What’s Up With My Pals?

Posted in Blogging on March 7th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Deb and Steve Feisst are about to take a three-month trip to South America, leaving March 12, and returning June 12. Deb is a library colleague and kindred spirit. They will document their trip at aventura de suramérica.

Peter Binkley, colleague at the U of Alberta, has started writing at his new site, Quædam cuiusdam, aptly titled given his background as a medieval historian, in addition to being the Digital Initiatives Technology Librarian on campus. (Watch out, Peter! Michael Gorman just tossed a book at you!)

I met Diane de Rooy at the Steely Dan concert at The Gorge in Washington State, in 2000 and again at the SD concert there in 2003. Her blog is Big Thinker, Small Town: “My motivation behind this blog is to contribute something to the way people think, hoping they will become more aware of facts, and ultimately, they will become motivated to do one or two small things about issues that need attention.” Sounds good to me.

Stuart Bayens has created Last Link on the Left:”The aim of The Last Link on the Left is to provide entertainment, education and observations of modern culture as reflected on the internet and in other forms of communication.” Wow. Good luck sorting through that quagmire!

Meanwhile, Tony is writing up a storm at A Sea of Flowers. Good God, man, where are you finding the time? 😉

ALA President-Elect Michael Gorman Slams “The Blog People”

Posted in Blogging on March 6th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Michael Gorman, Dean of Library Services at the Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno, President-Elect of the American Library Association, and considered by many to be a leader in our profession, is taking a beating online for his Library Journal column, Revenge of the Blog People. The column begins with (and maintains throughout) a condescending tone, as he writes:

A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the web. (Though it sounds like something you would find stuck in a drain, the ugly neologism blog is a contraction of “web log.”) Until recently, I had not spent much time thinking about blogs or Blog People.

Ostensibly, Gorman’s column is a response to criticism leveled at him by bloggers for an op-ed piece he wrote for the LA Times (“Google and God’s Mind,” December 17, 2004), in which he questions “the usefulness of Google digitizing millions of books and making bits of them available via its notoriously inefficient search engine.” However, he also chose to use his column to condemn anyone who dares to blog:

It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable.

I do not recall ever reading something so hard-edged and mean-spirited in its dismissal of a new, exciting movement, There is little point in defending Weblog Nation, or the many diverse applications of weblogs being utilized in libraries today. In my library system, at least fourteen blogs are used for applications including dissemination of library news, project management, e-journal maintenance, software working groups, digital projects, management of our knowledge common, and more. My guess is that none of the participants consider him- or herself a charter member of The Blog People. The weblog, for what it’s worth, has provided a new way for rapid distribution and exchange of diverse ideas, new ways to communicate, to share information and opinion, and create communities of like-minded librarians interested in sharing their knowledge and experiences with others. (As an engineering librarian, I introduced the weblog as a project management tool in 2004 to a number of engineering design classes in which I teach sessions on library and information resources, and continue to do so this term.)
Read more »

Charlie Rose Goes Blogging

Posted in Blogging on February 15th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Charlie Rose discusses blogging on his show tonight with four well-known bloggers: Andrew Sullivan, Ana Marie Cox, Glenn Reynolds, and Joe Trippi. This group represents political bloggers, and Trippi hasn’t updated his site since February 6th. Should be worth dialing up, nonetheless.

Update: I watched the first fifteen minutes of the segment (will watch the rest tomorrow), and it was good. One point made: that blogs allow the submission of comments by readers, immediately after reading the blogger’s post(s), thus connecting reader and writer in real time, as opposed to, say, a magazine or newspaper column, which can take days or weeks, or months in some cases. Readers can provide feedback and opinion, point out errors, make suggestions, etc. What’s interesting is that of the four bloggers on the show, only Joe Trippi’s blog allows for immediate submission of comments. Sullivan’s site allows for submission of e-mail for publication, which are then published anonymously, if at all. The most recent e-mail published is dated 31 January 2005. Reynold’s and Cox’s blogs do not allow for immediate comments either, but accept e-mail feedback. And who’s linking to whom: Cox: links to Sullivan and Reynolds. Sullivan: links to Reynolds. Reynolds: links to Sullivan, Cox. Trippi: links to Cox.

