Tuesday, October 11, 2005

BLOGGERS MAKE EVER BIGGER WAVES

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

3pm EDT update: My son was here and we screwed around for hours----and found out that Yahoo won't accept Google-based Blogspot.com, my home page. Ie, even following their coding instructions, nada. This might be innocent but my son seriously doubts this.

So Yahoo's blogger base will be a stool with one leg, teetering on edge. har. This sort of underhanded, in the dark, knives out warfare characterizes all computer businesses. They have to cut people out or off or styme each other. They hate Linux because it does none of that and as Linux grows, they snarl and snap.

And they don't really like us, they just want to exploit us, each their own way. Well, while screwing around we found a better RSS feed which is now my feed. It comes from one of my son's favorite websites which is hyper geeky, of course.

Feedburner.com. Friendly interface, much easier to use compared to the mess Yahoo funnelled us into. So screw Yahoo. They want to find me, I'll be on the street corner with my gang, heh. Near the local dive. Yo. &:)


Years ago, I had this dance based on Loie Fuller, the first American modern dancer, whereby I would take a huge 100 yd length of silken material and just by flicking one corner with harmonic ripples, gradually make the cloth rise higher and higher until the waves went well over my head and then I would swirl it around myself in a roaring cyclone of cloth and wind. This is the publicity photo for the dance. Bloggers are doing this, too. We have taken one small corner of the net and using it as our base, have caused greater and greater waves. Now everyone is jumping aboard, the rich, the famous, the powerful, everyone. Yahoo today announced they will start trolling blogger RSS feeds. This is another victory in our fight for recognition.

From Yahoo.com:
Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news)'s online news search tool on Monday added Internet journal entries as a supplement to professional media offerings — an experiment that figures to test the public's appetite for information from alternative sources.

Under Yahoo's new approach, a keyword search for online news will include a list of relevant Web logs, or "blogs," displayed in a box to the right of the results collected from mainstream journalism.

Google Inc., which runs the Internet's leading search engine, so far has treated blogs differently.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company last month introduced a specialty search engine that does nothing but sift through blogs. Meanwhile, Google's news section continues to focus on material from mainstream media.
I have a big presence at Google's blog section IF you know my name already. Getting through that needle's eye is a whole different kettle of fish. All us bloggers toil mostly in the dark, so to speak. People either stumble upon our blogs or those who know us from all those defunct forums (that used to be run for free by the major publications until they got tired of our yammerings) or blogwhoring (we all do that, don't we!) but getting known is very tricky indeed.

Usually, bloggers support each other by linking to each other's blogs in their main entries. It used to be, putting everyone's blogs on a sidebar aka "blogrolling" was the big thing but I don't bother with it since no one really uses it anymore. It is too big, too many defunct links due to the fact one has to update it by messing with the code which is always an iffy thing if one isn't a coder. I have to change my RSS feed to accomodate Yahoo's search spiders and after sweating over this for two hours, gave up. Luckily for me, I got pregnant several times in the far past and out came my computer support staff.

Heh. Plan ahead! This is probably the best way to hire staff. "But I am your loving mother! Of course you will do it..." works everytime....right, kids? Heh. Don't drop that on my foot...ouch.

Anyway, blogger.com has some coding to do. Damn. They haven't updated the RSS code since 0.3 for god's sake! 1999 according to the coding I fiddled with today.
Although many top bloggers lack formal journalism training, it hasn't stopped them from building loyal readerships or breaking news that the mainstream media either missed or ignored.

Those scoops have helped rally more support for "citizen journalism" — a cause that Yahoo wanted to recognize by spotlighting some of the news appearing in blogs.

"The traditional media doesn't have the time or resources to cover all the stories going on," said Joff Redfern, a Yahoo product director.
First, the MSM doesn't accidently not cover the news, the deliberately refuse to cover the news. When we bloggers got started as commentators on forums, we would fetch or generate information and do research arguing with each other and the staff of the various news organizations that used to run comment sections. We quickly discovered that the MSN hated our information, hated it when we broke stories, hated our comments. They hated our dot connecting activities and they didn't want to hear squat diddly from us. They hated us and still hate us.

