Topic: Blogging

Somebody went to the trouble of creating an iPhone app that allows you to add and edit posts on a blog running Movable Type. It's called Movable Manager and I'm using it to type this post.

It looks extremely bare-bones basic at first blush, but I could be wrong. Frankly, finding it in the App Store was the only thing that stopped me from dumping Movable Type completely and switching over to Wordpress.

MT has gotten more code-intensive since I started this blog in 2004, while Wordpress has gotten more user-friendly. Since Six Apart sold the MT software rights to a Japanese company a year or so back, tech support for English-speaking users has gone downhill fast. Six Apart couldn't be bothered to create a smart phone app for their software, but perhaps they were focusing their efforts on unloading the rights to MT and its shrinking market share before it became worthless. The new company hasn't indicated any interest in an app for English-speaking smart phone users, so the "opportunity" fell to the free market.

That only one company made the effort (and that the app's been in v1.0 since November 16th with minimal features) speaks volumes. Movable Manager gets one week to convince me that I'm mistaken.

The effort involved in coding this MT-based blog has become too labor-intensive, and the support available from Movable Type since its acquisition by the Japanese company Infocom has gotten borderline unintelligible.

The blogging platform produced by WordPress is much easier to use and maintain, and its community of code geeks and site designers is much bigger and actually speaks English. Using their work and plugging it into a web site running WordPress is ridiculously easy, and eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel.

The main obstacle holding me back is my inability to figure out how to export all of my data from Movable Type v5.12 into whatever format will allow me to import it into WordPress v3.2.1 (the current "new" version of the software). This is getting to be as aggravating as deciphering the instructions on a circa-1987 Sony VCR.

If someone out there has figured out a way to do this, please point me in the right direction.

Apologies to my e-mailers

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I just discovered a ton of legitimate e-mail messages caught in the spam filters for my two domains, brainshavings.com and cga94.com, which I've now dialed back to a less draconian setting. I've also added a bunch of people to the e-mail whitelists. I'll do my best to get caught up soon, but if you've been wondering if I've been ignoring you, I haven't.

facepalm


Sorry, everyone.

Monday morning e-mail sentiments

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Pretty much covers it, I'd say.

Spamming myself?

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Now this is ironic. Click the screenshot and look closely:

Spamming myself?

I'm trying to navigate the Spamcop.net site -- which is a maze -- to figure out why my domain's been blacklisted.

Top 100 words and phrases to avoid

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I'm surprised that the list left out "in terms of." Oh, how that verbal tic makes my ears itch!

nitecruzrFirst Ann Althouse got her Blogger account deleted "for spamming." Then fellow conservative blogger Patrick "Patterico" Frey piped up, criticized the responsible Google volunteer/moderator/petty-egotist-and-general-jerkwad Chuck "nitecruzr" Croll and coincidentally found his GMail account suspended for "spamming." Then at least six other GMail-using critics of Chuck Croll's jackassery also felt the wrath of Google's mighty banhammer ... but only coincidentally. Google, its executives, its employees, and its volunteers are very open-minded folks. Pay no attention to their political campaign contributions, 98% of which went to one party in 2004, and 83% to that same party in 2010.

Uh, pardon me if I don't jump on the Google Chromebook bandwagon. The thought of trusting much personal or business information to Google already made me uneasy to begin with. Then word got out about Google's use of text-reading software to read GMail users' e-mails and present them with "more relevant" ads. Now, any volunteer with sufficient authority granted by Google -- and an axe to grind -- can apparently decide to delete your account and cover their own butt by labeling you a "suspected spammer."

"Don't be evil" turns out to be a rather nuanced code of conduct.

Meanwhile, Professor Althouse's enthusiasm for Google's free Blogger platform is dropping fast. Funny how that happens.

Wonder no longer. They dumped it. Fortunately you can get it back.

A few days ago I noticed that my site's bandwidth usage was suddenly up. And I mean way up. Bandwidth is expensive, so I dug into the server logs and found that one particular computer was repeatedly accessing every page on my domain, several times a day. Further research revealed that the culprit is a bot that indexes web pages for a Russian search engine called Yandex.

My attempts to rebuff the Yandex bot using the familiar robots.txt method failed utterly. Yandex bots ignore that file, which causes no small amount of stomach acid online among people like me who don't have money to burn.

I decided to retaliate.

Ace of Spades HQ needs a fresh logo

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This banner (click to embiggen) just doesn't do the Morons over at Ace's place any justice. Old and busted:

Ace of Spades HQ banner (old and busted)


New hotness:

Ace of Spades HQ banner (new hotness)


Go ahead and swipe it, Ace. Upload it over your current logo, you Luddite.

--

11/3/10 Update: Even newer hotness!

Ace of Spades HQ banner (even newer hotness)

Scary words

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It's so cute when progressive bloggers get their knickers in a twist in feigned outrage over a post by a conservative that uses hunting metaphors to describe the electoral tasks ahead.

Election Day Twitter timeline [STICKY]

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If you see no JavaScript text, just click here.

Anti-ACORN and anti-Obama graphics

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Feel free to use these on your own blog. All I ask is that you save your own copy of each image, and don't hotlink to the image on my web site. If you hotlink, it will drive up my bandwidth costs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oh, and here's one for that bailout bill:

Enjoy.

With detractors like these ...

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... I must be doing something right. Especially when it's Tim Russo.

Dell, Inc. pays attention to blogs

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At 9:20 AM this morning, Dave at NixGuy.com posted a blurb about Dell's XPS competing with the Apple iMac. At 10:51 AM, I left a comment criticizing Dell and explaining why I now own a Lenovo. At 5:05 PM, someone named RichardatDELL left the following comment:

Hi Dave, thanks for the feed back and glad to hear you are impressed.


Ruddle Pirate [sic], The XPS One as part of the XPS line has a specialized support team that is highly trained on XPS systems and based in North America. I just bought a new XPS and needing to just check a couple things. The hold times were nil and the agents great.

We dropped the ball in the past, but we heard you, our customers, and are onb the way back. Sorry we lost you as a customer.

Hopefully we will regain your confidence with time.

<Vader voice>

Impressive. Most impressive.

</Vader voice>

Got some packing to do

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I'm heading off to Las Vegas early tomorrow morning for the Blog World & New Media Expo that starts later this week.

Join Me at Blog World Expo

If I can find time between sessions to post something worth reading, I'll do so. Hopefully I can also get my prehistoric digital camera to work well enough that I can throw a few photographs up here too. One thing's for certain:

If you'd like to hear from the front-line troops in Iraq, go browse the listings at MilBlogging.com and decide for yourself whether General Petraeus is telling the truth.

Also be sure to read the work of independent journalists embedded with the guys out on the bleeding edge: Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, Michael J. Totten, Bill Ardolino, Austin Bay, JD Johannes, and Pat Dollard. These guys are out in the thick of it, and they're not beholden to the Bush administration or to anybody else but the thousands of donors who fund their work.

