Brian Shaler

Occasionally Interesting

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ReadPhoenix: Top Blog Posts of the Week #1

Before jumping in, I should explain what is going on here and why.

A Series?

By the “#1” in the title, you can tell that this is intended to be something I will try to do regularly. I will try to remember to take note of my favorite blog posts during the week and do a quick write-up on Friday.

ReadPhoenix

In race car terms, the Phoenix tech community is a sleeper. There are a lot of ideas, developers, designers, companies, and potential, but most people don’t realize it. One recent movement to draw attention to the fact that there is activity in this desert valley is ReadPhoenix.com, a web page maintained by Erica Lucci of Integrum Technologies. At ReadPhoenix.com, you can find a list of Phoenix-based bloggers with links to their respective blogs. I have met many of the people on that list and thus read most of the blogs listed. There are currently 55 RSS feeds marked “Phoenix” in my feed reader.

Weekly Highlights

The goal is to help introduce people to new blogs that provide interesting content. With the most active Phoenix blogs I’m subscribed to posting just under a once-per-day average, I figure I should be able to pick and choose from over 50 blogs (and 100+ posts in the last 7 days) to find at least two or three posts worth sharing.

Why?

There are a few reasons why I think I should do this. Most importantly, I want to give exposure to content producers in the Phoenix tech community. With any luck, some of the lesser-known authors will get a few more subscribers. Some people have made remarks about my watchful eye on Phoenix blogs — I subscribe, read, click-through, and comment when I can. If I am a person that watches more, I should be able to act as a human filter and help people find the most interesting content in the Phoenix blogosphere. Part of the motivation was from those remarks and another part was from one of the posts I chose to feature this week.

So Without Further Ado…
 

Blog: Scrollin’ On Dubs
Author: Sean Tierney
Company: JumpBox
Post Title: The best cross-platform RSS feed reader

He had me at “The best cross-platform RSS feed reader is still a smart friend who reads a bunch of feeds and has coffee with you once in awhile.” Sure, it doesn’t have the same ring as the Jerry Maguire quote (“You had me at hello”) but I wanted a fun way of expressing how this quote really made the article stand out and “stick”. The article makes a great point that feed reader applications being great, but nothing can compare with the human mind’s ability to pick out and share only what is valuable and relevant to you.

Now, I started this post off talking about how I keep track of what everyone is doing in the valley. If you want to offer to buy me a coffee, please form a single file line to your right. ;-)

Read on about why it is more valuable to YOU to talk to people than it is to subscribe to every RSS feed under the sun. (I don’t subscribe to too many blogs outside of the Valley of the Sun to maintain some sanity)
 

Blog: ok with failure
Author: Curtis Edmond
Company: Integrum Technologies
Post Title: Flickr makes with the stats

By now, if you think Flickr having stats is interesting, you should already know. People have been talking about it. The reason I wanted to highlight this post is because when it popped up in my RSS feed late Thursday night, I had not yet heard the news. This was great news to me and I am grateful Curtis posted about it so quickly.

Read on about the new stats feature you should know about by now.
 

Blog: Wurkit Books
Author: Dan Ritzenthaler
Company: Forty Media
Post Title: No Need To Fake It

Dan’s post focuses on this quote:
In spite of the drawbacks, companies are lured to initials like moths to a candle. The success of the IBMs of this world seems to be proof that initials are effective. It’s the classic confusion between cause and effect… It’s like trying to become rich and famous by buying limousines and corporate jets. First, you have to become successful in order to have the money to buy the fringe benefits.

My experience in marketing and interest in branding made this blog post resonate with me. It is a great quote from a book on branding and positioning (titled, oddly enough, “Positioning”). Dan compared it to the phrase “Fake it, ’till you make it.” This is true, but I would like to add that companies are diluting their brand and reducing its stickiness while they think they are strengthening their brand image.

Read on about the quote, Dan’s commentary, and the many other Wurkit quotes.
 

Blog / Author: Josh Huckabee
Company: Integrum Technologies
Post Title: Want an iPhone for Christmas?

Here’s the short and skinny. Donate money to receive one raffle ticket per $1 donated. Next week, a winning raffle ticket will be selected and that individual will get a free, brand new 8GB iPhone.

Read on for more details on the raffle. Give a few bucks to people in need.
 

Blog: Code, Content, Caffeine
Author: James Britt
Company: Rising Tide Software
Post Title: The Downside of Clever

Quote: “Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?” — Brian Kernighan

James mentioned the quote at BarCampPhoenix and I asked him to post it. It is a great quote that can be used to promote Test Driven Development and code analysis tools like flog. The less clever you force yourself to be in early development, the less strain you will have to endure to debug it.

Read on about this quote, James’ review, and check out the other valuable Ruby-related content he publishes.
 

Blog: BrainSpool
Author: Derek Neighbors
Company: Integrum Technologies
Post Title: kthxtees Tech Shirts

On Wednesday, I started thinking about a new idea for a series of t-shirts. What designer (web, print, et al) hasn’t at some point thought about designing t-shirts? There are two types of designers, those that have thought about designing t-shirts and those that have actually made their designs into real shirts. On Thursday, I found out that Integrum is going to join the latter group. They have a few sample designs posted and have vowed to post new designs every week.

Read on to learn more about their t-shirts.
 

Exhausted

I’ll tell you. That wasn’t easy. I hope to streamline the process a little more by compiling a draft post throughout the week instead of waiting until Friday night to type it all up. I hope you found some or all of this content useful. If so, please leave a comment so I know it wasn’t a waste of time! ;-)

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6 Responses to “ReadPhoenix: Top Blog Posts of the Week #1”

  1. December 15th, 2007 at 5:30 am

    TOMAS says:

    Hey Brian, this is a great idea – can’t wait to see what’s in store!

  2. December 15th, 2007 at 6:08 am

    Sean Tierney says:

    Brian,
    this is great- thanks for filtering all the good stuff. Let’s have coffee ;-)

    sean

  3. December 16th, 2007 at 3:45 am

    kris says:

    nice work. i wish i could do something for my city (mumbai), but i’m just too lazy and busy.

    awesome concept though. i think the point where this would become feasible for a lot of us is when there is a portal to allow users to collaborate on this weekly compilation. it’s easier to review 1 post per week than 7, granted that you’re definitely got plenty of users in your area. in fact, at that point, it will no longer be a weekly compilation, but a dynamic, evolving snapshot of the blogosphere in your area.

    all you need is a web designer/programmer (which you are), and a few active and committed users like yourself. all the best!

  4. December 16th, 2007 at 6:05 am

    Brian says:

    Tomas & Sean – Thanks for the feedback!

    Kris – I have thought about doing something like that, a wiki-style blog posting system, but for a different situation. It’s a great idea.

  5. March 27th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    The Brian Shaler Blog » Calculating Your Value on Twitter says:

    [...] follow you. I definitely do not disagree with the importance of listening to many sources (I even wrote about and agree with Sean Tierney’s thoughts on people who subscribe to many RSS feeds). However, [...]

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