Tag: <span>Scottish Blogs</span>

Washed car. Chopped down small tree. Sun came out. Chopped down some bamboo. Dug over sideborder. Parents visited. BBQ.

Went for run. Hot. Legs still tired. Cut grass. Cleared out garage. Went to dump. Watched football. More BBQ. Scottish Blogs stuff. Design skills ‘stuck’, still. Slept like log.

More later.

Life

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Quick one today, things to do, people to see.. etc etc.

Despite my recent plaudits First Scotrail aren’t happy to rest on their wotsits and have updated their notification system to include further updates on a set timescale. So, I can ask for an email to be sent to my work address with any problems of the evening train home AND then have text messages sent to my phone for the next 20 minutes after that in case of any late breaking issues. Top stuff indeed.

I really must get along to one of their “meet the manager” sessions and congratulate them in person, although I’m sure my post will have been sent round and they are all patting themselves on the back already.

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One personal bug-bear of mine is bad communication, and of course this has come back to bite me in the bum as it seems that I’ve been the cause of some “tension” over on Scottish Blogs. My reply to a slew of emails and comments over the past months is on the site now. Hopefully it’s little more than a storm in a teacup.

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I’m not sure what type of tree it is that lines the path outside my office window but it’s suddenly started showing the first hints of green. The bark is a dark grey colour at the moment, slick and wet with rain, with tiny light green shoots vividly bursting forth. Spring has sprung, so can we stop with the snow and hailstones please…

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I need some tips to improve my memory. Last night Louise and I had a wonderfully surreal conversation about.. um… something… and whilst I can remember thinking “must blog that” I can’t actually remember what we were talking about. I’d rather not become some sort of notepad-wielding blog-psycho, jotting down every encounter and conversation in the vague hope it may be interesting or humourous, yet I fear that may become my only option.

On the other hand, I’ve seen books that promise to IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY IN… err… a few days I think it said… See. Hopeless.

Suggestions please!

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Apparently I have two musical memes that I should been doing. I should also be pushing on with a couple of site designs, I did a little for one but not much else. I should be outlining some more ideas for the whole Scottish Blogs/BritBlog thing. I should.

But I haven’t.

Instead, yesterday, we visited my sister-in-law and had a lovely meal and evening with my parents. Today I’ve pottered about, cleaning, tidying, and generally meandering around the house doing chores.

Then we watched 24, then Planet Earth (which was wonderful), and now… now I’m off to bed.

Memes be damned!

Life

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A day earlier than planned but glad that this is now out in the open. Cross-posted on Scottish Blogs, with a similar post on BritBlog.

BritBlog and Scottish Blogs Join Forces
Some of you may be familiar with the British Blog Directory, a site similar to Scottish Blogs that focuses on (as the name suggests) British bloggers. Mark, who runs the site, and I have been in discussion for some time and we are both pleased to announce that we will soon be joining forces.

The reasoning is simple: combining resources means we can offer our members (and web users at large) more.

Because of the group-focus that the new BritBlog will have, existing members of Scottish Blogs will become part of a similar Scottish Blogs group. With the Scottish Blogs website remaining the focus for that group.

Why join forces?
As BritBlog continues to grow and the number of blogs in Scotland and across Britain rises, the opportunity to offer a better web site and better set of resources increases. There has been a lot of work going on in the background, all aimed at bringing better functionality and more features to the BritBlog web site, so here, for your comments, are our current plans for the future of BritBlog.

The main goals are to improve the community feel of the site, to allow special interest groups and communities to form, and to develop more resources for British Bloggers.

New features will include:

  • A focus on groups and communities – enhanced features to allow communities of bloggers with similar interests or geography to form and grow.
  • RSS feeds galore – allowing you to keep up to date with new blogs and posts from our members. Feeds will be available for specific groups.
  • Improved searching and blog classifications – to make it easier to find blogs that may be of interest to you.
  • Multiple blogs can be registered per user.
  • An open database – developers will be able to integrate BritBlog with their own projects using our web services API.

As you can see, there will be lots going on.

