LivePlasma .. This Is Just That Cool

LivePlasma. Go. Now.

I discovered this place just today, when looking at a article on Multiverse. has collaborated with LivePlasma to produce an awesome searching tool for all their news.

Before really looking at it though, I clicked on the LivePlasma link, and had a play.

Unbelievable. This is so very cool. The way the tree of related nodes flies out from the main sphere. The way the searches fade. The Zoom spheres. The roll-over functionality. You just have to go have a look.

Now, if only this was a plugin for WordPress. Ha ha.

It’s got a massive amount of potential. And the coolness factor.

Anyway, it’s possible I’m excited about something that will fade away … but I don’t think so.

This is just that cool.

Here’s what a search for "x-men" under Movies looks like:


The control panel is simple and clear:


When searching by Artist/Band the layout changes slightly.


New Kid on the Social Bookmarking Blog(ck)

Thanks to a post on Great Nexus, I have discovered the world of Shouting, as opposed to Digging.

Now, the first time you light this puppy up, that is, visit, it looks like a greener cousin of the afore-mentioned Digg. And then you start looking around, registering, etc etc, and you realise. It is the same thing, with some small differences.

  1. You Shout instead of Digg
  2. It’s more than just Techo
  3. It’s not as complete an experience, at the moment, as Digg. Only really because you can’t have the "friends" functionality, although that’d no doubt be on the way.

So from my five seconds of knowing about it and using it, ShoutWire looks pretty cool. It’s got a clean interface, and is simple. No doubt, it’s the sibling of Digg, but that’s cool. I Digg the Shouting.

Aussie Blog Awards

Smarty Blog has announced the winner of their Australia’s Best Blog award. See Darren’s post and the ensuing comments. There is a bit of general annoyance over the winner, Singing Bridges. It would be hard to judge 530 blogs, because your personal opinion would no doubt play a big role. I guess having criteria would break down most of the problems, and you will never please everyone.

I’d have to say of the top eleven, Karen Cheng’s leaps out first in terms of simplicity in design. Nice clean interface, piccies, easy to read. Content would be a lot harder. In terms of learning, Darren’s would be my pick. There’s so much for the developing blogger on that site.

I’d like to see Smarty put together a listing of all the blogs they reviewed, and how they fared against the categories. Give some indication what they are looking for. Not that one single group defines what is good for a blog, especially Australia’s Greatest Blog, but it’s good to get an understanding of what other people see as being good. Also, Smarty are doing a good work, putting money towards promoting blogs.

Anyway, back to work.

Cataloguing Learning

A very random thought occured to me walking down the street today. It’s inane and most probably useless, but anyway.

There are three types of learning for me.

Learning :: The New

This is the largest cloud by far. In the last year, my new learning has sky-rocketed. I hope it continues.

Learning :: The Old

This is stuff I’ve come across before, but has dimmed in my memory. It’s there, and will come back with a certain level of prodding. I guess this is a sliding scale. If something hasn’t been used in a long while, then it might take more rehashing to get up to speed.

Learning :: The Existing

What I’m working on right now. It’s fresh in my brain, and exciting usually.

Reading this short little post, I suspect anyone reading might be questioning my sanity. Learning is learning. That’s right I suppose. But sometimes exploring a random thought isn’t a bad thing.

Anyway, back to the new, the old, and the existing.

The Slowing

Things are slowing down. By that, I mean, my fervour to constantly push Dev Dawn. I’m not sure why this is happening … actually, I think it’s a mix of a few different things.

The "new" feeling is no longer there. Dev Dawn, though still really young in terms of other blogs, is no longer a new thing in my life. It’s been around for a while.

Work is picking up, major. Am "Under the Hammer", so to speak. Crunch time. Boom.

My creative ideas seem to come in waves. And when the tide is out for a particular project, it’s hard to go swimming. Not impossible, but a lot harder.


