Thursday, August 28, 2008

Downloads and Media Streams

Tomorrow morning I (and house comrade Erika) have to wake up at 5:30am to catch a plane to Stockholm where we are scheduled to have a meeting with doctors at the Karolinska Hospital to talk about Benyamin's hearing deficit. It is more than a bit likely they are going to tell us he needs cochineal implants in both ears. Not a pleasant thought in terms of the surgery but exciting that it may improve Ben's hearing. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.
So, in light of the activities tomorrow I post some links to media I have encountered online in the last weeks. Good night and sweet dreams.

The Plastic People of the Universe: "Ach to státu hanobení " 1976-77
The Plastic People of the Universe (PPU) is a rock band from Prague, Czech Republic. It was the foremost representative of Prague's underground culture (1968-1989). This avant-garde group went against the grain of the Communist regime and due to its non-conformism often suffered serious problems such as arrests.

The Buddha in the World | [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]
In an intellectual and personal adventure across India and Europe, Afghanistan and America, Pankaj Mishra, an Indian journalist and author of "An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World," pursued the history and the meaning of the Buddha -- not as a religious figure but as a critical social thinker. He came to doubt some of the most basic assumptions about politics and progress that define the modern world.

Tiago Sousa - The Western Lands

Based on William S. Burrough’s book of the same name, Tiago Souza’s The Western Lands is a sparse but beautiful collection of seven tracks that evokes arid lands and ancient philosophies. Meditative but intellectually engrossing, these tone poems are intriguing pieces of beauty. . Tiago Souza’s main instrument in this work is guitar but it is nicely enhanced with electronics. “Waghas” is a wonderful piece where electronic sounds offer a droning Middle East influenced background as the guitar is played as almost an afterthought. The title track has a similar feel while “The Valley” is a melodic acoustic wonder. But perhaps the most stunning track is the 14 minutes “Centipede’s City” with a gorgeous piano solo in the middle.

John Cage and Alison Knowles (Eds.) Notations - SOMETHING ELSE PRESS, (1969) PDF
In 1968 Knowles designed and co-edited John Cage's Notations a book of visual music scores for the Something Else Press. The book and exhibition with performances will occur at the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Germany (2005). Her Bean Garden (1971), consisted of a large amplified platform covered with beans that were sounded underfoot by visitors to Charlotte Moorman¹s Annual New York Festival of the Avant-Garde.
PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 3,708 bands & artists, 18,652 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 165,756 ratings and reviews from 20,064 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide.

Salty Dog Blues and Roots
A twice weekly radio podcast from Melbourne Australia of blues and roots. Nice tunes with a old world DJ. Totally authentic.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thesis Abstract

I heard this morning that a close relative (you know who you are) did not think this blog was particularly academic in its content. To add a little academic flavor to the mix, I post here an abstract I wrote last week, which attempts to summarize my thesis in less than a page:

The Role of Implied Response in Selected Digital Literary Texts

Keywords: reception, implied response, digital literature, new media, network, dialogism, narrative, remediation, narrative architecture,

In this study I develop the concept of implied response and demonstrate it to be a useful analytical approach in the analysis of six digital works of literature. The six works examined are Alleph by Sakab Bashir (2003), Dreamaphage by Jason Nelson (2004), Last Meal Requested by Sachiko Hayashi (2003), Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day by M. D. Coverley (2006) and Ftrain by Paul Ford (2007). Implied response operates at the textual level, encompassing the digital literary work’s storage, publishing, prefaces, design and narratives. Implied response is the modes or attitudes of response that are suggested or emphasized in the text at the point of reception. I follow implied response through networks across the multiple media forms represented in the texts as audio, written and visual components and their combinations. Implied response as a complex network is examined in relation to the representation of place and space, the representation (remediation) of older media forms (radio, books, film etc.) and other intertextual devices, legal definitions of the texts, narrative voice, visual perspective and the software. Following a dialogic model these features are discussed as nodal points within the overall textual structure and are analyzed regarding implied response.

This study is concerned with narrative and reception in relation to works of literary digital media that are often described as interactive. It is asserted that such media, when approached as texts, embody structures of address in the combinations of visual, written and audio components, which imply particular ranges of response. It is the dialogism implied in the texts by these combinations with their ranges of possible replies that is used to draw conclusions about the texts. From this study I propose that the texts discussed represent highly structured and complex response-driven forms of literature.

