Thursday, May 26, 2005

Are blogs unsafe for teens?

Were good old-fashioned web-pages unsafe for teens?

Well, there's lots of evidence to show that they were, in some cases, as in the high profile Sam Manzie murder case in New Jersey, and in the murder of the 13 yr old girl by a 26 yr old in Connectcut.

But "blog" is a buzzword. Regardless of the fact that blogs are alot like old-fashioned personal websites that took longer, and a little more knowledge, to build than the average blog.

They're no more of a threat to identity than personal websites...and won't necessarily attract more stalkers than personal websites.

Although they might inflate adolescent egos just a bit more and ratchet up the insufferability factor in most households. Perhaps that's what parents are really concerned about.
A recent survey finds that journalists and the public are on different pages as to whether or not the press is important or doing its job correctly. (USAT)

I now understand why so many people think blogs are far more significant than they are....but if people believe The Press (that is, MSM) should have less freedoms, there may be a ripple effect on self-publishing too. The Law recognizes that publishing is publishing. It doesn't matter if it is making money as main-stream journalism or if it's "citizen journalism."

One of the saddest things in this study is that 53% of people believe that news organizations should express a strong political viewpoint. That leaves things open to punditry and manipulation by The Powers That Be.

It also means that the general populace would rather be lead around by the nose than have the responsibility of weighing all the information it can and then deciding for its itself what it wants.

Apparently, over half the people want freedom from responsibility. I'm sure if I asked, they'd tell me it's a freedom to do or be *somthing* but I'm not buying it.

And I am, for the most part, a centrist/moderate. I believe there's a compromise everywhere. But, I guess finding the middle ground takes too much thinking and processing for the average overworked, overmedia-cated public.

I guess if I could just get with the program I'd be happy with censorship. Technorati with a sense of humor.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Check this out: Interactive Media Conference and Trade Show. They'll be discussiong blogging!

And look what the Greensboro News & Record is doing with blogs....

And another great discussion on buzz and the blogosphere..."The blogosphere is half forensic lab and half tavern," said Michael Cornfield, an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University and the chief author of the study.

Cornfiled didn't mention an astute observation of mine: that blogs with big comments sections often function like old usenet groups of the worst kind....the ones that deteriorated into being unmoderated flame-fests.

That's not community, that's conformity. No buzz when we're all saying "yes."


Friday, May 20, 2005

Western Mass bloggers may find this blog interesting.

Lisa Williams mentions a group for Boston area bloggers.

It would be nice to get together a Western Mass group of bloggers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

If you haven't already found it: Blogger Forum

Also, if you have the time for it (or just want to waste time):

I discovered that several shares of my main blog are owned by some Christian guy blogger (go figure).

Nobody's bought any Spap-Oop! shares yet--but I was just listed yesterday, so who knows.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Technorati's a bit slow on the pickup....

When I did a Technorati search of my other blog(Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams), I found that I was linked to three different sites that I wasn't linked to when I searched yesterday.

Thing is, I found out about one of those links over a week ago, another a couple of days ago, and another yesterday. Checking my SiteMeter stats seems to be a better way for me to keep up with myself that checking in with Tecnorati.

The only fun thing I found that isn't linked on Technorati any more is post on a German blog that linked to me. Why that link doesn't show up on any more on the Technorati search baffles me.

Makes me wonder where else I might be linked that doesn't show up in a Technorati search
Another piece from Stowe Boyd you have to read!
What's Going on At Technorati? -- an observation from Stowe Boyd that's worth checking out.
Reuters sez: Blogs don't necessarily replace MSM ...

"Bloggers follow buzz as much as they make it..."

I often think that blogging is more of an outlet for the expression of free thinking, or for some a hobby, or kind of memoir and with social commentary-- a means but not an end. But if you take a look at the proliferation of political blogs and you can see that many of them are just aggregators for MSM articles (with a small amount of commentary from self-proclaimed experts--and, as I know from a jounalism workshop, if you proclaim yourself to be an expert, you are. you don't nec. need to prove it.)