But they no longer have the keys to the whole kit and kaboodle anymore. We wrest them away.

They are being sidelined by their own actions. All the media are in a huge firing frenzy. The NYT fired 500 people and are cutting off the oxygen to their commentators by putting them behind a pay only firewall, effectively destroying their careers since no one will read or comment on them anymore. I don't mind seeing the mindless Brooks or Tierney shut out but it will kill Krugman and Rich and other liberals.

From the BBC:

The best books based on blogs are to be recognised in their own literary prize.
Dubbed the Blooker Prize, the annual award will reward the best writers of literary works that started life as online journals.

Prominent net activist Cory Doctorow will chair the judging panel and the author of the winning Blooker will get a modest cash prize.

The Blooker's first shortlist will be announced in March next year and the first winner in 3 April 2006.
I hope to see more of this sort of thing. Some web awards already exist but the way they are run is either through popularity votes which means only the big guys will get any recognition, as if they need it at this point, or by committee which waits for submissions but have murky processes for soliciting or have no "rewards" that are meaningful, thanks to the explosion in web sites.

Namely, we are a very big crowd now. There are literally over a million blogs. Of course, my site is actually 10 blogs under one main RSS feed and I am not the only one to multi-blog.

The battle over control of the net rages ever higher. From the BBC:
The US has got an image problem when it comes to the internet. US administration coming under worldwide pressure over the net.

It is seen as arrogant and determined to remain the sheriff of the world wide web, regardless of whatever the rest of the world may think.

It has even lost the support of the European Union. It stands alone as the divisive battle over who runs the internet heads for a showdown at a key UN summit in Tunisia next month.

The stakes are high, with the European Commissioner responsible for the net, Viviane Reding, warning of a potential web meltdown.

"The US is absolutely isolated and that is dangerous," she said during a briefing with journalists in London.

"Imagine the Brazilians or the Chinese doing their own internet. That would be the end of the story.

"I am very much afraid of a fragmented internet if there is no agreement."
WAARGH!!! In the alternate universe where Al Gore is President, we would be the trusted trustees of the net which would have very good relations with all other nations over running this massive alternative brain complex, the Hyperhumanity. But we are stuck with the stupid anti-geek, Bush. The slacker slumper shafts us all. He alienates everyone while chest thumping his puny rib cage.
Currently a California-based group called the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is the nearest thing to a ruling body.

The private company was set up by the US Department of Commerce to oversee the domain name and addressing systems, such as country domain suffixes. It manages how net browsers and e-mail programs direct traffic.

Icann was to gain its independence from the Department of Commerce by September 2006. But in July the US said it would "maintain its historic role in authorising changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file."
Years ago, I nearly got on the Icann board but was blocked. Few people even knew what that was back then. The Real Rulers noticed it (ahem, Bill Gates, anyone?) and have tried to keep control of it and Icann which was supposed to be a democratic organization of voting web users is now much more secretive and exclusive (Real Rulers need only to apply).

The gold rush for eyeballs extends to ears, too. Yahoo joins other web searchers for featuring pod casts. I have featured some pod casts here on my blog, for example. They can be amusing. From PC Magazine:
On Monday, search giant Yahoo Inc. was the latest to recognize Podcasting's increasing popularity and numbers by introducing Yahoo Podcasts, a service for locating them.

Rather than drawing on what's actually said during each Podcast, Yahoo Podcasts and its competitors take as their best source of information a very brief written description of the show provided by the creators.
As I discovered today about my RSS feeds, the way web spiders see things is rather different from the way we see them, it goes about via the code, not the visuals, and making that match up the seeking equipment of the spiders means changing my code and maybe changing the way I post.

All bloggers have to keep up to date with technological changes. This isn't easy. But one can do it. Here is the RSS tutorial. It can give one a headache, reading techie-talk. Like learning a new language. Can't be a little old lady. Got to work on my lingua computa.

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