Jim Barrett
Umeå, 21 August 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Ritual of the Small Fish

Today I witnessed a ritual feast of the natives. In fact I participated in the “surströmming” as they seem to call it (their language, although there is a written form, seems to feature so many rounded and rolled sounds it is very difficult to master). I shall recount the details of this strange celebration. This morning I worked in the room allotted to me by the leaders of the tribe I have been watching and living with for 8 years now. One of the younger members of the group approached me and asked if I would like to join in the feast they were planning later that day, after those who did not eat the fish called ‘surströmming’ had left the common eating area. I was immediately interested in the secret and jovial tone that those who were to attend the feast adopted when they discussed it. I had heard talk of the ‘surströmming’ in my time among these northern peoples, its powerful aroma was feared by even the strongest in the tribe, but I had never seen it, that is before today.

I had spent the morning writing up my notes on the worship of the little bits of paper that so many of the natives here spend their time with, when it was suddenly the hour for the feast. The surströmming is only eaten under the sky outside buildings and even consumption in tents and other small or temporary shelters is strictly forbidden (suggesting it brings peels of laughter such is the distance they take from even the idea). I believe this has something to do with the spirits of the fish, which are released with their eating to float up upon the vapours of the meal. This leads me to my first encounter with the surstomming. I entered the courtyard that had be chosen for the feast, a table had been laid with brightly coloured metal pots holding the fish, the dry bread so popular here, the weak beer and the sacred vegetable the ‘potatis’ (yes its true, they eat the ground apple) This last feature of the ritual feast has reached such a high level in their culture that they have developed a huge variety of terms for the different variations one find in the ‘potatis’. I understand that they have over 3000 words for the ‘potatis’ depending on its colour, flavour, time of season, texture, home range and so on.

I was offered a place at the table and prepared for the sacred fish, the aroma of which had already overpowered me as I entered the courtyard. Feeling slightly nauseas from the odur I was given a fish and a piece of bread and one of the younger ones in the group (a female this time, the care of the ignorant and uninitiated is often taken on by the females in the group, something I intend to research further in my time here) began to instruct me in the preparation of it. The fish is a mottled slightly brown-grey colour about 8 to 10 centimetres long. It is served with its intestines still inside and without its head. The one I was given, I soon found, was a female and was filled with roe, a fortuitous sign it seemed as the natives seemed to congratulate me on this. I prepared the fish as I was instructed to do so, opened the guts carefully and removed them, after saving the roe, then turn the fish over and pulverize its spine in order to be able to turn it back again and remove said spine. The tail is removed when the spine is drawn from the body. I did this with the precision of a surgeon as around me the natives ate their own fish, joked and drank the beer. I nervously finished dressing the fish and then chose a ground apple from a large pot, peeled it and broke it up on the bread. I was then ready for the fish, breaking it up I put the raw pickled flesh on the ‘potatis’. Finally I was advised that a little onion (called ‘lök’) should be added but not too much as it would ‘spoil the taste’.
Finally I was ready for the eating of the ‘surströmming’ but I was afraid. What if I threw up in front of the group, or spat it out in an automatic reaction? I decided I needed a drink with it just in case I had to get the taste out of my mouth quickly ( I once spat a Chinese salty plum out as soon as I put it in my mouth on a crowded street corner, the worse thing I have ever tasted). I asked for a drink and was cheerfully given a beer. I was now ready for the sacred fish. I bit into the bread, ‘potatis’ and fish and 'savored the flavour' as they say. It is very salty, a warm and not entirely unpleasant taste, but raw and full. I am not sure I will eat it again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Downloads and Streams for the Week of Kindness

Here are sites of recomended media for the last week. I continue the thesis writing so this blog is not really getting the attention it should. I have thought at times to post sections of my thesis here, but while it is being written it all feels so uncertain and in flux that I think I will wait until after my next seminar presentation (September 16) before I do so.
The big news for me this week is that Brightblack Morning Light have a new album:

Brightblack Morning Light: third album Motion To Rejoin
Two tracks from the new album. Nabob and Rabob return, mellow as ever and smoldering in the desert sun. Their third album Motion To Rejoin still maintains the "smoky lounge in the middle of the forest" vibe that's permeated much of their other work and though its not exactly a huge departure, the fact is that their sound still remains so intoxicatingly natural that change would only come as a disappointment.

