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Permanent link to archive for Friday, December 09, 2005. Friday, December 09, 2005

TechCrunch reports that Yahoo has bought Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A very sweet Rocketboom today about John Lennon. Listen to all those people sing! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Frank Paynter wants to know how do you blog. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Thanks Mike, how did you know?  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Recent picture of Jorn Barger.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I want pictures of the snow in NY and BostonPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Betsy Devine's snowy New YorkPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Jim Moore's snowy BostonPermanent link to this item in the archive.

I snuck out this afternoon to catch the opening of Syriana. Very interesting movie, great acting, kind of confusing, but then it all comes together.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

AP: "Students at Tulane University will return to a school with a gutted engineering department, eight fewer sports programs and student housing replaced by cruise ships." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Hmm, not so sure about that Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named bozo.jpgHorse Pig Cow: "The blogosphere is all about subverting those power structures."

It's weird when someone who's been blogging for months says what the blogosphere is all about and it doesn't match up with what I, who have been blogging for years, thinks.

It's one of those things where she can think what she wants and I can think what I want and the world goes on.

But anyone who thinks they know what the blogosphere is about is as right as someone who thinks they know the meaning of life, and potentially as dangerous (in a not-nice way) because maybe they'll try to force you to see it their way.

I did an interview earlier this week, talking about the relationship between blogging and professional journalism, and I reiterated my old line, that I don't want to do away with the pros, I grew up reading them, and I think they serve a purpose. But they have to lose the arrogance and get creative if they want to have a chance in the new century.

Now I imagine from Tara's point of view I look like as much of an obstacle to her getting what she wants as the pros may have looked to a blogger who started when I did. I heard this in North Carolina at a session where I was used as an example of what blogging was rising against, the middle-aged white male. I was horrified, because I gave up a lot, personally, so that these people whould have a chance to blog. Now I'm being projected on, it's the Chinese Cultural Revolution all over again. Grandfather is a bourgeois counter-revolutionary, even if he marched with Chairman Mao.

A picture named dog.jpgI'm a boomer, born in 1955, and my song is more likely Let's all work together to make the world a better place. This is different from Google's idea that they're going to change the world. They aren't inviting us to work with them on this, or looking outside for ideas, they want to do it themselves. Reminds me of the smart young Apple execs who, in the early 80s, retired with their millions and went looking for a small African country to run. I imagine it didn't work out, they came home to a more ordinary path, or they were assassinated. People don't want that kind of help. And maybe people don't want to work together to make the world a better place, either.

I've been working my way through the Cosmos series by Carl Sagan. He's my kind of scientist. He believes in god, but his god can't be prayed to, anymore than you can pray to the law of gravity. I like that, makes sense. I'll belong to any religion that says we're all barking farting chihuahuas who are born and die in the blink of an eye, who like Taco Bell, but hey we're just dogs anyway, so what do we know.

When people get the idea that they're on some righteous path that's exclusive of others, that's when I start shaking my head. It doesn't matter who they are, who they work for, or how much (or little) money they have. Get a clue, we're all bozos on this bus, and none of us gets out of this alive.

Google sucks, there I said it Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named gumby.jpgI wonder if it's Google or me, but I can't seem to get behind anything they do these days. The latest abomination is "web clips" inside Gmail. Everything about it is irritating.

First, why can't they call it RSS. That's what it's called. Not good enough for Google. Gotta make it sound all weak and watery. Web clips. WTF is that? I don't know. And I don't want to know.

Second, they know what I'm subscribed to, what I like, since I imported my subs to their reader (another offensive piece of software), but noooo, they have to offer me the sanitized Google-approved feeds, some of which I already subsribe to (enough to be confusing), none of which are objectionable, and none of which are very interesting. (And none who have ever criticized Google, big surprise there.)

Third, whenever they mention RSS, it's always with Atom hitching along for a free ride. RSS, in this context, is not a format, dummy, it's a feature. Yes, you have to support Atom. No you don't have to put it in people's faces, it just confuses them dammit.

I didn't even get to their reader, I want to turn this piece of crap off, or better yet turn back the clock and let Gmail be a mail client, which it does very well. There, I said something nice about Google. Even I was getting tired of hating everything they do and everything they stand for.

Speaking of offensive things Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Might as well get this out of the way.

Overlooked in the press about Adam Curry modifying the Podcasting page on Wikipedia, anonymously, to improve his image, is that it actually was a company turning a Wikipedia page into an ad for itself. The kind of ad you have to pay for if you want it to run on most websites. What we usually call spam.

Imagine how outraged we would be if Ford or Toyota were anonymously changing the Cars page on Wikipedia. For that matter, how do we know they aren't?

In many categories the Wikipedia page is the first hit on search engines, such as Google. More all the time. How long before spammers realize that this is a good way to boost page rank? It's actually kind of amazing that they aren't yet on the front line of the anti-spam fight.

Now think about that when you say this was some insignificant kerfuffle. Adam, who used to be a friend of mine, probably inadvertently stepped into something much bigger than any of the press has tuned into. In other words, it probably wasn't a strategy hatched by his company. I don't think we've heard a disclaimer from the company, though.

And a word to the wise. If you run a company, it would be smart to tell your employees and officers to keep their hands off Wikipedia pages that relate to your company's business, or a PR debacle may be in your future.


Last update: Friday, December 09, 2005 at 10:35 PM Eastern.

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