Schadenfreude

Apropos of Nothing

September 20, 2006
7 Comments

Yep, I’ve registered my own domain which is being hostd by the very excellent Dreamhost, so why don’t you all direct your browsers to my brand new blog, now entitled Apropos of Nothing.

It’s not that I disliked Schadenfreude, but I wanted something new. Disagree? Tell me on Apropos of Nothing!

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Incompetent Business Receives Unmerited Attention

March 24, 2006
2 Comments

Lifehacker reports today that “Ajax word processor ajaxWrite tries to bring the look and feel of Microsoft Word to your browser.”

Most of the advanced features are apparently left out, it doesn’t have collaborative features of Writely, currently lacks a spellchecker and doesn’t allow us to save our documents online.

Wh-what? I can’t save my documents online? Are you telling me that instead of firing up a lightweight Windows word processor like Notepad, Wordpad or Word, I should load up my browser, go to the ajaxWrite site, write my document, save it to the comp, and then use whichever method I prefer to upload it to the internet/e-mail it?

ajaxWrite have decided to embrace us with the amiability of putting in more obstacles in the document writing process, and at the same time – quite bleedin’ impudently, if you ask me – offer us only the most basic of features?

Am I missing something? Tell me if I am.

If I amn’t: ajaxWrite, sod off. Take your bloody VC money, your talented developers and marvellous board room of leaders and please, pretty please – go broke. You’re probably not making much money on this, you’re not offering something new; in fact, you’re offering a service poorer than the ones we already have, and there are no additional or complimentary features that seperate your product apart from even fucking Word 2000.

If you have plans of “expanding” your business into new “areas” and adding “collaborative” features to the application in “near future”, you’ve lost. Look up on recent Google aqcuisitions and you’ll know why your business was antecedently cadaverous. By that I insinuate that you didn’t have a bloody single thing to fare with from the get-go.

Again, a little because I like the schwung of it and a little more because you deserve to be repeatedly smashed in the head with it: SOD OFF.


Unceremonious Tendencies

March 21, 2006
2 Comments

I just came across this on Congoo‘s website:

*Congoo members can view FREE articles every month from each partn site!
The number of free articles per month varies by publisher.

Partnr? The removal of vowels has now been extended into not only regular text, but small print?

This smells rather vigorously of a Web 2.0 company not taking itself too seriously.

Pinch me, will you?


Silicon Valley Facials

March 17, 2006
6 Comments

Following Valleywag’s facial comparison of Steve Ballmer and Harrison Ford, I find it inevitable to extend the feature to our most beloved/loathed Web 2.0 personalities.


A Couple of Extra Zeros Would Look Good

March 14, 2006
4 Comments

The Shared Spaces blog entry contemplates whether or not the apparent number of 650,000 “total requests” is the actual number of sign-ups, or if it was simply the accumulated number of workers employed at the companies related to the person that signed up. It may not be very important, and it may be common practice in several industries. It still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.


Sterile Syndication

March 14, 2006
3 Comments

I agree with Phil when he says RSS readers are a sterile environment, but I don’t share his general contempt towards them. In the past month, for the first time ever, I’ve used an RSS aggregator consistently, usually several times a day.

I’ve currently got 53 feeds that I follow more or less closely, but there’s only a handful I can really say that I need. And one thing that strikes me is that I’ve started reading a lot more blogs since I started using Bloglines. Previously I read about 10 or 15 regurarly and checked into memeorandum, reddit, digg, technorati et al. to keep up to date with the rest of the blogosphere.

Is that part of the problem with RSS readers―the fact that we’re being served excessive amounts of dispensible blog content? Or is this additional information a good thing, making the world of blogging less inbred?

Back to the subject of RSS reader sterility (we’re allowed to make up words in Web 2.0), I agree with Phil Sim – to an extent. The identity and flavor of each and every blog is pretty much lost in the average reader, and perhaps more importantly, as Phil points out himself, the comments are lost. The community and social interaction that really is the foundation of blogging in itself is given a lower priority and less attention through an RSS reader. At the same time, we’re able to read and process larger amounts of input at a faster pace than we would’ve been via regular browsing. But, hey, doesn’t that just add to the sentiment that RSS readers are sterile? Reading and processing large amounts of input at a fast pace doesn’t exactly entail vibrant communication, personal flavor etc. does it? It’s got ‘business’ written all over it (as well as stupid fucking Web 2.0 buzzwords that aren’t proper words).

