Tynan, I love what your doing with SETT and if there's a way I can use my passion, skill and experience to help it grow, I want to. Since you've only just opened up SETT to the first 50 people, I don't think your quite ready for this, but I wanted to throw the idea out there.
If and when you want to expand SETT beyond the English-speaking community, I want to help you. This could involve finding non-English language bloggers who want to switch their blogs to SETT or coordinating professional native-speaker translations of the SETT content.
I'm posting this in the community section instead of emailing you directly because I thought that it might provoke an interesting discussion about the business benefits of reaching out to speakers of other languages. Has anyone ever tried to expand their products or services to the non-English speaking market? If so, what results did you see?
Sunday night was a scary time for me. After more than a year of work, SETT was ready to be deployed on Tynan.com. Well, maybe not "ready", exactly, but I was sick of putting it off. One line in a configuration file was changed, and my site switched from WordPress to SETT. And then... nothing happened. This was encouraging. The server didn't melt (although there is definitely some optimization that needs to be done), and importantly, most new visitors to my site didn't realize that anything was unusual. Eventually a few people realized that things were different and left feedback. Now, with five days of history, SETT is actually functioning as envisioned. It's an amazing experience to watch our baby start to crawl. Before I get into the details of what makes SETT unique and how to best use it, a quick disclaimer: this is alpha level software. Some parts of it are extremely polished and functional, while others are barely usable (person to person messaging, for example). Right now I don't need bug reports, because I already have a huge list of bugs that I'm working through. What I would LOVE from you is feedback on the experience. What is confusing? Where do you get stuck? What do you hate? What do you like? When designing SETT, we tried to consider the various groups of users that interact with a blog, and how to best serve them. For example, most of my readers are casual readers who stop by, read some posts, and leave. I want their experience to be nearly identical to any other blog-- there shouldn't be any new terminology or steps that they have to go through. The only changes we've made on the reader side are a wide content area for media like images and videos, well formatted text, and (for logged in users) indicators for whether or not they've read a post. For the average casual reader, this is a marginal improvement over a normal blog. Most of SETT's ambition lies with community members. I believe that until now, dedicated readers have been marginalized. I think that out of the 12,000 or so readers I have, there are hundreds who would love to be an important part of the community surrounding this blog, but aren't currently offered any tools to do so. All SETT blogs have two sides to them: the front page and the community view. If you go back to the main page of this blog (click the header at the top) and then click "community" in the action bar, you'll see the posts that have been created by members of the community. This is similar to a forum or message board. Unlike a forum, I can promote any post to the front page with a single click. That's how Brian's post about Pina got there. Besides creating original content, you can also vote things up or down. If you login or register for an account, you'll see voting arrows next to every post. Your votes help new readers see what this blog's best posts are, filter out spam, and indicate to me which community posts I should consider promoting to the front page. There's a lot more that's new with SETT, but I'll keep this short(ish) and let you explore. If you want to help SETT develop, please vote on stuff, leave comments, and create posts in the community section. Please do NOT link to this post (or blog) on any high traffic site just yet. My server can handle it until we implement caching.
Great question -
I’m curious as to what your take on getting involved in politics is. For as long as I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve never seen you directly mention the subject, but many of the topics you touch on would be things anyone interested in statecraft would do well to master.
The way I see this, and I guess it is just part of my personality, is that it would be an all or nothing sort of deal. Either you get seriously involved or you stop paying close attention. It has really been wearing on my sanity to be knowledgeable on the subject but do nothing about it.
[...personal details about local government problems removed...]