BlogHer launches group weblog

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The BlogHer organizers have relaunched their website as an aggregated group weblog (these seem to be all the rage these days: BlogHer [beta] | Where the women bloggers are.
It looks like a cool site, well worth reading and the stream of blog posts definitely adds more value than simply promoting the conference, which is also in and of itself a cool thing (at least the first one, last year, was, and I expect this year’s follow up to be just as good) but isn’t quite as “sticky” as website content once you’ve signed up to attend.
I imagine there’s a small risk of alienating newer women bloggers and reinforcing the idea that there’s a clique or inner circle that is featured, but an open policy for inclusion should help mitigate that risk.

Beastblog dormant since November

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I know what it’s like trying to get people to contribute to a group blog when it’s not their only bloggish outlet. They tend to forget about it, lose their passwords, stop coming by. It’s hard to establish a foreign-blogging habit. So I’m not entirely surprised that even though I believe a fair number of really good East Bay bloggers have access to Beast Blog, the poor thing has had no new posts since November of last year.
I keep asking Peter Merholz to give me a login, but no such luck. Then again I’d probably become a slacker too after a burst of enthusiasm. I failed to take advantage of posting access to CultureKitchen (before it moved to Civicspace) and Greater Democracy, and Micah Sifry has to guilt me every once in a while into posting to my blog at Personal Democracy. I’m no doubt even forgetting other sites I have technical access to.
Still, I don’t have a real local Oakland / East Bay theme on any of my blogs, and there are times when I’d like to post local news or happenings to BeastBlog.

Boing Boing publishes hearsay

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Over at Uncle John’s blog we’ve been covering the recent Deadhead controversy in a teapot concerning the removal (or rather, prevention of downloading) of 2300 Grateful Dead shows from the Live Music Archive.
There are many theories and suppositions floating out there about what motivated the change in policy, as well as a fair amount of disinformation (for example, the music will remain in the archive for perpetuity, but for the time being the soundboards can no longer be freely downloaded or listened to via the site).
In covering the story, Boing Boing quotes an anonymous reader and accepts that person’s theory about who is behind the policy change and why: Boing Boing: Greedy Grateful Dead widow burns down online show-library.
It’s traditional in rock ‘n’ roll to blame the wives and widows (see also Yoko), and this kind of explanation also serves to let the heroic rockstars off the hook for what their handlers decide on their behalf.
While I’m in general sympathy with Cory Doctorow’s philosophy regarding the sharing of the Dead’s music and free culture in general, it appears that he didn’t bother to do any original reporting at all. If he had he would have learned that the Deadheads are still free to trade recordings as they always have, “acting as unpaid, volunteer evangelists for” the band.

Ken Layne's new gig

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Sploid – I’ll read it (via Buzzmachine’s STOP THE PRESS(ES)! Denton v. Drudge! post):

STOP THE PRESS(ES)! Denton v. Drudge!

: Nick Denton launches his newest site today: News with attitude.

Sploid will go live at midday with BIG HEADLINES! and TOP NEWS! and WEIRD NEWS! and a TABLOID MENTALITY — which is to say, honest news judgment that gets to the point of the story.

Its take on John Paul II: “POPE LEFT SECRET LETTER.” On Peter Jennings: “JENNINGS FEARS LOSING ANCHOR HAIR.” On politics: “DELAY’S FAMILY EARNED BIT $$$ FROM LOBBYISTS.”

It delivers the headlines worth talking about, like Drudge. But it looks better — like a cheesy German tabloid. And it puts the top news on top, where it should be.

And it won’t spare Drudge’s sacred cows. Denton says Sploid’s politics are “anarcho-capitalist” — think libertarian without the wacky shit. They’ll go after the stupid and slothful on the left and the right and won’t be afraid — unlike Drudge — to call media on its fawning over the pope.

Sploid is being written/edited/spat out by Choire Sicha, former Gawker… and by Ken Layne, everybody’s favorite blogger and a founder of the lost and lamented online Tabloid who hasn’t blogged in too f’ing long… and Henry Seltzer, a Gawker Media stalwart. This is an incredible team.

: See also Joe Hagan’s story in the Observer about Drudge v. Sploid v. Huffington. Drudge is being very huffy about his new competitors. He sounds just like big media when he came along. Well, of course, he is big media now.

Glassdog challenges Boing Boing to come clean

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Quoting from Boing Boing, Ka-Ching Ka-Ching:

The thing is, it really is about love. They’ve been at it for too long for it not to be. Which is exactly why they need to come clean, why they need to explain themselves, to correct the lingering white lies. I don’t care how many ads the site has, I don’t care how much money they make – I care that the justification for them is so wildly misleading, so ridiculously so out of date. So – forgive the term – corporate. So PR.

Ponyboy makes a good point. No one begrudges Boing Boing paying its own way, but it can’t have its indie cred and eat it too.