Now that I’m writing this though, I’m wondering what’s the point of having a mope. I still love writing my thoughts on Development, pushing my understanding.

So this is a snap-shot of the pillar shifts that can happen in the span of a short time. Down, Up, Down, Up.

1. Purpose


It’s a word that echoes hope.

It’s amazing looking at what people have said about purpose. Quite a few of the Purpose Quotes from Brainy Quote are on the money.

Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.

William Cowper

Purpose is deliberately thought-through goal-directedness., Wikipedia

How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.

Albert Einstein

Even Homer has something to say about purpose.

Kill myself? Killing myself is the last thing I’d ever do. Now I have a purpose, a reason to live. I don’t care who I have to face, I don’t care who I have to fight, I will not rest until this street gets a stop sign!

Homer Simpson

Okay. So maybe the quotes were a little over the top, and are in regards to our purpose for living. But each project we undertake can have the same application. We need clarity of purpose.

A Blog begins with Purpose. Whether that purpose is to general babble about daily life, pointing out generic seinfeld humor towards each and every individual that you encounter; or whether you decide to write about your daily efforts to tame the rarely seen Drop Bear, it’s with a purpose that you come to this.

It’s possible to jump in without much direction and make a successful blog. This has no doubt happened throughout the long course of blogging history, and if that happens for you, kudos.

However, for most of us, our blog needs a purpose.

Take Dev Dawn for example. I started it without much purpose. I had a vague idea about global domination … but that was about it. Over the last few months though, the purpose has gradually coalesced into something more defined. It’s not finished yet, but it’s a lot clearer than when I started.

The purpose of Dev Dawn is to help people (myself included) become better Developers. Now this is pretty specific, but that’s okay. Narrow is good.

Which reminds me. Darren Rowse has written Ten Rules for Profitable Blog Startups, which is a Blog take on Evan William’s Ten Rules for Web Startups. Both of these are excellent reads, and they have so much experience and wisdom in this field.

So back to Dev Dawn. Although I started without much purpose, this wasn’t a bad thing. What is important is that you quickly adapt and take hold of the information and wisdom that you have at your fingertips, waiting to be surfed. I’m not talking about reading tutorials on how to start a blog (like this one, ha ha). If you don’t already have a purpose, then look around at what else is going on. There are so many cool blogs to read and discover. You can be the Enterprise, soaring into the Final Frontier, or something like that.

Anyway, finding a purpose can be as simple as looking at a review site, and thinking, I could focus on reviewing the stories about Drop Bears. Well … you get the idea.

So, my first step in understanding how to blog, how to create and develop a blog, is Purpose. This is where we begin.

Burnout, Without The Cars

It’s been long nights, sometimes with nary an hour of sleep, and you are bone weary.

You go through periods where some pizza and caffiene trick your brain into thinking you can just motor along like a zombie, because at least you are getting something done.

Others see the degradation in your eyes, the code bits falling around you like that green-text stuff on the Matrix.

Through your sleep haze you can make out logical decisions, but if anyone asks you for an explanation, or indeed to show them the simplest of routines, your weakness is exposed for all to see.

There’s nothing like a bit of burnout to show us our humanity.

So how do we combat this vicious beast? You know it’s the enemy to true and pure development :). Sometimes you have to work with your enemy, there are times for long hours and longer coding sessions. But we are frail, creatures of dust. So we need to make sure that our burnout sessions are limited.

I have recently been enlightened as to the nature of burnout, and shown what is, for me, the solution. I would think this holds true for most people, in whatever field.

Rest. Simple. No brain-strain. Take the mind, put it in a box, and spend time doing things you don’t normally do. Maybe go out for a day playing sport. Perhaps take the family to the beach. Maybe, if the flu is involved spend the day in bed with a book and some moofies.

Whatever it is, find that place. That Happy Place.

This has been Stu, with his three cents on burnout.


As I was digging, this article on Burnout popped up. It’s got more detail and focus than mine. A good read.