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                          Posts with keyword: blogging


                          Self-Sovereign Blogging

                          The cloud is a fickle place that gives and takes. Self-sovereignty is the only path to autonomy and agency.
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                          Decentralization Is Hard, Maybe Too Hard

                          Decentralized thinking is hard. So hard that future generations might see the Internet as a historical abberation.
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                          Silo-Busting MyWord Editor is Now Public

                          The MyWord Editor and nodeStorage system are a perfect example of what I call a personal cloud application architecture.
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                          MyWord!

                          Dave Winer has been developing applications that support users owning their own data. His latest is a blog page rendering system he calls MyWord.io.
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                          Fargo and Personal Cloud Application Architectures

                          Fargo, a new outliner from Dave Winer is an excellent example of what I call "personal cloud application architectures" (PCAAs). PCAAs have benefits for users and developers alike and are cheaper and easier to build than traditional Web 2.0 applications.
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                          A New Look Leads to a New Blogging System

                          In deciding to update my blog, I began a task that I knew would be fun and slightly involved. I wasn't disappointed. I created a custom blogging system that leveraged my habit of writing everything in Emacs and my love of Perl. The new system matches my personal workflow perfectly.
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                          Building a Blog with Personal Clouds

                          Thinking about event-based persistent data objects (PDOs) might be used to build a blog is a useful exercise in understanding how groups of decentralized objects can work together to accomplish a specific purpose.
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                          Ten Years and Counting: A Blogging Anniversary

                          I blog because I think by writing. After ten years, I still find it's the best way for me to understand my world.
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                          Getting Good Descriptions When Sharing on Google Plus

                          Google Plus gets it's description from the meta item named description. Mine was set to a static string describing the blog, not the content of the entry. I've fixed it. Here's how I did it.
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                          Dealing with JSONP in KRL: Using the Flickr API

                          When I blog I like to put pictures, like the one to the right of this sentence, in the article when I can. My usual method is to use Flickr because I can find good pictures that have creative commons rights that allow me to use them on my blog. The problem is that after I find the picture, I need to create an image tag with the right size source image that links back to the Flickr picture for attribution purposes. Creating the tags to do that by hand is a pain, so I've created a simple Kynetx
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                          KBlog: Making the Back Button Work

                          Friday, I posted a long blog article that discussed using KRL to create a simple blogging application. the application writes multiple pages, manages a navigation bar, and allows new posts. (Try it here.) One problem with the implementation is that because it paints the entire app in a single page (sometimes called a single page interface or SPI), the back and forward buttons don't work. The problem is that the browser doesn't know there's a new page and put it on the history unless the URL changes. The back and forward buttons are just indexes on the browser history.
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                          Event Hierarchies: A Blog Written in KRL

                          I've mentioned several times that I'm writing a book called The Live Web that discusses how events and strong user identity combine to produce new ways of creating Web applications that are significantly different than those in use today. Chapter 12 is about creating event-driven applications that are based on multiple rulesets. At the recent Kynetx Impact developers conference, Ed Orcutt built a blog application using KRL. Actually, he did it twice: once with one ruleset and another time with three. If you're like to read the book in draft form, contact me and I'll invite you to the
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                          Putting a Facebook Like Button in a Movabletype Blog

                          The top of this post has a Facebook "like button." I'm not sure I'm going to leave it there, but I though I'd share how I did it. These instructions are for Movabletype: Edit the "Individual Entry Archive" template under "Archive Templates" Once you decide where you want the button in the template, insert the following code: <iframe src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=<$MTEntryPermalink$>&layout=standard&show_faces=false&width=390&action=like&colorscheme=light" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; height: 25px; width:390px;"></iframe> Note that <$MTEntryPermalink$> is what gets the entry URL and places it in the call to Facebook Save the template Republish any entries you want to have the like
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                          Branding and Indispensability vs Reputation and Influence

                          I was asked by Cyd Tetro to sit on a panel today at the Women Tech Council along with Sue Johnson. The topic is "personal branding, indispensability, and networking." I'm planning to be a little contrarian. First off, I agree with Doc that the idea of branding is dehumanizing. Fine for corporations, not necessary for people. We already have an identity and we have our humanity. Those are the things that we need to emphasize, not the idea of personal brand. Second, as the saying goes, "the graveyards are full of indispensable people." The idea isn't
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                          Starting a High Tech Business: No Cold Hires

                          I'm starting a new business called Kynetx. As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. This is the twenty-first installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way--if so, please let me know! In the past two weeks Kynetx has doubled in size. There's lots to do and the resources to make it happen, so getting more people became a priority. Getting the right people became the most important thing Steve and I could do for the long
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                          CIO Blogging: Kelly Flanagan

                          Image by minifig via Flickr Kelly Flanagan is a good friend, a collegue, and the CIO of BYU. Years of seeing all the trouble I get into with my blog were not enough to disuade Kelly from starting one of his own. Kelly calls his blog Technology: Rantings, Ramblings and Reviews. Kelly is a CIO who gets his hands dirty--configuring systems, transfering video, building things--and is also curious. Those combined in his blog to create articles that are much more interesting that the typical "enterprise computing" discussion you get from many CIO bloggers.
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                          What's on My Desktop? Four New Apps for Staying Connected

                          Image by flibblesan One of the things I love about going to conferences is that there are usually a lot of Mac users there and that means getting the goods on what new Mac software people are using. My last trips to Defrag and IIW were good in that regard as I found out about a few new things that I'm enjoying. The first, and probably the most useful, is Snackr. Snackr is an RSS reader that displays the most recent articles from feeds you subscribe to as a rolling ticker on the bottom, top, or side of your
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                          EFail, not EMail

