Let Them Eat Cake. Pringle Cake!

They may crunch like a crisp and taste like a crisp, but Pringles are now officially closer to a cake than a potato snack. Judges have ruled that Pringles could soon be VAT free after P&G managed to convince law-lords that their addictive crack-snacks are actually cakes.

The law is an ass.

From the Telegraph, via Chris Reed via the Twittersphere.

A Hierarchy of Blogging

As I mentioned the other day I’ve been a little slack in my blogging recently.

I started having a bit of a think about my blogging behaviour to see if I could make sense of this most recent lull. I’m sure the self-analysis was partially brought on as an aftermath of Mental Detox Week. And because I’d just come back from holiday which was another screen-free period.

When I got back from holiday I dropped into a week of extremely tough work. Probably one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in the last couple of years. Plus Balloonacy was running a the time. Which didn’t leave any free time for blogging. It didn’t even give me enough time to get properly on top of my email leftovers from holiday week. And my to-do list started to run to a seemingly unmanageable length.

So I decided to set myself into max-efficiency mode. It took all my working time (and a bit extra) to get back to zero-inbox and a to-do list full of non-overdue items. Which I did. It took me a few days of hard graft. But it was worth it.

One of these days I’ll share my productivity setup with everyone – in the last couple of months I’ve finally found my own cut-down GTD style setup that really works for me – especially if I never go on holiday ;-)

Anyway once I’d caught up with emails and to-dos I figured that I ought to keep my life in order and have some fun before I got stuck into WordPress. So I went to Glastonbury. Which resulted in more emails to deal with, more to-dos and even less blogging.

At this point I started to think about some kind of ‘life hierarchy’ that perhaps I was unwittingly starting to adhere to. And of course there’s only one place to look when you’re thinking about hierarchies and life. Good old Abe Maslow.

Here’s his pyramid (re-created from this Wikipedia entry).

Maslow's Hierarchy

When I saw it, I realised that I could kind of apply my own version of a hierarchy to it. One that distills my new-found blog-life balance. Enter Tait’s Hierarchy of Blogging…

My Hierarchy of Blogging

I realised that my previous blogging behaviour had seen me jumping around all over the pyramid. Sometimes blogging (or at least twittering) when excreting. Occasionally blogging instead of getting the things done that pay my wages. And quite often blogging as a kind of proxy for a social life. Even going as far as being involved with setting up a blog (with a team of co-editors) dedicated to sexual prowess as promised by junk-emailers – lord knows I hope that’s not some neo-Freudian replacement for the last thing on Maslow’s third layer!

Anyway I’m not promising that I won’t start jumping randomly between the layers of the stack again. But for my own mental-well-being (and I think quality of blog posting), I’m going to try and sort out my lower-order needs before I start posting drivel.

I think I might have just fallen at the first hurdle.

And besides blogging can be good for helping out with sorting out some of the lower order stuff too. I’m sure it can. Can’t it…?

Twitter On The Shitter?

What Are You Doing

It’s a question that’s been bugging me for a while. Do people send Tweets when they’re in perhaps, shall we say, more compromising positions. I did a straw poll around a table yesterday and got a very mixed response. I’m not saying where I sit on the issue, I think it’s a personal matter and in individual cases I’d rather not know.

But in the interests of science I’m going to open up a poll and see what the world thinks. Sorry there isn’t an option to say ‘I don’t use Twitter, I think it sucks’ – that’s a different poll…

[poll id=”1″]

For the Twitter Haters

If I didn’t have Twitter I wouldn’t have had these nuggets delivered to me. Two of the most important things I’ve read in some time…

tweet from Hugh MacLeod

Russell on Time

You can’t say that Twitter’s useless now. This proves it.

I hope Russell and Hugh don’t mind me posting these, I figured that they’re out in the public Twittersphere (or whatever it’s called).

My Stereo Thoughts On FaceBook

I’ve got lots of thoughts about FaceBook, some positive some negative. And I was trying to come up with a way to encapsulate it all. I sort of think I have, but there might be some holes in my analogy…

For me, this is FaceBook:

Facebook is like an integrated midi system

It’s like one of those ‘integrated midi systems’. Basically it’s an all-in-one music system. Lots of features and easy to use straight out of the box. The sound quality might be a bit rubbish and if it goes wrong you have to bin the whole lot. Plus options to extend it or customise it are limited (there’s no way to open the box, but you could put stickers on it or use input jacks on the back).

Doing something similar to facebook by glueing together lots of Web 2.0 type apps. E.g. a WordPress Blog with Last.fm, Flickr, Twitter, del.icio.us, etc. Is much more like putting together a hi-fi separates system.

hifi separates

Is much harder to get up and running. It takes much longer to plan your system. Sometimes it’ll work great, other times it won’t. And you might need to get help from a geek / expert to get the most out of it. But when it works it’ll be fantastic, and you can swap bits in and out to make sure its future-proof. And you can tinker with it to your heart’s content.

But separates are more geeky. And people do get obsessive. And in hi-fi land, just like web land, some people enjoy the putting together of the system almost more than they enjoy playing it.

Comparing FaceBook to a midi hi-fi is not intended as a slur. It is like a very good midi hi-fi. And just as midi systems are a good way for people to start enjoying music perhaps FaceBook has a similar role…

What do you reckon?

Why My Last Post Was A Load of Rubbish

Twitter Blocks

Motorola just did a very nice ‘sponsorship’ of http://explore.twitter.com – the tone of it, the way it’s been done and a genuine feeling of connection between the sponsor and sponsoree. And it feels like something that could legitimately be ‘in beta’ for a while.

It’s basically Twitter Labs, a place where Twitter experiments get posted. Especially cool is Twitter Blocks. Nice.

A nod to David for the tip.