If it’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity

It’s been a strange week for Silicon Valley companies – I hope it’s not something in the water.


There was a time when I felt compelled to keep up with my friends’ postings on Facebook. If I was too busy to check the site during the day, I’d make a point of scrolling back as far as it would let me so I’d miss as little as possible.

I remember feeling that way as clearly as I remember yesterday.

But yesterday seems far away; today, Facebook gifted me with their latest design change, and suddenly, I have no desire to catch up. In fact, I have very little desire to go to Facebook at all – the new design is complicated, what with a scrolling ticker in the upper right, an arbitrary division in the main text area between the “Top News” and the “Recent Updates”, and, in general, a lot of visual sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Google+ looks more attractive every day; I just wish they’d let me use it from my primary email address (hosted on Google Apps for Your Domain) instead of forcing me to use my depreciated GMail address.


Perhaps Facebook’s new complication was inspired by the Sunday night Netflix announcement. If so, they have more work to do – after all, you can still interact with everything that Facebook offers on one website, while Netflix is going to force their remaining users to deal with Netflix and Quickster.

I didn’t mind the price increase much, but doubling my workload because Reed Hastings has a vision of the future…what do they think they are, an airline?


The last time I made any significant change to the design of this blog was when I moved it from being a guest on editthispage.com to my own domain. That was in 2005, and at the time, I had to ensure that the blog would be readable by my Mom on her 800×600 screen. So I took a then-new WordPress theme and adapted it to my needs by putting it onto a piece of wood and banging a few nails through it.

My original design constraints became irrelevant more than five years ago, but every time I thought about changing the appearance of the blog, I thought about the mass of CSS and PHP I’d have to deal with and put the project aside for another day. Or year.

This week, though, I started assisting the Webmaster of
the Los Gatos Silver Tongued Cats Toastmasters club in moving our site from FreeToastHost to WordPress (a project not yet complete), and he showed me how easy it was to make changes using modern themes and their associated widgets. So I spent this afternoon updating this blog to use the Weaver theme; the hardest part was figuring out how to get my Google AdSense to display where I wanted it (under the title) at the full width of the page (the answer: put the AdSense code in as a snippet instead of using the header widget).

I’m not sure that I’m finished with the redesign, but it certainly seems more modern (and less tiring to read on a widescreen display). Comments are welcome, of course.