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Gay Lesbian Syrian Blogger? Or a Bearded American from Edinburgh?

Here’s a cautionary tale about how hard it is to verify whether someone is who they say they are: Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man Tom MacMaster’s wife has confirmed in an email to the Guardian that he is the real identity behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog Syrian lesbian blogger has been revealed to be Tom MacMaster, an American based in Scotland. Public domain The mysterious identity of a young Arab lesbian blogger who was apparently kidnapped last week in Syria has been revealed conclusively to be a hoax. The blogs were written by not by a gayContinue readingGay Lesbian Syrian Blogger? Or a Bearded American from Edinburgh?

Something So Simple, Something So Elusive

From Lifehacker, a way to select text vertically. Two comments on this: 1) Can’t believe I’ve not come across something so basic before, and 2) What happened to us and our computers that something so simple and so ordinary should, when revealed, get us all excited? One day we’ll be able to move pictures and words around our document any way and any place we want… clipped from lifehacker.com Blogger Diana Huggins highlights a handy tip in Microsoft Word for selecting text vertically rather than the traditional horizontal select we’re all used to.   The key: just hold down the Alt key (or Option keyContinue readingSomething So Simple, Something So Elusive

Word, the Expensive Blogging Tool?

I’m always looking for a better way to blog and some folk are pointing to the tools available from within Word 2007: From within Word, you can create a blog entry with extensive formatting and imaging, and easily upload to your blog – whether hosted by a company such as Blogger, or hosted on your own website through installed software, such as WordPress. Along with that, the software comes with additional features, such as “live previews for text styles, images, paging, etc.” and image effects, including shadows, orientation, borders and shapes.”In summary,” dkaye says, ”Word 2007 is simplifying blogging, so it’s not just straight and boringContinue readingWord, the Expensive Blogging Tool?

What Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

The BBC has asked me to make some predictions about the coming year, something I’m always loath to do because I seem to get it wrong. Anyway, here are my notes. They’re based in part on my own bath-time musings, and partly inspired by the thoughts of others (tried to credit them where relevant.) 1999 just took longer than we thought, that’s all Web 2.0 is not just about AJAX, mashups, blogs and all that. It’s about building a platform. That’s now been done. All we need to do now is let people use it. That is already happening, but it will REALLY happen inContinue readingWhat Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

What Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

The BBC has asked me to make some predictions about the coming year, something I’m always loath to do because I seem to get it wrong. Anyway, here are my notes. They’re based in part on my own bath-time musings, and partly inspired by the thoughts of others. 1999 just took longer than we thought, that’s all Web 2.0 is not just about AJAX, mashups, blogs and all that. It’s about building a platform. That’s now been done. All we need to do now is let people use it. That is already happening, but it will REALLY happen in 2007: Delivery will get better RSSContinue readingWhat Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

An Advertising Conundrum

I guessed this would happen eventually: through one of the advertising aggregators I use for this blog a service I’ve been critical of has submitted an ad. Do I accept it? Advertising aggregators provide a service to companies by letting them place banner and other web ads on participating blogs. I’ve been trying FeedBurner, for example, which puts ads on my blog and at the bottom of blog postings. They’re pretty obviously ads, since they’re all snazzy and jazzed up, and they help to defray (I love using the word ‘defray’) the costs of running the blog. Not everyone likes having to put up withContinue readingAn Advertising Conundrum

PR, Bloggers and Teeth

Should PR people read blogs? Or more specifically, should PR people read the blogs of those people they’re pitching? Or, more specifically, should PR people read the blogs of people they’re pitching and take personal events, comments and references into account when they’re making their pitch? Answers to the first two questions are pretty obvious, but I’m not so sure about the third one. The issue has come to the fore with Microsoft mega-blogger Robert Scoble, who has written about the sudden and serious illness of his mother on his blog. But he’s still getting pitched by PR companies: It’s amazing how many product pitches I’ve receivedContinue readingPR, Bloggers and Teeth

The Bookmarklet

Good list by Steve Rubel of Bookmarklets Every Blogger Should Have: Here’s a bunch of bookmarklets that I use every day in Firefox. I highly recommend them. To use these, drag each one individually into your Favorites or Links toolbar (in IE), or your bookmarks folder/toolbar in Firefox Good stuff. What I’d like to find is an extension to the toolbar in Firefox that let me add more bookmarklets (God, I hate that term. Anything ending in -let is ripe for extermination). Anything out there?

Get off my TiddlyTagCloud

For those of you interested in the whole TiddlyWiki thing, Clint Checketts has just pointed me to his new creation: the TiddlyTagCloud – a simple visualization of active tags, which list the existing tags in a TiddlyWiki alphabetical order and displays the more popular tags larger. And here, just in case you didn’t see it, is a post on TiddlyWikis I made as a guest blogger on the Blog Business Summit ‘05. Thanks, Byron, for inviting me.

Bloggers Care Too Much About Readers, Journalists Not Enough. Right?

Leafing through back issues of Henry Copeland’s Blogads weblog, I was amused to read this: Speaking of the bloggers versus journalists, I had an interesting conversation with a traditional publisher earlier this afternoon. He’d just spent a few days around a bunch of bloggers. He told me he was fascinated by the fact that bloggers are obsessed with their traffic/readers/feedback, while most traditional journalists are obstinately oblivious to their readers. That’s a key difference between the two wings of the profession, I’d agree (and interesting that Temple Stark so strongly disagrees, saying in a comment that, “If you and he meant not concerned so muchContinue readingBloggers Care Too Much About Readers, Journalists Not Enough. Right?

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