Archive for May, 2005

TPM Cafe launches

May 31, 2005

Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo blog has spawned a group weblog experiment called TPM Café. Like other popular political community blogs such as Daily Kos, MyDD, and, TPMCafe runs on Scoop.
For more information about participating, see the site’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Tim Bishop reviews the Berkeley CyberSalon

May 31, 2005

Hmm, seems like I could have added a pro-technology perspective to the proceedings (Geodog: A night at the Oh-So Berkeley CyberSalon):

As long time readers know, I love the People’s Republic of Berkeley, foibles and all, and have celebrated its wonderful quirks in my writing and photography for the last 3 years, and even been banned from Adsense for having done so. But sometimes the Berkeley scene and its inhabitants much-lampooned well-meaning but sometimes unthinking do-gooding missionary zeal and neo-puritanism is too much, even for me, and tonight’s evening at the Berkeley CyberSalon was an example of such.
I recently read about the Berkeley CyberSalon on Scott Rosenberg’s blog, and joined the mailing list based on his recommendation. It seemed like a good opportunity to hear about new ideas in technology as well as a good way to meet other people in Berkeley interested in socio-political issues around technology….

Read the whole thing!

Boilerplate social network invitations: Decidedly Unromantic

May 27, 2005

I’ve become a little more understanding about the lame robotic invitations that are suggested by default by most social network services when you invite a new member. I’ve been told that providing the user with a canned invitation instead of requiring that the user write their own increases the utility of the invitation service.

At the very least, though, I still regard that moment of sending an invitation to be an opportunity to rise above the common sward and send a personalized note. I recently received a LinkedIn invitation from Mark Glaser that was witty and engaging. I’d have agreed to connect with him anyway, but it was a pleasure to read an actual message rather than a spammy-sounding sub-email type of communique.

Scot Hacker recently sent his wife a generic LinkedIn invitation and learned that it was not particularly endearing ( LinkedIn Invitation: Decidedly Unromantic):

Every now and then someone sends me an invite to hook up with them on LinkedIn. I generally accept the invites, but have never done much with the service, aside from getting back in touch with a few old Ziff colleagues. Yesterday Amy discovered the site. We didn’t find ourselves automatically in one another’s networks, so I sent her invite. This morning I hear her reading her email out loud, in a voice dripping with sarcasm:
“You are a person I trust. I’d like to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn. I’m using it to discover inside connections I didn’t know I had.” And then, “Gosh honey, you’re SO romantic.”
Marriage tip: When sending a LinkedIn invitation to your life partner, edit the default text before sending.

The Power and Mighty, live at the Bowery Poetry Club

May 24, 2005

So xourmas and I debuted our duo last night (May 23) in New York at an open mic at the Bowery Poetry hosted by the O’Debra Twins (aka, Your Psycho ex-Girlfriends). There is a lottery to perform and each act gets seven minutes. We went on around 12:45 and did our arrangements of two standards. Here’s the setlist (for posterity):

Salty Dog
Take Me to the River

I am now officially addicted to applause.

"bookmark this" hack for del.ici.ous

May 22, 2005

Quoting from bookmark this:

I’ve added a little bit of code to add a “Bookmark This” link on every post, next to the Comments link, which allows you to kick the user over to to the posting page. There are two pieces to this little hack.

First, you can link to with a GET argument of “url” containing the URL-encoded URL, and you can supply a title in the “title” field, similarly URL-encoded. This effectively lets you put something equivalent to’s “copy this” link somewhere offsite. The final URL should thus look like:

Second, a bit of TypePad/MT hackery: In the appropriate place (I added it right after </MTIfAllowComments>) add the following to your Main Index and Individual Archive templates:

| <a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>&title=<$MTEntryTitle encode_url="1"$>">Bookmark This</a>

I am not Craig

May 16, 2005

Twice in the past two days I’ve been mistaken for Craig Newmark. It’s kinda flattering in a way. Maybe he and I share a sense of style?
xian not craig craig not xian

J.D. posts long installments from 'Darknet'

May 16, 2005

Quoting from Darknet: The Installments (at Joho the blog):

JD Lasica is beginning to post long installments from his entertaining new book, Darknet: Hollywood’s War against the Digital Generation. First up: The story of some teen film-makers. He’ll also be posting new material. [Technorati tag:]

Time to stop pinging

May 16, 2005

At least till we know who bought, I’m not sure I want to pinging them: has been sold to an unnamed individual and will transfer ownership, including account information and user data, sometime on or around June 13. is a directory of recently updated weblogs. It is “pinged” by virtually every public blog as they are updated. I wonder if this individual who purchased the site will subsequently flip to a search engine trying to build a blog search tool.

Cell-phone alert on "nuclear option"

May 16, 2005

People for the American Way are preparing to create a telephonic flash mob if the Senate votes on the filibuster rule.

With the Nuclear Option’s timing in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s hands, there won’t be enough warning to send out an email alert the moment he drops the bomb on the Senate. But we can deliver a text message straight to your mobile that embeds a Senate phone number based on your state.

Personal Democracy Forum 2005

May 16, 2005

Personal Democracy Forum
I’m at PDF2005 at CUNY in New York city today. I moderated a panel called “Tools and Ideas for Empowering the Edges” in the morning, so I’m off-duty now, able to participate as an audience member and on the really snarky backchannel chat.
Right now Micah Sifry is interviewing Andy Stern of the SEIU. More comments when I’ve had time to digest the people and ideas I’m encountering here.