There Is No Cat

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Friday, August 8, 2003

A sense of inflated authority

Da Funkidator, which I created in a fit of pique one night a while back, is a joke. I've said as much here before. But I have to say, it's fascinating to me how posting such a tool results in people ascribing an inflated sense of authority to it. I'm not sure what it is about the web that does this, but I've experienced it before. A few years ago, I was part of a campaign to get the BBC World Service to change its mind about something very stupid that it was about to do (and has since done, to its everlasting shame). The campaign itself was run by a half-dozen people, give or take a few, on a day-to-day basis. Pretty much all of us were just regular folks with no particular authority to speak on the topic (although we had a couple of advisors who did). But by putting forward a reasonably well-designed site (that breaks in IE 6/Win at the moment, yes, I know) with a few articles that set forth our positions, we were able to generate a tremendous amount of press coverage, almost all of it favorable to us. Reporters loved us and loved the site. The web site made us credible, and reporters vested us with an authority that we would not have had without the site. Even though we lost our campaign, it was a fascinating experiment in how the web can play a critical role in generating an appearance of credibility and authority. Da Funkidator seems to generate the same kind of shock and awe, oddly enough. Who knew?

Posted at 1:57 AM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Joke or not, Da Funkidator does a pretty good job of rooting out the funk. The RDF/RSS 1.0 piece I reference in the link above is not a big deal - but definitely frustrating since it's not documented!

Instead of using Da Funkidator, you could read the specs and the posts, and then try and figure it out for yourself. Why do all that work when Da Funkidator takes care of it for you?

Of course, you could ignore the whole debate in the first place, and go with another format or just send out the default, since it seems to work. But where's the fun in that? :)

Posted by Chad Everett at 8:06 AM, August 8, 2003 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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