October 28, 2008

Awesome! Google Reader Expands Reader Trends (Reveals Who The Slackers Are)

googreadstats

After previously releasing trends for Google Reader, it looks as if the Google team has done it again by providing even more detail on not only the feeds that you read, but on how often they publish articles.

(Google Reader Blog) Some of us on the Reader team are obsessed with keeping our unread counts low so we wondered if we were being driven by the posting schedule of our subscriptions. We thought the chart might be more interesting if we showed when posts were coming into Reader, so we are now graphing published statistics on the same chart. For example, in my set of subscriptions, even though I’m reading the majority of items in the evening, new posts seem to arrive in the middle of the day. [...]

We also wanted to expose more fine-grained data. While it’s useful to know what your overall reading trends are, we thought it might be interesting to also display this data on a subscription by subscription level.

What’s interesting about this new feature is that it allows bloggers to see how frequently some of the top (or bottom) blogs post throughout the day/week/month, which may help those striving to break into the coveted “A-list” understand the habits of some of the blogs they frequently read.

It will be intersting to see how other online rivals such as NewsGator and BlogLines (which is now working again).

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Traditional journalists burning out on blogging

Filed as News with 4 comments

Reporters working for traditional news organisations are becoming burned out because of the demands placed upon them to engage in new media and communications tools, according to journalists at the National Press Club forum at the University of Missouri.

It’s quite common to find online versions of newspapers and news broadcasters kitting out their web sites with blogs, Twitter feeds, and social networking links, but it seems that in many cases this is a loss-making exercise, done only because it’s “cool” or institutions feel that they have to “keep up”.

A correspondent for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger, said that he had been blogging for years but had never had a discussion with the newsroom as to why they were blogging and how that should tie in to their business model. read more

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DOS Attack Brought Down WordPress.com Blogs

A Denial of Service attack brought down some WordPress.com blogs yesterday, including VIP hosted hotshots like the GigaOM network. The only obvious communication that I could find about this matter was a tweet linking to a blog post about DOS attacks in general, and the actual one in particular, also written by a WordPress.com team representative. Barry wraps up:

We keep hourly traffic metrics and based on those numbers, it looks like during the attack there was about a 5% decrease in overall pageviews during the 40 minutes before traffic was re-routed. All things considered, not a bad outcome for an attack this size. Looking at bandwidth graphs, this attack was in the 500Mbit – 750Mbit/sec range.

That might very well be true, and I can’t say that Automattic didn’t do a good job managing the attack. I do think that the communication with users were poor. For a company into blogging, and a service hosting blogs, I’m surprised to see that the DOS attack isn’t even mentioned on the official blog. I hope Automattic learns to communicate better in the future, because this is just not good enough.

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October 27, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Publish Queue Manager, ShareThis, Security Issue

Happy Monday, folks! We told you last time about this being Movable Type’s 7th birthday. The celebration concludes this week with a huge party at MT HQ. If you’re going to be in San Francisco, don’t miss it.

But before the party starts, we’ve got work to do. On with the MT news!

Plugins

MinifierHirotaka Ogawa released Minifier, which adds block tags for minifying CSS and JavaScript. If your CSS and JS files are already templates in your blog, this shouldn’t take you more than two minutes to set up and should significantly reduce download time for those files. read more

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“Become an online expert” and “generate a nice side-income” (in the clouds maybe)

Filed as News with 3 comments

I do wonder at articles on blogs that promise easy money from blogging for a very small outlay in money and time. In fact, it makes me pretty cross.

The latest version nestles itself in an article on “how to make more money by spending it”, and suggests that you can “become an online expert” by “setting up your own blog” and “generating a nice side-income online”:

It costs between $20 and $80 to set up and host a website for a year, and you can make that amount back a few times over if you educate yourself on blogging. Just as some food for thought; John Chow earns more than $30.000 a month from his blog at this point.

