Categories
Free services Highlights Internet Wiki

Protopage vs. serverside TiddlyWiki – which works best for you?

I stumbled upon a link to www.protopage.com in del.icio.us. The description and the fact that a lot of people had bookmarked it intrigued me. Protopage is an online, personal start page powered by Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML).

With protopage, you can have an online list of the sites that you frequent as well as a to-do listing of tasks similar to sticky notes. Many people write their own HTML page containing links to frequently visited sites to serve as their browsers’ start page. Protopage would be an excellent replacement for this.

Categories
Blogs Highlights Personal

Improving blog headlines: lessons learned offline

While reading tips on ProBlogger.net on how to improve your blog, it occurred to me that I should look into lessons I’ve learned as a print journalist on how to improve articles and headlines and apply it to my blog. I keep this blog as online equivalent of a work book – in the hope that it could improve my writing – after reading a Poynter article on how writers can improve their craft.

Headlines are important in any printed medium because these lead readers to stories. With the large number of blogs all serving RSS feeds out there, a sharp headline and an even sharper first paragraph or lead help in drawing visitors from the RSS reading public to actually visit your blog.

A good blog headline gets readers’ attention, tells them the story or part of it and draws them into visiting the site and reading the rest of the article.

Here are tips I dug up – from old and worn notebooks I used in various journalism seminars – on how to write good headlines. I hope a few bloggers out there can find these useful.

Categories
Highlights Personal Wiki

After weeks of testing, it’s ZiddlyWiki and ServerSideWiki for me

I’ve been testing ServerSideWiki and ZiddlyWiki for weeks now. In those days of heavy-duty testing I used only either service for my notes and tasks list � no jottings on paper, no reminders in my cell phone and no notes saved as e-mail drafts in GMail.

After the tests based on current versions of the two TiddlyWiki adaptations, I finally decided to use both.

I am reorganizing my ServerSideWiki account based on notes on specific topics: WordPress, the section I manage, the column I write, general web technology notes and my blog. I am reorganizing my ZiddlyWiki to host my notes for long-term projects.

Categories
Highlights Uncategorized

Pantaleon Villegas, the man behind the mythical Leon Kilat

I have been using Leon Kilat as online identity for years now. I started using the pseudonym in 1999 but I have been fascinated by the story of Leon Kilat since 1998, when I was still with The Independent Post.

The Post put out a special edition for Independence Day 1998 – the centennial of Philippine Independence. The special edition, which took weeks in planning and research, was a contemporary account of the revolution in Cebu – as if The Independent Post was there to cover the events. The issue even carried ads and photos of scenes and people of that time.

It was during my research on events that I found accounts on the life of Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas, the leader of the revolution here in Cebu.

Categories
Highlights Wiki

TiddlyWiki evangelization: An introduction to TiddlyWikis

A TiddlyWiki is a single webpage that you can use as a browser-based notepad or tasks list manager. The page is composed of tiddlers – small packets of information similar to notes you keep in index cards.

The tiddlers are editable — either by double-clicking on them or clicking on the edit menu that appears when your mouse pointer goes over the tiddlers. While writing your notes, you can make a word clickable either by using camel casing — joining two or more words but retaining the capitalization of their first letters — or enclosing the word in double brackets like this [[word]].

The word or phrase will then become clickable and when you click on it, it will open a new tiddler, which you can then use to enter notes.

Categories
Blogs Highlights Journalism Personal

Why mainstream media don’t get it

There are articles that make you nod your head all the time you�d fear getting stiff neck. I just read and reread one an hour ago. It’s by Bob Cauthorn and it discusses blogging by mainstream media. The article sums up, in an acerbic tone, how most mainstream media outlets fail to understand blogging.

Some of the points in the article were points I’ve already raised before, including in this discussion in Abe Olandres’ site on what constitutes a blog. There are people who complain that at times, my letters or memos can be harsh but boy do I wish I could write like Cauthorn.

