Book problems….

I stumbled upon this nice video, which in a few minutes shows you a couple of (very good) reasons to switch to digital also in reading books – in the case you’ve not already done it. Yes, “the smell of paper” can’t be reproduced by a common e-reader (at least, not yet) but it’s not all so amusing with books: sometimes you’d prefer to have a Kindle instead 🙂

See why….

Google Wave Drips With Ambition….

Sometimes, it’s interesting to dig a bit deeper in the Net to understand that things did not go the way we all supposed… I’m still missing Wave, it has been a revolution aborted in the initial stage. But it had all the potentiality to truly innovate the super-old email standard. I’m still disappointed about its premature disappear.

TechCrunch

google_wave_logoYesterday, during the Google I/O keynote, Google’s VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, laid out a grand vision for the direction Google sees the web heading towards with the move to the HTML 5 standard. While we’re not there yet, all the major browser players besides Microsoft are aligned and ready for the next phase, which will include such things as the ability to run 3D games and movies in the browser without additional plug-ins. But Google wants to take it one step further with a brand new method of communication for this new era. It’s called Google Wave.

Everyone uses email and instant messaging on the web now, but imagine if you could tie those two forms of communication together and add a load of functionality on top of it. At its most fundamental form, that’s essentially what Wave is. Developed by brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen

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No pain, no gain

Yes, I think that it’s the way things are: you must work hard to obtain results.

This is true in a variety of situation. More or less, it’s true basically everywhere.

Take the case of art, for instance.

This is a field in which misunderstanding is quite common, on this topic. People are used to think that great artists are people who let flow art naturally from their hands. Naturally, i.e., without (too much) effort. 

Problem is, things are different. Artists are ordinary people which a strong urge to make art: following this sort of calling they are simply determined to work hard till they obtain the desired results (avoiding the traps of perfectionism).

Of course, talent matter.

But, talent isn’t all. Work and regular practice is even more important.

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I can speak only for myself, of corse. I cannot say how much talent I have in writing. But I can assure you that my best results have come in that cases where I convinced myself to spend a good amount of time on a given project. Making myself available also to write and re-write till I was not satisfied. 

To listen to suggestions. Even to change the plot, in some crucial points.

I worked on each chapter of my novel Il ritorno (in italian) for a lot of time. Plenty of time, actually. One thing I can tell you, that all that works succeeded in improving considerably the manuscript.

First draft is always frightening, even if – it can contain some gems inside.

Working till the light of the gems comes out, it’s the hard part. But it’s necessary.

And, after all, it’s what each person who love writing, is willing to do. Because he know that he has no change, nothing different than take his art seriously.

And it pays. Always.

Why I love DayOne…

To me, journaling is essential to remembering when important events took place in my life. I don’t put a lot of faith in my own brain to keep an accurate record, so journaling helps add reliability to my memories (from  Ross Lockwood’s post)

I completey agree with this statement. This is why I started journaling more frequently, since 2011. My first post in DayOne is on March, 5, and it’s a simple statement to test the new diary (in Italian, my primary language). After some hesitations, I started to write more constantly, since the summer of that year.

Keeping a journal it’s not too different, in some way, to keep making photos concerning your daily life. It’s something that can help the mind to recall, to extract that file, to retrieve from the archive all the sensations and the emotions of those specific days. For this reason, it’s of invaluable help.

It’s not important that you write always in excellent style. You are not requested to create masterpiece. That’s the good part of a diary, after all. It’s completely your business. This time, you’re not called to satisfy any requirement, to fulfill any expectation. It’s your place, it’s a place entirely for you. In my diary, I have very short  as well as very long posts, depending on my mood and on my desire to write.

And they are both fine.

They do perfectly their work, which is, to fix a given moment, an impression, an intuition. Making possible to come back to it, anytime.

Trust me: you could be surprised, as much you can still learn from yourself, just by reading your old posts.

DayOne is a very comfortable place to write, since I can reach it anytime, anywhere. From my MacBook, from iPad, or from my iPhone 5. I have my whole archive always with me, thanks to iCloud synchronization.

