Thursday, December 30, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
PS: Thanks to the posting on Micro Persuasion - a great site in itself - which pointed me to the article (which in turn was turfed up by a search on Findory.com - my how the hours get whiled away...)
Another Daily Me
This does seem better than the more arbitrary RSS feeds that can overwhelm you with the volume of new postings, so I'll be trying it to see if it does indeed live up to its promises...
"an AFP story reporting that U.S. troops in Fallujah "had orders to shoot all males of fighting age seen on the streets, armed or unarmed," a reader comments on "the fact that fighting-age males were prohibited from evacuating the city in the first place.""(Cursor.org 12/21/04 18:14)
This got me thinking about why the American blogosphere seems so much more politicised than in Europe - and I think it's this: traditionally European news media has always followed a politicised model, whereas the American model has an objective model tradition (at least according to McQuail et al, 1998: 252): does this mean there therefore seems to be more of a 'need' for politicised writing in America which is not satisfied by the traditional news media?
For those who aren't technically proficient enough to add a search facility to their site, there's still some useful tips, including the 'less is more' rule of navigation (i.e. avoid endless navigation columns). Rollover sub-menus and section pages will help the user much more than a list of 50 options on page 1 (eight menu options is optimum, apparently, which isn't surprising given that humans' short term memory can generally only store around seven items).
Other tips include including navigation elements within the main body of the page (where most users look, according to certain studies), and focusing some attention on the design of article pages - particularly the ends of articles, where users can be left stranded.
PS: The piece is based on an interview with information architect Christina Wodtke, who seems to have a lot of interesting things to say on the subject based on a quick Google search.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
PS: This posting was done using Blogger's lovely Blog This! feature (top left of screen). Bloglines has a similar feature - but how frustrating that you can only do it on Blogger's own sites...
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Fancy a job, blogger?
Why do gamers play?
"For search providers, offering searchable video is an extremely attractive new market because it not only keeps them relevant to consumers hungry for multimedia, but it also helps them appeal to brand advertisers, which spend about $60 billion annually on commercials. Major TV advertisers are comfortable with the effects of commercials, and they're likely to wake up to Internet opportunities once on-demand video is ubiquitous.
"As a result, Yahoo, Google and others are already courting Hollywood to cinch relationships. Their courtship will be essential in building business models for video advertising, distribution and content sales--all hurdles to making multimedia search a success."
It looks like RSS will play a part, and one interest for bloggers is, "the system could be used to allow people to aggregate video feeds on a personalized Web page, for example."
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
My new search engine friendly URL
For more along these lines see this article in the Search Engine Journal, which talks about search engine friendly URLs, albeit with more of an emphasis on archived postings. Now to update my search engine listings...
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
- Never promise what you can't deliver
- Never ask a question on the cover
- Cover lines can never be too big
- Cover words need to make sense.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Always check your sources
More blog promotion tips
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Movie trailers on the web? Big deal. How about an entire film on your mobile phone? According to this article, that's just what's happening with "Rok Sako To Rok Lo", an Indian production which you can also watch on the big screen. Of course this could just be a publicity stunt and they really don't expect anyone to sit in front of their phone for a couple of hours, but that would be cynical...
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
More prosaically known as the Deutsche Welle International Blog Award 2004, the BOBs (Best Of [the] Blogs) have been announced with a raft of categories and an impressively global array of winners, with Best Blog going to a Chinese site, which had an innovative way of getting around the fact that you can't talk about human rights in the country, and Best Journalistic Blog: English going to the more famous Lawrence Lessig. Silver prize winner Editor:Myself is a bit more interesting, written by the Iranian-born Hossein Derakhshan about his home country.
PS: For another blog awards check out the rather ugly-looking Weblog 2004 Awards, which includes a rather bizarre vote based on the blogosphere ecosystem.
Or you can check out the Bafta Interactive Awards, with the BBC leading the nominations, according to the, erm, BBC.
Update (9Dec04): Yet another blog award is announced by A Fistful of Euros.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
The blogger backlash has already begun
"compared blogger criticism of Dan Rather's "60 Minutes II" report on President Bush's military service record to a "political jihad." Brokaw's designated successor, Brian Williams, also appears less than enamored of the blogosphere. During a recent panel discussion organized by Time Magazine to discuss candidates for Person of the Year, Williams suggested bloggers were "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem."
