Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Random Thought: Nick Cave's Balding Head and Moustache Mystery

Some people just seem to be above reproach in the blood-soaked, victim-strewn fashion arena. While Madonna gets torn to pieces for wearing fetish gear at 50 and Paul McCartney gets slated for dying his hair chestnut brown at 98, some people can just get away with anything. Well, when I say ‘some people’ I actually mean Nick Cave.

Don’t get me wrong, I venerate Nick Cave as one of my all-time favourite rock gods. However, the moustache/balding pate/lank long hair combo is never a good one. I watched agog as his scalp shone under the studio lights during his performance on Friday Night with Jonathon Ross and reflected that there must be a more dignified way to respond to male pattern baldness. After all, any ‘look’ epitomised by Mick Fleetwood circa 1989 can’t be excused. Yet somehow the usual media bitching is oddly mute. Is Cave somehow so innately cool that he can do no wrong?

What’s that? Yes, he is? Shit, you’re right…

Nice hair, Nick!

"I woke up this morning and mah hair was gone..."

Thanks to LRobin on Flickr for pic

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 Usability Grumbles

I’ve been playing with some more, done some scrobbling (I now realise that can just tell what you’re playing on iTunes and adds it to the data it has on you) and tried to find my way around the site. I use the word ‘tried’ advisedly because as lovely as the interface looks, navigating is a fucking ‘mare.

For instance, if you want to see your list of friends, you’d think it would be shown somewhere in the ‘Users’ section – which is, after all, about people. But, oh no, you have to click on ‘Dashboard’, then ‘My profile page’ and finally the ‘Friends’ tab. Similarly if you want to search for existing members of, you have to go back to ‘Users’ and use the search window there. Surely including it on the ‘Friends’ page makes more sense?

You’d think that after CBS bought for £140 million, they’d be able to afford some decent information architects…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Social Catch-up Continues:

My Johnny-come-lately adoption of social networks continues today with I’ve been listening to stuff on there for a while now, but have never got into the social side of it. However, my friend Pete and my wife’s cousin Jeremy both invited me to hook up with them in the last week, so I’ve finally acquired 2 chums! Hurrah!

The coolest thing about, apart from laughing out loud at the moody US Emo kid profiles, is called ‘scrobbling’. God, I’m sure you already know this stuff – but, for those who don’t, scrobbling is adding the songs you’ve got on your hard drive to the database in order to better to judge your musical tastes, recommend music and suggest musical compatibility with other people (I bet algorithms come into it somewhere, hey kids?). This could be considered social suicide if all you have in iTunes is ‘Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits’ (or, indeed, the follow up smash ‘Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits’. This is, of course, why I haven’t scrobbled yet.

Other interesting bits are the fact you can build and share playlists and leave messages to people in their dirtb – sorry, shoutbox – which performs the same function as the wall on FaceBook.

I’ll report back again after I’ve scrobbled on the MacBook at home. I was only joking about the Crazy Frog, honest…

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Belatedly Twittering On...

I’m beginning to worry that I’m not surfing the interactive zeitgeist. Indeed, I’m also concerned that I’m suffering from a shortage of memes. I’ve only just started using Twitter, for instance. I mean, talk about being late to join the party. Mind you, very few people I know use it, so there’s not much of a party going on. Does this mean they used it and then went away, having realised that it is essentially pointless?

For those even further behind than me, Twitter is a microblogging service that allows you to tell people what’s going on in your life in 140 characters or less. It appeals to me as a copywriter, since economy with words is a skill to which I aspire. However, if you haven’t got a big network of people linked to you all doing the same thing it gets boring very quickly; the online equivalent of muttering to yourself on the tube. This is always the risk with any online community – lack of critical mass. If you could peek at what random unconnected people are up to in an immediate way, instead of having to search for people, it may be more fun.

Having said that, I like the widget that you’ll see on the right – particularly as I can feel less guilty about not posting on my blog…

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Stan's Morning Commands

Now that Stan can talk a bit, he's enjoying issuing commands. It must be pretty cool - he can now tell us what he wants, whereas he used to wail, bibble or grunt and it was pot-luck whether we guessed the request correctly. In the morning, there's a set list of one word commands in his repertoire. Here they are in chronological order:

  1. "Buk!" (may I have book to read?)
  2. "Milkel!" (I want a bottle of milk)
  3. "Mummy!" (my dummy has been misplaced and I demand it's immediate insertion after removal of bottle)
  4. "Coat!" (remove my gro-bag, I wish to be mobile)
  5. "Cuggle!" (give me a cuddle)
  6. "Bek-fast!" (I wish to eat now)
  7. "Cake!" (no, not that substandard fare - give me cake)
  8. "Choc-la!" (actually, give me chocolate instead)
  9. "Shoes!" (I'm ready to have my footwear put on)
  10. "Coat!" (ready my outer garment for me)
As Stan appears to be entering the 'terrible twos' early, god help you if you don't comply quickly, let alone say 'no'. There's an indignant fit of tears and fury. It's hard to refuse him, as he is very cute, but we're teaching him that he can't always get what he wants, especially if he forgets to say 'please'. We'll no doubt be dealing with a fair few tantrums before that's fully sunk in!