Wednesday Dec 23, 2009

1000 Posts! 1000 Thanks!

The previous post, the Dixon Family Christmas Card, was the one-thousandth post on the Discovering Identity blog.  Many thanks for following, visiting, commenting, and otherwise supporting this ongoing investigation into the science and magic of Identity Management.

One Thousand. Many Thanks.

Thanks to  Charleston Primary School for a great photo.

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Wednesday Mar 25, 2009

Discovering Identity - a Facelift

In May, the Discovering Identity blog will be four years old.  A lot of water has gone under the proverbial bridge since our humble beginnings in May, 2005. With over 800 posts in the bank, it is time for a facelift of sorts.  Hopefully, this new look will be a bit easier to look at, more functional and with better access to the variety of information I contribute to cyberspace.

A few credits are in order.  Many thanks to:
  • My son Dave, a web design genius, who introduced me to the Firebug and MeasureIt Firefox plugins that helped me make sure the HTML was balanced just right.
  • My wife Claudia, for putting up with my late night sessions at the computer.
  • My daughter Angie, mommy blogger extraordinaire, for my new photo.
  • Greg Johnson, Ryan Thrash and SpiffyCorners  for the CSS-enabled rounded corners.
  • Yourminis for the widgets that provide easy access to Flickr and RSS feeds.
  • for the Javascript used to present random quotes.

If any of you have advices or critique, please let me know.

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Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

Auto Updates to Twitter?

If you follow me on Twitter (@mgd), a few times a day you will receive a tweet from me of the form "Dixon Delicious: Why IBM Wants Sun - BusinessWeek".  I do this to share web sites I visit that may have relevance to others.  Such links, which I first post to Delicious, are automatically posted to Twitter by an RSS-to-Twitter service named HootSuite.

A few days ago, a person who follows me on Twitter suggested that "sending your delicious links to twitter in a batch is sort of poor form, if you don't mind me saying so."  After a polite exchange of direct messages, he also offered, "worked out what bothers me about dixon delicious. it comes through in a single burst.... usually three in a row."

To help illustrate how these messages are generated, I created the little diagram below to show how my updates automatically wind up on Twitter.

  1. I use the Delicious Booksmarks Firefox plugin to save links to websites I may want to return to or that I think may be interest to friends and colleagues. 
  2. I use the ScribeFire Firefox to create posts to the Discovering Identity blog.  
  3. ScribeFire uploads my posts to
  4. ... and posts a link on Delicious using tags I have specified.
  5. Each day at 1:00 am, Delicious automatically creates a post to my blog containing all the links I have uploaded to Delicous in the previous day. This is a composite of all the links I have directly posted to Delicious, plus any links posted to Delicious by ScribeFire.
  6. HootSuite monitors the RSS feeds from my Delicious account
  7. ... and the Discovering Identity Blog
  8. ... and periodically posts new entries to Twitter

It appears that the HootSuite RSS-to-Twitter mechanism is quite "bursty."  It doesn't necessarily post the Delicious links immmediately when I post them, but may post a batch of links at once.

So, what do you think?  Is this too automated? Is it in poor taste to provide this method to put content onto Twitter?

I'd appreciate your feedback.


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Monday Oct 15, 2007

Do You Blog the Blog?

Thanks to Linda Skrocki for pointing out this bit of blogging humor. But all kidding aside, I think my publishing his blog is the single most postive thing I have done in the three years I have been with Sun. The ability to champion a cause, espouse an idea, expand my sphere of influence and establish both professional and personal credibility through my blog have been extremely gratifying.

The article which featured this cartoon included favorable comments about Sun's blogging policy, such as, "Sun is famous for leveraging the blogosphere for goodness with their open blogging policy ..." and a quote from Jonathan Schwartz, "blogging has played a major role in the revitalization of Sun's reputation. Sun has gone from the 99th to the 6th most popular server company, largely because it has embraced authenticity and transparency in its communication initiatives."

As I can almost hear one of my colleagues say, "Blog on, brother!"

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Friday Sep 21, 2007

From Me to You to You to You ... Cascading Cyberspace Connections

My wife and I share a 24 foot square loft in the upper story of our house as my office and her sewing room. This afternoon, my wife, daughter and I were sitting in the loft, bantering back and forth, sharing random comments about our respective blogs. Claudia said, "Did you see the comment on Angie's blog that came from something called Twitter?"

So, I explained about Twitter and tried to find out what happened. As it turns out, yesterday, I posted a short note on Twitter: "Enjoying the blog of my slightly neurotic daughter: link"

Apparently one of the people who follows me on Twitter shared it with someone else who then visited and commented on Angie's blog: "I am not related and don't know you from Adam ... someone who I follow on twitter put up the link, I followed and am glad I did. Excellent Blog."

I suppose the moral is: "Be careful what you blog! You never know who you might be listening ... or twittering ... or whatever."

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Discovering Identity was founded on in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please connect with me in cyberspace at LinkedIn or Twitter.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.


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