In time, I’ve seen DayOne growing with features, some of these I largely appreciated. The two I liked most was, in time order, the introduction of tags, and the possibility to publish single entries.

The first feature is of invaluable help in organizing your entry, as you may guess.

The second feature is expecially intriguing, to me. I see it as a sort of bridge between in and out, between my inner private world and the external environment (the rest of the world). Sometimes – after having written a post – I realize that I’d like to share it with others. In the past I elaborated a blog post on it (sometimes I still love to act in this way, since a personal diary is a great tool for raw material to process and publish at a later time), now I have also another possibility: I can simply hit “publish” and DayOne do create for me a nicely and clean webpage with my post content. I cannot ask more – except, maybe, a link to a list of all my published post.

There are a lot of other interesting feature in DayOne. But the best think, for me, is that it makes writing easy and attractive.

This time, I really cannot ask more.

My new book

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In case you didn’t know, here is my new book of poetry (in Italian). The name of the book comes from a song of Victor Heredìa, “Ojos de Cielo”. I was inspired by this passage 

Eyes of heaven, eyes of heaven, don’t abandon me in full flight

(In pieno volo it’s the italian way to say in full flight)

I can interpret the song in many different ways. What is the full flight? It’s the adventure of life, basically. Is the unique adventure of my ilfe. It’s also my spiritual voyage, needed to understand that life has a deep meaning – and it’s worth living each day. Not least, it’s the marvellous adventure of writing, it’s a recognition that writing is an important part in my life. A part that I’m called to defend and develope, since it’s needed for my full flight.

This small book is an important milestone for me. It’s a message I sent to myself, always believe to your dream. 

I’m pretty sure you can do the same to you, for your dream. I’m still certain that if we allow ourselfes to take care of our dreams, the world can turn in a much better place. Let’s do it! 

How can I save stuff on Facebook?

Facebook is a great service, no doubt. You can find a lot of interesting stuff each day (together with a greater amount of not-so-interesting items, the so called waste of cyberspace). I’m pleased by the fact that you naturally build a sort of story of your posts, in the form of a diary, with easy access to past years and months.

You may already know that you can also easily integrate your diary with information from the past, such as the day of your birth (that’s fine, at that time you was not thinking about updating your timeline with smart phrases such as I was finally born or similar amenities, but more probably Facebook was not accepting messages yet, simply because it still did not exist).

That’s fine, but what about saving an interesting post? With saving, I mean here, having a way to access that post also after some hours, or days, from the original publication. You can like the post, of course. But this does not solve your problem, it only allows you to be notified for comments, from now on. What about a great post with few or no comments at all? How can you easily retrieve a list of all your liked post?

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Nope. There is no way to do it (at my knowledge).

What to do, in the not-too-infrequent case in which you find interesting stuff you want to retrieve at a later time?

Have you experienced the frustration arising from your complete inability to find a given post, at a distance of just a few hours from when you red it? It disappeared from your timeline, that’s all.

You know, Twitter has its way to do it. Tumblr has its way to do it. You can simply mark the post as favorite: anytime, you have an easy way to access to your favorite posts. Facebook has no way to do it. It’s interesting that neither Google+ has its way to do it: too much shaped on Facebook style?

Anyway, I think am pretty sure that it would be a very welcomed feature. At the moment, when I find something that I do not want to loose, I’m forced to copy/past the text in some note taking app or website (like the excellent MomoNote). Not that I do not see the advantage of this procedure. But I also understand that it’s not comfortable, having to switch to another environment just to save an interesting piece of text, for example.

To be honest, there are workarounds already available: for example, if you use Chrome you can benefit of extensions like Facebook Favourite. Anyway, even if the idea is good, it’s still far from obtaining the real benefits of a native Facebook feature, and apart from that, while the extension basically do it’s work, there is (let me say so) great  room for further improvements.

To have a Twitter style manner to save post for a later usage, will be simply great. Let’s hope Facebook just realize it.