A partial solution could be to implement an option to expand the comments of blog entries, making them viewable within the RSS reader itself. But as I said, it’s a partial solution, and it doesn’t really help the impersonal, neutral and business-like approach one takes through the use of and RSS reader.

Or does one do that? After all, it’s all about content―the written word―isn’t it?


Splurt, Squash, Squeeze

March 14, 2006
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The re-awakened Phil Sim is being even more excellent than he was before his blog burnout, and has made the frontpages of both reddit and tech.memeorandum during the time I continued his hiatus and took a blogging vacation myself.

Unless you’re not already aware, his blog Squash is mandatory input for anyone who’s interested in the general topic of internet businesses, Web 2.0, technology et al. His views are well-balanced, which isn’t to say about certain other high-profile bloggers.

This isn’t much of a blog entry, but it’s my way of getting the ball rolling. I’ve always struggled motivating myself to blog, but I wanna keep it up. I think one of the problems is that I haven’t really found a niche. This blog didn’t start out with the slogan “facetious Web 2.0 remarks” – in fact, I wasn’t into the whole internet technology/business scene at all before I created this blog. I’ve been a games writer for several years; that’s still sorta my place on the internet. I’ve lost interested in the games industry over the past few years, though, so induldging in more business-oriented fora has been quite refreshing.

Thing is, I’ve got loads of ideas and aspirations and enthusiasm about blogging that I hope to turn into profitable projects some time. I just wish I knew a little more about webdesign/publishing, had a lot more time on my hands and had less social obligations.

Then again, is it healthy to blog with an agenda? Should/does/will profitable blogs come from people whose sole motivation is love for the subject at hand? Have blogs come so far that they could be considered small businesses, big enough to be our main source of revenue? Is the blogoweb open for blogs that are created from a money-oriented standpoint with profit as a superior target?

Will you look at that. A rant that ends up with some interesting questions.


Myself versus Web 2.0 (A Comparative Analysis)

February 28, 2006
5 Comments

Russell Beattie over at, erm, russellbeattie.com* posted an interesting entry yesterday on the lack of business perspective in Web 2.0 businesses. It’s basically an eloquent version of GFY: more articulate, rational and with appropriately directed criticism.

The social innovations like tagging, and blogging integration were essentialy marketing efforts built on top of their [Flickr] platform meant to drive more people to sign up for the pro photo storage service or click on ads, not core parts of the product itself. It wasn’t social software for the sake of social software, it was “how can we make this product attractive to users and developers in order to drive revenue?” In other words, it was a real business.

But let’s think of some of the popular new site launches lately… web chat and IM comes to mind. WTF is the business? All those Map mashups out there? WTF is the business? Calendaring and Ajax desktops? WTF is the business? They’re just FEATURES built on top of other company’s APIs, adding very little real value, and not making a dime of profit.

Sounds scarily coherent and logical to me. It’s quite evident when you think of it, but thinking of stuff doesn’t come easy. Perhaps it’s because all thought must be assigned to the creation and development of features. And since I didn’t think of this myself, perhaps I’m one of those people who aren’t business-oriented.

Come to think of it, I think I am a Web 2.0 company.

Scarily coherent and logical when you think of it.

I’m a fat, pot-bellied twat (round corners); I’m incoherent both in mind and expression, and seem to focus on all the wrongs things in life (tag cloud); My interests limit themselves to computers, internet and the occasional session of WoW – otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on (whitespace); If I was ever referred to as a colorful person, it was either because of my menorrhea-like mood or bizarre sense of fashion – nevermind personality (pastels); I possess an inherent loathe towards all human beings that I haven’t acquainted myself with via a computer (folksonomy); The few times I’m required to communicate without the means of technology, I like to present myself honestly, naturally and stripped to the bone – literally (RSS); and finally, I never amount to anything, and I can never hold a job for more than the amount of time it takes for my bosses to discover that I do in fact amount to nothing (features versus platforms: wtf 2.0).

