March 31, 2005

Yes, happy news stories still occur on blogs!

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After a day of negative blogging stories its always nice to run something happy. Blogger Jim Davis recently went searching for a missing person, an old family friend, and what better way then to post on his blog. The result, well… it wouldn’t be a happy story without a happy ending, the women was found. A nice story and probably one repeated elsewhere on the blogosphere, but in a day where many in the blogosphere lynched and crucified the founder of WordPress over a minor indiscretion, its always good to remember that there is still good people writing blogs, and that there is still some happy magic in the blogosphere.

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Shiny Media launches green consumer blog

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UK blog network Shiny Media has launched HippyShopper, the UK’s first Green Consumer blog

The blog is being written by Stuff magazine’s Managing Editor, Adam Vaughan and aims to enlighten and amuse its readers with green news stories from the UK and links to environmentally friendly sites around the world.

Its daily updates will:
* Track the latest green gadgets
* Tip readers off about what’s coming in the organic food market
* Give details of green exhibitions
* Offer updates on eco-friendly health and beauty products
* Give tips on how to recycle products

The site kicks off with a competition to win a shed load of green stuff including: ten Solios – solar powered iPod/mobile phone chargers – five Adopt An Animal Panda Packs from the World Wildlife fund; ten copies of Save Cash and Save The Planet; and a Collins/Friends of the Earth book stuffed full of practical tips to help you be a bit greener.

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Vale Matt Mullweg

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Duncan Riley> yes, I’ve pulled the post about the crucification of Matt Mullenweg over at Waxy.org, life is to short to get into a fight with people over he said/ she said. What is clear though that today on the blogosphere we have experienced the crucification of the reputation of a formerly well respected blogger, Matt Mullenweg, the genius behind WordPress. I suppose that if the blogosphere takes delight in crucifying people in the mainstream media, rightly or wrongly, then I suppose its only natural that we’ll eventually turn on one of our own. I can only encourage those when reporting the post and accusations at Waxy.org to take one step back and question the motives before posting. Matt has made a mistake, we all make mistakes, but is this really necessary? Is it right to destroy the reputation of one who has given so much to the blogosphere without greed nor profit?

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10 DIY Blog platforms you may not have visited

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As the race between MovableType and WordPress for leadership of the DIY blogware market continues, there is any number other alternatives in the marketplace that offer similar services in a range of programming languages. Looking for something different, or always wanted to know what else was available, well heres a list of ten DIY Blog platforms you may not have not have visited, or even heard of, and in the coming weeks, time permitting, we’ll even review them one by one so you know what to expect.
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Blog Herald reader survey: what is more dangerous to American school kiddies

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After a recent rise in blog bashing, today we launch the first Blog Herald reader survey for 2005. Because I’m too lazy to install the WP Poll Plugin today its going to be a manual process. The question: what is more dangerous to American school kiddies?

1. Drugs
2. Guns
3. Teenage Pregnancy
4. Prostitution and/ or child abuse
5. Blogging

Leave your answers in the comments!

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Ethics and Blogging: Inspiration not copying

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Duncan Riley> In my first ethics post, I talked about the ethical use of text, but didn’t consider the use of the design in the equation, hence today’s post: Inspiration not copying, which covers both the ethical side of design, as well as being a handy guide on blog design itself.

Tip 2: Inspiration not copying
I once heard somebody argue that there is very little originality on the internet and most site look alike. To some extent they were true, and after 10 years online I’m the first to admit that very little of what appears today on the internet provides a “wow” factor in terms of pushing boundaries in appearance and design. Basically, it’s nearly all be done before, and to some extent the mainstreaming of the internet as a whole is the net result of this. Blogs are perhaps even more guilty of perpetuating a blandness of design,with most blogs following a simple, basic layout popularised by Blogger. But all is not lost. There are some good examples out their of aesthetically pleasing blogs, albeit aesthetics being a subjective topic at best, and you to can be different by being inspired but without copying.
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Calacanis, Denton Loathsome New Yorkers: media

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Blog tycoons Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton have been included on a list of 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers, as published by the “New York Press”.

Denton cops the biggest serve with a description that starts with “Franken-headed Gawker Media emperor Nick Denton takes partial blame for the dubious distinction of introducing the word “blog” to grandmothers in Dubuque”. It also alleges that his bloggers are lowly paid slaves, that he hides his wealth and that he stole code from a kid without paying for it.

The article is not kind to Calacanis either, again making suggestion of slave pay rates and refers to him as a huckster.

New York blogger Sarah Lewitinn (aka Ultragrrrl) also is named in the 50.

(via JMC)

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Reuters to host Blog debate

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In New York and looking for something blog related to attend, then why now check out Reuters “Blogs and the Media Debate”. Reuters has convened a panel of experts to discuss the impact of blogs in journalism and the media, followed by a discussion and drinks reception.

WHEN: 6.00 pm – 8.30 pm, Tuesday, April 5th, 2005
WHERE: The Reuters Building, (42ND Street and 7th Avenue), 3 Times Square, 30th Floor, New York NY 10036

Panel convenes at 6.15pm, followed by open audience discussion and a cocktail reception.

The issues being discussed include; Are bloggers journalists? Should they be afforded the same rights as journalists?, With blogs central to the recent resignations of top journalists, is anyone holding bloggers to account?, Do blogs have a vital role in the national debate?, Are blogs seeking the truth and exposing poor journalism or are they being used as campaigning tools to advance particular causes or points of view?

The panel includes Paul Holmes, Global Editor, General & Political News, Reuters, Stephen Baker Senior Writer, IT Group, BusinessWeek, Jay Rosen, Author, Pressthink.org, & Associate Professor Halley Suitt, Bryan Keefer Assistant Managing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review Daily, Garrett Graff FishbowlDC.com, 1st White House Accredited Blogger, everyones favourite blogger Dave Winer, Editor, Scripting News and John Fund, Columnist, OpinionJournal.com

RSVP to Sophie Brendel Tel (1) 646 223 4331 or [email protected]

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Bloglines adds Package Tracking

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Bloglines, recently acquired by Ask Jeeves, has lauched a new package tracking service, that has been billed as the services first move beyond blogs and RSS news feeds. Ask Jeeves states that this is the beginning of a change to the service that will add even further individual features to “enable individuals to receive updates that are personal to their daily lives” which will include services such as neighborhood weather updates and stock portfolio tracking.

The new service allows users to track the shipping progress of package deliveries from FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Service within Bloglines.

“Bloglines is a Universal Inbox that captures all kinds of dynamic information that helps busy individuals be more productive throughout the day-at the office, at school, or on the go,” said Mark Fletcher, vice president and general manager of Bloglines at Ask Jeeves. “With an index of more than 370 million blog and news feed articles in seven languages, we’re already one of the largest wells of dynamic web information. With unique-to-me news updates we’re aiming to be the most comprehensive and useful personalized information resource on the web.”

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March 30, 2005

Calacanis suffers growing pains

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Weblogsinc is on the blink with sites across the network down and intermittent, according to readers and posts in Webloginc founder Jason Calacanis’ blog.

The issues are hosting related and mirror similar difficulties experienced by rival Blog tycoon Nick Denton, who also recently experience server difficulties across Gawker Media’s 11 blogs.

Calacanis writes, interestingly, “We Suck” and “We still suck“, perhaphs taking his legendary transparency to new levels of self depriciation and doubt.

The outages, however, give hope to many other bloggers out there without smaller, cheaper hosting packages that on occasion crash, you’re not alone in the world, even the big guys have bad days in the blogosphere.

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