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UPDATE: Yon on Petraeus

How to keep up with the news cycle

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Are you a blogger who's weary of scrambling to keep up with the news cycle online? Don't like proprietary software or your My Yahoo page? Try this.

This is what happens when lefties use images on my server to sign their comments on The Daily Kos.

Update: Fair is fair. I retaliate against Freepers too.

Update 2: Computer geeks have gotten into bandwidth thievery too. Hey, more free ad space for me!

I've been defaced

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I apologize for the funky appearance of this site. Some weisenheimer managed to deface my blogging software yesterday, and I'm trying to restore things now. I'll be changing software ASAP.

Again, I'm sorry if things are out of place or looking strange. I'll have it fixed soon.

Poor moonbats. My heart bleeds.

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Michelle Malkin pillories the left's overwrought whining about her readers' use of the Digg.com social networking system. Apparently, all that self-righteous talk about diversity and open-mindedness doesn't apply when conservatives set foot in the marketplace of ideas.

Tough noogies, liberals. Get used to being challenged.

Chris Muir agrees with me:

Mary Katherine Ham

Mary Katherine Ham is a babe!

The latest Ken Blackwell interview

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Mary Katherine Ham posts some key quotes from a recent interview with Ken Blackwell, and most were right up the red-meat conservative middle. However, Blackwell's response to a question about mainstream media distortions and his use of blogs left a lot to be desired.

David All: How are you planning to counter the liberal MSM in Ohio, and are you working with bloggers?

"Here's what they (Dems) worry about...as they sort of make the case that I gave this election, that I stole this election for Bush...when it gets exposure in the general community...Not one of them (state papers) has concluded, either on their editorial pages or in their news pages, that there was some major hijacking of this campaign," he said, adding that of 176 Democrats who serve on the Board of Elections, "not one of them has come out and said that there was anything corrupt or untoward about this election."

"Most people in Ohio understand that my choice was to take...those who believed in the rule of law and those who believe in voters without borders. I chose the rule of law," he said, adding that Ohio handled its provisional ballots the exact same way as New York, Texas and Massachusetts did.

"They see my brand of conservatism as being strange...Ohio is used to electing governors that are dull and practical."

"Nobody has ever accused me of not being able...to drive toward results...that enhance the quality of life for the people I serve. I don't govern by the editorial pages. I have an ideology that I live and die by."

That's nice, and it's true. But it doesn't answer the question about countering lefty spin. Blackwell outlines what he wants to do to, not how he plans to do it.

Hey, Matt Naugle! Tell your guy that he has support in the Ohio blogosphere, and that Hugh Hewitt is promoting him too.

It must suck to be Glenn Greenwald

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WuzzaDem completely demolishes the schizophrenically-gifted Glenn Greenwald, a NY Times bestselling author of ... oh, nevermind. I'll let the sockpuppets speak for themselves.

Townhall.com finally has RSS feeds

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Michelle Malkin announces a new conservative Internet broadcast network called Hot Air. Check it out, and sign up for comment-posting privileges while the opportunity lasts.

A lesson in etiquette

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Sometimes people have to learn the hard way not to use up somebody else's bandwidth. At least I'm semi-polite about folks who hotlink to my image files. I could have made it a very embarassing image.

Journalistic standards

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For those who complain about bloggers who supposedly don't measure up to journalistic ethical standards (such as they are), I offer the following example: Michelle Malkin. That's how it's done.

CNN's Eason Jordan resigns

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Here's a succint summary of CNN executive Eason Jordan's career-ending slander, exposed by bloggers.

First a Senate Majority Leader, then a presidential candidate, then a Senate Minority Leader, then a network news anchor, and now a cable news executive ... all were cut down by bloggers exposing their misbehavior. Looks like accountability's back in effect, eh?

Wag The Long Tail

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The Long Tail meme keeps rolling on ... and here's a neat new experiment to illustrate (more details here).

Who says nothing cool comes from Canada, eh?

Don't blog angry

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This is why I don't pick fights with other bloggers. Geesh, people. Calm down.

I may be mistaken ...

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... but isn't it customary to actually read a book before you slam it?

Bleak surroundings = good blogging?

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Chad The Elder at Fraters Libertas wonders if the climate, coupled with the local media's blatant liberal bias and poor writing skills, might explain the bounty of good center-right bloggers in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. He also wonders if boredom might be involved. Now if Chad's hypothesis is true, there must be several promising center-right bloggers in the Cleveland area.

Hmmmm ...

A solid, well-written Ohio blog

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If you haven't done so already, drop by the Columbus-based blog The Open End, where you'll find a team of good writers working in undeserved obscurity. They're not in lockstep with each other, so you'll sometimes find a sharp yet courteous debate going on. However, liberal nuttiness gets a cheerful skewering every day, especially if it involves political correctness at The Ohio State University (a little inside Buckeye joke, there).

Stones Cry Out logo redesign

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Rick Brady at Stones Cry Out is in the market for a new logo. Here's my offering:

My entry in the contest

Click it to see it at full size.

Don't ease off on CBS now

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We're eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow just blinked.

Hugh Hewitt spent a good part of the day (and all of his radio show) prodding conservative bloggers and asking why we haven't made a bigger fuss over the CBS News report on Rathergate. If you read through Hugh's blog entries today, you'll see that Hugh sees the report as a whitewash, and that he thinks the big guns of the Blogging Right appear overly concerned about their reputations among the mainstream media. Hugh thinks we ought not show mercy in this case. I agree, and here's why.

This situation strikes me as a kind of negotiation. We of the center-right blogosphere expected CBS News to offer something like this:

  1. report released on a Friday (to bury it)
  2. report released after announcing Rather's successor (again, to bury it)
  3. a weak non-apology
  4. thinly-veiled contempt for bloggers
  5. support from ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
  6. denial of any pro-Kerry motivation, much less any actual coordination
  7. Mary Mapes fired

We were hoping for several results from this episode, including:

  1. report released on a Monday
  2. report released without a Rather successor announced
  3. an admission from CBS News that the Killian memos were forgeries
  4. due credit given to the blogosphere for unearthing this mess
  5. Dan Rather fired
  6. Mary Mapes fired
  7. top CBS News executives fired (including the president, Andrew Heyward)
  8. an investigation into possible coordination between CBS News and the Kerry/Edwards campaign
  9. help from CBS' competing news networks in devouring it (motivated by fear)

To our surprise, CBS started off by offering us numbers 1, 2, and 6 on our wish list. Better still, they offered big chunks of numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7.

Think about it. The bigwigs at CBS News are clearly not bargaining from a position of strength, and it's obvious they know it. Now keep in mind that in a negotiation, you never ever reveal your true position right up front. If this is where they've started from, imagine where we could push them to. By giving CBS News (and by extension, all of MSM) a pass on this baldfaced charade they called "news", we'd be letting them return to lie another day.