                          Jeff Atwood has a longish post on the problems with email. Of course, the biggest problem with email is there's way too much of it. I used to try to respond to each (non-spam) email I got but now I can't keep up. Unfortunately, I can't let each email commit me to spend time. Jeff references Tantek ?elik's excellent post on the subject and gives three pieces of advice: Channel that private email effort into a public outlet. Discussion boards, blog entries, comments, wikis, you name it. If it can be indexed by a web search
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                          4000th Blog Post

                          papalars via Flickr This post on the death of advertising was my 4000th blog post on Technometria. Kind of snuck up on me. The mountain picture has nothing to do with blogging or anniversaries or milestones. I just liked it.
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                          The Power of Citizen Media

                          Sorry for the back-to-back political posts. I try to keep politics to a minimum on this blog, but as the election heats up I find myself with more and more to say on the matter. Over the weekend, a blogger asked Palin a hard question and got an evasive answer. The result was a widely circulated blog post detailing how Palin and McCain refused to answer the questions put to them. Recently a blogger in Utah had a run in with Utah Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble and posted the encounter on her blog. I think she was surprised
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                          Using bit.ly with MovableType

                          I've been using the mt-twitter plugin to automatically publish blog articles to Twitter. I find that I get more readers that way than RSS or my newsletter at this point. One problem is that you don't get any good stats that way. I've modified the mt-twitter plugin to use bit.ly now to solve that problem. With bit.ly you can click on the "info" link and get good stats about who clicked from where. This is the code I added to the _update_twitter function: my $bitly = LWP::UserAgent->new; my $url_response = $bitly->get("http://bit.ly/api?url=" . $obj->permalink); my $small_url; if($url_response->is_success) { $small_url =
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                          Browser Mix on Technometria

                          As long as we're on the subject of Technometria stats, here's the browser breakdown for last month on Technometria: FireFox - 41.80% Internet Explorer - 33.76% Safari - 12.65% Mozilla - 9.06% Opera - 1.79% Roughly two-thirds of the visitors to Technometria were using something other than Internet Explorer. Granted, this is a pretty geeky crowd. Of the Firefox users, roughly 30% were using version 3. Of the IE users, roughly 40% were using version 6. Only four visitors the entire month were using IE 5.5. I had a few IE 8 visitors.
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                          Top Ten Stories on Technometria Last Month

                          It's funny to me which stories and posts seem to take off and which don't. Sometimes when I'm writing a post I just know that it's going to get traction, but most of the time, it's hit or miss. Here's a list of the top ten posts on Technometria for June. Only two of them were written in June. Fixing MacBook Pro Sleep Problems 8.74% of all downloads for the month P2V: How To Make a Physical Linux Box Into a Virtual Machine 6.18% Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for May 2008 4.35% CIO vs. CT 4.23% Free Mobile
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                          My Blog is Six Years Old

                          Last week, my blog passed it's six year anniversary. My inaugural post (besides what amounted to a "hello world" test post) was on asset management. I didn't post again until the 10th of June. Like many bloggers I got off to a slow start. But June 2002 was a good month with a number of posts that indicate what was on my mind then. People often ask me how to get their traffic up on their blog. Unfortunately, my experience was atypical. I started early and was one of the first CIOs to blog (I was the CIO for
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                          Steve Gillmor on Twitter

                          I love Steve Gillmor's writing and how he puts things together. Witness this on Twitter.
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                          ActionStreams: Follow Me Around the Net

                          Adding your IT Conversations profile to Action Streams(click to enlarge) The more you use sites on the Web for keeping track of our online lives and sharing things with friends, the more you'd like to have a place on your blog to gather them all together. I've had my del.icio.us feeds on my blog for a long time. I also used to put my tweets on my blog. I experimented with a Flickr widget and gave it up. Now Mark Paschal has released a plugin for Movable Type called Action Streams that does that all nicely. There are dozens
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                          Upgrading to MT4.01

                          I'm in the processing of upgrading this blog to run on Movabletype 4.0, so there will be some things broken while I get it right. Thanks for your patience.
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                          Blogs in Plain English

                          Ever wanted to explain to your mom what a blog is? Here's a nifty little screen cast from Lee and Sachi LeFever at the CommonCraft show that does just that: Last week I posted a screencast on OpenID that has garnered some good comments from friends and even family ("oh, now I get it!"). I'm a big fan of this new medium. I've used it to augment classroom instruction in CS330. I want to try some of these "whiteboard" type screencasts for fun.
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                          Blogging: Talking to Friends

                          Jeff Jarvis, in a larger piece on corporate blogging and where it goes wrong writes a nice bit of advice for all bloggers: When I was in London, I sat with folks from the BBC in an afternoon devoted to blogging, and the woman next to me was troubled, bearing weight on her shoulders from having to fill her blog and manage her blog. To her, the blog was a thing, a beast that needed to be fed, a never-ending sheet of blank paper. I turned to her and said she should see past the blog. It's not a
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                          Technorati's Dead Too

                          Crap ad seen at Technorati.com on Dec 6, 2007(click to enlarge) As long as I'm commenting on things that are dead, allow me to add Technorati to the list. They have descended into the dark depths of crap advertising "You've been chosen to get a free laptop computer. Click to accept!" Sheesh. If things are that bad, just shut off the servers, turn off the lights, lock the door, and go home. As long as I'm on my soap box, do you imagine that the intersection of the kinds of people who use Technorati and the morons who'd actually
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                          AT&T Doesn't Want Critics as Customers

