Archive: February 6th, 2006

Buzzword Bingo

The conference season is starting to kick off. Next month, both ETech and South by Southwest will be happening. Before that, we have something a little closer to home: the Carson Workshops Summit on Wednesday. I’ll be going. If you haven’t booked a place yet, it’s tough luck, I’m afraid: it’s sold out now.

All of these conferences should be good fun. But just in case they turn out to consist of hype-fueled buzzword-heavy presentations, I’ve come up with a little game to play while the speakers do their thing:

Buzzword Bingo

If you visit that page you will be presented with a 5x5 grid of current buzzwords (actually, some of the words are names of companies or websites but close enough). If you don’t like the selection, you can refresh for another random smattering.

While the presenters are doing their spiels, listen out for the buzzwords on your bingo card. If the speaker uses one of your words, click on it to mark it as done. If you manage to click all 25 words, jump up and shout “Bingo!”.

If you’re coming to the Carson Workshops Summit this Wednesday, it’s the perfect opportunity to try this out: WiFi will be provided. I’ll be there, ticking off buzzwords as they are spoken. If anyone manages to get a full house, I’ll give them a copy of my book as a prize.

You can jump for joy shouting “Bingo!” if you like but I suppose that might be slightly distracting for whoever’s speaking at the time. Bingo shouts submitted via iChat (keep your Bonjour window open) will also be accepted.

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Everything old is new again

I’ve been making lots of big changes behind the scenes here at the adactio journal. With any luck, you won’t notice any of them.

I’ve switched over to using the same blogging framework I’m using for the DOM Scripting site and Principia Gastronomica. It’s a simple home-rolled affair that uses PHP and MySQL.

Up ‘till now, this site wasn’t using any database at all. Instead, journal entries were stored as XML files. In theory, this would allow a lot of flexibility in the formats I chose to output. In practice, I was only outputting XHTML and RSS.

One of the nice things about using MySQL to store my journal entries is that I can use full-text searching. It wasn’t much of a consideration when this journal kicked off back in 2001, but with almost five years worth of entries, a decent search function has become a priority.

Switching the data from separate files containing XML over to a database table containing XHTML was pleasantly painless. The real challenge was avoiding linkrot. This new CMS uses a nice short URL structure where the old system was quite verbose. I needed to make sure that inbound links to old entries would still work. With a little bit of pattern matching and redirection, I think I’ve got everything working okay. If you find any broken links, let me know.

If you’re reading this in an RSS reader, it’s worth noting that the URL for the RSS file is now The old URL will continue to work though.

This new CMS has commenting all set up and ready to roll. I’m almost tempted to use it. I still maintain that comments would be pointless on most of the entries here (and I’m busy enough overseeing everything that gets posted over at The Session), but who knows? Maybe I’ll turn on comments for the occasional entry or two.