200 BBC documentaries online
On GUBA video you can find over 200 BBC documentaries and some episodes of The Sweeney- if you must.

mortiz von oswald with tikiman @ shanti, moscow 11.04.08 (Mp3)
Rhythm & Sound fuses his interests in dub reggae and techno even further, where Jamaican vocalists sing or speak over stripped down techno beats and bass. Ya Mahn Beep Beep.

Mark Steel on Che.

The Mark Steel Lectures
As I have been preparing for teaching a course of cultures and English language in the former British Empire present Commonwealth of Nations I have watched a few of Mark Steel's and, as he may say, "He's frightfully good isn't he". Check out the one on Oliver Cromwell, it's hysterical. Several can be downloaded from the Mark's website. The one's from the link are on Youku and take a while to load.

Yoda's House CD Download
Experimental / Psychedelic / Visual from ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico United States

Oum Kalthoum | أم كلثوم
Audio and video from the queen of Arabic orchestral drone pop. Like a glacier of molten steel in your brain. Umm Kulthum (Arabic: أم كلثوم, born أم كلثوم إبراهيم البلتاجي Umm Kulthum Ebrahim Elbeltagi; see Kunya; Egyptian Arabic: Om Kalsoum). (May 4, 1904 – February 3, 1975). Various spellings include Om Kalthoum, Oum Kalsoum, and Umm Kolthoum. In Turkish, she is named Ümmü Gülsüm. She was an Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in El Senbellawein, she is known as "the Star of the East" (kawkab el-sharq). More than three decades after her death, she is still recognized as Egypt's most famous and distinguished singer of the 20th century. She had a contralto singing range.

Quintessential rustic psych/jazz/ethno festival moves issued on the legendary Silence Records from this Bo Hansson-associated crew in the grand Swedish tradition of Arbete Och Fritid, Harvester/International Harvester and Trad Gras Och Stenar. One year later, they'd develop into something a good sight more focused and fusion-directed (though no less splendid) on their double LP "Flasket", but during this era of Flasket Brinner, which roughly translates to The Flesh Is Burning (though it mainly sounds like the weed was burning at this stage) these boys were content to blithely revel in freewheeling bucolic jams steeped in native folkloric traditions.

Popol Vuh "Hosianna Mantra" 1973
Florian Fricke pioneered the use of synthesizers in German rock, but by the time of Hosianna Mantra he had abandoned them (eventually selling his famous Moog to Klaus Schulze). While In den Gärten Pharaos had blended synths with piano and African and Turkish percussion, Hosianna Mantra focuses on organic instrumentation. Conny Veit contributes electric guitar, but other than that, Fricke pulls the plug and builds the album around violin, tamboura, piano, oboe, cembalo, and Veit's 12-string, often with Korean soprano Djong Yun's haunting voice hovering above the arrangements. As the album's title suggests, Fricke conceived of Hosianna Mantra as a musical reconciliation of East and West, a harmonization of seemingly opposed terms, combining two devotional music traditions.

UbuWeb Sound - Mike Kelley & Paul McCarthy with Violent Onsen Geisha PEOPLE2 Following up on their previous releases, Sod and Sodie Sock and Studio C, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and Masaya Nakahara (aka Violent Onsen Geisha) team up again for Comp O.S.O., recorded live at the Vienna Secession in 1998. The CD features a live improvisation performed by the three artists on the opening night of the Kelley/McCarthy installation Sod and Sodie Sock - an immense faux military encampment made up of barrack tents, a shower room, a mess hall, and various other environments.

Thank you and goodnight.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Unusual Game

I know this blog has been about as busy as a bar in the Vatican but I myself have been fully occupied. The thesis is coming along, and I have been using a new (for me) diagnostic tool for writing. I take the first sentence from each paragraph in the text and create a new document from them. Then read them through and see how it develops. It seems to really help as the logic of the first sentence (the 'topic sentence') should reflect the whole paragraph. As well there should be a development from one topic sentence to the next. This was not the case when I first did this, but it is now developing to be so.
Anyway, that was about the most interesting thing that happened to me this week. Today I have not got so much done, with family commitments but the wekend is always wide open (ahh....the life a doctoral student).
I just listened to the fourth episode of a very interesting doucmentary on role playing game culture in Sweden (specifically Stockholm). If you can understand Swedish, or want to just look at the pictures I recomend Den Allvarliga Leken, online for the next 30 days-
(More recommended media for the week will be added to this blog later today)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Online Media Recomended for the Week (Its the Bomb)

Report from ANACON: The Anti-Conference for Anarchists (Its the Bomb!) Anarchists should not be too serious.