Another thing: have you noticed the deafening silence among the lefty bloggers today? They tried very hard to ignore the CBS News report, hoping we'd lose interest. If they thought they could win the argument on the merits, they'd be in full cry instead. So the only thing standing between us and resounding vindication is ... us.

Fellow conservative bloggers, stop worrying about what the other side thinks of us and go for the whole wish list, because they'll tut-tut about "blogger triumphalism" no matter what we do. Learn from the GOP, which only climbed out of the electoral gutter after it stopped trying to play footsie with the Democrats. Rather, Mapes, and CBS News are scattered and fleeing. Let's show some spine and mop 'em up.

Don't miss Hugh Hewitt's show tonight

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Tune in to Hugh Hewitt's radio show right now (or listen online). He's going to spend three hours with the folks who brought down Dan Rather, and they'll dissect the CBS Report released today. Everybody who's anybody among bloggers involved in that mess will be on the air. You'll be glad you listened in.

"In Good Company" trailer

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Based on a blurb I heard on the Hugh Hewitt show, I decided to try out the whole blogging-as-more-than-a-hobby thing. Specifically, bloggers who mention a certain movie get goodies, and I checked it out. I sent an e-mail to the publicist and got this reply:

There�s been overwhelming response from bloggers responding to the offer for free tickets to an advance screening of IN GOOD COMPANY. So Universal Pictures and Grace Hill Media wants to respond to that enthusiasm by upping the ante: any blogger who signs up for the free tickets and then posts this offer and a link to the IN GOOD COMPANY trailer on their site will be automatically entered in a contest to win their very own private screening of IN GOOD COMPANY in their town. The winner can either fill the screening with their friends and family, or see the film alone with that special someone � it�s entirely up to them. One lucky blogger here in the US will win. Sign up at info@gracehillmedia.com and send us your link. And of course, all the non-winners will still be eligible to attend an advance screening in their area.

Want to know what my biggest surprise was? Based on the trailer, this looks like an interesting movie that I might actually go see, even if I were paying for the ticket. I'll let you know if it lives up to its billing.

Rathergate report is out, sort of

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CBS has finally posted a PDF copy of their report on the now-infamous 60 Minutes II segment where they tried to pass off forged memos as real, only to have the blogosphere expose their anti-Bush agenda masquerading as "news." So far the report has no appendices. Appendices and exhibits here.

--

UPDATE: CBS fired Mary Mapes, producer of the 60 Minutes II segment. Three news execs were also asked to resign ... but not CBS News' President, Andrew Heyward. His desk is buck-free, Buckhead be damned.

UPDATE 2: The CBS report can't even get basic facts about blogs right. Footnote 86 on page 153 says "Powerline is a Minnesota-based blog run by John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, both of whom are attorneys." There's a third blogger there, you dingalings. Ever heard of Paul Mirengoff, who blogs from Washington, DC? Try checking the three bios right at the top left side of the blog's home page. You did actually go there and look at the site, right? Time Magazine managed to get the basics right (then again, Time is known for reporting actual news). And it's "Power Line", not "Powerline." Geez, with this kind of attention to detail, how are we going to trust this report's conclusions?

Homespun Bloggers Radio

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Following the lead of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, a loose group of bloggers has started broadcasting audio over the web. The show's called Homespun Bloggers Radio, and here are the pages announcing show one and show two. To listen to the looped broadcasts, click below:

Perhaps I can record a fake commercial or two for them, or get them to play some of Frank J's audio bits.

The Dear Leader says ...

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"Even though I'm nowhere to be found, Blog is ubiquitous. All loyal socialists should read Comrade Hugh's book to strengthen their Juche spirit."

Blog swarm rising

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I just speculated on the faint rumblings of a blog swarm, but I never expected this.

At this point, I'll defer to Technorati and Memeorandum to track this.

Get moving, Congressman Conyers. That buzzing sound you hear is getting louder, and it ain't friendly.

Blog swarm gathers around Conyers

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Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters may well be touching off a blog swarm around Michigan Democrat Congressman John Conyers, whose staff stands accused of taking charity Christmas turkeys and giving them to friends instead of to Detroit's hungry and needy.

Conyers' reaction to press inquiries? Silence.

If he keeps ignoring this story and the blogosphere goes nuclear, you'll be seeing another demonstration of the power of the tail.

More coverage:
Instapundit
Wizbang! (inevitably tagging it "Turkeygate")
Cheese & Crackers
Pejmanesque
hubs and spokes
Three Knockdown Rule
PoliBlog
Turkeygate (too funny!)
Daily Pundit
Urban Republican
You Know What Part
Pajama Journal
BrothersJudd
Chicago Avvocato
The Baron
Florida Pilot
Dinocrat

Give Blog a chance

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Rumors continued to circulate today, suggesting that a nationally syndicated talk radio host and would-be bestselling author had infiltrated the crowd at an anti-war rally in Key West recently. ProtestWarrior denied any involvement in the stunt, seen here in a photograph e-mailed to Brain Shavings by a very reliable source.

Impeachapalooza 2005

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Soon, the 109th Congress will convene for its first session. This time around the Democrats have lost even more seats, and if there's one thing that ticks off a Democrat politician it's losing power. Worse yet, they still seem to think that their message of wacko leftism just didn't get through to the voting public, and that President Bush and the Republicans somehow stole the election.

Democrat outrage is nothing if not predictable, and it's no great stretch to expect petty little snit fits on the floor of Congress once it's back in session. Come to think of it, can calls for impeaching the president be far away? I think not. Which can mean only one thing.

It's contest time!

Be the first to predict the Democrats' calls for political vengeance against President Bush, and you can win expensive and gaudy prizes. That is, if you define "expensive and gaudy" as "affordable by the amateur blogger running this site." Here are the categories and prizes:

  1. Date of first call for President Bush's impeachment: _________ (Prize: a Blogshares portfolio consisting of 5,000 shares of Brain Shavings and 5000 shares of The Buckeye Bloggers)
    Bonus -- Representative making that first call: _________ (Prize: $10 Amazon.com gift certificate)
  2. Date of first article of impeachment referred to House Judiciary Committee: _________ (Prize: a copy of Blog, by Hugh Hewitt)
    Bonus -- First sponsor of this article: _________ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
  3. Date of first article of impeachment to get a House Judiciary Committee vote: _________ (Prize: a copy of Right Turns, by Michael Medved)
    Bonus -- First sponsor of this article: _________ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- Committee vote tally (yea/nay): _____/_____ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- Number of Republicans voting "yea" (non-zero guesses only): _____ (Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate)
  4. Date of first article of impeachment to reach House floor: _________ (Prize: a copy of Scalia Dissents, by Kevin A. Ring)
    Bonus -- First sponsor of this article: _________ (Prize: $75 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- House vote tally (yea/nay): _____/_____ (Prize: $100 Amazon.com gift certificate)
    Bonus -- Number of Republicans voting "yea" (non-zero guesses only): _____ (Prize: $100 Amazon.com gift certificate)

Contest Rules:

Thanks again, Hugh

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It's been both an honor and a pleasure to be selected as the December 2004 Blog of the Month by Hugh Hewitt.

