1.5 million French bloggers on Skyblog

Reports today that French blogging service Skyblog now has 1.5 million bloggers blogging in French, an extraordinary figure that has previously been underestimated in English speaking media and elsewhere.

The figure represents one of the largest non-English speaking blog communities outside of Asia.

Wanted: Gadget/ tech geek blogger

Duncan Riley> Wanted, a Gadget/ tech geek blogger for a new gadget oriented blog as part of a new blogging network. At this stage the revenue split will be an initial 60/40 author/ network gross, ie, the 40% for the network will be inclusive of hosting, advertising and other costs, so the blogger chosen gets 60% of all gross revenue not net. Depending on the quality of applications there may be more than one blogger appointed to share the 60%, but this will depend on quality of applications and interviews. Ideally though, one applicant will be appointed. Applicants should be available for contact on Skype. This is a new network so there will be some initial exposure time. The blogger chosen should be available for media interviews, including paper, radio and television. Contact me on [email protected] with your resume and why you would be interested. New bloggers, or non-high profile bloggers are encouraged to apply.

Roger L. Simon plans new blog advertising network

Well known blogger and author Roger L. Simon is joining the blog advertising game according to a post to his blog. Pajamasmedia is looking at using a different model to that currently used by BlogAds, that “will sell ads en masse, not blog-by-blog”. The service is said to be going live in the next few weeks. Further details were not avilable but bloggers are being asked to register their interest at the site.

(via Problogger)

Singapore student forced to shut down blog after libel threat

A Singapore student has been forced to shut down his blog on April 26 for fear of a libel action by the head of a government body.

The threat of prosecution came from Philip Yeo, chairman of the government’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research, who claimed the agency was libelled in a blog by Jiahao Chen, a Singapore student finishing his studies in the United States. Writing under the pseudonym of Acid Flask, he criticised Yeo and the Agency’s scholarship system. Yeo sent several e-mails demanding that he delete all blogs mentioning him or the agency and threatening legal action if he did not.

Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that “Threatening a libel suit is an effective way to silence criticism and this case highlights the lack of free expression in Singapore, which is among the 20 lowest-scoring countries in our worldwide press freedom index…we especially support bloggers because they often exercise a freedom not seen in the rest of a country’s media.

MSNBC jumps on the Blogs are bad for kiddies bandwagon

cartman blogs are bad
The luddites behind the blogs are bad campaign starting to emerge in middle America have managed to enlist the services of MSNBC with a new article targeting blogs titled “Kids, blogs and too much information“.

The story quotes a number of do-gooders, including a Mary Ellen Handy (you always know people are serious when they insist on using their middle names) of a group called Wired Safety, who are apparently “the world’s largest online safety and help group”, who recently discovered that kiddies like blogs, and god-dammit, they actually talk about their friends and posts pictures on those new fangled internet things as well.

As is usual with these articles, paedophiles, rapists and over deviants are mentioned in an attempt to scare teen bloggers away from their keyboards and to encourage parents to disconect their kiddies modems.

The article ends with the statement about kiddies using blogs as “very scary”.

Once again, the do-gooders get their priorities right…, in a day in which it is reported that there is an upsurge in random shootings on the LA Freeway network, and in a country that is the world leader in kiddie drug use, murder, crime and teen pregnancy, blogs are apparently more evil and more deserving of column space.

CNN accused of using blogs for Guerrilla Marketing Campaign

CNN has been accused of trying to boost its search engine ratings through a guerilla marketing campaign utilising comment spam posts to blogs.

Nick Lewis claims that he has found evidence on 13 blogs of CNN trying to destroy negative publicity through a technique called “keyword stuffing” which is designed to get search engines to rank pages as more relevant.

(via The Inqurier)

Bahrain to force bloggers to register with Government

The Government of Bahrain has announced that all blogs hosted in the country or written by its citizens must be registered with the Ministry of Information by 2 November 2005.

A spokesman claims that the moves were “..not a repressive step. On the contrary it is intended to protect people running websites, who in future will be able to protect their rights of authorship.”

“Registration will be automatic and no-one will be turned down whatever the content.” The name, address and telephone number of site administrators would be required on registration. It would be free and there would be no need for any financial guarantees. After each registration was validated, the blogger would receive an ID number that would have to be posted on the site.

Reporters Without Borders has opposed the move, stating that “[the] decision will intimidate online editors and push them into cutting back on their publication’s interactive aspects”.

A good host for blogging?

Duncan Riley> Time for a quick bleg because I’ve got a problem (it seems to be one of those days). I need a new web host. I’ve currently got blogs scattered across two web hosts, one of which has no control panel support and which I pulled The Blog Herald off because although they had great customer service, they didn’t handle traffic well and tended to blame me for “scripting errors” every time there was a problem, and the second host is offering great value and reliable service (where the Blog Herald is now) but has really slow customer service and a terrible billing system. We’ve all been through good and bad hosts, but I’d welcome your comments for my own use and for others if you’d like to share. My specifications are
1. Shared is fine, although atleast 1 unique ip should be available in the package.
2. Fairly low cost: I don’t want to pay lots of many (does any one!).
3. Should preferably take Paypal for payment, although this is not compulsory for the right deal (its just easier to use my blogads payments this way)
4. Atleast 20gb in the package each month, more if possible (the figure just gets bigger every month)
5. Should be able to host multiple domains at no extra cost as part of the package, shared in the 20GB, this is vital for me, I have lots of domains and a number of projects and sites hosted for myself and others. I can accept say 5 or 10 domains in a package and then pay a small amount for each additional, but I think paying for an individual package for each domain name is ridiculous
6. Should naturally be able to host blogware, WordPress in particular, but also MT and others. Also be able to host CMS packages like Mambo
7. Generous SQL accounts
8. Preferably have control panel access like cPanel, and preferably is running AWStats for the stats tracking

Leave a comment or drop me a line at [email protected], I’m happy to sign up if your an affiliate somewhere so you can benefit from the deal, but I need to know that the hosting is reliable and meets my needs.

Try your blogware before you install

One of the most frustrating things when considering installing new blogware is literally the fear of the unknown, basically, despite the different things written about one piece of blogware or another, until you actually get to play with the blogware itself, you have no real idea what your getting yourself into.

In the old days an installation was the only way to pursue the matter, but I’ve recently discovered a great site that runs demo versions of blogware and other content management systems (many of which also do blogging) so that you can literally try them out before you install.

OpenSourceCMS has by way of explanation: “This site was created with one goal in mind. To give you the opportunity to “try out” some of the best php/mysql based free and open source software systems in the world. You are welcome to be the administrator of any site here, allowing you to decide which system best suits your needs.” And that is exactly what its good for. There seems to be a fairly strong user community as well with a rich variety of comments and rating provided on the various offerings that can also serve as a guide when your considering your next blog install.