Will no one rid me of this troublesome spam?

· Best Practices

I wasn’t kidding about wanting a intern to volunteer for spam-destruction. As a perk I will offer posting privileges to the front page of this blog to anyone (who is already a blogger) who volunteers for this all-important spam squelching mode.
This requires both deleting spam and banning URLs daily but also noticing the patterns and coming up with a proposal for how to deal with this in the long run (move to WordPress or Scoop? what about wiki spam?).
(Note: I googled will no one rid me of this * and learned that the original Henry quotation vis-a-vis Thomas à Becket is alternately rendered as Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?, Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest? and – to my mind, the least likely as it makes less sense unless the meanings have really changed, or vice versa the most likely as having been replaced with other words if perhaps the meaning of turbulent has in fact changed (paging the OED) – Wll no one rid me of this turbulent priest?.)

How blogs die

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I declare this blog (Blogistan Editorial) a failure! How liberating to say so. Plus, it died, so we can dissect it without causing any further pain to the organism.
My theory, it’s a dry eddy off the mighty Mississipppi that is Radio Free Blogistan. We have a whole community out there and we’re conspiring the editorial management of the blog in this dusty backroom that we don’t even check much because it’s usually boring and it has a stupid lock on it and we don’t always carry that key.
The good news is I have a proposed solution. I imagine most of the things raised on this blog if spoken about in public would have been acted on by now, or at least sooner (than the never many of these things have ended in). I have to lead but not with rules but by example.
For instance, there are five of us and five working days a week. I am going to claim Wednesday and that will be the day that I will guarantee there’s at least one new good link, ideally before 9 am on the east coast.
No one else has to claim a day, but if you think it would be fun, then go ahead and claim another day. It’s almost like being the “guest editor” of the paper one day a week.
I would like to import this blog into the main one and keep it as as category anyone can read. Before I do that, I’d like a consensus that that’s OK and I’d like to give everyone a chance to read through their posts and redact anything that they wouldn’t have put in the public had they been expecting the cloaking to come off some day.
I guess I’ll trackback to this entry to form a weak link until we resolve this stagnant pool of an editorial backwater.

Scott Rosenberg blogs Seybold

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Scott writes:

I argued that it’s silly to talk about blogs “killing” print – that we keep getting stuck in a loop every time a new news distribution technology comes along, asking, will this “kill” its predecessor? Radio didn’t kill print, TV didn’t kill radio, the Net didn’t kill TV, and blogs won’t kill anything. Each new medium forces its predecessors to rethink what they do, and sometimes to revamp their business structures. Blogs are a fantastic way for individuals to enter the global conversation on the Net, to comment on the news and sometimes to break some news themselves. They don’t have to become Big Business to be important.

He also noted the sparse attendance. Some of it is due to the still persistent IT/tech downturn, for sure, but I think there’s also something interesting going on in that RSS is subverting some of the more rarified syndication formats (some of which were also addressed at the conference) just as weblogs – or at least lessons learned from the sucess of the weblog software interface – are a disruptive technology to the CMS giants that still lsponsor major sections of Seybold.
As a CMS consultant, I still know I can charge much more and it will take much longer to get a Vignette StoryServer, or Interwoven Teamsite, or Documentum implemented. For all but the most robust Fortune 500 type organizations, full featured CMSes like those are overkill. Expensive overkill.
With open source alternatives in the middle price range and high-end weblog tool (such as, perhaps, the forthcoming MovableType Pro) at a significantly lower price point, some subset of content strategy issues (such as keeping fresh content appearing on a site, search-engine optimization, and syndication decisions) can be addressed with weblog software, whether off-the-rack or home grown.
(Anyone already invested in a heavy-dute CMS can add weblogs virtually overnight. The trick is streamlining the web-form based interface, making sure the data model contains the right elements, inserting weblog hooks into existing page templates, and outputting permalinked archive pages and RSS.)
Robust eCMS systems and the associated professional services consulting isn’t going away (I got leads on several potentially interesting projectgs while at the conference), but for a growing segment of the web-development client base, weblog-type solutions are more than adequate.

Overheard at Seybold

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One of the POD guys waiting to get into a room to start their session:

The last panel was on blogs and they don’t want to get off the podium

(POD = print on demand)

Seybold SF, Day Two

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First of all, the WOW party at Chevy’s last evening was really fun.
I met some cool people from NCI (the National Cancer Institute), part of the US government’s department of Health and Human Services, who have developed a comprehensive set of web development best-practice guidelines that they will be distributing free soon via PDF. They surveyed most of the important research in numerous related fields (which should save a lot of “reinventing the wheel”) and have identified some areas where the evidence isn’t rigorous and more study would be warranted. I’ll post more info when I get it.
I got to hang out with WOW chair Bill Cullifer and co-chair Molly Holzschlag. I managed to introduce myself to Eric Meyer. I tried out my joke on him – “Are all your CSS gurus called Eric?” – and he said, “There’s just two.” (The other is Eric Costello.)
I talked to Adam Pratt from Adobe whose session on graphic optimization I’d enjoyed earlier in the day, and his friend whose name escapes me (we were drinking pitchers of margaritas, after all).
I saw from across the room but did not manage to catch up with Rebecca Blood and jjg. I hope they’re still around later in the week.
But that was just yesterday and I said I’d talk about today. I felt a tad hung over this morning and was still putting the finishing touches on my Blogging and RSS presentation up to the last minute before barreling downtown in my battered Tercel and BARTing from Oakland to downtown SF, where I arrived in my room almost exactly on time (a half hour before my 2 PM session).
Anyway, I think it went well. I was a little manic and silly, and I poured out a dense stream of information about weblogs and RSS that still managed to fit in the hour allotted. There was a little time for some (excellent) questions and some applause at the end, so I hope it was good for the audience. It definitely functioned as a nice dry run for my intensive tutorial Friday afternoon. I’ve included the powerpoint in the link above because who knows when Seybold will manage to put it online, and I did this presentation gratis for the WOW sequence, so I assume I can give away the content if I want.
There are some good sessions this afternoon, but I feel a little crash coming on. I’m sitting amidst an OSCOM hackathon/sprint with goals of (1) AtomAPI implentations and (2) WebDAV vs AtomAPI. To my left is Sam Ruby, across from me is Kevin Burton and at 2 o’clock is Steve Jenson. They are all silently deep in thought. It’s a little bit like a live version of the #joiito irc channel on freenode, with less chatter.
Oh, and at 5 PM there’s something called Meet Craig.

Seybold SF, Day One

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Attendance seems sparse today. I brushed up on browser compatability issues and learned a lot of useful tricks for optimizing graphics. I skipped a content-management session I was thinking of attending at the last minute. Going through the schedule, I see a lot of conflicts, so I’m glad I’ll be able to download the powerpoints and handouts after the fact to fill in the gaps.
Also, I got to say hello to Molly. There’s a reception at Chevy’s for WOW (Webmasters of the World) presenter tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 tonight and I’ll be there too.
My only complaint so far is the wireless access: nonexistent today and expected to be spotty for the rest of the week (mainly on the pavilion floor). This means the students in my weblog class will not be able to log in as a guest at my dummy Blogger blog, Still Blogging After All These Years, as I had hoped, which means more of me talking at the class and less hand’s-on tutorial doing. Oh well.