Now, Cauthorn is one guy you should listen to. Not only are his writings sensible, he is also (for people who do not weigh arguments based on its merits but on the so-called curriculum vitae of the proponent—isn’t this a fallacy of authority?): the former vice president of digital media at the San Francisco Chronicle and the third recipient of the Newspaper Association of America’s prestigious Digital Pioneer Award. More importantly, he “is generally considered to have delivered the first profitable newspaper web site in 1995.”

Categories
Highlights Wiki

Finally, a perfect TiddlyWiki to manage my notes, tasks

(My notes’ journey from TiddlyWiki, GTDTiddlyWiki, ZiddlyWiki to “no name” TiddlyWiki)

I organize my notes and tasks lists using GTDTiddlyWiki and a bunch of index cards that serve as a hipster PDA. GTDTiddlyWiki is a single web page that serves as a browser-based scratch pad or notebook. The notes are organized into Tiddlers – chunks of information that are easy to hyperlink and edit.

GTDTiddlyWiki, however, isn’t online and I have had problems synchronizing my GTDTiddlyWiki versions in my home PC and my office computer. I transfer the files either using a diskette, a CD or through Streamload, an online drive. I lost quite a few notes when I mistakenly overwrote the current version with an older one saved in my online drive.

I needed an online TiddlyWiki, one that can be saved on a server.

Categories
Highlights LifeHacks PC Work

Managing e-mails, one message at a time

I have three personal e-mail accounts and one office-assigned address. I check my main personal e-mail with Gmail as soon as I wake up and upon reaching the office from then, the browser isnt closed until I leave the newsroom. When I get home, I check my mails again if I decide to go online.

I check my office-assigned address online_editor (at) sunstar (dot) com (ph) only twice a day as soon as I reach the office and shortly before I go home. As a result, my Sun.Star e-mail address is clogged with press releases, questions from readers and personal communications that are left unanswered sometimes for weeks.

I knew it was time for an inbox makeover. Merlin Mann, in his article in Macworld, suggests re-organizing your e-mail folders according to required action on messages. He says that as soon as you receive your mails, evaluate what type of actions are needed and sort these out in appropriate mail folders.

Categories
Highlights Journalism Newsroom tech Open source PC

Turning a discarded PC into a newsroom intranet server

(Note: This is version .5 of the article. I estimate five more rewrites to finalize this.)

The newsroom recently upgraded computers used by its reporters. The computers, with clock speeds ranging from 166 Mhz to 500 MHZ, were early generation Pentiums and were primarily used for word processing.

I told our editor-in-chief I wanted to try to build a newsroom intranet that would host an online version of our Sun.Star Style guide and a searchable index of contact details of news sources. I then asked the newsroom IT in-charge to clean up a 400 Mhz unit and add RAM to it.

The newsroom already had an intranet — a search interface to our archives. It was set up by the company’s IT department. I wanted to try to install a more integrated one – a portal to documents and data that reporters and editors need. I’ve long been searching for a ready-to-deploy newsroom intranet script but I haven’t found one. What I’ve found, however, are open source scripts that could be used to handle certain data that a newsroom needs.

Categories
Government Highlights Internet Work

Barangay hall gets ‘wired’

By Max T. Limpag
Sun.Star Cebu, November 27, 2004
Top Stories Section, Page 4

(Here’s a story I wrote for Sun.Star Cebu on the IT initiative of Bry. Calamba in Cebu City)

BARANGAY Calamba’s IT dreams are built on refurbished computer parts and donated units.

The barangay hall now serves both as an Internet cafe (although it tries its best not to call it that) and a dial-up Internet service provider (ISP) to its residents–at zero start-up cost to the barangay.

The term Internet cafe connotes a venue for gaming and chatting, “but we want to emphasize the educational aspect by calling this an online library,” said Mario Veloso, chief executive officer of Xconnect, the company that implemented the project for Calamba.