Saturday and looking out the window it looks like the flood has finally arrived. Last week in the south of Sweden ridiculous amounts of rain fell in short time spans so now its our turn. Rain rain on a Saturday. So I have a few peices of media that I stumbled upon this week in between the writing of the So lets take a look:

Peter Greenaway & Tom Phillips - A TV Dante (1983)
This ambitious program, produced by the award-winning film director Peter Greenaway and internationally-known artist Tom Phillips, brings to life the first eight cantos of Dante's Inferno. Featuring a cast that includes Sir John Gielgud as Virgil, the cantos are not conventionally dramatized. Instead, the feeling of Dante's poem is conveyed through juxtaposed imagery that conjures up a contemporary vision of hell, and its meaning is deciphered by eminent scholars in visual sidebars who interpret Dante's metaphors and symbolism. This program makes Dante accessible to the MTV generation. Caution to viewers: program contains nudity. (8 segments, 11 minutes each).

Berkeley Big Bang 08
New Media Symposium and Art Festival
(Streams and Downloads)
Berkeley Big Bang 08 was three days of new media and art hosted by BAM/PFA and the Berkeley Center for New Media, timed to link with 01SJ: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, a new media art biennial taking place June 4–8, 2008 in San Jose. Occurring together for the first time, these two events combined to create one of the nation’s largest gatherings of new media art, a virtual “big bang” of innovation and creativity.
The Berkeley Big Bang program included a two-day symposium on new media, art, science, and the body in partnership with Berkeley Center for New Media and Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology; a campus media lab demonstration and open house; and an alternate reality game. Berkeley Big Bang was presented in tandem with BAM/PFA exhibitions of work by media artists Trevor Paglen, Jim Campbell, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Scott Snibbe.

Del Close and John Brent: How To Speak Hip.
Released in 1959, this album captures the underground comedians at their early best and manages to both lampoon and accurately encapsulate the difference between hip and square society at the time. Unlike other mean-spirited comedy takes on the beatnik craze (Allan Sherman's "The Rebel" springs to mind), Close and Brent's satire was close to the truth because they truly were bohemian spirits. John Brent wrote poetry and honed his "Geets Romo" character (also known as "Huey the Hipster") while acting in a Jules Feiffer play. Del Close was an actor and poetry director at the Gaslight. And they both became well-known as being early members of Chicago's Second City.
Even though Del Close plays the square reporter on How To Speak Hip, he went on to live one of the most exciting (and hyperbolic) lives in comedy history. He befriended, worked with, and quite often did copious amounts of drugs with the likes of Lenny Bruce, Wavy Gravy, Frank Zappa, Tiny Tim, the Grateful Dead, and the Merry Pranksters. Then he cleaned up his nasty heroin habit in the 70s, and Del's stint as director of Second City made him even more legendary as he went on to train and inspire many of the country's greatest comedic talents (

Open Source: 4 Part History of Cuba (Podcasts)
(I) What's Coming in Cuba?: A Conversation with Patrick Symmes
(II) Cuba for the Long Run: Adrian Lopez Denis
(III) Cuba on our Minds: David Kaiser’s JFK
(IV) Cuba in Our Ears: Ned Sublette

Friday, August 08, 2008

International Day for the World's Indigenous Peoples

By resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, the General Assembly decided to celebrate the International Day of the World's Indigenous People on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. In 2004 the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade by resolution 59/174. The goal of this Decade is to further strengthen international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

So if you are in Stockholm tomorrow go to Skansen to see my friend Billy Marius from Congo speak about yeyi and the pygmie people. From midday at Samevistet. The whole programe is (in Swedish):

kl 12:00 och 14:00
Etnologen Marius Billy, bördig från Kongo framför ”yeyi” och berättar om pygmeerna i centrala Afrika.

kl 12:30, 14:30 och 16:00
Den lulesamiska etnologen Lis-Marie Hjortfors berättar om den samiska traditionella kunskapen om djuren och naturen.

kl 13:00 och 15:00
Jojk och jojkverkstad med de samiska systrarna Elina och Susanna Israelsson från Gällivare.

kl 13:30 & 15:30
Djurvårdaren Kerstin Johansson berättar om renen.

