I just posted a new header graphic on this site: the artist’s interpretation of an ultrasaurus. Actually, it is a SWF. It will tell you if someone is also viewing the site. Try it with your friends (or you can cheat and open two browser windows).

It’s a work in progress. It’s not so much fun knowing someone is there if you can’t talk to them. As is, it seems spooky, or maybe just frustrating.

I was intrigued by the discussions of Microsoft’s new project,
and in particular by Michael Gartenberg’s observation that this software targets "a behavioral demographic not just an age demographic."

I never thought of it that way. I used to think that if we create compelling
experiences for people on the internet — virtual places that give back more
than people put into them, then this real-time online stuff would finally prove
useful to the general population. Over time I’ve recognized that a lot of change
needs to happen before any sufficiently new technology catches on. Email was
around for decades, but it was the web which drove most people to
hook up their PCs to the Internet.

Instant Messaging has emerged as the killer
app in this category of connected applications. The buddy list and its expression
of presence
fundamentally changed the nature
of chat. I find it interesting to think in terms of a behavioral demographic.
If you don’t spend much of your time sitting in front of a connected
PC, then Instant Messaging certainly loses its appeal.

[Update: the end of this post seems to have been lost in the mists of time, along with my observation that the icons looked like little ducks, which provides a little context for Sam’s comment]

Indeed. Their heritage is, of course, HTML. The original vanity press of the Internet. However, this style of self-publishing arrives with different connotations than self-publishing in the world of books of paper. It is inexpensive and easy. If your uncle’s dog has a website, why not you?

Web sites and, lately, blogs provide indices to the vast world wide web. Find a like-minded individual, sift through their personal musing and selected links, and you enter the web through a friendly portal. When I can find ’em, I prefer an individual’s quirky view of the web to search-engine-generated lists of sites.

After lurking in the land of blogs for quite a while, I’ve decided to create one of my own. It feels a little strange to write words for a potential audience of anonymous strangers. Oddly, I never felt that way about writing software.

I imagine in my mind’s ear that this story is for my friends and colleagues, but I’m posting it on the public Internet. Since I have benefited from the blogs of others, perhaps there are those in this sprawling ‘net community that may be interested in mine.