                          AT&T's terms of service now allow them to immediately terminate the service of anyone who is critical of the company. From Broadband Reports: "AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes ... tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." Amazing! By the way, have I mentioned lately how happy I am with AT&T's service? Really..., it is. I mean it.
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                          GovGab, a New eGoverement Blog

                          GovGab is a new group blog from the folks who run USA.gov (formerly FirstGov). They've been at it for a week. The articles have a personal voice and are related to finding government resources online. For example, the first entry is about Jake's hunt for an apartment and the online resources he used.
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                          Wordpress Blows Up Blogs

                          Newspapergrl tells the story of a blog gone away at the hands of Wordpress. The moral of the story is that if you use another company to host your blog you're at their mercy. Everything you write could be gone someday without warning or explanation. The only way to prevent this is to take matters into your own hands and run your own server. Of course, that too is subject to the whims of nature and man, but you stand a better chance of controlling your own destiny. But what does this say of the blogging "revolution" if the
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                          Cabinet Level Blogging

                          The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt (my former boss), has a blog. He's writing it himself and, so far, doing a good job of keeping it up with interesting posts. Recently he's been blogging his travel to Africa. The blog is done using Typepad. He's getting lots of comments, as you can image, which must be gratifying. I haven't noticed much reaction in the blogosphere, however. Cabinet-level officials aren't known for transparency, so I am grateful for this kind of leadership. If more government leaders wrote blogs--without filters--we'd have a better sense of them and why
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                          Dancing with Mavericks

                          Blogger and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is going to be on Dancing with the Stars. Heh. I've never watched it, but I might have to check out Mark gliding across the dance floor.
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                          SearchStatus for Alexa and PageRank

                          Firefox with SearchStatus installed(click to enlarge) If you've installed toolbars to let you see the Google PageRank and Alexa ranking of the sites you visit, you might like this Firefox extension called SearchStatus. SearchStatus shows the current PageRank, Alexa rank and Compete rank (I'd never heard of it) in your status bar, or almost anywhere else you like. The attached screen shot shows the SearchStatus installation on Firefox on my Mac.
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                          Fake Steve is Outted

                          If you haven't heard, a reporter (Brad Stone) from the NY Times outted Fake Steve. It was a fun ride.
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                          Doc Searls Has Two New Homes

                          Doc's taking an apartment in the greater Boston to complement his second year as a Berkman Fellow. He's also moving into a new home online. Wow, one move of that magnitude would bring lesser men to their knees. I'm impressed. Bonus link: to get Google's juices flowing: Doc Searls.
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                          Vote for IT Conversations at Bloggers Choice Awards

                          If you enjoy IT Conversations, consider voting for IT Conversations as the best podcast at the Blogger's Choice Awards site. Naturally, we'd love to win. As an aside, you have to go through a registration process to vote. Sorry. This is the perfect kind of application for OpenID--too bad they don't use it.
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                          Addicted to Blogging

                          I'm 84% addicted to blogging. I got knocked down from 100% because I don't read enough blogs or post more than 1-2 times per day. Ah well... 84%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
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                          A Simple Solution to Form Spam

                          A few weeks ago, Britt Blaser sent me a link to a technique for using CSS to fight form spam. The idea is simple, you add an extra input field to your form and use the CSS visibility property to hide it. The input field won't be visible to humans, but will appear normal to a spambot crawling the Web filling in forms. On the back end, you look for values in that field. If the form returns a value for that field you assume that a bot filled it in and discard the session. If the field is
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                          Mobile Blogging

                          A blog post from the iPhone. Just to prove I can. Doing a lot of HTML this way would be tough.
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                          Scoble on Kyte.tv at an Apple Store

                          Scoble's sitting in front of an Apple store and video blogging on Kyte.tv. Lots of fun.
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                          Bandit's Cross Platform Selector

                          Novell asked me for a quote for this press release on the Bandit cross-platform card selector. I said: "For the vision of user-centric identity to thrive, ecosystems like information card selectors have to extend beyond a single operating system. As a vendor of a major Linux distribution, Novell is in a great position to lead the use of information card selectors on Linux. I'm very encouraged by these developments." I haven't tried building the card selector for OS X yet. If anyone beats me to it, I'd love to hear a report. As I said in my post about
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                          Boycotting Blogs

                          Jeff Jarvis obviously doesn't get it. In commenting on the National Union of Journalists' plan for a Europe-wide day of protest against cuts in journalism, Jeff has cast the problem as the Internet, blogs, or readers. As the journalists well know, the real culprits are the capitalist owners of the newspapers. These diabolical folks are killing their own papers just to tweak the nose of the downtrodden workers. No one fully understands the depths of their cunning and evil.
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                          Technorati Wins and Losses

                          Technorati is one of the tools I use everyday. One of the most important parts of blogging is participating in conversations that are going on the 'Net. Technorati helps me find out when people are responding to something I've written. The good folks at Technorati are a busy bunch. It seems like the site is different almost everyday. Sometimes radically. Recently the layout for what Technorati now calls "reactions" changed. I like the new look and think that much of the important the information easier to find. It's also not as "busy" with ads. Frankly some of the ads
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                          Understanding Splogs

                          Have you ever wondered exactly how splogging (spam blogs) work? What's the structure of that industry (and it is an industry)? Yi-Min Wang and Ming Ma (of Microsoft Research) and Yuan Niu and Hao Chen (of UC Davis) have studied the problem and found that there's a bottleneck in the economy of splogging at what they call the "aggregator level." This is the place to fight splogs. Here's the PDF version of the paper and here's a NY Times article on the results.
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                          Finding Quality Blogs