No, there will be no centerfold. Calm down, ladies.

Tired of blogging without being noticed?

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Ah, the vagaries of unrecognized blogging brilliance. So you've taken Hugh's advice and started a blog, and nobody's noticed you? Welcome to the club. Almost all of us start at the bottom, unless we're already well-established authors or pundits or somesuch.

Being an unremarkable fourth-tier blogger myself, I've thought about traffic often. I'm no blogging stud; I average around 250 hits per day, with occasional big spikes of 500-1000 when some big name blogger links to me, or if a flood of search engine queries about a hot news event turns up one of my posts on the results page. I've been blogging since March, and though my own writing hasn't brought me fame and fortune, I've picked up a few tips on how to legitimately increase my blog's visibility in the blogosphere. Most of it's covered by well-spoken folks like Wizbang and Bad Example, but I'll add a baker's dozen of pointers that have served me well so far.

  1. Have something interesting to say. The web's already clogged with millions of blogs that do little more than link to what everybody else is talking about, adding nothing more to the conversation than a "hey, check this out." There's only one blog that gets away with one-word comments, and you're not going to replace him. Be an occasional Thinker, not just a Linker, or some blend of both. You don't need to create bloviating dissertations of 10,000 words, but do write about what you know and what interests you. Find your own way of saying things, and put your own spin on it. In time you'll find you've developed a style all your own, and like-minded readers will find you.
  2. Link freely to other blogs, especially lesser-known ones and blogs you disagree with. Leave pertinent comments on their posts, and contribute to the discussion. They'll notice, and might reciprocate if you follow Rule #1 above.
  3. Learn how to tweak your stylesheet, to make your blog appealing and easy to navigate. More is not always better.
  4. Be sure your blog is generating an RSS feed. Check your blogging software's documentation to be sure. If you can't generate an RSS feed, switch software. Trust me.
  5. When drafting a new post on your Movable Type blog, you can help search engines like Google find your blog posts by filling in some pertinent terms in the box marked "Keywords" ... terms which you might use to search for web pages related to the topic of your post. Be sure that the following HTML code is in the template for your Individual Entry Archive, between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags:

     

    <meta name="robots" content="index,follow,archive" />
    <meta name="description" content="<$MTEntryExcerpt$>" />
    <meta name="keywords" content="<$MTEntryKeywords$>" />

    This code uses META tags to talk to search engines and let them know you exist. It won't bring you lots of traffic, but it'll put you on an even footing with other entry-level bloggers. It's like hanging out a sign when you start your business; it's no guarantee of success, but you'd be a fool not to.

  6. If you're using Movable Type to blog, go to the Configuration menu, click on the link marked "preferences", and scroll down until you see "Publicity / Remote Interfaces / TrackBack" ... then check the boxes for blo.gs and weblogs.com, and paste the following text into the "Others" box:
     

    http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
    http://bulkfeeds.net/rpc
    http://ping.feedburner.com
    http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
    http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
    http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/
    http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php

    Doing this will ping (notify) several tracking services whenever you update your blog, and they'll send a spider program to come index your new entry. If you get error messages during the pinging process, it may mean you need to go sign up with one or more of the services. Don't fret, they're free.


  7. Join a blogging alliance (here's a good one ... and another), join a web ring, or start your own (I did). As long as you abide by the membership rules, you'll usually find yourself on several blogrolls in no time.

  8. Learn about comment spam and trackback spam. Don't harbor it.

  9. Be a polite blogger when you send a trackback.

  10. Learn some basic shop talk to avoid embarassing yourself.

  11. Don't obsess over links and traffic. It'll suck the joy right out of the whole effort if you're blogging for fun. If you're blogging for profit, then you're seeking advice from the wrong fella. See Rule #12.

  12. Buy this book.

  13. Read Rule #1 a couple more times.

Blogging's fun. Have at it.

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UPDATE: Joe Carter has more good advice at Evangelical Outpost, in six parts (I ... II ... III ... IV ... V ... VI).

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UPDATE 2: Some progressive Christians look to be putting a blog alliance together. Here's their aggregator page. Nice move!

Ex-VP: Iran tortures bloggers

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A former Vice President of Iran who runs his own blog just publicized a new round of allegations that Iranian government officials have been torturing dissident bloggers again. I say "allegations" because I can't read Farsi, and I haven't seen any news stories confirming the charges.

But it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

I wonder if this isn't being reported because CNN and friends have struck another sweetheart deal with a nasty regime, exchanging silence for permission to stay in-country? Time will tell.

The business of news is changing

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Go buy Hugh Hewitt's new book ...

Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World

... or you'll be left behind in the dust, wondering why your friends are laughing as you read your "early edition" of the New York Times.

C'mon, I told you about this three weeks ago. What're you waiting for?

Go read The Buckeye Bloggers

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If you haven't swung by The Buckeye Bloggers recently, you're missing out. I'm not the only conservative Ohio blogger.

Now if we can just find a good conservative Cincinnati blog ...

Welcome, Hugh Hewitt readers

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I just tracked down the reason for the sudden and steady flow of visitors from HughHewitt.com: I'm his Blog of the Month for December. That's quite an honor, so I'll do my best to fill the shoes of my very impressive predecessors. Thanks, Hugh!

Be sure to take a look at the rest of the Buckeye Bloggers, a bunch of Ohio conservatives striving to make a purple state redder.

While you're here, why not pre-order this book ...

Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World

... as a Christmas gift to yourself? I figure a little bit of cross-promotion's the least I can do as a "thank you." Heck, I ordered one yesterday.

--

UPDATE: If you're wondering what I write about here, scan the categories on the rightmost column of the home page. Here are a few posts I was proud of when I wrote them:

The evolution of news

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Bill Bennett has a piece up on RealClear Politics mulling over the ongoing mutations in the news delivery business.

People now get their news and opinion on the Internet and relay it to talk radio. They then think about it, research it further, and discuss it on the Internet, in email, and in the national conversations that take place on shows like mine all the time -- shows that cannot simply be marginalized as "right wing radio," because they are not "right wing." Some are, in part, national dialogues. Yes there is right wing radio, and yes there is left wing radio but there is radio of another sort too, and too few elites have the first clue about what it is or what is happening there.

Empowered, the people are changing talk radio. Speaking as a host of a three-hour talk show, it is evident that the public, which is checking assertions of fact as they are being made, is not sitting back and merely absorbing pontification. On talk radio, the lecture is fading, and it is being replaced by the interactive national seminar, where callers inform the host and audience as much as the host is informing listeners.

