Archive for July, 2003

Syndicate TPM… soon

July 31, 2003

Talking Points Memo is getting a redesign and… an RSS feed at last.

Blog journal artifact 2000

July 31, 2003

After starting a flatfile online journal in 1997, dabbling with pitas as a collaborative writing space with syrup, and writing a short-lived sequel to breathing room at diaryland, s finally twigged me to blogger, and shallows (aka, shallow breathing) was my first abortive attempt at using this new kind of weblog-posting tool. Definitely a false start, but there’s some naive enthusiasm there, getting a hit of the blog bug.
I’m posting via the old backend one more time to force out an export file of the handful of posts there, so I can import them into X-POLLEN for posterity. I’ll give them their own category, as I did with the bodega posts, and see how they fit into the overall flow. I wanted a link from here to X-POLLEN for anyone in the future who might be trying to follow this path forward instead of backward, but I already set this up to output the MT export style, but who knows maybe I’ll rig it back up one more time to psit out at xianlandia before killing off the Blogger version of this thing. (Why not, the original will be archived at the old address, the entries join my concatenated archive, and otherwise it’s just taking up space on Blogger’s free servers and bloating their user numbers?)
(For the time being the most recently imported entries are the earliest ones in the blog, starting with this one.)

Pie for French speakers

July 31, 2003

François Hodierne has written a summary of the Pie project, called Ce n’est plus Echo !, for French speakers who may not be able to keep up with the wiki in English.
Though, to be honest, I can think of a few English-speakers, including myself, who have trouble keeping up with the wiki in our native tongue.
Here’s Google’s translation back into English.

Yes, I admit, it's getting better

July 31, 2003

Me used to be angry young man
Me hiding me head in the sand
You gave me a feed
I finally need
I’m doing the best that I can
Yes, I admit, it’s getting better
Blogging’s better all the time
Yes, I admit the blogosphere’s getting better
Getting better since you came online
Getting so much better all the time

The day the blogging died

July 31, 2003

Blogistan Pie

A long, long time ago
I can still remember
How those weblogs used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
I could make the Googledance
And maybe Technorati for a while
September always made me shiver
My aggregator would deliver
Bad news in my newsfeed
I couldn’t take one more read
I can’t remember if I cried
When he cut me from his blogroll side
But something touched me deep inside
The day the blogging died


And they were singing
Bye bye wiki necho or pie
Took my standard to a body
But the body had died
And the good ol’ boys
Drinking kool-aid and lies
Singing this’ll be the way blogging dies.


Random quickies

July 30, 2003

Added jwz to my aggrefier. interesting thought about livejournal URLs: since jwz is a paid user (as am i, as bodega), he gets to use the vanity hostname subdomain instead of the plebeian or etc. all of which still work too. should I assume Jamie will continue to be a paid member in perpetuity, or should I use a default-style address, just in case? The latter makes more sense to me (changes link).
Eastgate is releasing Tinderbox 2.0, with some new weblog-compatibility features. Tinderbox, a kind of hyper neural-net-ty electronic note-taking and correlating application, already had the ability to output notes as weblog entries, but now includes a Weblog Assistant that can automatically set up a customized weblog. Also, “Tinderbox now cooperates with other weblog tools, letting Tinderbox users post notes to server-side tools like Blogger, Radio Userland, and MoveableType at the touch of a button.” I really want to give Tinderbox a try, but something’s been holding me back.
RSS Starting To Catch On: Opinion: Despite a pending standards battle – RSS is finally getting the attention it deserves, and for good reason. It can save IT time and money – and may be one of tomorrow’s keys to communications.
things i’m learning from mediajunkie agg:

  • no title? no link
  • not sure what other metadata could be captured and displayed – the multiauthor weblog tool is pretty barebones. Even getting the source weblog to appear required a hack offered by Mark Paschal or Marc Barrot or one of those guys over on the UserLand message boards.
  • The layout sucks. Items should be little floating CSS boxes.
  • There’s no grouping for multiple weblog items.
  • No author credit for group blogs, like the Corante Many-to-Many weblog. I often don’t know who is writing, though I’m learning to recognize each individual voice (I knew it was Clay speaking for “we” and speaking of the backchannel article as a “tribal fetish object” without seeing his byline) – and I discovered Liz indirectly by reading that blog though I assume she was already well known elsewhere (among academic bloggers?). I was already reading Sebastien Paquet’s stuff.
  • Back to Mediajunkie, I’d like the ability to single out, promote, and rearrange the articles. The autotool is clearly just a placeholder measure while I figure out how to do something useful, or turn it off and go back to private aggregation and only rearranging my own content in public.