                          This talk entitled "Exploring in the Weblog Space by Detecting Informative and Affective Articles" by researchers from Shanghai Jiao-Tong University (see full paper) describes the use of machine learning techniques to classify blogs and blog articles according to the amount of "informative" and "affective" information in the blog. Affective here is a fancy word for "touchy-feely." The authors use various discrimination techniques and give results on which are the best for their purposes. The propose that being able to find blogs and blog articles they classify as "informative" leads to information, usually by experts, and is the kind of
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                          Ken Knaptop's Blog

                          I've known Ken Knapton for years. I think we met in a job interview. He's currently the CTO for ContentWatch (I'm on the advisory board). Ken is the latest addition to the growing list of Utah Tech bloggers. Ken's blog focuses on his thoughts about software development with an occasional foray into Internet filtering. I look forward to reading what he writes.
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                          HD-DVD Processing Keys Getting Some Late Play

                          A few months ago, I wrote a post on HD Processing Keys and the futility of DRM. I pointed to an article on Engadget that talked about the AACS processing keys being retrieved. As a quick aside, the processing keys are a little like the master keys that allow hundreds or thousands of discs created before April 23rd to be ripped. Yesterday, the story exploded when someone posted the keys, it got lots of action on Digg, and then Digg pulled the story in response to a complaint from the AACS. My post happens to be the first hit
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                          Welcome Sploggers!

                          Chuck Knutson accidentally put out the welcome mat for sploggers and got a lot of unwelcome visitors. The first big problem was that we had installed the multi-user version of WordPress. Why did we do that? I teach a class called Computers and Society, and I have students deliver their thoughts and reactions as short posts on actual blogs in the actual blogosphere. It's an interesting experience for students to submit their homework to the world where the instructor and TA are two of a potentially larger number of random readers (including the entire class). Strangely it tends to
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                          PodCorps.org

                          Doug Kaye, the man behind IT Conversations is launching PodCorps.org. Th goal is to create a network of podcasting stringers and event producers who can record and publish important spoken-word events anywhere in the world. One of the goals is to cover events related to the 2008 election in the US. Right now, PodCorps.org is recruiting stringers. Later, event producers will be able to tap into that pool of talent to get their events recorded. See and FAQ for more details. If you have the ability to record events and your willing to volunteer your time, take a minute
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                          Java and IP Addresses

                          A few weeks ago, I cut over my blog and several other Web sites to a new, much fast server. I don't know that it's made much difference in how fast people retrieve my blog since it's mostly static, but it's made a great deal of difference to me in posting speed and other back office functions. What's been curious to me is that the old server continues to get a few hits. I did a little exploring today and discovered a few interesting things. First, all of the hits are for RSS feeds of one kind of another.
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                          Kathy Sierra, Chris Locke, and Due Process

                          The post I made about Kathy Sierra's harassment at the hands of trolls continues to see considerable traffic from Google. Over the week end, Kathy and Chris Locke (who was linked to the harassing posts in Kathy's original post, but never shown to be directly involved) published a coordinated statement prior to a joint appearance on CNN today. I haven't found the CNN piece--it was probably pre-empted by the tsunami news--but will update this post with a link when it airs. Here's Kathy's statement about the statement. Alan Herrell was also linked by Kathy to the incidents. As this
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                          Kathy Sierra

                          Update: Read about Kathy Sierra, Chris Locke, and Due Process. Kathy Sierra, who's blog I've come to enjoy very much, canceled her tutorial yesterday and session this morning because of death threats (warning--this link goes to graphic material) she's received on her blog and on other blogs. This saddens me deeply and makes me angry. I'm sad and angry that someone--anyone--has to endure this kind of fear in their life. What's more, I'm sad that these actions have silenced someone who has so much to offer to the world. It's unacceptable. It's hateful. It's simply wrong.
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                          Utah Stories

                          Richard Markosian is the creator of a Web site called UtahStories.com. I love the idea and I love the execution. The site hosts a collection of short video documentaries about current events, people, and history in Utah. There's a menu item called "Tell Your Story" that is "temporarily unavailable" so I'm not sure what the model is for user submitted stories. I'd love to see a way for podcasts and video to co-exist on the site.
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                          Chuck Knutson's Blog

                          One of my colleagues at BYU, Chuck Knutson, has started a blog and is posting some good stuff there. Chuck's a thoughtful guy, so I look forward to following what he writes. A mixture of management insight (Chuck has industry experience), computer science, academics, and general ramblings make up the topics, as far as I can see.
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                          Server Migration

                          I was reading Sam Curran's blog and he was talking about intelligent server migration. This, of course, is interesting to me since I just got done doing the same thing. Sam had a more difficult situation in that he has users to make changes to the database. While that's true on a blog with comments, it wasn't a huge concern to me over a weekend. Dealing with DNS really is the biggest problem. It took almost 48 hours for DNS changes to propagate to the point where the old server was done taking traffic. I think next time, if
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                          New Server

                          I'm upgrading the server that serves this blog and quite a few other sites. There may be some service disruption. If you notice anything weird let me know, please.
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                          Are You a Product or a Brand?

                          There's been a lot written over the years on the ideas of the personal brand. I'm always surprised how many otherwise bright people will go get a Hotmail account when what they need is a professional, personal email address. Part of blogging's appeal to many is the chance to build personal brand. Tom Peters says "To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." I was just reading a post by Chris Borgan about making money from podcasts called Your Show Itself is NOT the Money Maker. He says:
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                          Speaking of Blogging...

