Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

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4 September 2007

I just tidied up the links on the right and added one you might want to use yourselves – an RSS feed for the links I have publicly added to the shared bookmark service I use – Netvouz. They are probably the most frequently updated part of the site these days. There are also a few more podcasts listed (wish there was an easy way to output my iTunes podcast library as a list of links!) and I hope I managed to fix the RSS link for this weblog and for the (computer-read) podcast version.

PS Doesn’t anyone want to send me an audio message? I always thought that it would be nice to hear my readers rather than just reading your comments…

25 June 2007

As Fuhnie observes, the band Sprites have come up with what sounds to me like the ideal blogger anthem ‘I Started A Blog Which Nobody Read’, which starts:

“I started a blog, which nobody read
When I went to work I blogged there instead
I started a blog, which nobody viewed
It might be in cache, the topics include:

George Bush is an evil moron
What’s the story with revolving doors?
I’m in love with a girl who doesn’t know I exist
Nobody hates preppies anymore…”

It’s well worth a listen – you can hear the song while watching this (rather poor) fan-made video:

I am surprised there aren’t more songs about blogs or about social network software – or am I just not aware of them? Comment with any entertaining ones you have found…

11 June 2007
Filed under:About this blog,Spam at1:06 pm

I get a fair amount of “pure” comment spam but also a small but increasing amount of stuff that hovers on the edge of being spam. That is, comments which do actually address the post I have made in some way but which don’t actually say anything thoughtful (along the lines of “I thought so too”) and which then invite me (and all other readers) to go visit their commercial website.

Obviously not all comments are (or should be) deeply thought out arguments and it seems to be customary for people who run commercial websites to put a link to those sites in their comments linked to their name (indeed the comments software encourages you to do so). Also, I hasten to add that I would welcome more thoughtful comments on my site. Looking back I find that I have had just 20 non-spam comments since the beginning of January of which just six really added something new to think about. In the interests of transparency, however, I will lay down some rough guidelines about what I consider spam:

1) I will remove any comment (however substantial or interesting) which contains a link to any commercial site advertising or offering illegal items, porn, gambling, or other sites that I find offensive.
2) I will remove any comment that appears to be just there in order to generate a link to the user’s site, whether or not that site is itself offensive (unless the site in question is directly relevant to the text of the post itself).
3) I reserve the right to remove comments for any other reason (though I try to err on the side of inclusiveness).

I apologise in advance if this policy means I end up removing a comment you consider relevant and non-promotional. I also apologise if my spam filter accidentally eats your comment. In either case feel free to contact me and make a case for your comment to be reinstated.

I choose to leave comments on on my blog because I believe (like the web’s inventor) that the web should be an interactive medium but it saddens me that in order to remain receptive to the few people who choose to comment on what I write here my weblog’s anti-spam software has to remove about ten spam messages every hour and I have to knock off a couple more each day that slip through the filter.

26 December 2006
Filed under:About this blog,Weblogs at8:05 pm

Please change your reader so it points to http://feeds.feedburner.com/Blogorg
. If this doesn’t mean anything to you don’t worry – just keep reading as normal…

1 August 2006

I thought I should remind you that I store almost all the new useful web bookmarks I come across using Netvouz which lets me (or you) display and search them several different ways. In my sidebar at the right (further down the page) you will see my five most recently added links but by visiting Netvouz you can see more in date order or grouped by category, complete with descriptions and (often) star ratings. And yes if you are weblog-savvy there is an RSS feed for my whole collection or for any of my tags or categories that interests you – cool web services for example. Quality links, updated every day. Enjoy!

P.S. I do most of my academic weblogging (which is most of my blogging these days) over at the Media@LSE group weblog which I set up.

19 May 2006

According to a free online valuation by Leapfish (based on word length and other factors) this address, blog.org, is worth $202,000 or more. Offers in that region would receive careful consideration…

15 April 2006
Filed under:About this blog,Personal at6:16 pm

(Not me but I feel a bit like the above)

1) Our first baby is due in 5 days.

2) My (increasingly distant) hope is to upgrade from MPhil to PhD in two and a half months and to get as much work on the thesis done as possible before the baby disturbs my concentration.

3) We just found, agreed on and put an offer on a new place to live yesterday

4) Last night my wife managed to stab her finger – not seriously but seriously enough to go off to hospital to get it looked at and…

5) my iBook’s hard disk just up and died on me! Fortunately (?) I have some experience with hard disk crashes so when my disk began to show signs of dying (rattling noises etc) I backed it up pronto. But since I don’t now have a working Mac and since my backup is on a Mac-formatted Firewire drive I just realised I can’t access most of those files until I get my Mac back in ten days time. But in ten days time I suspect I may have other things on my mind than my iBook! Fortunately, I also copied a few critical files onto my wife’s PC and hopefully can therefore continue to work. As soon as my teeth stop grinding…

P.S. Don’t be surprised if because of the above – particularly 1) – this blog is not updated for a week or so. I don’t expect I’ll bore you with baby pictures – those will go up on the private blog…

28 March 2006

Me on Brussels’ main square

Originally uploaded by David and Delphine.

My wife and I returned yesterday from our last short break as a twosome (for visitors who didn’t know, we have a boy due on or after April 22nd). There’s a small photo album here – warning – it may not be safe for the sensitive to view at work as it contains a picture of ‘comedy’ breasts made of chocolate. Gotta love that Belgian sense of humour!

P.S. I have edited my R hand navigation bar (which has, I like to think, something for everyone – do check it out periodically). The latest thing I’ve added is a feature I think is really handy – Send me an Odeo which is just a quick and easy way for you to record and send me a voice message if you have a microphone on your machine – even easier than typing a comment! I think this or something like this is likely to replace many of the normal ‘social’ comments – where friends just want to say “that’s funny” or “congratulations on your upcoming child” but don’t need to send a link or contribute anything lengthy or deep. It’s free to use and to add to your own site (no I have no relationship to the company!).

I have also provided a link to make it easy to bookmark this site using any of the dozens of ‘social bookmarking’ services out there (including del.icio.us and my personal favourite, Netvouz).

22 March 2006

Originally uploaded by Central Scrutinizer.

As BoingBoing points out this is a condo developer trying to cash in on the ‘coolness’ of the word. Too bad they didn’t register the domain on their poster (myblog.com).

Incidentally, in the five years I have had this weblog nobody has offered to buy this domain. I have no idea why. By now I figure I might as well keep it (though feel free to make absurdly generous offers!)

7 February 2006
Filed under:About this blog,Personal at7:38 pm

blog.org is five years old last week. Well kind of – I had a weblog even before Feb 1st 2001 on a service that died, taking the postings I had made with it (“Groksoup” – no longer at the site or even in the Internet Archive). I seem to have started this blog without much ceremony – just started doing what I mostly still seem to be doing – providing links to sites I consider useful, giving tips on Internet-related stuff and occaisionally talking about politics (mostly Internet-related politics). I hope you still enjoy it in ten years in whatever form it takes and by that time you will be looking at “blog.org from Professor David Brake”!

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