Don’t hesitate to submit your own comparisons, folks.

(*what’s the deal with tech/webdesigner types always putting their name as the domain and title of their blog/site? Are they spending all their creativity on their tech/webdesigner type work and are thus left with nothing left in their inspiration quota?)


Founder Richard Lusk Explains Foldera

February 24, 2006
1 Comment

Today, at about 4:10 PM (GMT +1), Foldera‘s CEO and founder Richard Lusk decided to drop by Schadenfreude and answer some of the issues I pointed out regarding his hyped-up web-based application.

First of all, Richard, thanks for the reply. I would never expect the courtesy. I must say, though, on some of the issues your reply seemed a tad hurried and ambiguous, not properly explaining how and why these facets of Foldera will be successfully executed.

I think if it’s anything the blogosphere (well, people within Foldera’s target audience in general) wants to hear, it’s spesific details regarding the implementation of the application’s features and structure, and how they translate to everyday use.

Bloggers are an intelligent breed that will take some effort to convince. If you made it a goal of describing the hows and whys of your application in relatively great detail, not leaving too much to the reader/listener to assume, I truly believe you’d attract a lot more interested people, including the die-hard sceptics. This is, of course, supposing that your product actually has something to fare with and that you don’t have anything to hide prior to release.

I’ve got some follow-up questions if you don’t mind answering them, and I would be overjoyed if you would do so in a more detailed manner. I understand if you can’t reveal all the details about Foldera at this point in the development, but I think you’d benefit from going a little deeper.

(Don’t take this as flame or myself trying to lecture you; this is just my honest opinion. The fact that you took your time to answer my questions at all tells me that you take even low-level bloggers such as myself seriously, which is a bloody brilliant thing to begin with.)

“Will calendar entries pop up at the exact time at which they’re set or will it gradually make its way up your inbox as the scheduled date and time looms closer?”- Schadenfreude it’s entirely up to you. Foldera has very granular personalization abilities, so you can decide what works for you, and change your settings whenever you want. It’s really easy too.

What are these personalization abilites? Can you give examples and/or screenshots that showcases this?

Additionally, because our page loads are so light, Foldera won’t tie up your bandwidth resources either. You’ll soon see that Foldera will load as fast as many of your favorite online sites like Yahoo Mail, CNN, Amazon and others.

That’s my point, it’ll load as fast as any regular website. Which is quite a lot slower than, say, Outlook. I assume you’ve made it as light as possible, so this isn’t something you can improve upon further. Hence, I’m not saying this as a complaint to you; more as statement of the fact that when you’re web-based, you’re always gonna be slower than light desktop apps.

Another thing: How will the heavy use of Ajax affect the speed of Foldera? In a big business environment with loads of workers uploading/editing items simultaneously, couldn’t the bandwidth hog be quite severe?

Following that, would it in any way be possible to run Foldera on an intranet? Could the bandwidth issue be more easily avoided then? I understand how this takes away some of the point of Foldera (being able to access it from any computer/mobile device as long as it’s got an internet connection), but the most important trait is kept intact; the ability to upload items to a common server rather than e-mail them from one personal account to another.

“Can you implement items from other applications, spesifically those that are business-spesific?” Sure, just forward whatever you want to your Foldera. That’s really easy too.

I’m sorry, that was a terribly worded question. I meant to ask something along these lines: Will it be possible to install third-party plugins as well as incorporate other business-specific applications into it? I’m sure there are plenty of applications that are used exclusively in certain work environments/professions that could be dramatically enhanced by being embedded into Foldera. Or is this a moot point, since it isn’t open-source?

Again, thanks for the reply. I’m eager to read your answers to my follow-up questions.

As for the rest of my devoted heap of readers – don’t hesitate to post your questions and comments. I’m sure there are many of you that are capable of asking more qualified questions.


I Want My Wank Back, Yahoo

February 22, 2006
1 Comment

In short: Constantly adding incremental upgrades to the efficiency and “usability” of web-based apps ensure a worrying lack of focus on big-scale, significant progress.

Even shorter, distractingly diffuse and with grain of allegory: Walking prevents us from running.

I want my wank back, “Yahoo”.


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