July 24, 2005

Blogger named a fad by CNet

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Interesting that CNet has named Google’s Blogger in its list of Top 10 web fads. Are they saying something we don’t know, or has others suspicions of an anti-blog bent by some at CNet being reflected here?

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Arizona Soldier in Iraq demoted for Blogging

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An Arizona Army National Guardsman who has been blogging from Iraq has been demoted and some of his pay is being forfeited, according to NPR. Leonard Clark, from Glendale, kept a blog in which he was critical of U-S operations in Iraq.

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July 22, 2005

Bloglines offline??

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Bloglines appears to be totally offline, and possibly over some time, according to tests by the Blog Herald over the last 24 hours.

The site was uncontactable between 7am and 9am US EST and is not contactible again at 9pm US EST Friday.

Anyone else having problems?

Update 9am US EST Sat: I still cant get onto Bloglines, and a number of other sites including Slashdot, and yet I can access them using an anonymous proxy. My ISP tells me that there is a “Red Light” issue with a major provider in the United States that is causing problems for people here in Australia to access certain sites, which logic would mean that others in the US and the world for that matter may be affected. For example I can access Yahoo.com no problems, but others sites load but have problems with the ad load, for example Internetnews.com loads but the ads cause errors? anyone know anything more about this? Its been 24 hours without Bloglines and I’m getting desperate!

Update: 48 hours and I’m back in but only with some advice from Whirlpool here. Apparently there is a major Ruter problem with Sprint in the states that are blocking certain IP addresses. Follow the instructions to fix if your affected

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July 21, 2005

Xanga has 40 million users: report

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An amazing report that blows away previously known figures for the number of blogs in existance, a new report indicates that Xanga.com, already know to be a leading provider of blogs to younger people, has 40 million users, which would easily place it as the most popular blogging service on the planet.

The figure is quoted in a WPXI report on the spread of the “Blogs are Bad” virus into Pittsburg. Of the 40 million users, 91 percent of users are said to be between 13 and 29 years old.

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City of Milwaukee paying for comment on blogs

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In a new example of cash for comment, it has been revealed that the City of Milwaukee is paying a Milwaukee blogger, Erin Leffelman, to promote the city and its attractions, all without the need to disclosure the relationship on the site.

The USA Today report states that Leffelman is recieving a year’s worth of high-speed Internet access, $1,700 in computer and camera equipment and free access to the places she is expected to review as part of the deal.

A visit to the site by The Blog Herald failed to find any notice or disclosure from Leffelman of the financial arrangement with the city (although it must be noted that search facilities were not available on site either). Milwaukee spokesman David Fantle told USA Today that the arrangement was “a hands-off relationship, and if Erin has a negative experience, we expect her to record that”, but made no mention of the fact that Leffelman has hidden the relationship from viewers, and hiding such a relationship can only lead to speculation that not only is this a case of cash for comment, but one, although not through legal obligation, leads to favorable reviews based on the need to continue an ongoing financial relationship with city.

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South Korean numbers up: at least 20 million blogs in South Korea

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Interesting new figures out of South Korea that suggest that the number of blogs in the country is higher than the 15 million suggested in this months Blog Herald Blog Count, and is now approx. 20 million blogs, but possibly higher.

According to Donga.com, Cyworld now has 13 million subscribers on a service thats role is the provision of blogs. Unlike previous figures, the number is for “subscribers” not blogs, which might suggest paying users or members as opposed to actual blogs. If we were to presume that every person using the service has 1 blog, then there would be 13 million blogs on the service. Coupled with Yahoo Blogs South Korea with 3 million blogs and Planet Weblog Service with 6 million blogs as of Jan 05 and you get a figure of 22 million blogs.

The Donga article also discusses the difference with Korean blogs, which are also described as mini-homepages, but have a very strong social networking aspect to them that allows the formation of “networks of friends”.

Other Korean News

Korean comfort women still an issue for government

North Korea to Send Senior Envoy to Russia

Planes grounded as South Korean students take uni entrance exams

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Breaking: new bombings in London, reports of nail bombs

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Reports are starting to spred of nail bombs being detonated in London, perhaps in new rounds of terrorist attacks.

The Sydney Morning Herald is running the Reuters report here. One channel here has just switched to a Sky News feed. Appeal running on the bottom of the screen for people to send pictures or video if they’ve got it. Poor taste.

The Guardian Newsblog is running regular updates as the story breaks here. Other blog reports here, here and here.

Update: Podbat has good coverage

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Americans clueless about RSS: study

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A new study from those whacky folks over at Pew Internet has found that 91% of Americans have absolutely no idea what RSS is.

The study of 2001 Americans also found that 87% of Americans have no idea what podcasting is as well. Interestingly though 88% of people knew what spam was, and 78% knew what spyware and a firewall was, so it could be concluded that these certainly weren’t a sample of stupid people.

The full study can be read here (pdf).

The study also found that younger men with college degrees usually had the best grasp of the terminology in the study.

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IceRocket name to be flushed down the pipe of history

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Mark Cuban has announced that up and coming blog search engine Ice Rocket is to get a new name: BlogScour.com

We are not sure whether the search engine will scrub up a bit better after the change of name but I’ve got no doubt that the new look for the site will be fresh and hygenically clean for all new visitors, with bacteria free search results for all.

Update: apparently IceRocket is chaning name and Mark Cuban is launching BlogScour as a new stand alone product, and CNet got it wrong. Which is all a bit odd when you consider the BlogScour.com domain brings up the IceRocket homepage. Thanks to Crispian for the tip.

(via ThreadWatch/ CNet)

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Google AdSense webinar

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Google is holding an Adsense Webinar on Thursday, July 21 at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). Registration is available here, and it’s limited to the first 750 people.

Jen over at Jensense is recommending it, and also has details on the previous webinar, where she says that a lot of it was basic information, however also suggests there was some good stuff in there as well.

5:30am my time. I’ve registered, I’ll just need to set the alarm.

Update managed to fumble my way through the dark and join the webinar about 3 minutes late. Mainly basic stuff but they provided a good overview of the recent navigation changes to Adsense (with pics), and there were also some good questions as well. As soon as I can find a transcript I’ll provide a link. Would recommend it to others, if only as a decent refresher, and definiately compliments to the Adsense team for providing the service. One-on-one with some senior people from Adsenes is a great opportunity. On another note the pronouncing of the word cache came as a suprise to me, didn’t realise it was pronounced like cash (as in money) in the US… there you go.

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