aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, January 13, 2006
Why the netroots do not like Hillary
Within the world of progressive activists, from the viewpoint of the working and middle class progressive activists, Hillary Clinton is seen as hopelessly aligned with the establishment activists, with the insider activists, with the wealthy activists, with the well-connected activists, and with every possible progressive activist “elite” you can possibly imagine. Is it thus in any way surprising that the activist base, which is largely on the outside looking in, generally does not harbor much positive feeling toward her? The progressive activist base considers the progressive activist elite to be the main culprit in progressives losing power around the country. We keep losing, and we blame them. Thus, why should it be a surprise to anyone that we dislike the person who is viewed as their primary representative? We literally hold her, and what she represents within the world of progressive activism, to be responsible for the massive progressive backslide that has taken place over the past twelve years.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Goodbye virtual world, hello new world
I’m not sure I agree with the central thesis, yet. I may be convinced:
About the end of cyberspace
I started thinking about the end of cyberspace a couple years ago, when I begin to think about how handheld, mobile, alway-on information devices might rewrite the rules we use to think about the relationship between information, places, and daily life. Cyberspace, it seemed to me, was a “metaphor we live by,” reflecting our experiences with information technology, but also shaping the way we think about new technologies and the challenges they present. It had been a vivid and useful metaphor for decades; but would it remain relevant in a world of pervasive computing, mobile technologies, and eventually cybernetic implants, prosthetics, and swarm intelligence?
I don’t think so.
I’ve added it to my reader.
Monday, January 09, 2006
RINO sightings is up
This week from a shiftless Unabrewer in China.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Marquette student blogger’s punishment reduced
John McAdams stopped by to update us on the Marquett blogger who had been suspended for violating the school’s professional code because of entries posted on his blog. From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The dean of Marquette University’s School of Dentistry has overturned the suspension of a student who posted negative comments about classmates and professors on a blog, saying the discipline was “not appropriate” for the circumstance, according to Scott Taylor, the student’s lawyer.
Instead, Theodore Schrubbe, a second-year dental student, will be placed on probation and required to perform 100 hours of community service. He must also make a public apology to his class, Taylor said.
The punishment is still too harsh. The most that the Dental School should have done is for some administrator to take the student aside and say “off the record, don’t you think those posts were a bit ill-advised? Don’t you think that maybe you should take them offline?” The least the school could have done was to entirely blow off something that was, in reality, pretty trivial.
He has much more on his blog, Marquette Warrior. I agree the punishment is too harsh, but all of us could benefit from a greater discussion and understanding of what’s private and what’s appropriate in the online environment.
What I discovered deeply disturbed me, and I really wonder how many parents are totally clueless about what kids do on these social networking sites...[B]logging is a growing phenomenon, but with unique appeal for kids...In many ways, the blogs replace lock-and-key diaries with a more public journal, although I question how many kids really understand how public are the posts… More disturbing, on their blogs, kids can express themselves with great disregard for the potential consequences of what they reveal. Those consequences could range from publicly injuring someone’s feelings to revealing personal information exploitable by predators.
I wonder if there’s not a similar dynamic for college students, away from home and subject to faculty, staff and administrators who, like the parents Wilcox describes, are “clueless” about campus life online.
There are real issues to be explored and discussed in the campus environment. The Marquette model is the wrong one. The academic community - faculty, staff and students together - should positively engage, proactively explore and constructively address them.
Monday, January 02, 2006
A literary Wonkette
When I heard Ana Marie Cox, aka Wonkette, was writing a book I wasn’t sure she had it in her.
Then again Fox’s Chris Wallace didn’t have it in him either and he wrote a book. ("It was a kind of collaborative effort. My—a fellow, an agent, Bill Adler (ph), came up—called me up and said, Have you ever thought of writing a book? And I said, yes, but I never have had an idea.” I’ll say.)
“Dog Days” is predicated on the thought that it is a short leap from a blog to a blovel. “She’s so getting a book deal out of this,” somebody in “Dog Days” says about Capitolette, the fictitious blogger who is invented by the inventor of Ms. Wonkette (which makes this book a roman ÃƒÂ clef ÃƒÂ clef, for anybody who’s counting layers of artistry here). But getting the book deal proves easier than writing the book.