                          I spoke about blogging today to the Utah Valley Chapter of the PRSA. I enjoyed it a lot. Lots of good discussion and interest. Kip Meacham also spoke. In a reversal of roles, the techie (me) spoke about why blog and the marketer (Kip) spoke to the mechanics of blogging. Noelle Bates of Logoworks set it all up. Here's a copy of my slides. The only problem with an event like this is that one hour (Kip and I each had an hour) is hardly enough to get started. For example, I didn't get into much on the "corporate
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                          Designating Blog Collections by Photograph

                          I'm taken with the design of the mezzoblue blog. The archiving is done by "collection" where each collection is identified by a photograph and the color palette for that collection is based on the photo. Very nice. The blog is the work of Dave Shea, one of the authors of The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web, one of my favorite CSS books.
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                          Overstock's Community Portal

                          Overstock.com has launched a community portal where they hope their customers will write "guides" about things that they're passionate about. Seems like an interesting idea. I've wondered about the ability to harness people's passion to create customer service sites that are more useful than those run by the company. Interestingly it's built on MediaWiki which I think is a great platform, but a little hard for wiki novices to use. I wonder if they've done something to make page editing any easier. I'm wondering rather than looking because when I went to sign up for an account, they wanted
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                          Marriott Blogs

                          The CEO of Marriott International, Bill Marriott, has a blog. The blog is about two weeks old and has a half a dozen entries. They're authentic and interesting. The technology is well done, as you'd expect from someone who has lots of IT support. There's an audio link which has Bill Marriott reading the post, or perhaps that's how he creates it. Comments are also open on all the posts and there's considerable activity. I was puzzled at the URL: http://www.blogs.marriott.com/ He's not just one of the corporate blogs, he seems to be the only blog with no room
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                          Social Network Fatigue

                          Dana Boyd has a good post on social network fatigue and how marketing people everywhere are trying to jump on the MySpace bandwagon. This dovetails with the post I did yesterday on social networking without a safety net. I've seen people stop blogging for the same reasons Dana cites regarding MySpace.
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                          Blogging for Friends

                          I found this piece by David Carr about 24-hour news people in the Times from a post on Thomas Barnett's blog about why he wouldn't dream of giving up his blog. The gist of both articles is that blogs are lot of work, but once you're hooked, it's hard to imagine life without it. Carr talks about how he has friends from his blog, sort of: There is a serial commenter on my blog and others at The New York Times, "Mark Klein, M.D.," an older, accomplished gentleman with a lot of opinions and time on his hands. He
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                          Limit Simultaneous Connections in Apache

                          Yesterday I wrote about the comment storms that were happening on my blog. Many people made some great suggestions and I plan on implementing many of them in the coming weeks. I found something, however, that was pretty simple and, so far, seems to be working beautifully. Mod_limitipconn is a small Apache module that allows you to limit the number of simultaneous connections from any given IP address for any particular resource or mime-type. It built and installed without a hitch--within 15 minutes I was in business. Here's the configuration I'm using to limit connections to the comment CGI:
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                          Comment Spam Storms

                          Update: Be sure to read the comments. There are lots of good suggestions on solving this problem. Here's what I did to stop spam storms About three times per day my server gets hit my a comment storm. Someone with a botnet is trying to spam my blog and they're going about it stupidly. They don't get any comments through because of a simple textual CAPTCHA that I installed in June. The storm occurs because the spammers try to post over 100 comments in the space of about 1 minute from five or six different IP addresses. Naturally, the
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                          CXO Bloggers

                          I'm quoted in a story on CIO bloggers in Information Age by Michelle Price. The article also has profiles on four active CIO bloggers. The biggest problem CXO bloggers face is that it's impossible for people to separate the views expressed on the blog from official policy or decisions. That puts significant pressure on CXO bloggers to weigh their words and is the reason there are so few.
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                          What To Do After You Lose Your Job

                          Imagine this scenario: Yikes! You just lost your job! You've been so busy at *work* that you don't feel your network is as strong as you would like it to be! What are you going to do with (and to) your network in the next 6 weeks as you begin an aggressive job search campaign? And, outside of your network, what job search tactics will you employ? Or your best networking tips related to job searches. That's the question put to me by Jason Alba as part of a "blog carnival." At some point he'll link to all the
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                          Blogging for Dollars

                          Last week I gave a guest lecture in Paul Allen's Internet Marketing class on blogging. The talk (PDF) was one I've given before. In fact, it was much of the information I gave to Altiris last month. One of the questions I got asked several times was "so how do I use my blog to sell my product." Apparently, I didn't answer the question very well. The bottom line is I don't think blogs are the right place to sell products. In fact, I think they're the wrong place to sell. They're a great vehicle for communicating with customers
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                          Blogging at Altiris

                          I gave a training session on blogging to Altiris employees yesterday. The PR department there is very progressive and is embracing blogging as a way of enhancing the conversation with their customers. I was very impressed with their attitude and excitement to get out in front of this. The session was well attended and had good executive support. If you're interested in looking at my slides, here they are (PDF). If you'd like the audio to go with them, I'd be happy to come speak to your group. :-) In the meantime, I'm anxious to see some Altiris bloggers
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                          Publishing with Atom

                          Elias Torres has created a Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) plug-in for WordPress. The service allows you to use Atom to POST, PUT, and DELETE entries as well as other things. You might recall that I interviewed Elias for IT Conversations earlier this month. MovableType supports the APP natively since version 3. Ben Hammersley has a discussion how to use MovableType APP, if you're curious.
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                          Getting Dooced is Overrated

