Or in English “Queens Day”, is a national holiday in the Netherlands, celebrating the Queens birthday, even if April 30th isn’t her birthday, but her mothers. It’s just that her own birthday on January 31st isn’t exactly the ideal time of year to turn the country into one big open air festival. Koninginnedag is the day the country turns brightly orange, after the name of the Royal Family which is the House of Orange. It’s the day everybody turns out to what must be the biggest jumblesale and open air festival and party in one. I am on the local committee in my home town organising all the events, and for me it is sort of the busiest and funniest day of the year. Had a great time!

Last Friday I attended the presentation of a fraternity friend of mine who presented his
masters thesis, as the last step in finishing his study in informatics at our Alma Mater.
He had made a theoretical model for, and built a prototype of, a webportal for a defense contractor here in the Netherlands. From his presentation I concluded I have moved away significantly from the technological viewpoint and also the more industrial organisational model. In his presentation much emphasis was given to security issues, in fact the whole model was focussing on it. Not very strange for a defense contractor, but in all his story the people meant to use the system were never once mentioned….. Pondering how it was that apart from the users, his presentation also left out almost all aspects I would deem important in these kinds of projects (e.g. sharing to name but one), I came to the conclusion I could have held the same presentation 8 years ago, and believe every word of it.
It’s just that I, while still understanding the technological aspects, have
moved away from the techie viewpoint. It’s in building bridges between people
and technology that I have found joy in my work, and I now seem to have built my dwellings on that bridge in good old medieval style.

Making my home on the bridge (picture: Ponte ecchio, Firenze, taly)

As a result of Stuarts posting on
the possible relationship between blog design and conversational effects, I
decided to implement some changes to my own template. It is a further adaptation
of a default template by Blogger. I moved away from the blue color scheme that
seems to be prolific in the blogs I read. If you’re wondering about the picture
in the header: it’s an adaptation of a picture I took in the fall of 2001 in my
sisters garden in Reading near Boston Massachussets.

fall foliage 2001, Reading MA

Stuart Henshall adds to the discussion of blogs as
facilitators of dialogue
. He is the first I’ve seen who takes the design of
the blog as a possible cause of little interaction through comment-boxes etc.
Personally I still feel that the dialogue blogs foster takes places in large
parts in other media, with the blog as startingpoint, so that the dialogue is
largely hidden from view for the casual blog-reader. But Stuart certainly makes
a point worth contemplating.