I'll be listening to Rush Limbaugh with Bennett's idea in mind. Rush is more of a pontificator than a conversationalist, so I'm wondering if he's a big enough "institution" that he needn't worry about keeping closer tabs on what his listeners are interested in. CBS News is a big institution, and a handful of bloggers toppled its credibility. Will left-wing bloggers (or even we right-wingers) be Rush's undoing?

Lots of food for thought here.

Just say the magic word

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Over the past few weeks, I've been getting spammed by a fancy restaurant in Miami. Mind you, this isn't my Yahoo inbox I'm talking about. I expect to be spammed there. This fine establishment somehow found out my private e-mail address, the one my friends and family use. I never, ever enter it on a form online, so up 'til now it's been almost completely spam-free.

I knew better than to click the handy "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the message. Doing so alerts the spammer to the presence of a human being at the other end of the spam pipeline, making one's e-mail address much more valuable. Clicking "unsubscribe" guarantees that your address will be sold to every spammer known to man, and the tidal wave of penis enlargement and home mortgage refinancing will hit your inbox quicker than you can say "yes, I'll help you hide your ill-gotten Nigerian gains."

Being a semi-cagey netizen, I instead looked up the restaurant in the phone book to verify that the place actually existed. No sense in calling a phone number on the spam message if the whole thing's a complete scam, right? I found that the restaurant actually existed, and I verified things by finding several reviews written by local newspapers.

I called to complain, and the runaround began. Every time Chez Fancypants spammed me, I called to politely complain. Every time, they told me that the person in charge of e-mail marketing was unavailable, had left for the day, hadn't arrived yet, was busy, or had perished in a tragic blimp accident.

Today, Chez Fancypants excreted spam number nineteen into my nice clean inbox, so I decided to up the ante. Again I called the oh-so-smarmy maitre d', and discovered that the Spammer-in-Chief was off on a pilgrimage to Yemen. I asked to be removed from the spamvertising hotlist, and again I heard the blasé brush-off beneath the pleasant response.

Ah, the power of the word "blogger."

When I casually mentioned that I'm a blogger who's well aware of how tenuous a good business reputation can be, and when I reminded the maitre d' of what happened to Dan Rather, his tone immediately changed from oily condescension to palpable fear. These days, the spectre of Mike Wallace at the door pales in comparison to "John Hinderaker just sent you an e-mail."

Said my new best friend, "I'll get on the phone to our Marketing Director and I'll send a fax to the e-mail marketing company we use, and tell them to remove your address from the list. What is it, sir, so I can send you confirmation of my success?"

I guess there's a red phone to Yemen in the kitchen after all.

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UPDATE: Just imagine the damage that Wizbang's Jay Tea could do.

Meandering thru the Marsupials

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Visiting the same old high-visibility blogs day after day gets boring, so I like to leave the beaten track and wander through the underbrush looking for interesting material. Here's what I found on my latest sightseeing tour through the ranks of the Marauding Marsupials.

The Fly Bottle jumps from the evolution debate into a plea for the political Left to be honest about their desire to impose its agenda on the unwilling. After all, the Right's up-front about its own plans.

Sharp As A Marble has been in a running debate on evolution. His evolution-backing opponents accuse him of simpleminded ignorance for his belief in intelligent design, so he replies with examples that show how they rely on the same kind of faith to support their own beliefs.

Dead Man Blogging is a theology professor who focuses on poking holes in the "God as a Grinning Grampa" meme that's so loved in modern folk theology.

Christian Conservative disputes the old saw about religion being the cause of the world's troubles, placing the blame for sectarian violence on those who divorce faith from intellect and conscience.

Brain Fertilizer explains how the word "choice" means different things to conservatives and to liberals. When they hear "choice", liberals think "control" while conservatives think "opportunity."

LawMeme re-evaluates Project Honeypot, and approves of its effort to trap e-mail spammers' harvesting programs and trace them to the companies supporting them. The next step? Legally there's not much to be done, but there's promise in consumer education and in blacklisting the ISPs hosting spammers.

Biased BBC ridicules the Beeb's exhaustive coverage of the U.S. Marine who shot the likely terrorist in Fallujah ... while ignoring the French military's probable massacre of civilian protestors in an Ivory Coast incident. This blogger wonders with tongue in cheek whether the BBC might be partially funded by the French government.

The Hopeful Cynic sifts through a survey of Americans claiming to be well informed on events in the Middle East, and highlights some depressingly funny answers to the question "Do you know who Yasser Arafat is?"

The Black Republican brings perspective to Thanksgiving with his memory of visits to his dad's VFW Post, and recalls the time he found out what blue stars and gold stars meant.

Jessica's Well points out a columnist who thinks that the real key to a Democratic Party renaissance is ... wait for it ... semantics.

The Buckeye Bloggers

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In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, Brain Shavings has joined a new blog alliance with Wizblog and The Open End. We're now calling ourselves The Buckeye Bloggers.

The Buckeye Bloggers

The gaggle of opportunists known as The Northern Alliance has piggybacked on the success of Hugh Hewitt, a native Ohioan with a nationally syndicated radio talk show, a syndicated column in The Weekly Standard, several best-selling books, and a top-notch conservative blog. Thanks to Hugh's efforts (and their own stellar writing and research too ... but I'll gloss over that inconvenient fact), these erstwhile unknowns have gotten enough exposure that they've managed to torpedo Dan Rather and become a thorn in the sides of The Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Associated Press. Not bad for a bunch of pajama-clad scribblers from the midwestern tundra.

If they can do it, why can't we?

I have high hopes, because not only have we successfully begged the mighty Hugh Hewitt to shill for us ... we have an ace in the hole: Eric Hogue, host of his own morning talk show on KTKZ in Sacramento, a blogger, and a former Ohioan himself. Lately, he's been guest hosting for Hugh, Bill Bennett, and Laura Ingraham. Can Hannity or Limbaugh be far behind? Assuming he can keep on functioning without sleep like he's been doing lately, we ought to get more promotion for our buck out of him than anybody else. Ah, who am I kidding? We're not paying him anything. But flattery will get us everywhere, we hope. Seriously, he's an up-and-coming radio talker, and we're happy he's thrown in with us.

This ought to be fun. Watch out, Lileks and Power Line and Captain's Quarters. That speck in your rearview mirror just got a horsepower boost.

Almost two ex-bloggers

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I experienced a head-on near miss with two teenage idiots as I was coming back from church this afternoon, which I thought was startling. Then I found out that Jeff Quinton's fortunate to be alive. I'll shut up now.

My wish list for the next four years

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Now that we've won the election, it's time to capitalize. I offer three lists as starting points for thinking about what to do next.

Here's my off-the-cuff list of top political priorities that President Bush and the Republican Congress ought to pursue between now and 2008.