Meanwhile, in Australia, The Blog Herald reports:
"political gossip site Crikey.com.au has slammed bloggers in an section of its subscriber email of 2 Dec (second edition) with this reference in relation to the proposed Australian Blogging Conference “Four-eyed nerds from everywhere will be converging on Melbourne in February for the 2005 Australian Blogging Conference. Losers, lepers and social misfits who have previously only been able to interact with the world through the safety of their blog spots will come out into the light to meet their brethren face-to-face for the first time. What will happen? Only time will tell.”
Rather helpfully, the report then suggests sharing your thoughts with Crikey editor Stephen Mayne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Promoting your blog
The interesting problem came with Ice Rocket, which refused to list my site because it was not an RSS feed. Now this prompted a visit to the Blogger Help pages on syndication - specifically about getting RSS to work. Are you thrilled? Read on...
Here I learn that Blogger, which does provide an atom feed (this page explains that bit of jargon), requires you to pay to have an RSS feed. To its credit Blogger does point you towards FeedBurner, which allows you to make your feed work in any reader by creating a new page: in my case, this one - although I could have simply used http://veryniceman.blogspot.com/atom.xml. So, now I have an RSS feed page and am listed for all the world to ignore. (Actually, this turned out to be far from the case. In the 24 hours since I did this, the number of people viewing my profile rose from 4 to 16.)
So, I now have even more lovely badges on my site and a whole new collection of blog discussion sites to visit: Blogdiscussion and BloggerTalk being just two. It's good to talk.
UPDATE (13 June 05): Now also added to Blogdigger and Feedmap.
UPDATE 2 (20 July 05): Now also added to Britblog.
The Guardian quotes ACNielsen's European internet analyst, Gabrielle Prior, as saying: "Twelve months ago high-speed internet users made up less than one quarter of the audience. Now they are more than 50% and we expect this number to keep growing."
It goes on to identify broadcasters and record labels as those likely to take advantage of the new opportunities - but it also means more fleixibility for the interactive journalist too.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Read a murder suspect's blog
"Her last post to her blog (since removed) indicated that her mother had been murdered and the police were about to seize her computer, however she gave no indication of her role in the conspiracy."What's most eerie about this is the fact that you can still access her blog and - it being in diary style - gain an idea of her life, her thoughts, and so on. Delving deeper, you can read her profile, and even access listed friends such as bobtheshoe. Of course there's a huge ethical issue here of prejudicing the judicial process, but since when has that stopped some journalists?
Also useful is a footnote list of leading blogs in various areas, which I'll quote at length:
"Jeff Jarvis’s “BuzzMachine” is the single best source for information on the global expansion of the blogosphere. University of California, Berkeley, economist Brad DeLong (“Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal”) is perhaps the most influential economics blogger, while Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok comment on microeconomic theory and the globalization of culture at “Marginal Revolution.” The group weblog “Oxblog” has won serious media attention for its campaign promoting an assertive U.S. foreign policy supporting human rights and democracy.
"Blog coverage varies throughout the world. Although Salam Pax paved the way for Iraqi bloggers, he has stopped blogging himself, and only around 70 Iraqi blogs have picked up where he left off. Among the more prominent: “Iraq: The Model” and “Baghdad Burning,” which respectively support and oppose the U.S. military intervention. Western Europe has a sizeable number of blogs, especially in Britain, with the right-wing “Edge of England’s Sword” and the pro-war leftist “Harry’s Place.” “Slugger O’Toole” covers the Northern Ireland beat, while “A Fistful of Euros” seeks to provide an overview of Western European politics. Elsewhere, “BlogAfrica” syndicates blogs from across that continent, while “Living in China” offers an expatriate perspective on Chinese politics and society. Last is the blog of Japanese tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Joi Ito (“Joi Ito’s Web”). He reportedly visits 190 blogs regularly and averages five hours a day reading and writing blogs."
Is Google colluding with Chinese censorship?
Equally interesting, perhaps, is that while browsing the Reporters Without Borders site I came across this very interesting Internet Under Surveillance report. Use the menu on the right of the text to access analyses, and reports on individual countries. The UK, for example, is assessed here - its situation, apparently, is "middling". The section on a filtered internet is also particularly useful in the context of the Google story.