It's not that the money or the interest isn't there to build blogs into more--oh, no. There are some big blogs that function like media outlets, but I'm not sure that's the purpose of blogs. That's just mimicking MSM, and, eventually can become the thing it criticizes.

Blogs, IMHO, are more of a populist medium, a form of communication and of community building. If we do indeed break a story, then we break a story. If we communicate something to people in another sector of the country or the world, that's great. And there are alot of aggregators...

That's not a totally bad thing--reading the blog of a friend in Washington state gives me an insight into what's going on in Washington state. Stuff I might not read about in MSM because I don't subscribe to any Seattle papers.

But I'm not totally convinced that aggregating on politics in general makes one blog more worthy than another.

That's part of why I think Technorait's categories for charting blogs are far too narrow and that its stats are skewed to prove a particular point--that blogs, esp. political blogs, seem greater than they actually are. Tecnorati has one view of blogs that it likes to forward at all cost and, if I read Sifry properly, wants Technorati's stats to be the final proof of what blogs are or aren't.

Even though he acknowledges that they are an adjuct to, not a substitute for, MSM.

The Blogosphere is a growing little subculture. It was fairly stable when it was small, but with growth it's become chaotic, and lots and lots of folks want to quantify it and qualify it--censor it in some way. Because chaos makes people uncomfortable. And some people just need to crunch numbers and read stats. They might want to try reading tarot cards, too. In time it will tease itself out, like all subcultures do.

So, being an expert on subcultures, my advice to the stats crunchers is to sit back and relax...let it happen. Evolution's a great ride.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Bit of Blog-story

If you haven't been blogging since 1999, 2002, or before Blogger updated its features to include archiving, check out Weblogs and the News...

which was last updated in December, 2003.

oh, how time flies!

Of particular interest is the first entry, Blogging for Beginners: What You Need to Know to Start a Weblog...imagine that...using the quaint term "weblogs" rather than just "blogs" sweet!

I enjoyed reading Wagstaff's article, even though most of the info is out of date already. But I found alot of his pointers very amusing. Esp. the comment that "Perhaps because each blog is individually owned and managed, the interactions that take place seem to be less churlish and aggressive than some of the material you'll find on news groups and other public forums."

Well, if Wagstaff is still in the Blogosphere, he must've noticed by now that on some blogs (not necessarily any of mine) the comments sections can get as rough and tumble as old Usenet newsgroups. It seems to me that over the intervening years since this article, the amount of traffic on Usenet groups has gone down, while the traffic and "comments" on blogs has gone up-- with some blog comments sections being very much like Usenet groups, with their casts of characters and Those Who Must Be Obeyed and such. Flaming can abound on blog comment sections of this sort and when one is the recipient of the flame (such as yours truly) it can be kind of funny...

I grew an asbestos skin from years on the New York Times Film Forums. One could get so seriously flamed there that sparks would fly off your head...

But whenever I notice that a blog's comments section is acting like a bbs, I tend to think the blog is far too commercial for my tastes...then again, I'm not one who's into punditry, so the blogs I regularly view have very civilized comments sections.

So, while blogs are new, to some degree they are definitley incorporating some of the old--namely the old Usenet rule of "I comment here regularly, therefore it is MY domain"...and with that, the newcomer (I hate the word "newbie") will have to take a right flaming if he/she wants to keep on commenting.

None are immune from The Flame!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Girl's Clubs

If you're a woman blogger--or interested in finding women bloggers, I've found two sites that list women bloggers only:

Blog Daisy and

Blogs by Women

I'm going in and listing myself a.s.a.p.!

thank you sir! may I have another....

Spap-Oop! gets search hit from


Check it out for the latest goings on and beings said about the Blogosphere....<

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Have you been wondering how to get your little ole blog off the ground?? Came across this interesting bit of advice titled 25 Pieces of Advice for Bloggers (ignore the source--the points have merit.)

Much thanks to Mobile Jones via BlogHer for the source!

Singles Bar at the Edge of the Blogosphere

I came across when the fetish club I used to go to migrated its website over to this platform.

