These Elves are People
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It’s important for journalism address virtual worlds because they’ve become the “third place” after Home and Work that Starbucks has been trying to fill for the last decade and change. Adults go online to hang out instead of the bar; teenagers go online to try on new personalities instead of the mall.

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Rails 1.2.1 Impression
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I’m updating NearbyGamers to Rails 1.2.1. Nothing broke except my use of assert_tag in my tests; it’s been long-regarded as squicky and has been replaced with assert_select. As I’m tidying up some deprecated code, it occurs to me that this makes for an interesting example of how I feel Rails is changing.

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Sociable 2.0 Released
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Sociable 2.0 is out!

2.0 contains plenty of new features: 61 sites, subtler icons to avoid clashing with your theme, translation into German, French, Hungarian, and Italian, and more. It lays the groundwork to expand into more languages and more blog engines, so 2007 is going to be bigger than ever.

If you’d like to hear me babble a bit about Sociable, check out this interview. First time I’ve been interviewed.

Sometimes folks ask me if Sociable has a ‘tip jar’ so they could donate to support it. The sites that are on by default have generously sponsored Sociable, so keeping them turned on is a great way for you to support Sociable. Thanks!

Announcing NearbyGamers
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I’d like to invite you all to check out my newest project, NearbyGamers, a service for tabletop gamers to find other players. (As I mentioned earlier, it’s a Rails site.) It’s for people who play RPGs, CCGs, TCGs, wargames, board games — basically any game where you need to have a live human on the other side of a table if you want to play.

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Cambrian House Party
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Cambrian House default avatar Cambrian House, the startup I snuck a peek at and got a hat-tip from has opened for a public beta test. They’re sort of an open-source business incubator: folks submit ideas, the best of which become projects; folks submit code, art, and copy, the best of which go into the finished project. Cambrian House (or a spinoff company, perhaps) runs the project as an online business, paying royalties back to the folks who contributed.

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Building Clean URLs Into a Site
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I wrote about building a site with clean URLs, but that’s useless to you. No, you’ve got a creaking hulking monster of a site that coughs up URLs like “render.php?action=list_mailbox&id=42189”, was built “to meet an accelerated schedule”, and eats summer interns whole.

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Rails Day 2006
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I’m sort of participating in Rails Day 2006. I say “sorta” because I’m trying to build an app in one day but I’m not actually in the competition.

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Developing With Evil
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Building a Site With Clean URLs
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As an aside in my post about Cambrian House I posted some code for making pretty URLs. A few people (no, not CH) have asked for a little more info, so I’ve written up an explanation of that code.

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Cambrian Development
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Since I posted about Cambrian House last night, they’ve responded to me. I sent a heads-up mail to them (because I saw their blog didn’t pick up the trackback I sent) and got a brief thank-you note back from the CEO/founder saying they’d fix their permissions problem.

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