Monthly Archives: December 2006

Google, Yahoo! & Microsoft Collaborate For The Greater Good

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft have collaborated for the greater good and are all going to support a standardised XML sitemap protocol.

Google was the first to implement the XML sitemaps in June 2005 as a beta product. After a few months of public testing, the beta tag was removed and the service was ready for general consumption. Since that time, Google Sitemaps gained a significant amount of momentum.

Its wonderful to see that Yahoo! and Microsoft didn’t implement another format specific to their own search engines and have collaborated with Google. With the standardised XML format, its now possible for content publishers to feed Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft search engines off the same physical file. That point alone is a huge bonus for the publishing community though I think even more significant is that the standardised format will have the same semantic meaning to all search engines as well.

Wordie: Like Flickr But Without The Photos

Stumbled onto a new social networking site, this one is named Wordie. The Wordie site touts it as being like Flickr but without the photos. That might seem like a strange concept, since Flickr is all about the photos; however once you realise that Wordie is all about the words and language, it makes a whole lot more sense.

After creating an account on Wordie, you can start adding words into your profile. You might add in words that you like, dislike or new words you heard used that day at work. Once you’ve added the words into your profile, you can see how many other people consider those words significant enough to have them linked into their profile. Of course, being a social networking site – you have the ability to browse the sites content by various mechanisms such as user, most popular word and so on.

What I think might be a pretty sweet idea for the site going forward it to offer it in a multilingual version. That way you could end up with a huge mass of words on the site, where you could theoretically allow the users of the site to link various word together that are the same or similar in different languages.

The idea behind Wordie is different, quirky, strange, useless and cool all at the same time. I don’t think I’ll be using it for anything but as the author said, it was just a strange idea that popped into his head that he decided to whip up for some fun!

John Butler Trio, Funky Tonight

John Butler Trio: Live At The Empire Theatre 3rd December 2006The John Butler Trio are currently on their Funky Tonight Tour throughout Australia from the 19th November until the 10th December.

On Sunday, the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba had the privilege of hosting the John Butler Trio once more. The allure of the John Butler Trio’s blues and roots music was in effect as nearly all of the 2400 seats were in use for the concert. The Empire is a grand old theatre, originally opened in 1911 and used primarily to show silent movies. Unfortunately, the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1933. For many years the Empire Theatre remained unused until it was refurbished and reopened in 1993 where it established itself as the premiere theatre for performing arts in the Darling Downs region.

I have now had the pleasure of listening to the John Butler Trio perform three times in person:

  • December 3rd 2006, Funky Tonight Tour
  • December 11th 2005, Homeward Bound Tour
  • May 25th 2004, Sunrise Over Sea Tour

John Butler Trio: The Start Of The Concert, Live At The Empire Theatre 3rd December 2006The first encounter with John Butler in 2004 was the most amazing live concert experience I had ever been involved with. The exceptional guitar skills of John and the beautiful timbre the band creates, solidified me as a John Butler Trio fan in the same concert. The outdoor concert held at the Brisbane Riverstage in 2005 was a spectacle to behold with thousands of fans soaking up the wonderful music and great atmosphere. After having such an excellent experience at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba two years earlier, I was eager to hear the John Butler Trio perform there again and they didn’t disappoint. Its the true sign of a quality band when they deliver consistently high standard performances live; not all bands can do it – but the John Butler Trio certainly can.

Below are some (rather ordinary) photos snapped throughout the concert on a little Canon Ixus 400:

I tell everyone about the John Butler Trio that cares to listen as I believe them to be one of the most unique bands that have come out of Australia. The guitar skills of John Butler will surpass everyone’s expectations, setting a new watermark for all other guitarists to strive for. With his unique style, you’ll walk away from the concert wondering how he manages to create the sounds, rhythms and where required incredible speed with his guitar. The John Butler Trio percussionist, Michael Barker, also brings a raft of wonderful sounds to the band. Due to the pace that a lot of the John Butler Trio music is played at, Michael would have to be the hardest working man on the stage; regularly wiping himself down after a song with a towel. In some of the fast songs, I don’t know how he keeps up; keeping different beats on either leg and his arms are going in every direction at once. Shannon Birchall on the bass is also great, the deep mellow sounds of the bass really add a special element to their music and when he busts out the solos, the audience really appreciates what they are hearing.

If you ever get the opportunity to get tickets to see the John Butler Trio, you really must treat yourself. The band really do deliver masterful performances which you’ll be sure to remember.

Kottke Style Archives Featured In WordPress Community Podcast

WordPress Community provides help, information and evangelism for WordPress users by WordPress users. In Episode 11 of their WordPress podcast, Charles Stricklin and David Peralty, among other things, went through a list of new plugins (some good, some not so good) that have been released. I was fortunate enough to have my Kottke Style Archives plugin receive a really good review. If you’re interested in what they had to say, you can skip forward to 26m55s marker and check it out.