Opera Boggling: July 2005 Archives

I don't know when exactly the Opera Blogs interface will be revamped - but I get the feeling that a revamp is inevitable, and probably under way as we speak. I've expressed any number of opinions about how things should evolve, which I'm assuming have already been discussed and presented to the extent they should be.

What I haven't been clear about is that I think Opera Blogs needs to streamline the way it handles "news". It's to the credit of the Opera fan base, that so many people want to post news about Opera on their sites - however, it can tend to clutter up the Opera Blogs interface with many redundant links to the same story. My personal feeling is that the Blogs interface needs, above all, to be "useful". We need it to be a place that people who want to monitor Opera news/commentary can come and have an effortless experience in terms of reading about Opera, especially from the point of view of Opera users.

This is particularly important for people who will eventually write about Opera, the people who write about tech - for whom we need to make this place useful. At the same time, we should be a place for newer users, and future users, or people with "Opera-Envy", to find out more about the community and our favorite browser.

If you have a news story that no one else has written about, of course you should post it. But if your post isn't going to be more than a sentence or two about a page long article (perhaps quoting an extract), it should be filed under news rather than commentary. That gives more play for people who are more familiar with the intricacies of the situation to express more detailed opinions. Of course there is a benefit to post stories on Opera in as many sites as are willing to do so, so the redundancy is not necessarily a bad thing - just that in the Opera Blogs interface, this repetition should be kept to a minimum.

One of the features of the social bookmarks site del.icio.us, is that they show you who else is linking to the sites you link to. If Opera could do that for the news stories people post/comment on, it would go a long way towards presenting a convenient way of viewing different opinions on a given story. These would be ranked by the number of clicks a given post gets, a built in way of ensuring that the best commentary is ranked at the top, but also rewarding the people who "break" the story, perhaps using a bookmark feed like OperaWatch does. So the aggregator would have to parse for links, and rank the linking posts by the number of clicks they get - presenting a short summary/extract of the post etc.

So I imagine a threaded interface, much like Google News, where the most popular headline has the extract, but links to the other blogs that have the same link below. Not easy, but perhaps worth the effort.

Of course this would be voluntary - the aggregator could parse for the words "Opera News:" as the first letters of the headline/post, just as it does now for relevant posts using the word "Opera".

Posts that did not come under "Opera News", would go to another aggregator that can deal with people generally writing about Opera, BUT STILL PARSED FOR LINKS etc. That way, expanded commentary will appear twice - once on the non-News site, and again as part of the aggregated news links. That's where people can, besides presenting expanded commentary, express general opinions, ideas, tips/tricks, testimonials etc. Obviously, a post like this one would fall under the "non-News" category. Though obviously things posted under non-News might end up in news, in more ways than one, because other people link to it. Especially when important tutorials etc. come up.

So the feed for non-news would be pretty straightforward, but the news feed would send you to the page with the various story extracts ala Google News, or the linked story directly. You'd then monitor the commentary feed for expanded commentary - though on the news page the commentary would eventually show up. A rough idea, I'm sure people can easily come up with something better. The idea would be to be notified of a story only once, unless expanded commentary appears on the other feed. There could obviously also be a combined feed, though marked appropriately as news: or commentary:.

There are conscientious, serious-minded people, who think and look with a critical eye over what is put before them. And then there are Tin-Foil Hatted Crazies who make X-Files fans sound reasonable.

Opera is a great browser - backed by a great company that knows better than to get stuck in the muck from which you never fully extricate yourself. Opera supporters, like myself, do not need this kind of rabid rumour-mongering - supposedly on our behalf.

Bias is an accusation that has become debased by usage - and so often now it has become inaccurate as a description of the partisan hackery that can occur. The only reason people keep jumping up and down is because they fail to understand something fundamental about narrative, about writing. Any narrative, any story, by the nature of its construction, consciously or not, is laced with the context and person through which it is written. There is no absence of "bias" - just a failure to acknowledge the considered conclusion of your deliberation and opinion.

The media can write whatever they want - that's what they're there for. Calling all negative press "bad" and all positive press "good" is like saying chickens have too many feathers. I'm not saying the AP article was particularly well written or particularly honestly presented in any considered way - it is neither - but rending your garments about the tonnage of bad writing anywhere is about as useful as resisting the Borg (and I don't mean the cuddly Microsoft kind).

As for the blazingly astute insight that news gathering organisations have vested interests (tell me more of this "filthy lucre" you speak of) - if you want to have the psychological insight of a three-year-old, that's fine, just stay away from the man with the funny nose.

You might as well say the press have a bias against murderers and litterbugs.

It is only under protest that I even link to trash - and then only via Dan - though personally I think he should know better than to reprint tripe.

If you want something related (dirty, dirty, John), try the last teacup.

Seeing as there's no other Opera news of note today, I thought I should bring your attention to the certain knowledge that people still use more than one browser, for any number of reasons. And because of that, it's necessary to have the best tool for moving between browsers: Optool.

Martin's done a wonderful job, not just on polishing up Optool for the current release, but in re-designing his entire Optool site, which is now nice and spanky new.

Of course, Martin's also become a money-grubbing whore - no really - and is now demanding that you send him the official currency of Denmark - the foreign postcard. By which I mean that Optool is now Postcardware.

So go to the official Optool Site, in particular the Download Page. But get ready to fire up your brand new bittorrent engines, since it weighs in at a whopping 111kb.

If you were feeling particularly charitable, you could also have a gander at the Unofficial Optool Fora, where you can bitch and moan to your heart's content. After making sweet love to the Known Issues page, of course.

For a fuller description, and the changelog since 2.0a, word. From what I understand, 2.1 now also supports Netscape 8, though god only knows why.

Such gags. At everything.





Powered by Movable Type 4.1

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Opera Boggling category from July 2005.

Opera Boggling: June 2005 is the previous archive.

Opera Boggling: September 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Opera web browser - downloadOpera Mini - Mobile Web Browser