No pressure then. Obviously because it’s so easy to do, that’s a realistic goal for everyone to try to achieve, right? read more

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Could Your Host Disconnect You?

Jeff Rosenstock is the head of Quote Unquote Records, a small, independent label that gives its music away for free on their site.

However, earlier this month, he suffered a setback as his site was pulled down, seemingly for no reason. According to his host, the cause was that they felt he was infringing copyright even though all of the music on his site was content he had the right to distribute, much of it his own, and no one had filed a complaint.

It was an unnecessary and extremely pro-active takedown, but it has had many other bloggers, musicians and filmmakers worried. Could their ISP do the same thing to them and, if so, what could they do about it?

Fortunately, cases such as Rosenstock’s are relatively rare and the odds of it happening to any one person are very slim. But after Rosenstock endured several days of downtime before his site was restored, it has many very nervous about the potential for disaster. read more

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Attention Video Game Bloggers

Filed as Multimedia with 1 comment

Hey video game blogger! You have one day – 24 hours left – to enter for a chance to get flown to Los Angeles to cover the November 11 launch party for Ubisoft’s “Shaun White Snowboarding.”

The contest is being held by MTV Multiplayer which is celebrating its first birthday.

Who’s eligible?

– You must be video game blogger. Prove it by writing 250 words on why you should be chosen. Learn more here.

-You need to look to be between 18-30 years old (darn MTV. where’s the age discrimination lawsuit?)

– You must be a legal resident of the continental United States or District of Columbia (darn MTV. Where’s the lawsuit from Hawaiians and Alaskans?)

– You must be able to come to L.A. on or around the dates of November 10-12.

The deadline is 12pm ET October 28, 2008.

Good luck!

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YouTube Now Supports Deep Linking

YouTube have added support for deep linking, which means that you can link to a specific point in a video by adding the timestamp to the link. Like so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeZxRYXZ154#t=0m39s

By adding #t=0m39s, you’ll send the visitor 0 minutes and 39 seconds into the video. About time huh? (Thanks all who sent this in!)

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Twitter: A Terrorists Favorite Tool

Filed as Editorial with 2 comments

To define terror you must first understand Twitter. I really should quit watching Fox News. It begins to corrupt my soul after awhile.

Any useful tool could be utilized by terrorists. People who look to strike terror or fear into the hearts and minds of another group of people.

I have a few ex girlfriends who strike fear into me. They often utilized blackmail, cellphones, and envelopes to scare me. Terrorists could easily do the same thing. In this day and age of pseudojournalism sometimes its useful to get carried away with a topic just to make money. But this is sensationalist nonsense. Just as more folks are starting to Twitter, the US Army says Twitter could be used by Terrorists.

Well, I hope someone tells them CB Radios could be used as well. Or even McDonald´s Monopoly pieces. Because this report is ridiculous.

We should really insert our own favorite objects,web apps, or whatever and send it off to the US Army.

US Army Says ________ Could Become Terrorist Tool.

I was thinking of the following objects that scare the crap out of me:
My Microwave
WordPress Plugins
Gaping Void Comics
Vox Blogging Platform
My Neighbors Alarm Clock

Remember anything could be a terrorist tool. Even mainstream media. Fear is all about not embracing reality. More people die from cancer yearly than ´terrorists attacks´ in a decade. Let´s not forget that.

Venture Beat is weighing in with an opinion / CNET as well.

Got any suggestions for our US Army Memo?

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October 26, 2008

Blogging and the Right of Reply

One hot topic in the Philippine media industry these days is a pending bill (with versions lodged both at the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives) for the “right of reply.” In essence, the bill stipulates that should any party feel aggrieved by any material published or broadcast by a publication or broadcast entity, that party should be allotted space or time to publish his own reply on the same space or the same amount of time within a specified period at no cost.

The Senate version, for one also stipulates penalties including fines and even imprisonment if a publicaton or broadcast company fails to comply.

Is there any sense to having such a law at all? read more

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