Based out of the Los Angeles/So. Calif area, myspace is part livejournal-style blogger, part, part craigslist, part messageboard, and more. The events appear to be centered around the So. Cal. area, and the community is predominantly under 35.

Strange that a Hartfort, CT area fetish club would migrate their site to this platform, but, hey, I'm not making the decisions....

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Here's something interesting: Smart Writers. It's got some stuff on blogging as well as on authoring.

Even if alot of the tips on blogging are pretty basic, some of it's still nifty info and links within the posts are worth checking out.
I would truly like to smack Arianna Huffington.

As if the woman doesn't have enough access to various forms of media to spew her crappage, she's now blogging.

And if you really want to see the thing, it's here.

It really isn't a blog...but a vanity webpage.

Or is that what blogs really are?

Think about it.

Where are all the blogs??

I love to spelunk the various MSM sites to see what's going on in the blogosphere...

Because, frankly, it's still MSM that posts the most information about the blogosphere.

Yet each MSM news outlet hides its blog information places that are sometimes logical, sometimes arcane. I think it depends a bit on who's managing the site, or what their personal opinion is of blogs.

To some, it's "citizen journalism" (or I prefer "armchair journalism"--like armchair quarterback)

To some, it's tech news.

To some, it's entertainment.

To others, still, it's business. Or tech, depending on the day.

Blogs are often considered the bastard children of legitimate MSM (often by bloggers and blogpundits themselves), and MSM really doesn't have much of an idea where to place information on or about blogs. Blogs don't fit into neat little categories. We are messy little animals; amalgams of the personal, political, and cultural. That, I am sure, disturbs alot of people--which is what makes even us want to qualify and quantify our existence.

The biggest challenge, though, is for bloggers to not engage in Animal Farm politics among themselves--all bloggers are created equal, but some are *more* equal than others. We are a populist medium, and, as such, require a certain freedom to breathe and to create. Us vs. Them can easily turn into a censorship gotcha! that may ultimately co-opt the populist zeitgeist of blogging.

Think about it.

AlterNet's "Peek": A Blog of Blogs or More Same Old, Same Old?

That very nice little progressive Internet news outlet AlterNet has a page titled Peek, which they tout as "a blog of blogs, pointing out what's buzzing in the blogosphere."

But is it??

The Blogroll for Peek is like alot of Blogrolls on other blogs that blog about politics--just a list of other blogs about politics. Peek's blogroll does list more political blogs by women--but is it really so unique to have a blog that blogs about political blogs?

That makes it kind of an aggregator for aggregators.

Ah, the redundance of the blogosphere is amazing.

I have a bit of a problem with the idea that all the supposed "blogs of note" are expected to be about politics and nothing (or little else) more. Like Narcissus staring into the pool at his own reflection...yawn...

Still, I really like AlterNet...its regular commentators are insightful and some of its editorials (such as Will Durst's comment on How PETA and the NRA both embarass their respective political parties) are not just funny but seriously spot-on.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Women Bloggers Get Together for Coffee and Solve the Problems of the World...

Well, more like we're just looking to break the A-listers....

The first BlogHer Conference will be held in San Francisco on July 30, 2005.

I'd like to go if some generous souls would be willing to send me :-)

otherwise I'm going to have to hit up my boyfriend for the airfare. As if he doesn't do enough by paying the bills and the rent...

BlogNashville hits MSM

So, the New York Times, that august portal of MSM, has an article on BlogNashville.

Yep, more of the "We are citizen journalist!" stuff.


I prefer the term "armchair journalist" myself.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

It'a a new meta-blog!

Yeah, I know...go ahead...laugh....

I've heard the "labor of Sisyphus" arguments, and that I might be hung out to dry like Prometheus by the Gods of the Blogosphere (when they evetually find me)

But, heck...If I listened to everybody who ever told me not to play with matches, or to always play it safe, I'd never have fun.

So, here it goes.

The posts will be sporadic right now, because of stuff on my home turf (which you can read about on my original blog here.)

The thing was to get this going, to not waste alot of time figuring out the fine-tuning. There will be lots of time for that.