How do you feel today?
Cutt Off - Kasabian

3. What is your life’s purpose?
Disappointed - IVY

4. What is your motto?
Look After You - The Fray

5. What do your friends think of you?
Reuniting the Fleet - Bear McCreary

6. What do you think of your parents?
Cute Sushi Lunches - Sneaker Pimps























Jan 16
2008

Cause for Concern: Copyright

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

Being rather fond of MyDigitalLife, and a contributing member to the community it has created (whether good or bad, I’ll leave that decision up to you), I found what could be a very serious potential problem. After looking through the gallery, I thought I would add my own images to the collection. However, upon looking at some of the other images before posting my own, I noticed there was a copyright symbol and the note: ©2007 – MyDigitalLife watermarked on the image.

Jan 15
2008

Computer woes...

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

Late last year, I accidently deleted a relatively important part of my hard disk (aka My Documents). Thanks to an application called Restoration, I was able to recover most of the information I had lost. Somehow, this seems to happen to me more than I would like to admit. I think the problem is I'm too used to using Shift + Delete instead of allowing things to go to the Recycle Bin...

Jan 09
2008

Family / Friend Tech Support?

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

Yesterday afternoon a friend of mine and I were discussing how people sometimes invite you over to help... fix their broken computers. More often this involves software support more than hardware, but it’s irritating none the less. Yeah, I don’t mind helping people out occasionally, but sometimes it becomes a real burden having ever learnt anything computer-related.

Jan 08
2008

The Social Experiment

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

I’m always loving the idea of individualisation and defining ourselves through our actions, our beliefs, our interactions with one another. It’s also a rather interesting speculation as to how people connect – in that we usually try and connect with people who share similar qualities, beliefs, and interests to ourselves. But if you can try (and it can be a bit of a mission, although I like to think of it as a social experiment) you may be surprised at the people you can meet, and how even though you’re entirely different, there are elements in your lifestyle that they want in theirs, and parts of their lifestyle you want in your own.

Jan 04
2008

Addiction to Wikipedia

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

I've recently decided (in the last few months of complete unemployment - through choice) that I want to do my Masters this year. Having decided that it's the right thing for me to do, the task of coming up with a topic was at an optimum.

Jan 03
2008

Slashdotters

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

... say the darnest things. I recently was awarded some Moderating points on Slashdot, just before the onset of the New Year. Funny thing is, this caused me to be more responsive to posting in the various topics of interest (which is surprising, because being able to moderate seems like more responsibility, something I am not looking for...)

Jan 02
2008

Robots.txt

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

A bit of a techie topic of the day, but one (I find at least) somewhat interesting.

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