Tag Archives: blogging

Open Wide For Some Sideblogging

Many months ago, some friend of mine in DC – Pablo, Seth, and Thomas – decided to start recording a DC United podcast. Named after a famous Simpsons bit, Open Wide For Some Soccer was born.

DC United’s season went to absolute shit, setting records for futility. Being the type who is always there to pile on with numbers, a segment developed entitled “Sad Stats”, where DC’s record was put in context with sad music playing in the background. I loved this segment so much that I started compiling Sad Stats, and making multiple appearances as the “official Sadistician”.

With the offseason starting, there was a general decision that maybe the OWFSS needed to dominate more media, so now there is a Tumblr.

We do Power Rankings for the league’s narratives.

We made fun of a Forbes article – and every team in the league.

We made fun of the league’s awards.

We give out an award for weekly excellence, named after an obscure Chinese player.

And so on. So if you’re looking for more wit from me, head on over there.

The End Of The Crisis

In 2007, I had what I dubbed a “crisis of blogging faith“. Movable Type, my blog tool of choice, had been stagnating on the personal blogging front, while Six Apart was making a lot of noise about the enterprise. Within a day, I had a comment from Anil Dash:

We know we’ve been, honestly, focused elsewhere as we built up all the other work we’ve been doing. But, especially with the success of the other platforms and work like MT Enterprise, it lets us focus resources on the personal version of MT.

After four years of waiting, today I gave up — and migrated to WordPress.
Continue reading The End Of The Crisis

The Disqus Challenge

Last night, I conducted a small experiment: I switched the internal Movable Type commenting system for Disqus.

For background: leaving feedback on my blog, I’ve been told repeatedly, has been too difficult and too cumbersome, and so my rate of feedback has plummeted greatly. This has been caused by a chain of inconveniences:

  1. Years ago, I became fed up with blog spam and wished to have no part of it, and shut off anonymous comments. This is a huge wall for people wishing to leave feedback.
  2. Movable Type’s login methods are largely grounded in a Javascript wrapper that can be finicky.
  3. The types of authentication supported – LiveJournal, TypeKey, OpenID – are not nearly as popular as, say, Facebook or Twitter.

Continue reading The Disqus Challenge

The Inevitable Once-A-Year Blog Housekeeping Post

The number of people who care about the technical details of any blog tends to be in the single digits. It is in everyone’s interest that I keep this succinct:

* New layout: took [Mid-Century](http://www.movabletype.org/documentation/themes/mid-century.html), converted it to the beloved PVW color set, chopped up the sidebar a bit so it wasn’t so widget-y. The whole site should be easier to read, although I’m sure there’s a bunch of images being chopped due to
* Better organization: nuked old un-used category structure. Created new, somewhat whimsical category structure, which is more about structure than content. Visit the site and explore. Not everything has been re-categorized yet – it will take quite a while.
* Added yearly archives. Monthly archives would end up being too long of a list.
* Related entries by tag search now enabled for all tagged entries.
* RSS feed is now redirecting (permanently) to the Atom feed. Those of you on the legacy RSS feed may get a feed burp; apologies.

Thanks to Zach Szukala for lending his eyes.

All News Is Local

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, and this is my pledge post:

I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.

Now, it would be terribly easy to write a post about Ada Lovelace Day organizer, and close personal friend, Suw Charman-Anderson. So easy, in fact, I feel it would be a bit of a cop out. (Sorry, Suw!)

Instead, I will write about a different personal friend. Because that isn’t a cop-out at all.

A blog focusing on the goings-on of a city doesn’t sound revolutionary in 2009, but in 2002, it was practically unheard of.

In the time since, Jen Chung’s tireless editorial work at Gothamist has been a source of stability in a restless city. Day in and day out, Jen is researching, writing, posting, and responding to the news. Yesterday, she posted 15 separate stories – an average day, from what I’ve seen. In the time since Gothamist was founded, as of when I’m writing this, Jen has written eighteen-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety posts. Just for comparison: in the time it takes me to crank out a single entry, Jen is averaging fourteen – and that’s with me having a two year head-start.

Of course, it’s quality, not quantity, that counts most – and what’s even more impressive is her tireless work to cover the stories that New Yorkers are talking about and affected by. Every major NYC story over the last five years – HookerGate, the Astoria blackout, the Transit Strike, Flight 1549, even the Maple Syrup Mystery – has her fingerprints all over it. Jen’s work helped to ensure that after four years of fighting for a press pass from the NYPD – denied on the grounds of “being a website” – Gothamist was finally issued one in February for a City Hall press conference.
Her job is largely thankless. She is frequently raked over the coals by Gothamist commenters over typos and grammar mistakes. Somehow, under all that stress and pressure, Jen remains down-to-earth, friendly, and personable.

Six years has taken Gothamist from personal blog to indispensable resource. Nearly everyone I know reads it; the New York Times said it “reflects everything worth knowing about this city.” I can’t imagine living in the city without it. (To be fair and also not be beaten to death by other friends, plenty of that cause can be attributed to Jake, Neil, Tien, and the other editors.)

As one of the most prolific, knowledgeable bloggers I’ve ever met – as someone who’s work ethic is unmatched – Jen Chung is the woman in technology I admire.


Valleywag is reporting that LiveJournal has laid off 20 of their 28 employees:

> The bubble in social networking has burst, decisively. LiveJournal, the San Francisco-based arm of Sup, a Russian Internet startup, has cut about 20 of 28 employees — and offered them no severance, we’re told.

> The company’s product managers and engineers were laid off, leaving only a handful of finance and operations workers — which speaks to a website to be left on life support. Matt Berardo, a Yahoo executive hired on last summer, is also believed to be gone.

(While I do not blog on LiveJournal, this blog is available in syndicated form, and a number of my friends post there.)

While I haven’t been pleased with the level of service out of LiveJournal since Sup took it over, this sort of news doesn’t bode well for anyone who actively uses the service.

For those of you using LJ as your primary blogs, you may want to make a backup just in case.

ADDENDUM: azurelunatic has posted a minor rebuke to the Valleywag post – that only 13 have been laid off and that 17 remain.

Cleaning House

I’m having one of those moments where I’m not terribly happy with every last bit of my blog, so forgive the layout mess as I rebuild.

*Three hours later…*

I think I’m happy again. In some ways, this was a very silly rebuild – I’ve basically redone the same look and feel with a different base stylesheet. But the syntax has been cleaned up considerably, and while I’m sure I’ve missed some styles, the site is more functional than it’s been in years.

I also nuked over 300 entries from my archives, which turns out to be about 20% of the total number in the system. This seems wrong for a site that’s acting as an embodiment of myself, but all the posts that were nuked were from the del.icio.us nightly posting script. After some reflection, I regretted having them in the system, as they mostly just take up space on the archives page and provide minimal value. So out they go. (These links are now autoposting to my Tumblr blog.)

Anyhow, there’s more playing to be done, but for the time being, I’m satisfied. If only I had the motivation to write something substantive. (In the mean time, have you been to The Power Is On lately?)