Category: Blogging

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Sorry Bloggers, Good Journalism Lives

Ian Betteridge and I share something in common: We’ve been writing for a lot longer than people have been blogging. We come from the older school of journalism that bloggers, social networking and digital media are supposed to replace. The debate about the news media’s future is certainly a hot topic at the company where I work.
Ian’s post, “Print is Dying? Not so Fast,” uses The Economist as example of why print doesn’t have to die off. He observes that the magazine’s profits and ad sales are rising, with American print advertising up 23 percent.

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Fake Steve Jobs is Revealed!

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs is one acerbic—and hugely popular—Weblog. Also known as Fake Steve Jobs, the author has had quite a following over that last 14 months. There has been a concerted effort to reveal Fake Steve Jobs’ identity. No longer.

In New York Times story, “A Mystery Solved: ‘Fake Steve’ Blogger Comes Clean“, reporter Brad Stone reveals the identity as Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes. Today, Fake Steves acknowledged, “Damn, I am so busted, yo“. 

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Painful Changes

My blog relocation has turned out to be quite an exhilarating experience. On Saturday, I managed to delete all the content and my Movable Type export file. Everything was lost! Oh, it’s a harrowing tale.

Some background: I made the move on Wednesday to pmachinehosting, which a few days later changed its name to EngineHosting. I also moved from Movable Type to ExpressionEngine. I lacked two things: A new design and fix to a troublesome problem, that ExpressionEngine inserted index.php/comments in the path of posts (e.g., http://www.joewicox.com/index.php/comments/painful_changes. 

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Whew, a Breather

I am on vacation this week—well, mostly—and have used some of the time to play with a few my tech toys. It’s a relief to actually enjoy some of the technology available to me. The tech toying means more time with the Canon EOS 20D and real chance to tinker with this blogsite. I also plan to overhaul the look of my blogsite, hopefully over the next month (fingers crossed).

Back in 1996, I bought some great Image Club clipart that I used for my first website. I still have the original floppy disks, but no floppy drive to use them, assuming the installer would even load under Windows XP (installer doesn’t work on Macs). I recall backing up the lot of images to CD ages ago. If so, extracted artwork available for the blogsite redesign (fingers crossed, again). 

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Where Did the Joy Go?

I still ponder exactly what to do with my blog. I am considering five choices: Blogger (mixed feelings); MSN Spaces (least likely); .Mac (I’ve got an account with 2GB of storage and could use software client to post, but so-so likelihood); Yahoo! hosting using MovableType or WordPress (highly likely); or TypePad (also highly likely, and what I’ve got now).

The latter two options could lead to lots of work, and I find myself resistant. What I want is to create an inviting blog with lots of photos, too, possibly using Flickr, Slide, or both. Actually, there’s quite a bit I’d like to do with my blog, with respect to personalization, beyond using canned templates. 

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The Times Does Proud

Blogging is a fun, and it’s a great way for creating community across many different types of boundaries. Some bloggers have influence, too, as evidenced by the Sony rootkit DRM or Thomas Hawk’s PriceRightPhoto debacle. But for all the talk about bloggers changing information dissemination and even some bloggers deserving press credentials, the real influence, the credibility remains with real journalists.

And New York Times has done some great investigative journalism of late. Two big stories from the last week—the kind of stuff that requires real reporting and deep editorial soul searching: “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers without Courts” and “Through His Webcam, a Boy Joins a Sordid Online World“. 

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Corporate Blogsite: Marketing Veiled as News

I have been pondering the implications behind Microsoft’s Channel 9 blogsite. The deal: Last week, Microsoft developer evangelists put up Channel 9, which is supposed to provider developers with “a way to listen to the cockpit of Microsoft”. Apparently, the listening includes dispensing Microsoft news and inside views.

The timing is interesting. Channel 9’s official launch occurred during Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) event, which makes much sense considering the site is for partners. But the debut also came a couple days before Business Week published a story saying that Microsoft was in the process of trimming next-generation-Windows Longhorn features to make a 2006 ship date. The story also offered up details about other upcoming stops on the Windows roadmap, such as something called Windows XP Premium, which soon will ship on new PCs. 

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Not How Many, But Whom

Microsoft employees are prolific bloggers, and I’m surprise the company hasn’t really developed software tools supporting the phenomenon. I understand that blogging hasn’t reached mainstream momentum, yet. But, sometimes, it’s not the “how manys” but the “who they are” that matters more.

In 1966, I accidentally discovered “Star Trek” on a CBC station out of St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada. When I was a kid, local TV station WAGM, in Presque Isle, Maine, had the unique distinction of being three network affiliates: ABC, CBS, and NBC. WAGM was the only American broadcast TV station serving Maine’s largest but sparsely-populated county, Aroostook, which spanned about a fifth of the state. WAGM didn’t air “Star Trek”; some show from another network made the cut instead. 

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Whatever Happened to the Free Spirit that spawned the Modern Internet?

This afternoon, I was reading a story about cancelled flights—more concerns about terrorist threats—over at MSNBC. The story included an interactive element that lets the reader try out being a baggage screener for two minutes. Beneath the interactive element, “Can You Spot The THREATS?” is this option: “License this Interactive for your Web site.” Clicking through leads to Rights Links (powered) by Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. The cost: $99 for a single Website. Yeah, you read that right. MSNBC is charging for that interactive element.

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My 10-Year PC Anniversary

Ten years ago this month, I bought my first home PC from a friend who built them for a living. Months earlier, I had read a story in what was then called Washington Journalism Review about the coming age of digital journalism. Few people had heard of the World Wide Web when the article published, but San Jose Mercury News and other publications had started appearing on America Online and CompuServe.

That first computer was a whooper for its day: 486 processor, 8MB of RAM, 120GB hard drive, and Windows 3.11. The builder included WordPerfect 6, which was so buggy, I picked up the competitive Word 6 upgrade from my local Staples. My current cell phone, which also runs a version of Windows, has more power, storage, and memory than that first PC.