January 23, 2009

How Do You Blog A Complaint?

One front page story at Philippine Star a few days ago involved four students of the Quezon City Science High School (a government-run science-oriented institution) being suspended due to several blog posts being severely critical of the school’s administration, particularly its principal.

Officials of the Quezon City Science High School (QCSHS) recently suspended four students who allegedly posted a blog that criticized the school’s principal.

The concerned blog … contains articles and photographs against Sadsad’s policies and person as well as the students’ gripes over irregular lunch hours and required subjects, among others.

The personal attacks against Sadsad in the blog even included violent declarations such as “Sadsad must die.”

While much of the students’ blog postings are on locked Multiply accounts–meaning they not for public consumption, but rather accessible to friends only–the Star cited another Multiply account as subject of the controversy.

I’m not taking sides on this issue yet. For all I know, the students’ gripes might be valid. But i usually get taken aback when people overdo it when they air their gripes online–especially if one resorts to personal attacks. This often results in a knee-jerk reaction, which can similarly be personal in nature. As bloggers, are we becoming a community of whiners? And because of this, are other people becoming overly defensive and over-reacting whenever they are attacked online? And why do we resort to ad hominem attacks?

On some forums and sites that I manage, I have experienced being on the receiving end of personally-directed attacks, too. Some are through private emails, some through public comments. Sometimes the argument gets lost in the midst of name-calling, swearing, and typing in all caps (probably the worst of ‘em all, eh?).

Then again, there’s a difference between launching an attack on one’s person and the recipient’s taking a valid argument too personally. But whether it’s one thing or the other, the perception of people reading rabidly-written complaint blog posts might not be too good. read more

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WordPress News: WordPress.tv, WordCamp Whistler, WordPress Logo, City Saves Money, and More

WordPress.tv announced. Know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? A Tweet sums it up. WordCamp Whistler this weekend. If you use the WordPress logo, Matt Mullenweg wants you to use the right one. Last chance to have your say on the first permanent WordPress tattoo. City saves money choosing WordPress. And more WordPress news and information.

WordPress News

Watching WordPress.tv: WordPress.tv is your WordPress channel for watching all things WordPress. It features videos put together by WordPress staff and others on how to use WordPress and WordPress tips and techniques. The tutorials cover the full version of WordPress and WordPress.com. There is also a WordCampTV channel to watch the videos from WordCamp events around the world.

WordPress versus WordPress.com Overheard: The difference between and was recently explained on Twitter as:

@TheGeneTeam Diff between wp.com & wp.org is freedom. Org is freedom to tweak. Com is freedom to just blog. :D One free, other free with expenses.

Matt Mullenweg’s New Year’s Resolutions and Birthday Celebration: Among Matt’s new year’s resolutions is to get the WordPress Community using the correct WordPress logo. He’s created a comparison image to convince everyone to use the right logo. He worked hard to come up with the current logo created a few years ago.

Update on WordPress Logogate: Many thought the issue Matt had with the community generated WordPress logo was the colors. Matt has corrected this with a clear graphic explanation of what his issue is with the community-generated logos and the trademarked, real WordPress logo. It’s not the color, it’s the font. He worked hard to get the right font for the “W” in the logo. You can color it whatever color you want, just keep that pretty “W” font in its place. Thanks for clearing that fine detail up for us, Matt.

Let’s help Matt make his new year’s resolution and goals come true and use the right logo. I’ll be updating them here in the next issue. read more

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January 22, 2009

Time to Give Again

Over two years ago, the Blog Herald held a small contest with a $200 USD cash prize for the winning blog. Given the gloom and doom around blogosphere today owing to the economic crisis, we feel that there could be no more appropriate time to repeat this contest and once more offer $200 USD for the most deserving blog.

The criteria for a blog to be able to enter is purely that it “should be helping to make the world a better place”:

This can be achieved in many different ways, from increasing our awareness as a society, being a symbol of hope through example or more obvious ways- such as fundraising or research.

The previous winner of the contest was Gifter.org and the Million Dollar Blog Post, the brainchild of Austin Hill and the Project Ojibwe team. Incidentally, Gifter asked us to donate the proceeds of their winnings to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

As before, to recommend a blog or to apply, please leave a comment or email us before midnight, PST, Jan. 31st: editor[at]blogherald.com.

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January 21, 2009

Downadup Spreads – Infects 1 in 16 PCs

As a quick update from the information in Downadup Worm Infection: Cyber Attacks on the Rise in 2009 and Security and Hacking: Protect Thyself and Thy WordPress Blog concerning the still spreading Downadup worm, ComputerWorld and others are reporting that the Downadup worm now infects 1 in every 16 PCs for an estimated current total of over 9 million infections.

It now has its own Wikipedia page called Conficker as the worm is also known as Downup, Downadup, Conficker, and Kido.