“Dog Days” manages to be doubly conventional: it follows both an old-fashioned love-betrayal-redemption arc and the newer, bitchier nanny-Prada chick-lit motif. Melanie is a myopic and self-interested heroine by the standards of either genre. The reader will learn about Melanie’s expensive shoes, Melanie’s drinking, Melanie’s buying of groceries at drugstores, Melanie’s playing with sushi and Melanie’s first shirt with French cuffs. Then there are Melanie’s descriptions of cellphone noises, the Delta shuttle terminal and Washington’s byzantine parking laws.
I’ll likely pass.
UPDATE: Another - better - review, “ this novel is the Primary Colors of 2004 - the novel that hits the zeitgeist of the Democratic Party’s political class squarely between the eyes. If you want to know what’s wrong with Democratic Party politics, you can read this book.” Via Atrios.
RELATED from ROMENESKO:
Federal prosecutor and “Underneath Their Robes” blogger David Lat is expected to replace Ana Marie Cox at Gawker Media’s political website, Wonkette. Peter Lattman writes: “Lats blog gained popularity with its coverage of the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts, Harriet Miers, and Samuel Alito. In past posts, Wonkette praised ‘Underneath Their Robes,’ calling it adorably irreverent, deliciously superficial, and winkingly naughty.”
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Gay CrÃƒÂ¨che from the Sadly No War on Christmas gift collection.
Via Michael BÃƒÂ©rubÃƒÂ©, who still got my vote.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Blogging student suspended
A Marquette University dental student has been suspended - and must repeat the semester, which costs $14,000 in tuition - for violating the school’s professional code because of entries posted on his blog:
The student admits that some of the entries were “imprudent, immature or crude,” [attorney Scott] Taylor said, but he denies that they constitute misconduct.
Daniel D’Angelo, an adjunct associate professor of behavioral sciences in the School of Dentistry, agreed. He reviewed the student’s blog entries at the request of his parents before the conduct hearing. D’Angelo, who is a co-director of Marquette’s Ethics and Professionalism curriculum, determined that the postings did not justify disciplinary action.
“What he wrote was imprudent, immature and oftentimes distasteful,” D’Angelo wrote in a letter to Anthony Ziebert, a professor who headed the student-faculty review committee that heard the case. “But no matter how much I or anyone else find these entries, rude, distasteful and imprudent, it doesn’t make these entries unethical or immoral.”
Now I’m not alone in thinking the university is wrong, but there are real questions raised by the online activity of students that universities have to learn how to address. Student confusion over what is public and private in an online environment is one.
The petition set up in support of the Marquette student illustrates the confusion. As one of the grounds for overturning the conduct board it lists this:
“Whereas: The University grossly infringed on his right to freedom of speech by using statements made to a close group of friends on his personal blog against him”
Posting something on the internet is inherently public and if intended only for a “close group of friends” doesn’t belong there. Rather than punishing students for such confusion the university should learn how best to educate them.
Via Slashdot. Thanks Joe!
Sunday, December 04, 2005
RINO image map
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I have a t-shirt that says, “83% of Internet traffic is malicious!” People look at me oddly when I wear it. My experience is it’s wrong. It should read 92%!
My traffic here has increased, slowly but steadily, to a Site Meter average of 137 visits per day today. As long as it hovers around 100, I’m happy. To accommodate that traffic I’ve got 7GB a month of bandwidth; you’d think it would suffice. You’d be wrong.
Over the weekend - ironically enough at the same time a reasonable and just change was implemented in the TTLB Ecosystem knocking me from the lofty heights of a Marauding Marsupial back down to a perfectly respectable but much more lowly Flappy Bird - I got an email from my provider warning that I was approaching quota.
I checked my Webalizer stats and found that my daily average for visits there is reported to be 1,682. (4,245 PageViews!) Go figure.
Now some - not all - bloggers complain that Site Meter is often wrong. Me, I don’t think so. I watch it fairly closely - not too closely - and it never misses a single one of my visits. (I know, I know, I could fix that.)
My conclusion is that all that traffic is spammers and bots. I divide my Site Meter by my Webalizer and conclude that 92% of my traffic is malicious! Now if you know something I don’t, please clue me in. In the meantime, I bought more bandwidth.
IN OTHER NEWS: Eugene Kaspersky says the truth about anti-virus products is they have a long way to go. He got that right!
Friday, November 25, 2005
Budget’s blog ad
A friend in marketing at a Fortune 100 company asked about advertising on blogs last summer. From his perspective, “the internet is sold out.” What he means is that the handful of big sites that constitute what the ad-world is used to buying, a mass audience, are sold out. Other sites are hardly worth the effort; you can’t reach enough of an audience.
