Taping an execution

Adam Curry says the video of Saddam Hussein constitutes a MSM tipping point. "Recorded on a cellphone by a single citizen in Iraq, seen worldwide the very next day," Curry's blog post said.

Call me cynical but I am not buying it. First, where are the videos shot by "single citizens" in Iraq? If the citizens of Iraq are taking video with their cell phones and posting it to the internet why are we not seeing the videos elsewhere? And why would an event as tightly controlled as the execution of a brutal dictator be so uncontrolled as to have someone show up without it being planned. Somewhat conveniently said video was pointed out to the main stream media and picked up and aired within hours.

Somehow we are to believe that the fingerprints of the mainstream media are not all over this "happenstance."

What is a blog?

Blogs are blogs if they say they are. 2007 may be the new year but the old year left us with an old discussion jumping up again. This time Zoli Erdos began the discussion with his post saying Google's Blog is not a blog. The post suggests that Google's self-proclaimed blog is not a blog because it does not enable comments. None the less, Google calls their publication a blog.

Dave Winer joins the conversation and points to his post on the topic "What makes a weblog a weblog". The functional essence of Winer's definition is "as long as the voice of a person comes through, it's a weblog." Back in February Winer engaged in a conversation about the need for blogs to have comments in order to be considered blogs. Winer said on his blog "whether a blog has comments or not does not effect its blogness."

Banning blog leaches

On another website I recently noticed that another party was sucking in the RSS feed and publishing it to their site. Not a headline or two, not a snippet and a pointer, but the whole thing. They are doing it with dozens of sites. It's the RSS equivalent of framing sites.

Fortunately most of the folks who are doing this sort of thing have their own server and all the requests come from their server. If that's the case it's pretty easy to tell Apache to make the site dark for all their requests. By adding something like the following in httpd.conf the offending leach is cut off.

    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
    Deny from nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn

I'm curious to see how long it takes before the operator of the leach realizes they have gotten 403 errors for weeks now.

Five simple steps to kill your blog

Until recently I'd kept pace with several blogs that I'd come across for various reasons in the past. Many were former colleagues or people who I'd bumped into at one time or another. Some are interesting and good, some are more hair-shirts but enough curiosity about how people react to failure or success kept them interesting. In these traversals of the web I've come upon several sure-fire ways of making your blog fall off my RSS Reader's reading list.

Without further ado here are five surefire ways to make your blog worth less.

5. Profess knowledge of things you know little about. Just because you liked to cook mac & cheese in college and you have taken a class or two at the local chef's school doesn't mean you should start blogging a series of articles about cooking. If you must remember these are your experiences not anything related to well-researched or reasoned methods.

Scoble: I was wrong

It has already been said elsewhere, including by Scoble himself that the post yesterday on what blogs are, or aren't, was incorrect. I won't go into the discussion as the points have been well made elsewhere. I would just comment that this site is one of the most useful blogs out there. Mind you, it won't be to everybody else but it is to me and it is to those who use it.

Comment Spam

A couple of days ago I upgraded to the latest version of Badbehavior to deal with comment spam. Later the same day a friend asked if I'd upgraded and I said yes, wondering why the question. Of course it turned out there was a new version out in the hours between my upgrade and his question. So it goes....So far Badbehavior 2 doesn't work with Drupal 4.7 (or any version for that matter). I've yet to put in any cycles trying to figure it out. Today I did downoad the Drupal spam module again and we'll give it a spin. Having been hit with comment spam the last few days it will be good to see if the spam module works. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...


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