Archive for the ‘Salon Bloggers’ Category

Minus one weblogs

April 14, 2005

Salon’s community weblog server has been flakey for a few weeks now Is anyone at Salon minding the store?

Recently Changed Weblogs

Recently Changed Weblogs

No recently updated sites to list at this time.
The high-water mark is 106 weblogs, on 1/21/2004; 7:21:38 PM.
The low-water mark is -1 weblogs, on 4/14/2005; 12:11:04 AM.

a great six-foot-two hole in my world

August 14, 2004

B watched the slideshow today with voiceover by William “Grimey” Grimes and found it sterile.
I pointed her to Julie Powell’s much more personal rememberance at The Julie/Julia Project.

Curious about the Well?

March 17, 2004

Let me take a cue from Bruce Umbaugh and extend this invitation to our readers here:

Friends are invited to join The WELL:
The WELL, one of the most cherished and original online social gathering places, has engaged, informed, enraged and transformed people from around the globe since 1985. On April 1 our community – and we don’t use that term lightly – will be 19 years old. We’re inviting friends of friends to join the conversation in celebration. We’re pleased to offer a very special (and very occasional) Friend To Friend rate. All you need is the login name of your friend at The WELL.
Join the award-winning, non-anonymous conversations at a special rate through April 1, 2004. Explore either of our membership packages for two full months for a setup fee of just $2.00. If you cancel by phone or email during the two months, you go on your way, no regrets. If you stick around, our regular monthly rate will kick in starting with the third month, until you say otherwise. Some WELL members have been at home here for over 18 years, and it could just happen to you.

If you’re comfortable claiming me as your friend, tell ’em xian sent you.

Slate diary based on Salon blog

February 16, 2004

I noticed that Interns’ Diary (“Two medical interns examine their roles as healers while learning to be doctors”) was high on the Salon blog rankings charts last week with a huge traffic spike coming in the form of referrals from a Slate weeklong diary featuring Ingrid Katz and Alexi Wright, the two interns in question.
It’s sort of funny that Salon blogs were once viewed as a potential “farm team” operation for highlighting new writing talent for Salon and have instead led to a publication in rival Slate.
I know some Salon writers have started Salon blogs. Has anyone made the reverse jump from Salon blogger to Salon writer?

Migrating from Radio to iBlog

November 5, 2003

Salon blogger Gnosis has migrated from Radio to iBlog and posted an entry explaining how to manage this migration while remaining part of the Salon blogs community:

It took several days longer than I expected, but Gnosis is moved, and I’ve settled down to the sort of code tinkering that’s an ongoing process for me. A few people asked me to document what I did. There were three major steps in this process:

  1. Moving existing content from the Salon server to my .mac server
  2. Creating new content on my .mac server using iBlog
  3. Integrating the old and new content

I’ll describe these steps as if I did everything right the first time (which I didn’t). If you want only to move your Radio UserLand Weblog to another server, step 1 will be of particular interest. If instead you want to switch from the Radio UserLand software, keep your existing content, and maintain the appearance of a single Weblog, you’ll need to pay attention to all three steps. [Gnosis]

It's a small world 'o crap, after all

October 22, 2003

My current favorite Salon blog is World o’ Crap. Basically, it’s hilarious. It goes after the righties in power without the usual liberal deference and nuance-balancing. Instead, the author offers a full-throated in-your-face style suitable for radio. Sign her up quick!
Here’s what had me laughing just now:

When she’s not busy being an action figure, Ann Coulter likes to tout her book on TV and AM radio. So, it was no surprise to learn that Ann was a guest on the Rush Limbaugh show Monday (filling in for Rush: some guy).

I listened to the interview via the audio file linked to Rush Limbaugh (proving that I will do anything, no matter how self-destructive it may be, to have something to write about). And here is my summary of what Ann had to say …

Some conservatives have criticized Rush Limbaugh, showing they are willing to denounce their fellow conservatives just to get liberals to say they’re consistent in their views. Now we know who the girls are in our movement.

Yeah, because if the choice is “Criticize Rush for his drug abuse and hypocrisy, so I can be consistent with my deeply held beliefs about drug abuse and hypocrisy,” or, “Defend Rush, so I can show solidarity with my fellow conservatives, even if that makes me a hypocrite,” I’d better pick the latter, or Ann will call me a girl.

Oh, and Ann, aren’t YOU a girl in their movement? Oh, right. Never mind.