  1. Redouble the war effort. It's no quagmire. We have the initiative now, so let's exploit it.
    • Reaffirm the Bush Doctrine. Then beef it up by repealing Section 2.11 of Executive Order 12333, which forbids assassination as a foreign policy tool.
    • Stick Osama's head on a pike. No arrest. No trial. Sure, as a martyr he'll be an inspiration to terrorists, but he already is. His continued respiration makes us look weak. Kill him, kill his followers, and humiliate his fans.
    • Crush the insurgency in Iraq. That means flattening Fallujah for starters.
    • Seal our borders.
    • Use profiling to catch the enemy here. That means looking more closely at:
      • People from countries that support terrorism
      • Muslims
      • Men of Middle Eastern appearance between the ages of 16 and 40.
    • Topple the governments in Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Use diplomacy, sanctions, and internal instability if possible. Otherwise use force.
    • Field new weapons systems tailored for this war.
    • Kill obsolete weapons systems. Pork be damned.
  2. Stop worrying about offending American leftists and don't let them drive your policies. Unabashed conservatism wins and "the new tone" loses. We won, so start governing like it.
  3. Stop worrying about the media's opinion of you. They'll never like you, so get over it. It's our votes you need, not theirs. Besides, the blogosphere's here to stay, and the media dinosaurs will either evolve or die ... and either way, you win.
  4. Appoint and confirm conservative judges.
  5. Cut taxes, regulation and especially spending.
  6. Pass the Federal Marriage Amendment.
  7. Boost military pay (especially combat pay).
  8. Replace the tax code with a national sales tax (or at worst, a flat tax).
  9. Expand the majority in the Senate and House in 2006.
  10. Europe is about to come crawling for our forgiveness, because they're realists and they know we're in the driver's seat for good. Be polite, give them some of the financial action, but never defer to their judgment on anything.
  11. Move the federal budgeting process to a two-year cycle.
  12. If the Partial Birth Abortion Ban dies in the Supreme Court, pass it again and keep fighting.
  13. Consider a newer, better GI Bill; ask the troops what they want.
  14. Leave the United Nations. It's rotten to the core, and has long outlived its usefulness. This will help with #10, above.

As for the military, there's still a lot of work to be done.

  1. Add at least two divisions to the Army.
  2. Ease up on deployments for the Reserves & National Guard.
  3. In recruiting, continue the shift from "here's what you'll get" to "here's how you can serve", because we want warriors and not half-hearted mercenaries.
  4. Get sophisticated in your recruiting. If your efforts look half-assed, then you'll get the recruits you paid for.
  5. Keep women from combat.
  6. Cultivate frontline warriors among noncoms and junior officers. Get the combat lessons they've learned into institutional memory now, before they leave the service.

Last, a list for the conservative blogosphere.

  1. Destroy the credibility of the mainstream media.
  2. Repeat #1.

I'll add to the lists and expand them as things come to mind.

Buckeye Bloggers

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Buckeye BloggersHey, fellow conservative bloggers from Ohio! How about forming a blog alliance from the state that pushed President Bush across the finish line this year? Heaven knows we can't just sit here and let The Northern Alliance keep hogging all the glory.

We could start by putting together a web site that aggregates our most recent posts, kind of like what RNCBloggers did. These blogs strike me as promising charter members:

Buckeye Bloggers
Brain Shavings
The Open End
The Conservative Revolution
Wizblog
Ohio for Bush

Buckeye Ex-pats
Hugh Hewitt
Belly of the Beast

Whaddaya think?

Hey, Dead Scotsman & Chet ...

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... you two ought to start a blog. I'd blogroll you, and it'd be fun to duke it out from time to time. You two are articulate and entertaining ... even though you're wrong on just about everything. :)

Suggestion time

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This site's been up since late March, and so far it seems to be working well. But what do I know? There's always room for improvement. You readers are better judges than I am when it comes to content, features and layout. What do you like about this site? What's missing? What needs more emphasis, and what needs less?

My thanks in advance for your constructive criticism.

Updated: Blogosphere Political Compass

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Sandor at The Zoo just updated his Blogosphere Political Compass. If you haven't jumped aboard, you ought to.

Especially you libs.

What's next in the blogosphere?

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Power Line's Deacon ponders the results of the media brushfire they fanned into life:

Blogs like ours don't compete with national newscasts. We don't try to summarize the national and world news, and we attempt investigative journalism only intermittently. We're more like opinion journals.

...

Blogs can only inflict significant damage on network news organizations to the extent that these organizations utter flagrant falsehoods or otherwise commit major inexcusable errors. When networks run slanted stories that always favor the liberal cause, we serve a worthwhile function by exposing the slant and the consistency of the bias. But this does no major harm to the networks.

Arguably, then, blogs pose no inherent danger to the networks. Networks merely need to avoid uttering flagrant falsehoods and committing major inexcusable errors. Then they can continue to slant things in the liberal direction without taking any deadly hits from bloggers.

...

Will we ever again see a major network that gains general trust as a non-partisan source of news? I'm pretty sure we won't. It's a daunting task, and the incentive for undertaking it is not obvious. The old "most trusted man in America model" model was an anomaly -- the product of a breath-taking new technology with enormous "centralizing" tendencies, coupled with a post World War II political consensus. That consensus no longer exists, and we now have a breath-taking new technology with enormous decentralizing tendencies.

Read the whole thing.

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UPDATE: Instapundit chimes in.

Hugh Hewitt remarks on the power of the tail.

OpinionJournal recaps the trends in media power, which is news only to the most non-web-savvy readers of the WSJ ... but at least they're hearing it now.

Michelle Malkin delivers an Old Media eulogy.

CBS dives into school of blogging piranhas

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Here's Drudge's copy of the longer CBS News statement released this evening concerning the obviously forged Killian memos. Watch how quickly the blogosphere dissects and debunks this one. If you thought the first assault on the forgeries was fast, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

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UPDATE (8:41 PM): It begins.

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UPDATE (8:54 PM): How's this for fast?

Forward battery, surface action to starboard

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I decided to create a Blogger account tonight, and tried to set up a predictable account name. Imagine my surprise to find that brainshavings.blogspot.com was already taken. The impudent and drunken pretender shall be crushed. Away all boarding parties!

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UPDATE: I'm not the only one.

Blogging for college credit

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An economics class at Marietta College runs its own blog, MariettaEcon. I'm not too sure what the point of the exercise is, but it'll be interesting to see what develops.

Kudos to Buckhead

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I tip my hat to Buckhead, a poster at FreeRepublic.com who appears to be the first person to notice that the 60 Minutes II "memos" incriminating Texas ANG Lieutenant George W. Bush ... are fakes. Buckhead lit the fuse and the detonation began at Power Line. It continues to ripple outward.

Nice work! He may have unseated Dan Rather himself (CBS is in full retreat).

Iraqi girl needs surgery

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Bloggers are trying to raise funds to send 9-month-old Tabarak to America for surgery that will save her life. Give the situation a look, and consider chipping in.

