Participated in Nlighten.us podcast

Parker Snyder aka iToast is working on a podcast aimed at techies, and with some emphasis in Sysadmins.

Besides the current and very good Casting from the Server room, this would be the only other podcast that I am aware of that targets Systems Administration in some fasion.

Last night I spent about 5 hours chating to Parker on his live Ustream, which was also recorded for use in the podcast. The podcast should be done by this evening, and I am looking forward to it. RSS feed should be back then aswell, I will post about it here.

I also encouraged him to ally himself with the Friends In Tech network, as any admin podcast would be a natural fit there. He could also easily get other co-hosts to feature on the podcast.

I hope this works out, it would be nice to offer the tech community another admin-oriented bit of media, there are so few out there.

Sysadmins on Twitter, lack of groups and Seesmic issues

So I have been trying to find and add other System Administrators on both Twitter and Friendfeed.

I am a bit picky though. I looked for people that seemed to Tweet at least some of the time about their work, tweeted regularly, and in English. Also preffering Windows Sysadmins over Unix for now, but I might reconsidder that.

So far the results have been good, and with results I mean that I can get little conversations going about tech stuff.

What I would love to see happen at some point, is a discussion where multiple of these guys get involved. Its not grown to that level yet, and I am not sure if Twitter lends itself well for that, as the dicussion is public and all your follows get to “enjoy” it.

This brings me to current BIGGEST annoyance about Twitter and Friendfeed (and Seesmic, to an extent)  The total lack of any kind of groups feature.

Now it would be nice if Twitter supported groups, and made that stuff available via the API so clients like Twhirl can use it. But to be honest, Twhirl and Alertthingy could just as easily build in group support themselves.

That would have the added advantage of applying to any other service they choose to support. I already suggested this to Howard Baines of Alertthingy, and he found the idea “interesting” but its not high on the to-do list.

With groups, you could, at the very least, sort your “friends” into groups of your choosing, adding a powerfull filter to the lifestream that comes in.

Conversely, if Twitter itself supported this, perhaps it would be possbile to Tweet to just the members of a particular group. This would solve the above problem of irrelevant tweets being recieved by followers that might not be interested in the subject matter at hand.

It would make the experience overall more valuable and encourage more discussion.

Seesmic currently suffers from the same problem. There they have the added issue of the focus of content flow still being mainly about the main public feed of all videos people post.

This is a leftover from when the Seesmic community was very new and very small, but that is eroding now as the service gains users and the public feed becomes impossible to follow.

However, many people there, especially of the old gard,  still feel the need to “discuss” any and all videos crossing the public stream. This might well include any video I post that is directed at Sysadmins.

Its has been my fear of spamming these people and getting low-quality feedback from them, that prevents me from using the service much currently.  

However, this is changing very fast with the brilliant move by them to produce blog plugins that allow video commenting. My blog, as well as big ones like Techcrunch now support these, even though they are not used much yet.

It was interesting to note that they deliberately are not including the comment videos in the Seesmic public feed. But they are including all the blog posts that people make, using the same plugins.

This is quickly going to make the main public feed unfollowable, much like Twitter, and I consider this a good thing.

Like Twitter, the faster the usage model of Seesmic changed to revolve around you and your own followers, and those who you follow, the faster the uptake will be.

The reason this is not happening already is because the user base is still too small, and the service is still closed alpha. I cant, for example, find even as much as 5 of the people I follow on Twitter and Friendfeed on Seesmic.

Once they open up to public beta, the influx should quickly re-arange the usage and then I will be using it a lot more.

Now to convince all the already aloof Sysadmins to start recording video of themselves…   lol .. thats a differnt problem altogether 😉