                          I'm still preparing for a 3 hour course I'm teaching next week on blogging. One of the questions people always have is "how will this affect me career?" Dan Farber has a great post at Between the Lines on blogging as a potential career ender. That title probably overstates the case a little. The number of bloggers who get fired because of their blogs, or dooced is small as a percentage. That doesn't mean, however that your blog won't affect your career. I can easily point to the place where my blog has had a positive impact on my
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                          The Customer Is In Charge

                          If you've had doubts about how the Web, and especially the blogosphere, has affected the relationship between companies and customers, look no further than David Berlind's recent exchange with a T-Mobile customer service rep that he recorded and put up on the 'Net. The 13 minute call, which David recorded (and told the rep he was recording) shows a pompous, egotistical, and sometimes surly customer service rep berating David for not reading the terms and conditions of the service (does anyone read them?) and systematically refusing to listen to the real problem. David posted a copy of the call
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                          Naked Conversations

                          I've been asked to give a training session on blogging to employees of a mid-sized public company, so I'm looking for ideas and materials. One resource that was both informative and entertaining was this IT conversations presentation by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Together they wrote a book on corporate blogging called Naked Conversations. My own page on how to start a blog remains one of the most popular pieces on my blog. I'm shooting for a mix of advice and discussion on Blog culture Practical advice RSS and feed readers Podcasting Smart blogging I think this will be
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                          An Update to the Microid Plugin for MovableType

                          Tim Appnel was kind enough to apply his formidable MovableType expertise to my MicroID plugin and made some significant improvements: There is no longer a need for an explicit context argument to the tag. The code senses the right context using MovableType voodoo (looks at the stash). There is no longer a dependency on Digest::SHA1. Apparently MT 3.0 and above has SHA1 code built in (see MT::Util->perl_sha1_digest_hex();) Other things like a localized error message and making the tag work in a recent comments loop. I've updated the documentation and you can download the new version there. Thanks Tim!
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                          KnowNow ESS and Business RSS

                          My review of KnowNow's ESS has appeared in InfoWorld. ESS is an RSS management system. It filters, aggregates, slices, and dices. I was very impressed with it. I think enlightened corporate PR and marketing people will need tools like this to follow what companies are saying about them and to use RSS as a communications tool. From the review: I found ESS to be an excellent system for managing syndicated feeds. The various pieces work together well, and the browser-based set-up and configuration make it easy to get going. The ability to capture, aggregate, and filter traditional RSS feeds
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                          A Reputation Framework

                          Today on the Diane Rehm show, Diane's guests were Jennifer Golbeck, research associate, Institute for Advanced computer Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Md, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, professor of physics, University of Notre Dame and author of "Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else", and Kathleen Carley, professor, Computer Science, Institute for Software Research, Carnegie Mellon University. The topic was Social Networks and the Web At one point Diane said something like "But you don't know who these people are who are contacting you. This is an identity issue!" Indeed. In fact there are two issues. When Diane says
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                          Prison Lawnmowers

                          While writing a piece for Between the Lines on paying for the participation revolution, I pointed to a piece from Jon Udell on fixing a reel lawnmower. Following links from Jon's story and cruising around a little eventually led me to a site that specializes in lawnmowers for sale to prisons. Who knew?
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                          Abandoning SCode CAPTCHAs

                          The CAPTCHA experiment was a failure. I didn't get any blog spam, but I heard from a few people who tried to post comments and failed (other's succeeded). In the end, I didn't feel like debugging it, or worse driving people away, so I determined to abandon it. Still, I need a way to combat comment spam, so I went to a simpler, text-based CAPTCHA. This isn't as flexible as I'd like, but it's likely to do the trick. The main problem with it is having to edit code. When I update MT, I'll have to reinstall it. Of
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                          Using Web Analytics Tools

                          Paul Allen says that this article on using Web analytics well is one of the best he's seen. I use analytics everyday on my own blog to see what keywords people are using to find things I've written, which stories are capturing people's attention, and where readers are coming from.
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                          CIO Blogging

                          Last week, Michael Fitzgerald published a column in CIO Magazine giving CIOs advice on blogging. We had talked a long time ago--I'd forgotten--and he mentions my blog and experience getting started when I was Utah's CIO. He makes some great points that someone new to blogging, especially someone steeped in the usual rules of business communication, needs to know. Write in first person Refer to other Websites by linking to them Use links as a form of shorthand to avoid stopping to explain things that can be found in the link Blogs are just a tool for communication--don't overthink
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                          Blogger Conference Report

                          Phil Burn's sets up the banner(click to enlarge) The Utah Blogger Conference started out a lot like a blog: informal, slow, and a little disorganized, but once it got going, there was a lot of energy. I noticed a lot of informal conversations happening as the conference organizers were setting up and those are likely to prove as useful as anything else. The conference was organized by Phil Burns and Ryan Money with a lot of help fro their friends. There are about 160-180 people here, so the turnout is great. The main event was a panel with Cydni Tetro,
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                          Utah Blogger Conference

                          The Utah Blogger Conference is tonight at 6:30pm at the Larry H. Miller Innovation Center in Sandy. The conference is free and there's no need to pre-register. Just show up. I'll be there speaking on a panel. See you there.
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                          MoodViews: Analyzing Mood Data from Blogs

