For me, blogging is a writing exercise. A friend recommended that I try to do it in order to improve my ability to write white papers on any topic. As an exercise, I can totally see an improvement. I can usually just sit down and write on a topic without that two hours of staring at a blank page and thinking about Plants vs Zombies.
At first I just tried to write on topics that interest me. I used my blog as an informal journal, open for anyone to read and comment on. Then I tried doing other writing exercises, such as changing writing styles. First person, third person narrative, sarcastic, ironic, formal, informal… one of these days I’ll even try writing it in verse.
As more people read and comment on my blog entries, I’ve really tried to keep the writing informal but the topics formal. If other people are going to read my technical journal, then I might as well try to keep it interesting.
I also try to blog at least once a week, but sometimes work gets the best of me. (If I spend a week writing for work, then I really don’t feel like writing for exercise.) But at the same time, I feel like I need to blog since I haven’t done it in a week.
Having said that… I haven’t had time to prepare a good blog entry on a consistent topic. So here’s some unrelated topics that are just bouncing around my head.
Thanks for Playing!
According to news reports last week, a school in Texas decided to stop giving people “participation trophies”. Trophies should go to the winners. The top tier may get win, place, and show, but everyone else gets a smile and a “thanks for playing”; last place doesn’t get a trophy for trying.
I think this is a great idea. I hate to say it, but losing builds character and there is an art to being a gracious loser. Awarding a kid for failing teaches them nothing except that they have no reason to strive to better themselves. It’s kind of like that Tom Lehrer song from the 60′s, New Math — accuracy doesn’t matter, “the idea is the important thing!”
Of course, this also reminds me of the recent government shutdown. After forcing a shutdown, the House Republicans wanted something in return for failing to perform their primary duty of managing the country’s budget. They wanted a “concession“. I view it more as a participation trophy. They lost — they should not get a trophy.
Three weeks ago news broke that Adobe had a major compromise. They reportedly lost about 2.9 million accounts, as well as source code for Adobe Acrobat and ColdFusion. Earlier today, Brian Krebs reported that the compromise was significantly worse: 38 million accounts and the source code for Photoshop.
I previously commended Adobe on their public acknowledgement and response to this situation. While I haven’t heard any follow-up response regarding this latest news, I still think this is a horrible situation for Adobe and I believe they will continue to take proper steps to mitigate the damage.
The next few weeks are going to be crazy. I’m preparing for a three-hour presentation, revising a slideset for a different presentation, writing another white paper, extending a cool profiling system (that has not yet been made public), writing more tutorials, and doing all of my ongoing work. And I still need to carve my pumpkin for Halloween!