Nobody can fire me but the American people, and they keep buying my books, so apparently they like me.

No, Ann, those aren’t “people” buying your books, it’s Satan. He buys them by the truck load so your titles will appear on best sellers lists, and people will despair, thinking that there is nothing good or decent left in the world. Sometimes he gives out the books to college students, in the hopes that their impressionable, young minds will be warped by your ideas, and they will join his army of the damned. Plus, he gets a tax break that way. And sometimes he just burns them, to keep the furnaces in hell going full force.

Bottom line: no actual “people” like you. And while Satan won’t recall you anytime soon, since he is getting a good return on the fame and fortune he gave you in return for that shriveled husk you called your soul, we’ve read enough of the Book of Revelation to know that eventually your firing will come, Miss Whore of Babylon, and it won’t be fun!

No one is going to defeat Bush in the 2004 election, because when the nation is under attack, you can’t trust a Democrat with national security.

Yeah, like how we were losing W.W.II because Roosevelt was giving our national security secrets to Hitler. And then Truman took over, wimped out over using the atomic bomb, and we were conquered by Japan. Good thing we didn’t trust THOSE traitors! But here’s an interesting bit o’ info: History’s Wartime Presidents Suffer Curse of One-Year Term

Not a single U.S. president who has led the country into a major war has gone on to serve another full term in the White House. Not James Madison after the War of 1812. Not Woodrow Wilson after World War I. Not Lyndon Johnson after Vietnam. And not George H.W. Bush, who won a popular war but was unable to win over everyday Americans a second time.

In fact, of Lincoln, William McKinley and Franklin Roosevelt – the only presidents to win re-election after leading the country into wars – none survived more than a few months into his final term. Lincoln and McKinley were assassinated. Roosevelt won his fourth presidential election in 1944 and died of a brain hemorrhage a few months later at 63.

So, this means if Bush Junior DOES win in 2004, he’ll be dead by 2005. A compassionate person would hope for his presidential defeat, Ann.

I’m working on another book. It’s going to be really good.

Yes, in the tradition of Libel and Slander, we think it’s going to be called Cannibalism: How the Liberals Eat Your Children. Satan can hardly wait for it to come out.

And that was the end of interview. Well, it wasn’t so much an interview as a chance for Ann to recite her “greatest hits,” and to mention her book about 50 times, and to defame other conservatives by calling them “girls.”

[World O’Crap]

Note, everything I cut from this excerpt was as funny as what I kept. I just wanted to include some highlight from just one post to whet your appetite.

The Julie/Julia book

September 23, 2003

Add The Julie Powell to the list (along with Salam Pax) of bloggers whose weblogs have landed them sweet book deals.
Congratulations to Julie for conceiving of her brilliant project and then – most importantly – executing it. So now, is the book going to just be a slightly edited rendition of the yearlong cooking project or is it some other kind of derivative work?

We're No. 10 (again)

September 17, 2003

Through regular exercise and the downing of a lot of chocolate-covered donuts, Radio Free Blogistan’s parent blog, Mediajunkie, has recovered its coveted 10th-place rankings in the list of Salon’s all time Rankings by Page-Reads.