All Jon Ames all the time

July 30, 2003

It’s a small web but I wouldn’t want to paint it. Yesterday I get notifed that Jonathan Ames, a friend from way back, will be appearing on David Letterman (again) tonight (Wednesday, July 30).
In that message he also mentioned that his website has been updated (I liked his old Flash animation, though) and that when doing a Diary recently for Slate, he’d claimed that the “Williamsburg Bank Building was the most phallic builder [he’d] ever seen,” and that he was therefore inviting people to send him pictures of potentially more phallic buildings.
I hope someone sent him Coit Tower.
Next thing I know, there’s an item in Gawker about the contest (via Page Six, no less), posted by the nanopublication’s editor Elizabeth Spiers, whose personal blog has moved from its old name (Capital Influx) and location (blogspot) to the mighty Mediajunkie web server I maintain in my copious free time.
Elizabeth was also able to drop into my whirlwind week in New York on short notice when Jonathan managed to duck out on a lunch planned nearly a week in advance!
Anyway, I liked the name Capital Influx, but at least she kept the color scheme and she’s actually posting there a lot, when had kind of dried up in the wake of Gawker.
I set the VCR to tape Jon on Letterman.

Migrating from LiveJournal to Movable Type

July 29, 2003

Having migrated a weblog (this one) from Radio to Movable Type and another from Blogger Pro to Movable Type, my next migration project has been to get my old bodega weblog migrated over from LiveJournal to Movable Type, and imported into my X-POLLEN blog.
The definitive resource for LJ to MT conversion is Amanita’s explanation. I had to install a few perl modules, which I found kind of scary, but it wasn’t all the bad, and in the end I was able to get all my LJ blog entries imported (
Memory transplants). I put all the entries in a new category called bodega, but eventually I may recategorize some, or use multiple category assignments, to integrate the new/old entries more thoroughly.
Since must of bodega predated RFB, it was my main blog outlet for about six months, and it contains a lot of entries, more than any other X-POLLEN category by far.
Next I’ll be working my back through a few other online journal attempts, some more successful than others, using Blogger, Diaryland, and a hand-rolled approach I started with in 1997. The Blogger migration will be easy. It’s only about four entries and I’ve now done several Blogger-to-MT migrations.
Diaryland may be trickier. First I’ll have to see if I can export the entries at all. Then I’ll have to massage them into MT format. Same deal with the static journal: I’ll be doing some global search-and-replace to get things formatted for import.
More progress reports as I try out each step.

Memory transplants

July 29, 2003

Well, I bit the bullet, installed some perl modules and migrated over the entries in my LiveJournal, bodega, from January through October of 2002 (and a single entry from June of this year) to this X-POLLEN weblog.
I’ve been doing a bunch of migrations moving other sites from Radio to Movable Type and from Blogger to Movable Type. This one relied heavily on advice from Amanita.
When I hit the one year mark over at Radio Free Blogistan I added the MTOnThisDate plugin and started showing entries from the previous (or next) year on main and archive pages at RFB. I may do the same thing here. I intend to keep drilling back and adding old journal pages to this one repository.
Next is the couple-three entries done at Shallows using Blogger. That will be easy. Then I need to extract the Still Breathing entries from Diaryland, and finally, I’ll have to manually convert the handcoded pages of Breathing Room. That will take me back to 1997. The only earlier weblog-like thing I did was a crisis journal called “The Daily Barbie” that is more properly part of Enterzone and not the kind of personal blog/diary represented by those other sites and this one.

Pictures of the boys

July 29, 2003

When I was in New York I got to spend one evening with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nephews, who have since turned one year old.
As is often the case, most of the pictures I took came out blurry, but some seemed worth preserving, even with motion lines.
I tried using the flash, but it made things so high-contrast. Finally, I shot a couple-twenty seconds of video, just to capture the whole flow.