00.07.16 - Mark
Somedays I'm amazed at the stupid things the local paper does on it's blog. Some threads they let dangle on into full blown flame wars with border line libel material (which they then inserted into the print edition), some times they'll kill a thread because it got too popular (and leave out comments they disagree with), other days they ask random questions and hope for an intelligent response like the latest post "Leap Year Babies!".
I'm fond of weird dates and offbeat holidays, but they're asking what leap year babies do for their birthdays (Feb. 29) It's a neat question, it even caused me to look up when leap year babies are considered a year older (most celebrate on February 28th, some pick their own date to celebrate, but the law says their legal birthday on non-leap years is March 1st)
However you really have to question why you would be asking a small audience (we'll be generous and say 1000 people read the blog) for a statistical minority (all things being equal - 1 in 1461 people) to step forward and describe their birthday plans two months in advance.
10.27.57 - Mark
I've been trying to figure out what exactly I want to say about Tim O'Reilly's proposed Blogger Code of Conduct. Others have posted on the issue and looked at the proposed code in more detail than I will.
That said, this post has gone from it's a bad idea, to it won't work, and now to I don't really give a damn. This isn't something I'll be joining up with because I don't see any of the problems that this claims to be a solution for. I've had anonymous commenters I've disagreed with, trolls I've been tempted to delete, arguments and embarrassing things go public. I've never deleted a post I've made, and I've only deleted two non-spam comments intentionally, and even then I wouldn't make the same decision today since they were rooted in a misunderstanding rather than problematic. All in all I've broken nearly every one of the proposed codes of conduct in one way or another, from posting copyrighted material (if you can find it) to not requiring email addresses from commenters.
The only thing I can say about my blog is that it's mine and I'm responsible for it. I don't need to sign a pledge for that to be true.
NPR Using Blog Comments for Marketing?
14.00.30 - Mark
NPR seems to be using comments on blogs ( same comment different blog) to market their podcasts. Or at least "This I Believe" is.
As best I can tell the Administrator for "This I Believe" ran a search on Technorati for blog posts tagged Penn Jillete, where I'm the 8th hit (the other blog I found the comment on was was 9th) then just pasted the comment into the form, submitted it and moved on to the next blog.
The comment is a pretty bland message that comes close to being comment spam, and while I allow anonymous comments, signing the message as "Admin" doesn't earn them any points, a real name or even "This I Believe" would have been much better. Despite those two items, I think it's neat that NPR (or at least some of its programs) are embracing not only podcasts, but blogs and other "new media" tools as a way of reaching interested parties. The certainlly have a ways to go in terms of making their content an open conversation, which in the end is the real strength of "new media", but the fact that they're experimenting with the tools is very encouraging.
Blogger/Blogspot - Underbelly of the internet
01.10.16 - Mark
Dave Slusher is the latest person to get inline about the evil of Blogger and Blogspot and how they've become a haven for splogs. (There were similar posts by Chris Pirillo and Mark Cuban last October)
When I moved off blogger/blogspot a few months ago, the splog thing was certainly a consideration. Who wants to be at a domain that is becoming well known for splogs and other online annoyances? (On that note how long before Google Page Creator is used for link farms?)
I ended up moving more for the lack of functionality, and the erratic server behaviour, but I wouldn't doubt it if I was told that both of those problems was because the Google Geeks still working on Blogger are spending all their time on putting out server fires than they are on improved functionality or solving the comment spam/splog problem.
In a way it's a shame, blogger is great for beginners and other low demand sites, as well as a small project communication tool (due to it user base size). However the things that make it great for new users also make it great for splogs, and considering that Google makes it extremely hard for users to move away from Blogger or otherwise keep control of their content that becomes a big problem, as noted by the number of good bloggers who are still using the service.