:: I have been extremely busy at work the past while, preparing a couple of major presentations, one on Friday, one next Tuesday. I will resurface soon. Also, regarding the rock band, I’ve decided to stick with it and see what happens. More on that later.

Blogomania Update – Back To Normal and Getting Better All The Time

Posted in Blogging on January 9th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Special thanks to Christina of BlogMoxie and Christine of Blogomania for responding quickly to my last post. Important points to note:

  • Blogomania is going nowhere but up – the company is growing and expanding. Blogomania has extended its hosting service to Blogmoxie clients, and vice versa: Moxie Design services are being offered to Blogomania clients.
  • Christina corrected my impression that BlogMoxie had suspended new hosting applications. In fact, by partnering with Blogomania, BlogMoxie is accepting new applications for hosting

So why was I having so many problems? Christine responded with the following critical information that explained what happened:

  1. On Friday night, Blogomania and BlogMoxie experienced a DDOS attack, followed by a second one. This ended around 4:00 am CST. It took staff members a few hours to resolve this, working through the night.
  2. On Saturday, the server on which Blogomania resides had a primary hard drive failure. A new drive was installed, and the backup was restored.

It’s important for me to emphasize that since switching to Blogomania in the fall of 2003, the service has been excellent. Christine and her team respond to Help Desk tickets quickly, and provide rock solid customer support. (My thanks also to Keith, who read my post and called to say he had no problems getting to the Blogomania site.)

What happened today was an anomaly. My father said many times, “Mechanical things break down.” Such is life. If you need a host, or need to switch, consider Blogomania.

What’s Up With Blogomania?

Posted in Blogging on January 8th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Weird things are happening, if at all, with Blogomania, the service that hosts my web sites, and Geoff‘s and Tony‘s, among many others. If you’re reading this, then something is working, but not everything is kosher, and I’m worried. I cannot reach the Blogomania site, the Blogmania Helpdesk, my website’s Control Panel, nor my e-mail.

A websearch revealed this post, advising that Christine, the Blogomania girl, has joined forces with Blogmoxie. The girls of Blogmoxie are here, including Christine. The thing is, I haven’t heard boo from Blogomania that this was in the works, and if so, what the implications were for BM customers. Are we being transferred to Blogmoxie? If so, check this out: Blogmoxie has suspended new hosting applications. Say what?

The Blogmania site isn’t working, as of 1631 hrs, MST. This is what you see when you try to reach the site, or Christina’s BigPinkCookie.com – not reassuring at all.

For the time being, i.e., the weekend, I’ve giving Blogomania the benefit of the doubt. I hope Christine resolves this within a day. Blogomania’s reputation, solid until now, doesn’t need a hit like this.

Guide For Fighting Comment Spam

Posted in Blogging on January 4th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Sick and tired of comment spam like everyone else? Jay Allen, creator of MT-Blacklist and Six Apart, have released tbe Six Apart Guide For Fighting Comment Spam, also available in PDF format

:The guide covers many of the concepts and tools available to fight comment spam and explains the strengths and weaknesses that we’ve seen of each. We also included our “best practices” recommendations for not only keeping spam off of your site, but making sure that you and your readers have the best possible experience. The document is intended to be a fairly comprehensive, living document which will change and grow over time to reflect the changing nature of the topic.

Jay’s brilliant creation, MT-Blacklist, is now embedded in the latest version(s) of Moveable Type. Since downloading and installing the newest versions in mid-November, 2004, MT-Blacklist has blocked 12,811 comment spam. We love Jay Allen.

:: Martha Stewart’s team fails to claim victory in prison decorating contest. Armageddon is near.