Thanks, Hugh

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I just heard a recording of Hugh Hewitt's nationally syndicated radio show from yesterday, and in the last segment of hour three he mentioned my blog in passing. He said it was "a great blog, by the way."

To say I'm flattered would be a gross understatement.

Chip in $5 for a deploying MilBlogger

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Greyhawk of Mudville Gazette is deploying to Iraq and needs a laptop and a digital camera to blog from the sandbox. Without 'em, the Mudville Gazette will come to a halt.

Go chip in five bucks using the "Make A Donation" button on the right side of this post. You'll appreciate the news coverage that results.

Was the RNC bloggers' traffic "light"?

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Investor's Business Daily misses half the story:

GOP blog readership is light

The 16 bloggers accredited to cover the GOP's convention generated little readership during the week.

The New York Daily News characterized them as "unfamiliar men ... bent over laptops [who] tapped out their own takes on the Republican National Convention."

Traffic to their blogs was barely noticeable. Hitwise, an online measurement company, said the interest was miniscule. "This is not to say they aren't important or influential. We're simply saying the masses aren't visiting them," a spokesman said.

During the first three days of the convention, RNC blogs received less than 0.22 percent of Web traffic. On average, Blog.johnkerry.com receives nine times more visits that Blogsforbush.com, Hitwise added.

"Little readership"? Compared to what? Give us the numbers, please.

And what about growth in visitors? What about projected audience size? A tree is bigger than a seedling, but it's worth asking if the former is a dwarf spruce and the latter is an oak. How much did the traffic on each of these sites increase this week?

Answer those questions first, and then you can talk to me about whether interest in blogs is "miniscule."

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UPDATE: Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but these sure look like spikes at RNC Bloggers (a new site, admittedly) and Slant Point. I'll add more info as I dig it up.

UPDATE 2: I've discovered traffic spikes on Hugh Hewitt's blog, as well as on Wizbang (boy is that a spike!) and Captain's Quarters.

UPDATE 3: How about Red State? Yup ... spike.

RNC coverage reminder

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Get yer fresh-brewed convention coverage here:

Because you're here reading this, you know the mainstream media doesn't cover everything. These bloggers pick up the slack, and are worth your time (check RNCBloggers to see 'em all together).

Republican Convention coverage

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Here are the credentialed bloggers covering the convention:

I've also added a new blogroll with these links (look on the right side of the home page).

Shredded: Jim Boyd's credibility

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In the continuing saga of a research-challenged editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune who picked the wrong bloggers to defame, we now witness the coup de grace.

Game, set, and match to Power Line.

Needed: more Coast Guard bloggers

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These are the only other bloggers I'm aware of who are current or former Coasties:

Surely there must be more of us. Anybody know of any?

Spammer flood

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Hey, fellow bloggers: am I the only one noticing a significant spike in spam comment attempts? I think I've had an average of about 20-25 attempts per day over the last three or four days.

Kudos to Jay Allen for his wonderful blacklist plugin. It nuked every last one of 'em!

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UPDATE: Nope, I'm not the only one. Read the comments for some very thoughtful insights into the future of the "bloggers v. spammers" arms race.

The Zoo has a BPCP update. Time to get more lefties involved.

Backcountry Conservative asks the military members and vets in the blogosphere to stand up and be counted. Roger that, Jeff. Here's a bit about me:

U.S. Coast Guard: 1990 - 1999, Deck Watch Officer. Retired.

FYI, I know that John of Brown Hound is currently on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Semper Paratus,
Puddle Pirate

BPCP updated anew

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Ever wondered where the typical blogger stands, politically? You can now start getting the picture (literally) because The Zoo has added more bloggers to the Blogosphere Political Compass Project. Sandor's got 76 blogs plotted, and the pattern says "center right." You listening, Hugh?

Whistling past the graveyard?

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A journalism professor from Harvard's Kennedy School wrote an editorial yesterday in the factually-challenged L.A. Times. The piece makes some accurate observations on the different roles of mainstream media vs. blogs, but also takes potshots at the typical blogger as a "blustering know-it-all in a bar."

We'll see.

BPCP update

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The Blogosphere Political Compass Project has been updated. 56 blogs are now plotted, and I'm startin' to see a pattern.

E-guano from Minnesota

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I just got an e-mail from the John Kline for Congress campaign. Oops, did I say "I just got"? Make that "we." Sixty-three of us to be precise, all with military-related blogs, just got a personalized (ha!) message from our buddy John asking us to link to his blog and maybe even post his live feed on our sites.

Am I the only one who doesn't like political spam, regardless which party excretes it into my inbox? Mr. Kline would get a much better reception from me if he didn't start the "conversation" with a mass e-mail to sixty-three milbloggers ... complete with an attached Word document.

I'm not angry, John. Just annoyed. Hang around the milblog "beat" awhile and get a feel for how it works before elbowing your way into the conversation. Next time, Congressman, try sending your message just to me, or at least have the minimal savvy to put all the recipients in the BCC line. Better yet, post some good original content to your blog first, not just three recycled op-eds. Heck, have some 20-something staffer studying English or Pre-Law write for you. Hey, President Bush uses others to fill his blog. And don't drop unsolicited attachments in my inbox; you've got a site of your own, so just post it there and send me a link.

I don't mind the occasional episode of link-whoring. I do it myself. But it's best to find a blogger who'd be interested in what you've written. Try to be at least a little bit subtle. And don't be pushy. Google the phrase "blog etiquette" and read posts like this one and this other one ... or this or this or this.

Now, Congressman Kline, you're in luck. I tolerate honest mistakes, and I've always liked the Marines, so I'll toss a link your way. But please be a little slicker next time, so I won't feel obliged to do this:

Now go post something original and interesting about the Coast Guard or Ohio or the war on terror, and I'll link to it.

Cheers.

Daniel Drezner wonders: is civility an endangered species in the blogosphere? The post is about the problems of rude, sloppy, inflammatory writing (and visitor comments) on blogs with significant traffic. It seems that popular blogs attract trolls who force out good commenters, and some of the bloggers themselves succumb to the temptation to post nasty and poorly-reasoned and -researched screeds in an effort to generate controversy and its byproduct, traffic.

Drezner quotes Matt Yglesias:

The trouble is that when you write something really good, in the sense of being sober, on-point, factual, and tightly argued, your targets would do well to simply ignore you. And so they do. Maybe a person or two will recommend the story to their friends, but basically it vanished into the HTML ether. Something sloppy, offensive, over-the-top, or in some minor way inaccurate, by contrast, will provoke a flood of responses. If you're lucky, those responses will, themselves, be someone sloppy, and folks start defending you. Then you find yourself in the midst of a minor contretemps, and everyone gets more readers.

