Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Funny blog spam today

October 31, 2006

It was actually trackback spam:

Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.

Easy as 1-2-3 … 49-50-51

February 9, 2005

How To Start Your Very Own Blog In Fifty-One Easy Steps! (

Purple-numberize any site

May 23, 2004

PurpleSlurple can slurp up any web page and add purple numbers to each paragraph (that is, paragraph-level permalinks).
For example, here’s RFB purpleslurplerized: Purpled Blogistan.


February 17, 2004

Should we have a meeting? Maybe by irc? Just to check in. We’ve got some pending business: redesign, site architecture, link logging, access to this blog. Some have been too busy to post much lately. Is that a problem, anything to worry about? Should we invite more contributors? Or, as I hinted in a post at RFB, turn the site into a Scoop site so readers can make up diaries and we can “promote” people from the farm team?

Saddam is caught and my server is down

December 14, 2003

Hmm, TypePad munged the first few characters of my entry, turning “Boo-hoo. Biggest blog-news day of the war…” into this:
…that’s even weirder, now the munged stuff just disappeared. The post was supposed to say this:

Boo-hoo. Biggest blog-news day of the war in Iraq so far and my server that hosts most of my sites is down for maintenance. At least that gives me an excuse to come over here and poke my TypePad blog again a little. Now I forget what I was going to say…

instead it generated some weird character that now show up in my textbox as “5{gest blog-news day…” and when I reposted the entry, everything from the weird characters on disappeared entirely. Let’s see if it happens again when I post now. If it does, this will appear to be the end of the post right here.
(Update: Yes, it did indeed vanish, much like the WMD.)


October 30, 2003

Six years ago today I started a project of writing something live on the web every day. Back then we called that keeping an online journal or diary. Over time, what I was doing evolved, influenced by the software that started appearing, into something more closely resembling blogging.
In fact, Breathing Room was preceded (by one week) by a crisis log called The Daily Barbie that was my response to a threatened lawsuit from Mattel against my online ‘zine for hosting one of the versions of Mark Napier’s The Distorted Barbie. (Interesting sidenote: The online community reacted to this threat with store-and-forward “permanently dynamic mirror” of the artwork, exactly the way the Diebold memos are being circulated – see the first comment to this post from Lessig’s blog.)
I hadn’t yet worked out the last-entry-first convention, but during the two months (October and November, 1997) that I provided day-by-day live coverage of the threat letter and my response to it (along with links to legal documents and news coverage), I was given a glimpse of the power of the living web. Small wonder that I started my daily-writing project just a week later.
Now, I can’t claim six years of blogging. I’ve taken two long hiatuses (though neither rivals David Weinberger’s longest), and didn’t even manage a full year of daily entries before I determined that posting something every day was a good goal but not realistic or even entirely healthy.
My most recent sustained period of blogging began in January of 2002, when I set up a LiveJournal account (I had tried Blogger but not gotten much traction with it, for whatever reason – I think it was 2000 then and I was focused on making money before the tulipmania waned entirely). When I started RFB in July of last year, that kicked things up a notch.
Now, I am transitioning RFB into a group weblog, the better to cover the beat and relieve me of daily blogging-about-blogging (which leads to burnout, believe me). I realize that most of my friends and readers in the blog world know me through this Blogistan blog, and many link to it using my name as the linktext. I’ve always maintained a separate personal weblog, but haven’t generally promoted it as assiduously, as I expect it to be mainly of interest to people who know me personally or like my writing enough to want to read it regardless of the topic.
In time I’ve started a political weblog (which also has multiple contributors) and morphed my Memewatch site into a link log – the most fun, quick, and easy form of blogging, if you ask me. I’ve experimented with heavy use of categories and uncategorized blogging, and of course these multiple blogs. Now that I’ve set up monolog to capture all my online logging in one place. It’s probably the link I’d recommend associating with my name, but I’m not going to fight inertia.
I think Blogistan will get cooler with multiple voices. I’m still waiting for a response from one of the people I’ve asked to contribute, but I should be able to announce the contributors soon. One is already helping me work out the new template requirements (to provide bylines and author pages).
Breathing Room had an index of first lines (I was really into right-justification at the time), and I’ve always liked the “found poetry” effect a bunch of headings can make. (People often assume that the start page of this hyperstory is a poem, for example. [That background is so ugly! –ed. I know, I know.] Maybe someday, when I get Breathing Room (which was handcoded, static pages) imported into X-POLLEN, I’ll use Global Listings plug-in for MT to build a master list of all of my blog entries ever (well, aside from the ones at experimental, one-off blogs that haven’t been imported, but whatever). I think it might be cool.

Contribute to RFB

October 16, 2003

I would like to make Radio Free Blogistan a more inclusive resource and less of a one-man show. There are a few ways that people can contribute.

Anyone with a weblog- or metablog-related category in their own blog can set up an RSS feed for the category and tell me about it. If the information in the feed seems to be of value to my readers, I will add your last four or five headlines to my sidebar, as I’ve already done with Lockergnome’s RSS Resource, Weblogging for Poets, a klog apart, the Blog Herald, and Micro-Content News. As with a blogroll, I will add to and prune that list as needed. Corante on Blogging would be there for sure, for example, if Hilton weren’t on hiatus.

Next, I am going to make all the categories at RFB trackback-pingable and I’ll probably set one up specifically as a default ping receiver to remove the choosing-a-category obstacle from among the barriers to participation. I’ll write a little how-to tutorial if I ever get that done.

I have some related ideas, by the way, for facilitating a more interactive Salon blogging community. For one thing, we could do better than the recently updated page at This page is like, in that it’s just a list of updates, and it is a good way to see what’s been posted lately, but now that both Radio and Movable Type do trackback, it’s possible for everyone to (manually or automatically) ping my Salon bloggers category (formerly ‘Salonika’) whenever they update, which would create a list like you see at, but with titles and excerpts from each post.

Kind of a Salon community today at-a-glance page, linking back to everyone’s individual blog.

But back to the how I’m trying to invite more participation in RFB. Finally, I would like to find a small crew of people who would be interested in joining the editorial/writing staff. If you’re interested in doing this, drop me a line, show me some of the writing about weblogs, or nanopublishing, or any of the other topic you see here in Blogistan, and we’ll take it from there.

My feed list

September 20, 2003

I’m trying to show an imported version of the OPML file my RSS newsfeed reader (“aggregator”) NetNewsWire exported for me – as one of my typelists, “Feeds I Read.” At first it just showed five of them, the last five alphabetically. I got it to display the whole list, more or less, but I reversed the order and am republishing this page to see if that restores it to forward-alphabetical.
UPDATE: Just noticed that many of the feed names imported without their associated links. How lame! I will fix manually or try reimporting sometime soon.

Visual narrative

August 25, 2003

[loud drumming fingers]It took longer than I’d hoped, but I’ve just posted 105 pictures to a new photo album called Robots.

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.