Weeknotes 4


Welcome back! These are my brief thoughts on what I've been working on this week.

Work

Blogging! I've written two new blog posts for GDS. I love blogging - but I sometimes shy away from doing it for work. I naïvely think I write practically perfect prose - and then a team of brilliant editors descend. They always leave my words looking better - but I struggle with the resentment of any writer who sees their precious words being reworked.

I know! I know! "Kill your darlings!" But it's easier to say than do.

There's also the issue of writing by committee. On this, my personal blog, I'm beholden to no one. On a work blog... Yeah... So I get a group of people worrying about whether each sentence matches policy.

It ends up in a better product, without doubt. But it can be frustrating.

Standards! Work continues apace. Chatting with the MoD about datasets and a totally different department about digital data standards in chicken production! This job is nothing if not varied.

We're also looking at STIX, TAXII, and 360Giving. I'm keeping on top of everything - but I sometimes dream about a website which lets cyber defence systems exchange metadata on farmyard animals...

Statistics! Busting out my R-fu to comb through three months of download stats. Finding some interesting (and some depressing) results. Can't quite ban PDF just yet - but looking at some quick wins. Gratifying to see that ODF is taking off in some places. But it is a long slog - and repeating myself is tiresome.

Social

Mastodon! I've started using my account there in earnest. I know that it'll become the same as Twitter eventually - all networks do. But I'm enjoying the feeling of freshness and loving the decentralised philosophy.

I've released a couple of bots on there as well.

Reading List

What books I've read this week. Affiliate links ahead.

Fiction

  • Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
    • I struggled a bit with this. It's a good story, but I found it confusing. One of the few books where I wished for more exposition! It also suffers from being remarkably similar to The Culture series of novels. Sentient space ships, a galaxy-spanning civilisation, a lone protagonist cut off from the tribe. It's a good, long slice of Sci-Fi, but a bit hard work.

Non-Fiction

  • The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher
    • A slim but poignant autobiography. Her Highness has such a gift with words and phrases ("you're my Achilles heart") that you'll be swept along without realising that it's mostly just a string of well worn anecdotes. Still, who am I to complain?

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One thought on “Weeknotes 4

  1. I'd say stick with the Ancillary * series - it benefits from having time to expand over the trilogy and then Provenance is the fourth book set in the same universe but is by far my favourite (and moves on from Iain M Banks fan fiction...)

    Also I totally agree re the 'official' blogging - you are a better man than I though as I don't agree the editorial involvement creates a better outcome 😉

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