Drezner offers five reasons he's still optimistic about blogs staying above the tide of trashiness, but I won't repeat them here. Go read them for yourself. Charles at LGF objects to Yglesias' "finger-wagging" and offers examples of his hypocrisy. Kevin at Wizbang is keeping comments open for now. Michele at A Small Victory sees the problem as a reflection of our whole society's cultural "civil war." Or would that be "uncivil war"?

I've been thinking about it along Michele's lines too, since hearing Edwin Feulner deliver the commencement address awhile back at Hillsdale (brother #3 just graduated). Feulner lamented the similarity between the ugliness of today's political discourse and the famous "Broken Window Effect" that explains previously nice communities' slide into crime-ridden chaos.

My take? Yes, ugliness sucks and ideas have consequences. Clashing worldviews can make a mess in the process of identifying a winner. But I'm not a pessimist either. This isn't 1861, nor is it 1968. Free speech is uncomfortable but it's worked for us so far, and we face a critical choice on how best (or even whether) to fight against an evil ideology bent on our destruction. I am still convinced that sunlight is the best disinfectant for putrid thought, and we need to lance our cultural boil so we can get busy either fighting or surrendering.

Don't misunderstand Michele and worry about an actual civil war. The regional divide over slavery that made the Civil War possible is not at all like the divide we see today. Our culture's too mobile and well-informed to repeat the catastrophe of 1861. And if the Democrats touch off a 1968-style rioting redux in Boston, I think the vast majority of the public will recoil so profoundly that we'll witness the death of the Democratic Party.

So, no ... I'm not that worried yet. Bring on the trolls.

Bloggers in Beantown

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This is old news, but still interesting: some bloggers will get press passes to the Democratic Party convention in Boston.

The Puddle Pirate goes big time?

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A nice AP reporter e-mailed me yesterday and wanted to discuss political blogs in Ohio. She'd talked with some liberals, and needed a conservative for balance. You might reasonably think that my pithy observations and dry wit reeled her in, but I suspect my looks had something to do with it. Being the shy, retiring type, I reluctantly passed on the vast knowledge and expertise I've gleaned from my three months of blogging. I'm sure she'll have plenty for her story.

In all seriousness, I'm looking forward to reading her story. I've been meaning to add some local flavor around here. Perhaps I can find some worthy sparring partners in the area.

A new Coastie blogger

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Motor Lifeboat

USCG sealSay hello to Brown Hound, another Coast Guardsman who's joined the unruly ranks of the blogosphere. There aren't many of us, but we're out there toiling away.

Ya gotta go out, but nobody ever said ya gotta come back.

Semper Paratus!

The Blogosphere Political Compass Project is underway. Go. Read. Respond.

My digital brownshirt

Incidentally, my coordinates are pretty well to the right, and slightly authoritarian. And here I was, thinking I was pretty libertarian in my views. Who knew? Time to go buy my digital brown shirt.

Linking as retaliation

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Bill Hobbs used my comment-highlighting method to fisk the latest Maureen Dowd screed. And of course, I get no thanks. Geez, you'd think I write a relatively unknown blog or something.

Hat tip: He who blends puppies

Why the attention, Grey Lady?

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Michele at A Small Victory thinks the NY Times' overly dismissive attitude toward bloggers, coupled with their apparent interest in bloggers reveals a bit of nervousness on their part.

Who reads blogs?

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The results of the blogads.com blog reader survey are up.

Today's media round-up

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As a public service, the following is a round up of today's news coverage in the mainstream print & TV media:

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Get the message?

Aftermath of the Nick Berg video

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The Nick Berg tsunami is receding here. My traffic is back down in the neighborhood of 3,000 visits per day. Now what?

A few days ago, I speculated that the huge online demand for the Nick Berg video signaled that Americans have snapped out of their torpor and have remembered who we're fighting and why it's critical that we win. Looking back, I think I was being optimistic.

The big media continue to downplay the Nick Berg story (except for his father's bizarre anti-Bush statements) in favor of the abuses at Abu Ghraib. The demand for the video has dropped sharply. I don't hear politicians talking about Nick Berg. Conclusion: even though lots of people have seen or heard Nick's murder by Islamists, not enough of us care enough to contact our politicians or our local newspapers to demand that our leaders wake up and start helping the war effort. Liberal politicians and their enablers in the major media will pounce on anything that paints George Bush in a bad light, but if a news item is likely to help Bush or support his policies and arguments, it doesn't get covered.

Today, we have confirmation of Sarin and Mustard Gas in the hands of terrorists. Again. Will this be shunted aside in a day or two? I'm betting it will.

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UPDATE: Sgt. Stryker thinks the Nick Berg traffic tsunami and the disappearance of the Nick Berg story from the mainstream media aren't as significant as we right-wing bloggers think. The Nick Berg story's over, you see, and the Abu Ghraib story continues with courts-martial and Congressional investigations. No bias here, folks, move along.

Uh huh.

Stryker also ascribes our interest in the differing coverage of the Abu Ghraib and Nick Berg stories to an overwhelming urge to view everything through the prism of "how it affects President Bush's re-election":

See, not everything is about Bush and the War, although like the "Anybody But Bush" crowd, the Right has lost the ability to perceive any information outside the context of Bush. Facts either hurt Bush or help him. The Left magnifies those things that they believe hurt Bush's chance at re-election, and the Right does the opposite. The Abu Ghraib scandal is a prime example. Almost immediately, most on the Right began the type of equivocation common to the Left since 9/11. Now with the Nick Berg story, they can downplay Abu Ghraib and focus on something that they think supports Bush. This has nothing to do with principle, what's right, or even what's actually going on. It's about politics. It's about keeping Bush in office or trying to kick him out.

I'm not buying Stryker's explanation. I might post something on this later, if his theory gets enough traction.

UPDATE 2: For information on the beheading of Paul Johnson ... click.

We've got a traffic tsunami in progress here. Normally, I get between 300 and 500 visits to my site per day (according to Sitemeter). Yesterday I suddenly broke 6,000 ... all from searches related to Nick Berg. I noticed that LGF was reporting a spike, and WizBang got flooded too. Backcountry Conservative is seeing the same thing, as are small dead animals and Single Southern Guy. I'll post a snapshot of the blog traffic rankings for yesterday and today when TTLB updates the page to reflect the surge. At the moment, I'm on track to crack ~12,000 visits today.

Any ideas about the implications of this massive hunt for the Nick Berg footage?

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UPDATE: It's 3:15 AM, and Rantburg is down.

UPDATE 2: Paul at WizBang sees an opportunity to serve the public.

UPDATE 3: Instapundit collects the best highlights here.

UPDATE 4: Catallarchy has a thought-provoking post that ponders the impact on warfare of instant media coverage of events. Tentative prediction: it's a good thing. I'm inclined to agree.

Adam at Single Southern Guy reflects on the traffic tsunami; no answers yet, but he's digging. I think I'll grab my hardhat and join in.

UPDATE 5: Seldom Sober writes an open letter to people looking for the Nick Berg video.

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