Under hela dagen kan du också prova-på att kasta lasso!

Wildman säljer souvas, renklämmor och andra samiska läckerheter på Bollnästorget under hela dagen.

Babongo Pygmies of Southern Congo Imitating Forest Animals

Wujal Wujal Aboriginal dancers at Laura Festival, Australia

Mornington Island dances with didgeridoo

On Jan. 26, 2008, the Eiteljorg Museum hosted a symposium to discuss the 1973 standoff at the Pine Ridge Reservation. The symposium featured William Means (Oglala Lakota), AIM leader and participant in the standoff, and other activists including Johnny Flynn (Potawatomi), who participated in the Wounded Knee 1973, Sally Tuttle (Choctaw), who participated in the 1969 takeover of Alcatraz Island, and Lann Thompson (Cherokee), who was working in South Dakota during Wounded Knee 1973 where he observed the immediate impact of the event. Charlie Abourezk, one of the writers and directors of Tattoo on My Heart, was also be a part of the panel.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Free University of the Airwaves

Online and On Resonance FM:

Monday 18 August to Friday 22 August 2008, daily from 10am to 3pm (GMT), repeated nightly 7pm to midnight.

Resonance FM announces a “summer school on the radio” for a week during the holidays. Designed to appeal to the general listener, this series of lectures ranges restlessly across many subjects. The Free University allows listeners to dip into a vast range of material, a snapshot of contemporary thought and provocative and intriguing subject matter.

The Free University is certainly that. Historian Ariel Hessayon (Goldsmiths) speaks on two subjects: about Jews in England from their expulsion in 1290 to their readmission in 1659; and “Restoring the Garden of Eden in England’s Green and Pleasant Land,” which takes a new view of the seventeenth century Diggers. There is more visionary stuff from Plymouth’s Professor Malcolm Miles, who specialises in concepts of Utopia, while at the other end of the scale Mark Miodownik of King’s College’s Materials Library takes us through an elemental reading of the making of a cup of coffee – illustrated in robust fashion in the station’s kitchen. Oneupmanship not intended, Professor Steven Connor (Birkbeck) talks about The History of Air; and, refreshing beverages sorted, ethnographer Caroline Osella asks, How do you make a man?

There is a strong anthropological strand, with contributions from Monica Janowski (Potency, Hierarchy and Food in Borneo), Magnus Marsden (Muslim village intellectuals) and Edward Simpson (Remembering natural disasters and memorials in Gujurat); while Alpa Shah asks, Would Yosemite be a better place for the Elephants of Eastern India? Only Resonance FM can provide the answer.

Influential professor of design Peter Rea offers various insights into Visual Literacy, illustrated with audio from Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd and the rural blues of the 1930s; Dr.Julian Stallabrass talks about visual representations of war; Professor Jean Seaton has recourse to George Orwell’s enduring relevance; and Roberta Mock asks what constitutes avant-garde performance.

Philosophers AC Grayling and Jonathan Wolff, cultural theorist Nicolas Bourriaud, “new complexity” composer Richard Barrett, folk music specialist Professor Reg Hall and Christine Kinnon, Professor of Molecular Immunology at UCL, are among others of the two dozen contributors to this extraordinary project.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Free Galore Downloads and Streams Gathered Fancy

I have been watching films and playing guitar in my sparse spare time. The last week provided a few finds on the web for free media. I list them here on a fine Sunday afternoon that has been spent playing. "And now for the evidence" said the King:

The Medium is the Massage; with Marshall McLuhan. Long-Playing Record 1968.
Side 1 (Mp3)
Side 2(Mp3)
Produced by John Simon. Conceived and co-ordinated by Jerome Agel. Written by Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel.
Columbia CS 9501, CL2701.

"The mere classification becomes secondary and inadequate in the speed with which data can now be processed. We are moveing out of the world of data classification and into the world of pattern recognition." Marshall McLuhan (1968)

Now for a festival of downloads swirling around The Spring blog:

Internet Archive: Details: Bell Jam an' Irielan'
A collection of acoustic roots reggae songs written in Belgium and Ireland, recorded one evening at The Green Ark (Alan's music room) in Motueka, Aotearoa/New Zealand. These songs have primarily evolved through extensive busking, so the idea was to try to create the organic atmosphere of a busking session (without all the distractions and noise of a shopping street).