                          Krisztian Balog(click to enlarge) Blogs are one of the places on the web you can reliably find people's writing about their moods. Krisztian Balog presented a paper called "Decomposing Bloggers' Moods: Towards a Time Series Analysis of Moods in the Blogosphere." This can be used to produce interesting data. For example, MoodViews tracks a stream of mood-annotated text from LiveJournal. MoodViews tracks, predicts, and analyzes moods on blogs. Moods have a cyclic component. Some moods depend on time of day, some on the day of week. You can show a correlation between major events (say the London Bombing) and mood.
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                          Detecting Splogs

                          I went to a session on blogging this afternoon. One talk was by Tim Finin on detecting splogs. He is part of the ebiquity research group at UMBC. He and his students do some interesting work in recognizing splogs. Tim wrote a funny splog bait post to see where it would get picked up. Here's an interesting data point: the in-degree distribution of authentic blogs are described by a power-law, but splogs are not. The same is true of the out-degree. Ping times for real blogs is periodic according to the sleep cycle of the blogger. Splogs ping on
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                          Rocketboom

                          Amanda Congdon(click to enlarge) I went to Amanda Congdon's plenary session at the end of Syndicate. She's the host of Rocketboom, a videoblog that deals with serious and not so serious news. I've heard of Rocketboom, but hadn't seen it before. I enjoyed the clips she showed and will probably go have a look from time to time. They are getting 350,000 unique views per day and half that is international. There's only about 6 staff members, allowing the production timeline to move at a very quick pace. Syndicating video requires working with multiple formats: wmv (multiple versions), mov (multiple
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                          Utah Senate Blog Is Effective eGovernment

                          The Utah Senate Site blog was featured in a story at Stateline.org. Joining the nation's growing proliferation of political Web logs, or blogs, the Utah site was the first of its kind to strike up a digital dialogue that included entries not just from state Senate Republicans but also from minority Democrats and lawmakers in the opposite chamber. Unfolding comment by comment, the unofficial daily log often paralleled official debate taking place under the dome -- with the added bonus of anonymity. From Power blogging debuts in Utah capitolReferenced Fri May 12 2006 10:23:04 GMT-0600 (MDT) Ric Cantrell, on
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                          Speeding Up Tags

                          A while back, I added a tag cloud to my blog. The idea was to replace categories with tags, a much more flexible system. I bend the Movable Type (MT) keywords and search to my purpose. One thing I did to make that work was modify the search script in MT to search keywords exclusively when it's called with the SearchElement=keywords option. My next task, which I describe here, had three goals: Make something with a prettier URL Add RSS for tags Speed things up The last point was important if I wanted this to work at any kind
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                          Conversing With Your Customers

                          I just posted an essay on Conversing With Your Customers. This will be my Connect Column for July.
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                          IABC/PRSA Spring Conference

                          I spoke, along with Bruce Fryer and Charley Foster at the spring conference of the Utah chapters of IABC and PRSA. Most of the audience was either public relations or marketing and communications folks. The subject was blogging. Charley live blogged the talk as we went. I put together a set of del.icio.us bookmarks that record the sites we mentioned. The main message: speak with a human voice and be honest or don't bother. We also went over my notes on how to start a blog and told people to study Scoble's corporate blogger manifesto. This was a lot
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                          MovableType Congifuration

                          If you've upgraded to MovableType 3.2, here's a clue for you: delete your old mt.cfg configuration file (since it's been moved to mt-config.cgi). MT will continue to read mt.cfg even though you're busily editing mt-config.cgi. This can be frustrating.
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                          The Participation Spectrum

                          Ross Mayfield has an excellent essay on the spectrum of participation, the choices we have about how much of ourselves to put into any given activity on the Web. He points out that high engagement activities like leading, moderating and collaborating build a sort of collaborative intelligence that's greater than the collective intelligence we get from low-threshold activities like tagging or commenting. Writing--blogging--is somewhere in the middle because you can use a blog merely to comment or you can use it to refactor, moderate, and lead. Your choice...
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                          Evangelizing a Blog

                          Guy Kawasaki has some tips for evangelizing a blog. I've added the link to my piece on How to Start a Blog. The number one piece of advice for getting your blog recognized from almost every where you look will be the same: write things people want to read. In the end, there's no substitute for that. That said, there are things you can do to promote your blog and build an audience.
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                          Redirecting a Blog Domain

                          Jordy Gunderson moved Paul Allen's blog to a new domain and put together some information about how to do that with minimal loss of search engine traffic. There's some other tips in the sheet I put together when I moved my blog from one system to another. One of the things Jordy mentions that is easy to forget is being sure to redirect example.com to www.example.com. People expect that and often just don't type the www. Jordy also points to a free link checker. That's a good thing to run over your site periodically whether you're moving or not.
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                          Using Audio Clips

                          I hadn't started producing a weekly IT Conversations news podcast like Doug did. He's continuing his for the Conversations Network. I may do that in the future. Even so, I want to comment about shows I especially enjoyed. I did that yesterday with Larry Weber's talk from Syndicate. I tried something new: audio clips. Audio clips are one of chronically underused features at IT Conversations. You may not have noticed, but underneath the "Play Now" controls on each shows detail page is a link that reads "Create a Clip or Excerpt." When you click on this, you get a
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                          New Digital ID World Blog

                          Phil Becker and Eric Nolin has started blogging at ZDNet, moving their old Digital ID Blog onto the ZDNet blog machine (where I blog on Between the Lines). Welcome to both!
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                          At the IT Conversations Helm

                          Doug Kaye has asked me to be the Executive Producer of IT Conversations, one of the real pioneers in podcasting. Doug's not moving on, he's moving up. As the audience has expanded, the range of topics that could be covered goes well beyond infotech. Doug has started the Conversations Network to cover a broader range of topics. IT Conversations is one of the channels in that network. Soon there will be others, but I'll leave those announcements for Doug. I'm not leaving BYU. In fact, I see this as a great compliment to my professorial duties--akin to being editor
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                          Blatant Ripoff?

