The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, August 07, 2000

Amazon? Barnes & Noble? Why pick one?

I'm reading the Jakob Nielson's Alertbox and the corresponding User Comments when an idea hit.

To explain the idea, you first need to understand what the articles are talking about. Briefly, Doc Searls switched linking to Amazon to Wordsworth and their revenue dropped; most people know how Amazon works, and don't want to bother learning how Wordsworth works, or with setting up an account there.The User Comment from Glenn Fleishman backs that up., a price commparison of on-line booksellers. I came across the site quite a while ago and it's a neat service. But he has a similar problem as Doc Searls.

So I thought—what if a website gave the user a choice as to which on-line bookseller to use? If cookies are used, a site can store the user's preference for on-line bookseller to use and a link to a book points to some CGI script that determines which bookseller to redirect to.

It can't be that hard.

Still blogging along

Despite the prevalent definition of weblogs as “links” pages, if one actually looks around at what's being published on blogs, they will find not only links and commentary, but news, diaries, photos, poetry, mini- essays, project updates, even fiction. What's consistent—and unique to the format—is a simple, approachable, and—with tools such as Blogger, GrokSoup, Manila, and Pitas—extremely convenient way to publish information to one's own web space at the “chunk” or paragraph level, versus the page, which requires much more complexity and overhead.

Evan Williams on Weblogs

I've got the creation and manipulation of “chunks” down, it's the presentation that I'm still working on and is proving to be a difficult problem.

I mean, how do you handle navigation when the user can select an arbitrary portion of text?

But I'm still working on it.

I know an author!

Some more updates from The Great Hiatus that was July.

My friend Hoade got his novel, Ain't That America published! He says that it should be available at Amazon Real Soon Now, but still, this is great news.

It's not his first novel he wrote (that would be The Act which I think is still publishable) but the first to be published.

The Electric King James in use

Also, I received email from Andrew Senger who asked if he could link to The Electric King James. He's doing a website for the Wilson Baptist Church in (or near) Rutherfordton, NC.

I'm actually thrilled that someone is putting The Electric King James to good use so of course I gave him permission.

I also used to live in the area (well, about an hour away) as a kid. It's a very beautiful part of North Carolina.

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