March 31, 2007

Do Bloggers Need a Code of Conduct?

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Tim O’Reilly has posited forth the idea of a Bloggers Code of Conduct in light of the Kathy Sierra death-threat meme. Seems like a good idea; after all, one does note a lack of civility and decorum in the blogosphere from time to time, and futhermore, what was at the heart of the issue than a lack of respect for others?

Well, that sounds all well and good, but I’m not sure if a Blogger’s Code of Conduct would have prevented the entire fiasco, or even if its a good idea at all.
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March 30, 2007

Strip Down: Naked CSS Day

Artis the Spoonman is now an international legend, but I knew him for years as a street performer in downtown Seattle. One of my favorite songs was “You’re Naked Underneath Your Clothes”. It was based upon a story they’d read about a convent where the nuns only bathe once a year, and then only in their undergarments because it was wrong to be naked in front of God.

The Spoonman and his fellow musicians found a major flaw in this belief. If the nuns could not change clothes inside of a stone building, behind shuttered windows for fear of being naked in front of God, do you think a little cotton would stop His prying eyes?

The lyrics, if I remember them right, for the song about this convent were:

You’re naked underneath your clothes.
You’re naked underneath your clothes.
And it’s ugly.
But oh, so, beautiful.

In reality, other than a few sags and bags and lifestyle influences, we’re all pretty much the same underneath our clothes so why all the fuss?

Web pages are also beautiful underneath their clothes. Have you taken a peek lately?

In 2006, Dustin Diaz declared April 5 to be the annual CSS Naked Day, a chance for the web world to be reminded of the benefits of CSS web page design. By removing the stylesheet for the day, the world would see naked web pages. They would also have a little more appreciation for the skills of web page designers.

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Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Public Relations

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by

Let me tell you a couple of stories. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

The Athlete
There was once an athlete who was great at training. He could thrash his personal bests, decimate the opposition and make his peers believe he was a superman.

In training.

On the day, he was a mess. His diet was wrong, he had no idea what the opposition was planning to do or what they did in any particular situation. So he did what everyone else did. He hired a coach and started to perform infinitely better. Perfect planning prevented a piss poor performance. read more

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Fusicles: New UK-centric article submission site launched

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The concept of article submission sites isn’t new – they’ve been around for far longer than blogging officially has.

UK company Fusive think they’ve found a gap in the market, with the launch of a UK-friendly article submission site: fusicles.co.uk

It’s a free service available to anyone wanting to write original articles to be viewed, rated, reviewed, and syndicated. I know, that’s what they all do.

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March 29, 2007

Running Dry on Blogging Juice? Here Are a Few Suggestions for Post Fillers

Filed as News with 3 comments

Sometimes you get writer’s or blogger’s block. You run out of inspiration (or information?) so you just can’t quite figure out what to blog about. For personal bloggers, this wouldn’t be much of a problem since their they almost always have something interesting to say about their day (or life) so far. But if you’re writing for a niche blog, sometimes you run out of steam and need to recharge. It’s been said time and again–sometimes you need some change in your blog and your blogging style to stay interesting.

Collis over at North x East suggests nine types of filler posts that you should try.

Keeping a posting schedule consistent can at times be a little taxing. There are those days when you don’t feel particularly inspired or driven or perhaps you simply don’t have the time. Hopefully you will have had the presence of mind to stock up some spare blog posts, but this isn’t always the case. That is why every blogger should know these 9 essential posts to help fill the gaps while still delivering quality content to their readers.

But first a warning: These posts are for padding purposes only. Use them at your discretion only. Overuse will cause side effects such as causing your blog to become irrelevant, distracted or offtopic.

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President Bush Cites Iraqi Bloggers As Evidence For Improvement

It’s not everyday when the leader of a super power cites your blog as a reference for his speech!

In a speech addressing critics of the war, President Bush cited a post by a pair of Iraqi bloggers as proof that life in Baghdad was improving, slowly but surely.
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Define Expert, Please

I had to laugh hysterically (and groan) today when someone described a blogger as “world-reknown expert on WordPress”. The blogger had been blogging for 4 months. I know personally that they had no PHP, WordPress, or web design experience prior to beginning blogging. Now that they have the title “expert”, there is no telling who will believe that claim.

A few weeks ago I ran across an “SEO Expert” described as an “everyone-must-read expert”. I checked them out and trust me, this person knows nothing about SEO other than old rehashed tips that were out of date 5 years ago. The underlying code of their blog was designed with Word in tables. That doesn’t set a good example as an SEO expert, does it?

Another “top notch expert”, this time using the term themselves on his blog (in big capital letters), had no About or Contact page on his blog. There was no information on who this person was, other than a lot of “I know this better than anyone, so you better listen to me and my advice” in his posts. I don’t know what justifies him as an expert, how long he’s been an expert, or even what field he is an expert in. Nothing but sensationalized pontification about how much of an expert he is and why we should buy whatever it is he is selling.

We all run across bloggers claiming to be experts in their subject, or other bloggers writing about these people and calling them “experts”. What makes them an expert?

What you consider an expert? What are the characteristics that make a personal qualified to be called an expert? When you are blogging about an expert, do you know for a fact they are “thee expert”, or because their blog told you? How did it tell you? Did you verify the facts?

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We Feel Fine in Virtual Reality

When was the last time you used a phone book? How do you find where some place is in a new city? How do you check a fact quickly? Where is your dictionary? I spend a lot of time online doing things. I have for years. That’s so 1990s.

This week I talked to a man in Nairobi. He’s working to save the last 700 mountain gorillas. I spoke to a young man in New Jersey who made his first business cards about his is first ebook cover. I helped a woman in Singapore who’s becoming a healthcare professional.

I’ve realized something. read more

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Web bullying: actually I do care – why my song is “Please don’t let me be misunderstood”

Filed as News with 11 comments

Yesterday, I chose not to write about the Kathy Sierra atrocity, partly because many other people had written thought-provoking insights into the incident, but mainly because the Blog Herald is a professional outlet (even though they took me on!) and I wasn’t convinced – even with the luxury of an edit button – that I would stay professional.

I was going to let things pass by. I’ve spoken out before on my personal blog on various issues without necessarily thinking everything through – not that I regret doing so, but I felt that the Blog Herald probably needed a measure more decorum, even on a subject that has rightly piqued people’s emotions.

The reason I’m revisiting it is NOT to gain Technorati rank for the Blog Herald, nor to somehow make myself look good – I know that I care about this issue – but because a trackback on yesterday’s post implied that – basically – I couldn’t give a sh*t.

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March 28, 2007

Shattering The Myth of Short Posts

Filed as News with 3 comments

There’s a prevailing feeling amongst some bloggers that when you post, keeping it short is best. People have short attention spans, some bloggers have found success with bite-sized pieces of information, you don’t want to bore your readers — all kinds of reasons have been trotted out.

Well, there’s some data to refute that line of thought.

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