I said something about how the situation reminds me of cable in the early days when ads had to be bought system by system, before they had a structure in place, and that a structure to capture the massive audience that reads the larger majority of sites would be built.
He was skeptical.
In that context the $20,000 Budget Rent-A-Car ad buy is a small but significant marker:
Budget turned to blogs to promote a contest with a scavenger hunt motif, buying advertisements on 177 blogs bearing names like BuzzMachine, Gizmodo, Jossip, Largehearted Boy, Overheard in New York, Stereogum and The Superficial. [...]
The campaigns from Hasbro and Budget are a sign of the increasing appeal of nontraditional media to once-conservative mainstay marketers as they seek to reach bombarded consumers. The growing willingness to consider alternatives to television commercials, billboards and print ads is one of the most significant changes in marketing in decades.
“I’ve got to be smart and make my brand feel smart to the consumer,” said Scott Deaver, executive vice president for marketing at the Cendant Car Rental Group in Parsippany, N.J., which oversees Budget and Avis.
“I can’t outspend Hertz,” Mr. Deaver added, “but I can outsmart them.”
What is most valuable about nontraditional media like blogs, Mr. Deaver said, is their ability to “actively engage the consumer” compared with “passive TV spots” and other traditional choices.
Budget’s happy with the 60,000 click-throughs it got from nearly 20 million impressions and says the company will be “back in this space” in the spring.
SEE ALSO: Businesses are spending $50 million to $100 million on blog advertising this year.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Ranking the blogosphere
NZ Bear at The Truth Laid Bear wants to ensure that the TTLB Ecosystem he’s set up is as accurate a reflection of “what is truly popular and interesting in the ‘sphere” as possible. To that end he has implemented a change, “when the Ecosystem scans a blog’s front page for links, it now simply ignores any inline trackback sections that are found, while still counting the links within posts or on a blog’s blogroll.”
His concern is that linkfests, where bloggers are invited to attach their posts to another’s via trackbacks, artificailly inflate rankings. Always open to feedback, he asked for comments. I wrote one that I decided I rather like so I’m posting it here:
I support whatever you conclude. I value the TTLB Ecosystem and appreciate your efforts building and maintiang it. I also think it’s a good idea to have a result with open trackbacks filtered out. But please consider this: It’s legitimate for bloggers to try to get seen, and open trackbacks is one way to do it. Like caption contests to comments, so are linkfests to trackbacks. Now that’s not TTLB’s mission but if an idea strikes you as to how to measure, say, the “most ambitious” blog, I’d support that.
At the college I work for I’m setting up an online film festival. I’m allowing online voting, with no filter, which will be obviously skewed by those who are scamming the system. My thinking is that if they care that much, good for them. Filmmaking takes commitment. And in a competitive field, self-promotion. Their voting shows they’ve got some of what it takes to be a filmmaker. Have you heard the stories of Madonna’s early rise? It worked for her, and that ambition deserves some recognition, though maybe different recognition.
The online film festival voting is only qualifying voting. We’ll validate it later with a paper ballot which will be regulated to one person one vote. And the qualified pool is so large as to go beyond including only the scammers. We’ll see how it works.
Blogging takes a similar commitment. And those bloggers pushing their blogs out there are doing something worth noticing. My experience is that traffic isn’t correlated to meaningful, thoughtful posts in most instances. And the links I get are often to my least thoughtful posts. So both traffic and links are imperfect measurement tools. Adding ambition to the equation doesn’t hurt. And arguably - depending on how it is weighted when factored in - could help.
Via Joe Gandelman. I prize my place in Joe’s blogroll, and thank him for including me in today’s holiday linkfest!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I’ve been putting it off and putting it off but today I’m finally going to do it: upgrade to Movable Type 3.2. While I’m at it I hope to implement tags and come up with a new system of addressing spam. I’d also like to improve the comments system.
I’m suspicious that something’s wrong with the way comment registration is working now. This site doesn’t get a lot of comments, but it does get some. There have been none since late October.
Wish me luck! I’ll let you know when it’s complete.
UPDATE: Success. Movable Type 3.2 is installed. I broke the templates by updating them so have gone back to the backups and now have to figure out what I’m supposed to do about that. Progress…
Sunday, September 04, 2005
I’m hoping the problem is somewhere else because I realize that I do not have my blogroll backed up but for the moment both my blogroll and the Raging RINOs blogroll are down.
I’m trying to figure out why, and if I get them back I will immediately back them up!