So when is this all going to happen?
Timescales are still to be confirmed, and there’s a lot of planning to do and code to write. We’ll be re-writing the whole site from the ground up, so don’t expect to see too many obvious changes straight away!

Needless to say there will be a lot more on this as the idea progresses but we’d appreciate your thoughts, positive and negative, and any other questions that spring to mind.

My reasoning is simple. I don’t have the technical knowledge to take Scottish Blogs forward any further, but I do have a good understanding of blogging and think the new site will be beneficial in connecting people. Interesting times lie ahead and Mark and I would really appreciate your thoughts.

So, leave your questions, thoughts and ideas in the comments. Mark and I will be collating them all from our sites and I’ll post a response/update sometime next week. Remember, this site will only be successful if people use it.

Blogging

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Just a wee post to remind those bloggers in Scotland who enjoy good company and a “light refreshment” or ten, the next blogmeet is but weeks away. February 18th, Edinburgh, Jolly Judge. Kicks off at 2pm, finishes… when the last person leaves! More details on the Scottish Blogs site, and apologies to those who I visited over the weekend, just trying to drum up some interest.

If you are going to come along, please leave a comment on the Scottish Blogs site (or click here). Thanks.

Blogging

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I received an email, to Scottish Blogs, the other day asking for some help with a fairly unique blog. If you are interested let me know and I’ll pass on your details:

I am going to prison on 20th dec to continue a sentence for a road traffic offence, I expect to be there for four to six months.

I though it would be interesting to do a blog from there as having already done a month of the original sentence,(I am out on appeal), I feel I could give an interesting insight into life and conditions in Scottish prisons today. Obviously I couldn’t do this myself as there is no internet access for prisoners. I would need help to set up the site and input to it from my correspondance. Do you know anyone from the blogging community who would be willing to work with me on this issue.

Could be an interesting site, any volunteers?

Blogging

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They say you learn something new everyday. Yesterday was an exception as I lost count of the number of things I learned. Let me try and re-cap.

1. When arranging a blogmeet, provided the ADDRESS of the pub as well as the name. This will save at least two people getting lost (apologies to Peter and Corrinne).
2. Suggest everyone prints out a “blogcard” to save me scrabbling around for a piece of paper to jot down the attendees and their URLs (hat-tip to the very well organised Chameleon).
3. Don’t presume everyone reads the Scottish Blogs news page and EMAIL ALL previous attendees (apologies to Gunnella but thanks for turning up!)
4. Lots of other interesting things that will come to me once the fug of Guinness has cleared.

So, putting my guilt (points 1 and 3) aside, I can happily say that it was a great afternoon in the company of some lovely, intelligent and funny individuals. The fact that we were sharing part of the pub with a random assortment of fiddlers, a mandolin player and a couple of singers (one of whom did have a lovely voice), only added to the day.

As I mentioned to various people yesterday, I’m probably the worst person in the world to be organising these things given that I have such a terrible memory. It was with some relief that everyone who said they’d come along found the pub (eventually) and seemed to have a good time. Who attended? You ask. Well, and I’ll try and do this in order of “appearance”, I spent the afternoon with:

Some photos have appeared already, and there will be more here soon.

Another good day hanging out in the pub with “strangers that you kinda know”. What an odd hobby we share yet how rewarding it is. Many thanks to everyone who came along, see you in Edinburgh for the next one!

Blogging

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OK, techie request time people. Those of a non-technical, anti-acronym mindset should look away now.

I think I’m getting hacked. Well not here, Scottish Blogs.

The Scottish Blogs site uses a MySQL database to store the member details. The submission form calls a separate PHP page which does a little checking (to make sure duplicate URLs and email addresses aren’t added) then throws the info into the database. The database connection details are held in a separate PHP file which is included as and where needed.

I’m pretty sure that someone has managed to figure out how to write to the database directly. I’ve taken the submission form offline for the past few hours but I’m still getting new “spam” sites added, I’m currently getting around 15 – 20 “spam” submissions a day, mainly from chinese sites/hackers (not really spam as such just illegible nonsense).

So, given those rather skimpy details, anyone got any suggestions on how this is happening and how I can stop them from doing it?

Work

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