Cows Can Have Blogs Too

Blog’s by non-human’s aren’t restricted to domesticated animals and man’s best friend. No, they also include sacred animals, like cows. Especially cows that are targeted for euthanizing.

Such is the case of “Shambo”, the temple bull at Skanda Vale Monastery, in Carmarthenshire, England Wales. “Shambo” has a tuberculosis positive skin test, and is, according to the policy of the local health authority, to be put down. In an effort to raise public awareness, the monks at the temple have put up a “blog” of sorts for Shambo, where it writes down its thoughts for the day. That is, he kicks it old-school, as Shambo (or “Shambo”) hand codes his thoughts without the benefit of a blogging engine, like WordPress or Typepad.

While it is sprinkled with such gems, such as the following:

Whoa, have I got news for you! They all have been out here today. Tomorrow I hear the Queen is paying a visit. I think I hit celebrity status – do they do Big Brother for Bovines.

But anyway chief veterinary officer was here today and I was so relieved, (with her enormous wealth of knowledge), she said I was in fine fettle. She also said I was perfectly well isolated from wild life, other cows and everything else. But one thing I just don’t get is why on earth on the basis of highly inaccurate test they all want to kill me, this officer couldn’t quiet answer that one, apparently.

All the monks tell me my Bovine Buddies are calling in from Russia, the States and even Japan. Anyway I want to go back to my nuts, I am being spoilt rotten so don’t tell the rest of the herd. I’ll have more moos for you tomorrow. Lots of Love, Shambo.

… it does afford an interesting window into the difficulties that the monks — err, Shambo — are having with the conflict between public health and private worship. Even without comments. Or Trackbacks. Or fancy plugins.

Welcome to A New BlogHerald

When Splashpress acquired the BlogHerald some six months ago, there were some changes that we planned on implementing, and I’m happy today to report that much of that is going to fruition today. Coupled with a new theme, courtesy of Brian Gardner, you can expect a renewed focus on all things blogging.

Our news coverage will cover redouble on events that are happening in and throughout the blogosphere, blogging networks, and how blogging is affecting the world at large.

Our featured posts will refocus on things that will also have special relevance for bloggers, including new categories and topics, such as blog design, blog monetization, and the legal aspects of blogging.

During the week we’ll be working out a few kinks, with J. Angelo (assistant editor) and Brian Gardner (wordpress theme ninja) working in the background to iron them all out, so if you happen to notice a few odd things please be patient.   As always, let us know how we’re doing because we look forward to producing some great content for you.

Cheers
Tony Hung // editor

Blogging: When It Pays To Have Friends

You may have heard a little science blurb over the past weekend — something about fruits improving the antioxidant qualities of alcohol, or some such. What you didn’t know is that there was a blogging related to-do that came out of the whole thing, and it raised an interesting issue:

When does it pay to have friends?

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BlogHerald Update: Upgrading Our Spam Killing Powers

Hi folks,

Just wanted to let you all know that we have installed Bad Behaviour 2 to enhance the BlogHerald’s comment and trackback spam killing powers. The BlogHerald gets a lot of spam, and most of it is caught by Akismet and Spam Karma 2 — but these two agents together aren’t perfect.

We are loathe to get in the way of a perfectly good conversation, so we are not installing (nor hopefully ever) captcha’s, human testing elements, closing down old comments, or any combination of the above at the moment.

But if you happen to notice your comments now being flagged as spam — or, your comments mysteriously disappearing, its only because the BlogHerald’s spam killing powers have increased, and may flag a few comments that are genuinely not spam.

In that case, please email us at editor [at] blogherald [dot] com and let us know that something is amiss and we’ll try and remedy it pronto.

Alternatively, if you happen to notice a comment that is clearly spam comment spam / trackback spam before *we* do, we’d love to know about it as well; again, please use the same email address to let us know.

Thanks again,

Tony Hung, ed.

The Perils of Doing Interviews With A-Bloggers

There’s a dustup going on on the technosphere side of things; Jason Calacanis, previously of Weblogs and Netscape, was recently asked by a journalist at Wired to do an interview. Like Dave Winer, one of the pioneers of RSS technology, and one of the earliest evangelists for blogging, Jason Calacanis refused to do the interview unless it was through email only.

Wired’s journalist, in turn, refused these conditions, and the interview has been scrapped..

While we can debate over how self-important some bloggers feel, or, how journalists “routinely” mangle interviews and put quotes out of context, there’s one thing this piece makes clear, and that is doing an interview with a blogger — and one with a significant audience — isn’t without its perils.

To wit, Jason Calacanis blithely puts it: “Besides I have 10,000 people come to my blog every day — i don’t need wired to talk to the tech industry.”

And I think that makes all the difference.

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How To Get A Code of Conduct Widely Adopted

Once again, thanks to the Tim O’Reilly and the New York Times, the meme about a “bloggers code of conduct” has reared its ugly head once again. Its not new. I blogged about it about a week ago, wondering, like today, whether or not it had its use in a self-regulating environment, and more to the point, whether or not a good comments policy is all that’s needed.

And it seems like most people do not approve, do not like, and do not agree with it, and some have even likened its usage to being in a virtual police state.

But, let’s be the devil’s advocate for a second [because I like thinking about all sides of the issue, particularly when the echochamber is reverberating on only one side].

How *could* Tim O’Reilly get something like these silly “code of conduct” badges widely adopted? With all the negative buzz surrounding the idea, you’d think that there’d be a snowball’s chance in hell that something like this would get taken up, right?

Hold on. There is a way.

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If No One Reads Your Blog, Does Disclosure Matter?

When you’ve accomplished some of your blogging goals and have the luxury of regular traffic and / or regular commenters on your blog, its easy to pontificate about certain things. Paid postings. Disclosure. The necessity of ‘hard work’ in blogging success.

But what happens when you don’t? What happens when you have a blog which is just struggling to get off the ground and separate itself from the noise of the blogosphere — a blog whose traffic is measured in mere dribbles?

Does it really matter what you do if no one notices or even cares?

Maybe I’ll put it differently.

Are you the kind of person who picks their nose when no one’s looking?

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