Ail Fionn - seven albums
Ail Fionn is a folk/traditional music duo consisting of Matthew on the saz and Inge on mandolin. For a good while Matthew and Inge were traveling musicians playing throughout Europe and The British Isles often with other local musicians or buskers. A number of their recordings documenting their in-the-field improvisations can be found at The Internet Archive’s Open Source collection. Five of the recordings span the years from 1995 to 2005. The Snailfriends albums are a collection of jams from various places and dates involving Ail Fionn and friends.

Children of the Drone
Children of the Drone is an expanding collective of musicians based in and around Exeter, UK which meets fairly regularly in varying configurations to play entirely improvised music. We're attempting to gently break out of the usual constraints and formats which conventional 'bands' tend to get stuck with these days, and do something a bit different...

Transmissions for justice and peace - community begins with communication.

The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way) is a 1988 book by The Timelords (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty), better known as The KLF. It is a tongue-in-cheek step by step guide to achieving a No.1 single with no money or musical skills, and a case study of the duo's UK novelty pop No. 1 "Doctorin' the Tardis".
The advice dispensed by The Manual includes: "Firstly, you must be skint and on the dole. Anybody with a proper job or tied up with full time education will not have the time to devote to see it through... Being on the dole gives you a clearer perspective on how much of society is run... having no money sharpens the wits. Forces you never to make the wrong decision. There is no safety net to catch you when you fall." and "If you are already a musician stop playing your instrument. Even better, sell the junk." The book also foretells its own imminent irrelevance, The Timelords admitting that they are writing "a book that will be completely redundant within twelve months. An obsolete artifact. Its only use being a bit of a social history that records the aspirations of a certain strata in British society in the late eighties..."
The book is prophetical when it comes to recording technology: "It's obvious that in a very short space of time the Japanese will have delivered the technology and then brought the price of it down so that you can do the whole thing at home. Then you will be able to sod off all that crap about going into studios."
Bill Drummond explained his motivations in an interview: "It was an excuse to say a lot of things I wanted to say about how the industry worked. It was an excuse to go out and say to people all they can say to themselves: If you want to do something, go and do it! Don't wait to be asked, don't wait for a record company to come and want to sign you or a management company. Just go and do it. Also, it was saying: If you wanna have number can have it. It won't make you rich, it won't make you happy, but you can have it."

Pentangle - The Lost Broadcasts 1968 - 1972 [2 CD]
Excellent compilation from Pentangle. From 1968 to 1973 The Pentangle were very often session guests on BBC radio. Some sessions were released in 1995 on "Live at BBC". On 2004 other tapes with unreleased songs and versions were found in BBC archive and included on this CD.

Fag Tapes (Mp3s)
From this month's online Wire: Adventures in Modern Music magazine. Hear music found on the Michigan-based Fag Tapes label. Check a number of tracks by Sick Llama and others on the Fag Tapes label

Friday, August 01, 2008

New Look for

If you don't use the online bookmarking and tagging network then this entry will be very boring..... has a new look. On first impressions it seems that the social side of tagging is being emphasized in the new design, with the People tab now making access to the tags of other more prominent. The new Search function seems to actually work on my own bookmarks, which the old one did not, and the wide search works very well.

The bookmarks themselves are now more flexible depending on what you are interested in:

"We've refined our bookmarks layout to be easier to read at a glance. Also, it's now possible to change your view detail, so that you can either get more bookmark information or compact their display with a single click on the Tag Bar. Say goodbye to salmon on blue! The popularity of a bookmark can be determined quickly by the width and shade of the blue box around the save count."

Staying with the social side of bookmarking, now has a "bookmark's save count (the number in the blue box) to see the details page for that URL." My own tags are now ranked, with the top ten in frequency shown in a sidebar and the other (285) behind a drop-down menu. This is the same for tag bundles, which are in alphabetical order and how many tags are within each in the drop-down menu.

Finally there is now something called an 'action box' on my page:

The action box provides you with a list of commonly used actions for the current page. It changes based on what you're doing. So if you're looking at one of your tags, use the action box to create a tag description to remind yourself and others why you used that specific tag. If you're looking at your bookmarks, feel free to create a public profile to share.

I think I am a happier linker.....