According to the Wikipedia article, the computer work first appeared in October 2008 but spread fast after the first of the year. It specifically targets Microsoft Windows and Windows Server services using Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. It has infected a few governments and hospitals, but mostly corporate computer networks.

On October 15, 2008 Microsoft released a patch to fix the bug. Heise Online estimated that it had infected 2.5 million PCs by January 15, 2009, while The Guardian estimated 3.5 million infected PCs. By January 16, 2009, an antivirus software vendor reported that Conficker had infected almost 9 million PCs making it one of the most widespread infections in recent times. Conficker is reported to be one of the largest botnets created because 30 percent of Windows computers do not have a Microsoft Windows patch released in October 2008.

The virus can spread through websites and USB drives, like flash drives, cameras, portable hard drives, and other USB connecting devices that trigger AutoRun, so Microsoft is recommending people upgrade their Windows programs and turn off AutoRun. read more

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EMI exec: Bands shouldn’t have to Twitter unless it’s fun

Filed as News with 1 comment

The senior vice president of digital strategy at EMI has said that he believes that bands should only use Twitter if it’s fun and is building community.

Cory Ondrejka, who looks into ways for bands to interact with their fans online, told Music Ally:

“If you’re a band, you’re using Twitter because, y’know what, it’s really kinda fun giving your fans this blow-by-blow account of getting to the stage, or your bus breaking down in a snowstorm.

“Sharing stories is what builds communities, and for some artists that is really enjoyable. But if Twittering is work for you, maybe you should have someone else doing it for you. And that’s okay.”

read more

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January 20, 2009

FriendFeed Creates More Noise (Adds Twitter Import Friend Tool)

Filed as News with 3 comments

friendfeed

For FriendFeed fanatics having a hard time separating the “noise” from value, it looks like your problem may become much worse thanks to a new tool that allows you to find out which of your Twitter friends is on FriendFeed–and subscribe to them.

(FriendFeed Blog) We’ve just added a friend importer for Twitter so you can easily find and subscribe to your Twitter friends who are already on FriendFeed.  

You may already have won! Your Twitter friends could already be using FriendFeed! Find them today!

We’re looking forward to extending this capability to more services.

While it is pretty obvious why they choose to add Twitter first (as it was one of the dominent mediums during Obama’s Presidential innaugeration), hopefully they will consider adding other blog services (like WordPress, LiveJournal, TypePad and Blogger), not to mention Facebook as well.

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WordPress Handbook Project Coming Soon

At WordCamp Las Vegas recent, Matt Mullenweg announced the new WordPress Handbook. I chatted with him about the future of WordPress documentation, the , the online manual for WordPress Users, and this new handbook.

For those still unfamiliar with the invaluable resource for WordPress users, the , the online manual for WordPress Users, it has long been the best place to find WordPress tips, techniques, instructions, guides, and technical articles. A few years ago, I wrote a A Guide to the WordPress Codex, to help WordPress users understand how the Codex works.

The new WordPress Handbook is in the early stages of conception and development. It will be based upon the successful online book, Version Control with Subversion by Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian W. Fitzpatrick, C. Michael Pilato. I covered more details and specifics in WordPress Handbook Project.

The idea behind the WordPress Handbook is not to replace the WordPress Codex but to add a core basic guide to using WordPress. read more

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Best of Twitter: Air Force One Soaring Twitter

Sure, it is really just a PR stunt for the National Geographic Channel and some show they don’t want to tell me about since I’m located in Sweden and hence redirected to the Swedish site’s mainpage, but still! It’s Air Force One, and it is on Twitter. Like a tweeting airplane. How cool, and weird, is that? That certainly beats Kevin Rose’s cold.

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Twingly Launches Microblog Search, CEO Tells Us Why

TwinglyTwingly is a Swedish company that previously launched a blog search engine and expanded the concept with a Top 100 list as well as Twingly BlogRank. The company also does widgets for sites that want to incorporate the blogosphere comments on their stories, widely used in Scandinavia on newspaper sites especially.

The logical next step would be a microblog search engine, right? At least Twingly thinks so, because they just rolled it out (and hitting TechCrunch at that). You can give it a go yourself.

As you can see, Twingly Microblog Search include results from Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Bleeper, Bloggy, and even the Pownce archives (site discontinued). They are also urging people to let them know if they want other microbloggin services included in the search result, so if you roll your own you should get in touch. read more

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iFriendFeed With BuddyFeed (And So Should You)

It looks as if Nambu and Weebfeedr have some serious competition on their hands now that CodeWalrus has launched BuddyFeed, an iPhone app for FriendFeed fanatics.

What I love about this app is its ability to combine the simplicity of FriendFeed without sacrificing on functionality (the latter which I felt the FriendFeed Web App did).

While this app is far from perfect (as you will note by the bugs reported below), it does have a few features that make BuddyFeed shine against it’s rivals. read more

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