                          I'm not sure what to make of this. Last month, I was interviewed (for about an hour) by Celeste Biever who was writing a story on InfoCard for New Scientist. The story came out yesterday. Also yesterday, I got a Google News alert that pointed me at this story from TMCnet. The story seems to be the New Scientist story, at least the first few paragraphs are the same--New Scientist puts the rest of the story behind a paywall. The TMCnet story references New Scientist, but provides no link and doesn't say that Celeste Biever is the author. TMCnet
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                          Meanwhile, the Real Attention Economy Chugs Along

                          This morning, I was thinking about people who read this blog and what I offer them that keeps them coming back. That led me into what I like to think of as the "real" attention economy--the one that's already monetized. Over the past few years, blogging has really taken off. A few days ago Doc Searls was pondering that he used to be in the Technorati Top 100 and now he's not. Why? There's all kinds of other stuff people are blogging about: "celebrities, politics, sex and other topics that float atop the polular mainstream media charts." I'm at
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                          Blogging 101 Panel

                          The Utah Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators & Public Relations Society of America is having their spring conference May 9 at the Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake. I've been asked to lead a panel called "Blogging 101." I'm looking for three other people to fill out the panel. If you'd like to be on the panel contact me. If I don't know you, please give me some idea of your blogging experience and what you'd like to contribute to the panel (i.e. what needs to be said). Even if you don't want to be on the
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                          Tag Cloud For My Blog

                          This morning's entry on categories got me thinking and I decided to try generating a tag cloud based on the keywords I put on entries. Here is the result. I like it because it gives an immediate feel for which topics I spend the most time on. The cloud doesn't show tags I used just once. To create the page, I followed Al-Muhajabah's instructions with a few modifications. I'm careful to separate my tags by commas or whitespace, so I replaced $wordlist = preg_split( '/\\s*[\\s+\\.|\\?|,|(|)|\\-+|\\'|\\"|=|;|×|\\$|\\/|:|{|}]\\s*/i', $string); with $wordlist = preg_split('/\\s+|,/i',$string); The longer regexp was breaking things up more than
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                          Speeding Up MovableType

                          Movabletype can be slow. One reason for that is categories. Movabletype's default templates create one big huge index with all of the entries from the category. I've got one category with almost 1000 posts. I found this bit of wisdom from Tom Sherman on optimizing your templates. The basic idea is to annotate the MTEntries tag with a lastn="10" attribute and then add another MTEntries block that just puts the title and permalink for the rest. I decided to test a few options. The first option was to do nothing. Use the default templates. The second option was Tom's
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                          Kinetic Energy and the Web

                          Just finished a nice little article at A List Apart on Flywheels, Kinetic Energy, and Friction by Nick Usborne. The premise of the piece is pretty simple: when you make a call to action on the Web (ask someone to do something) you're transferring kinetic energy to them that carries them through the friction of doing whatever you want them to do: fill out a form, check out a shopping cart, etc. Here are some key points: Maximize the transfer of energy with words and design The bigger the task, the more energy you need Reduce friction where ever
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                          Legislative Live Blogging

                          Yesterday Steve Urquhart live blogged a day of the Utah Legislature from his chair as Majority Whip. This is likely the very first live blog of a session by a sitting legislator. Interesting and informative to see a whole day from his perspective.
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                          Rivers of Information and Social Media

                          I just finished speaking at the Enterprise Software Summit on rivers of information. The idea basically comes down to the fact that blogs, RSS, and other Web 2.0 technology is changing the dominant metaphor we have for the 'Net from "place" to "flow." Jeff Nolan took some notes. Jeff's speaking now on how he uses social media at SAP to try to get SAP's message out. He mentions a study that indicates CEOs are among the least trusted spokespeople. This has interesting implications or the rise of the blogging CEO. Jeff says it's more important to get others blogging
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                          Blogging and Democracy

                          The Senate Site is a great example of how small inexpensive tools can provide huge wins for democracy. The Senate Site is a group blog sponsored by the majority leadership of the Utah Senate, but people who aren't senators or members of the majority party also write sometimes. To see why I think this is a valuable tool, look at this post by Sen. Buttars on his proposed legislation to control how teachers talk about the origin of life. I think the bill is ridiculous, but I'll save that for later. What I'm more interested in here is that
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                          Structuring Citations

                          Scott Lemon sent me a note about Firefox Scholar, (more) a proposed plug-in for Firefox that would make using citation data on the Web easier. I'm not clear on how different it is from CiteULike other than being browser based instead of Web based. That got me thinking that their ought to be a microformat for BibTeX. While I was looking around, I ran into this page at microformats.org and that led me to information on COiNs, a way of inserting citation data into a <span/>. It's not a microformat since it doesn't tag individual elements in ways that
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                          What Kind of Blogger Are You?

                          Mister Snitch identifies seven different styles of blogging that can result in high traffic. What kind are you?
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                          Why Bloggers Blog

                          A study by public relations firm Edelman shows that the number one reason bloggers blog is to "establish themselves as a visable authority in their field." Number two was to "create a record of my thoughts." Of course, for many of us, there's more than one reason. The body of the survey was aimed at understanding the potential for PR firms to use bloggers to get their word out.
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                          Google News Reader

                          Yesterday Google announced their news reader. I played with it a little and wrote a review over at Between the Lines. My bottom line: I like it and I'm going to keep using it.
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