Archive for July, 2002

"Plan B" Slashdotted

July 31, 2002

Congratulations to Plan B, a “blog novel.” A post to Slashdot has sent its readership through the roof!
The commentary there ranges from cogent to frankly what you’d expect.

Davezilla's Top 20 Blogger Insults

July 31, 2002

OK, many of these aren’t funny, but a few of them are. My favorites:

7. Your website’s so ugly, I’ll bet you used FrontPage.
8. I wouldn’t feed that XML syndication to my neighbor’s dog.
10. Hey, 1994 is calling… They want their website back!
15. Your website’s so ugly, Jakob Nielsen likes it.

Upgrading from Blogger to Blogger Pro

July 31, 2002

OK, just bit the bullet and upgraded my Blogger blogs. Got a free 8000-impressions PyRad as part of the deal, which I spent on an add for this blog, of course. You get 20 characters for the title (exactly the length of Radio Free Blogistan, it turns out) and 50 characters for the body of the ad, which I spent thusly:

long story short: blog meme tipping point metablog

I still have some work to do turning on the weblogs pings for my blogs, turning on the RSS feeds, adding the title fields to the template, and replacing the Powered by Blogger ads with Powered by Blogger Pro ads (or removing them entirely, which paying customers are permitted, if not encouraged, to do).
Here’s an idea for another Blogger Pro feature: better templates!

Radio vs. Blogger Pro

July 31, 2002

As some readers have pointed out, Blogger Pro includes some of the features cited as missing from Blogger in my comparison from Monday. Since Radio isn’t free, it might be more fair to compare Radio with Blogger Pro.
Here are a few of the features you get with the Pro version of Blogger that have analogous Radio features:

  • Title fields
  • Post via email
  • Image posting (but not yet for blogspot blogs)
  • Draft (unpublished) posts
  • RSS (syndicatable feed) generation

Here are some Blogger Pro features that aren’t matched in the basic Radio feature set

  • BlogSend, an email broadcasting feature
  • Post templates
  • Editable time stamps
  • Spellchecking

Blogger Pro is under constant development. Buying it now locks in the current $35/year subscription price (compared with a projected $50/year price). Pyra projects these features for future revisions of Pro:

  • Secure publishing
  • Moderation of team posts
  • Blogger search access

Though I’ve been leaning toward consolidating all of my blogs on MovableType or now, possibly, Radio, I think I’ll still pay for Blogger Pro in the mean time, partly in the spirit of supporting the development effort and partly for the reasons that I bought a premium Salon subscription a while back. One immediate benefit of doing so will be that the Blogger-based mirror of this site will start getting the article titles.

Holding the Media's Feet to the Fire

July 31, 2002

I think the bloggers vs. journalists, or bloggers = journalists, or bloggers keep journalists honest, etc., memes are well distributed and covered in the blogosphere, so I don’t know if I have much to add to that conversation right now, but Howard Kurtz at writes about the fact-checking angle in today’s WaPo.

Blog Writers Good XOR Influential?

July 31, 2002

John Scalzi, in his March 15 ‘Whatever’ column, questions the quality of blog writing:

There are good writers who are working on the Web, either as their primary outlet or as an interesting and intelligent side interest, but I doubt that any of them could be described as influential or important.

Too Easy to Collaborate?

July 31, 2002

Michael Helfrich of Groove Networks recounts a telling exchange with a client from his days at the Lotus/IBM Knowledge Management project:

“You mean that one of my supply chain people could share our schedule data with a supplier?” he asked. “Sure, but they could do that with email, or the phone too. Heck, they could do a screen shot of their SAP GUI and fax the thing too couldn’t they?” I offered.

Let the Blog Book Reviews Begin

July 31, 2002

James McNally wrote this brief review of Rebecca Blood’s book, The Weblog Handbook:

Ethics, etiquette, the debate over “weblogs as journalism,” the self-reflection of the burgeoning weblog “community”: all these subjects and more fall under the purview of this surprisingly dense little book.

Blogging Not "All That"

July 30, 2002

To some people the flourishing of the blog meme is annoying. It’s not just the sound of the word, there’s also the ascendancy of a certain model of writing on the web. I’ve sometimes mentioned my breathing room experiment and how it was a sort of daily (if possible) meditation. An attempt at aware writing, noticing of things, honing my chops as a writer, my voice as a narrator.
Just as some consider the blog “model” (for lack of the better word) limiting and tout the rewritable wiki concept, others criticize the artistic tip of blogging, as a disposable, shallow medium. Someone from just sent me a link to 100words, a site that features monthfuls of daily entries from participants, each 100 words long. The rules are strict:

A new 100 Words batch begins on the first of each month and ends on the last day of that month. Everyone who agrees to participate writes 100 words every day without exception. Participants must complete the entire month in order to be included.
You are expected to write ON THAT DAY and FOR THAT DAY. Please do not “write ahead” and do not “catch up” at the end of the month. 100 Words is about capturing life on a daily basis, and then examining those days across a period of time.

I remember the exact same kind of aversion to “catching up” or backfilling. It’s more a matter of “write here now.”
For my part, I pledge that I will not post on autopilot. When I have nothing to say, I’ll keep silent. For the moment, though, I seem to be on a roll.

The Case Against Blogging

July 30, 2002

Sometimes you have to do something fully before you decide you do not want to do it. Browsing around today led me from diveintomark to zeldman and ended up reading burningbird’s farewell address.
Despite a spelling peeve of mine (“compliment” where “complement” is called for), she makes a very interesting point how blogging is no longer good for her writing, cultivating an undisciplined and ephemeral output.