Migration project and priorities

July 1, 2003

As promised last week, I am going to start migrating some of my weblogs from tool to tool. I’m not doing this just to demonstrate the processes and the problems, but because I have had longstanding plans to do so as a matter of trying to rationalize (or refactor) my web presence a bit.
My personal view of blog tool migration is that each vendor should make it exceedingly easy to import blog entries from any other tool, probably using some dialect of XML. I think it’s probably too much to expect for the vendors to bend over backwards to make you leave, but since most tools produce XML-based feeds and some even store, archive, or backup their database contents in XML formats, just having good importing should do the trick most of the time.
My most immediate plans are to move several of my Blogger blogs to Movable Type and to move Radio Free Blogistan from Radio to MT. Blogger to MT isn’t so tricky, though I will document that process. I also plan to convert my old personal journal/diary/blog sites from their engines (hand-rolled, diaryland, Blogger, and LiveJournal) and import them into my X-POLLEN blog.
The motivation of taking Bite Media and Uncle John’s Blog off of Blogger is mainly to get basic features like comments and categories enabled. I like the new “Dano” Blogger interface and I’m a paid Blogger Pro user, plus I write and speak about weblogs in my work, so I will continue using Blogger for some purposes. One possible idea is to run a simple link list through Blogger and include it as a sidebar in my other blogs.
The motivation for moving RFB from Radio to MT is more complex. The primary impetus is Trackback. I use the Blogistan site primarily to discuss the weblog phenomenon, and most of the thought leaders in that space use TB to coordinate their conversations. TB has already been demoed for Manila and is coming to Radio as soon as Userland’s priorities allow, but I’m impatient, especially as the not-Echo discussion rages and I feel less than a full participant in the conversation.
I will also continue to use Radio, mainly because I like the news aggregator and I use it to automatically assemble all my other blog posts into one place (currently the x-syndicate category here). The main thing I don’t like (and don’t understand) about the multiauthor weblog tool is the way it changes folds incoming post titles into the body of reposted entries. If I knew how to fix that, I would.
I also like being part of this Salon blog community, such as it is, and using Radio is kind of a prerequisite, at least for the stats side of things. So, I’ll be renaming my Salon Radio weblog with usernum 1111 to something besides RFB, once I’ve migrated the RFB contents to MT. I may use Salonika, or x-syndicate, or something else entirely, and I’ll probably rarely or never post to it directly but continue using it as a compendium site. What’s interesting is that people linking to the old address will end up at the new site and people linking to will still end up going to RFB, despite its different backend.
So, this is going to be complicated. Broadly, there are three major steps:

  1. Set up a new RFB blog in Movable Type, pointed at a staging area.
  2. Adapt the current RFB design to MT’s templates.
  3. Convert the 2000 or so posts here to MT import format.
  4. Import the old entries into MT.
  5. Publish the new MT RFB blog to the domain.
  6. Rename my Radio blog and redirect its output elsewhere.
  7. Delete the old Radio entries once they are safely and properly working in the new blog.

I think that’s about it. So far all I’ve done is (1). Converting the templates shouldn’t be too hard, even though there are conceptual differences. Radio breaks out the day and item as separate templates but uses the same home template for the home page and for archive pages. MT nests the day and item sections in one main index template but uses different templates for various archive views.
Once I’ve got the new templates set up (and I still would like to improve the design, but one thing at a time!), I’ll post a dummy entry there just to test it and to demonstrate that that step is completed. I plan to document all my procedures and note the gotchas when possible.
The big problem is converting the backed up entries to the MT format without breaking permalinks. Also, Radio stores each day as YYYY/MM/DD.html whereas MT by default puts each entry on its own archive page, with my preferred URL being YYYY/MM/DD/entry_title.html. In order not to break old links to the site, I’ll probably end up keeping a duplicate set of all past entries. That may be confusing to some, but it should minimize breakage.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk’s Migrate from Radio Userland to Movable Type page offers a Python script for accomplishing the conversion from Radio’s XML backup files. It looks very cool. I’m still figuring out how to run Python on my Mac (OS X 10.2.6), but if I can wrap my head around that, it may solve most of my problems when I get to step 3.
As I said, though, I’m impatient, and there’s a chance I may do a more crude migration in the short run, which would involve just starting to post using MT and stopping using Radio. The problem is that MT’s search wouldn’t know about the old Radio posts, but then I could continue using the Google search aimed at my and that should work just fine. It’s by far less elegant to leave the entires unconsolidated in two separate data piles, but in the end I’ll do what works, even if that means taking a sloppy path of least resistance.
The Blogger-related migrations are easier, as I said, so I may just slip them in along the way, when I get the time.
I’m still interested in other tools, especially those used for multiple-user sites, such as pMachine and Drupal, so I doubt my consolidation will last.
I’m also trying to get a wiki set up at I downloaded phpWiki, but I’m running into problems mainly related to my own stupidity and ignorance.
Updates as they come.

How to backup and restore the world

June 27, 2003

I just added David Pollard’s How to Save the World weblog to my subscriptions. His blog is a nonstop source of fascinating thoughts about business, the web, society, and so on. He has also done some interesting analyses of Salon bloggers by traffic and interconnectedness. (Since Harry Potter will be knocking me out of Salon’s top ten all time blogs within a day or so, I cherish my relative interleavedness with the rest of the blogosphere.)
Anyway, I kept forgetting to check his site until I saw a link back in, and that was the clue that I needed to subscribe. It will also make it easier for me to quote him and x-post to the salonika category when he posts something about the Salon blogs community.
I need to update the feed boxes on the salonika page, I know, especially since the untimely retirement of the Raven.