Monday, September 06, 2004

Watching Boomsday Sideways and Beyond the Esplanade are the two pieces of one day's Knox-centric blogging. Eventually I'll not only sort out what I have to say, but where to say it.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I've been very happy with the tabbed browsing feature and pop-up blocking of the Firefox browser on my Mac, so now I've installed it on this new (to me) office PC. Along with the browser, I'm experimenting with a Google toolbar extension.

The toolbar's "blog this (with Blogger)" item inspired this round of updates to my old Blogger blog. I've also loaded the Sage RSS reader extension and a few trial RSS feeds, including some from the Washington Post. One of them led me to this item about the personal impact of personal blogging: Blog Interrupted...

All in all, this has been a fine way to test the "blog this," RSS, toolbar, Blogger's new editing features, the browser and my new keyboard, all at once. So far so good. But remembering to eat dinner would have been a good idea, too.
WDVX is providing the background music for my new life in Knoxville... but will be doing so very softly until I get some speakers for this new office PC.
Notes about blogging and journalism: Wired interview with Dan Gillmor about his new book

(This really belongs in my other blog, but I have two minutes of battery time left...)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Blog by mail test #3

The first two trials (below) seem to indicate that the e-mail to blog
approach deletes HTML anchor tags. I'll go back and look for online
documentation when I have a chance. I'll also try posting something
from my Handspring TREO e-mail while I'm out.


This is another test of blogging by e-mail, to see if HTML links work
like this: or like this href="">this.

I wish other organizations I belonged to were as liberal about membership fees as the American Sociological Association's sliding scale.

This is a trial of posting to a Blogger weblog by
e-mail. The original link didn't work until I went back to Blogger to fix the link code HTML. I'll try again and leave the new post uncorrected.

For a friend who noticed some hint of Jakob Nielsen influence on my home page, I admit there's plenty of room for improvement. Andrei Herasimchuk summarizes it all better than I do here, with seven examples: Design by Fire: Gurus v. Bloggers, Round 1

We all know Nielsen’s faults. He’s put them on display so often in the past there’s no reason to bring them up again. (Ok. Here are some: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.) To add insult to injury, Nielsen can be a bit, shall we say, overbearing. Having said that, can Nielsen’s blinding color system, poor layout and unreadable typography be forgiven for someone who is attempting to convert designers towards better usability practices? Not in this lifetime.
Blogger is now promoting Feedburner as a way to generate RSS feeds for Blogger sites. The actual RSS section of its feed creation page is buried a ways down in the format selections, which appear designed to meet a lot of other purposes.

Here's a test of the two RSS feeds it creates, both based on the Atom feed, which doesn't put full contents into the feed, one of the common attributes of RSS 2.0 feeds from weblogs like Scripting News and Other Journalism.
Atom: atom
RSS 2.0:
RSS 1.0 (RDF)
Phil Ringnalda launched a healthy discussion thread with this catchy headline: phil ringnalda dot com: Holy Crap! That's Blogger?: "Holy Crap! That's Blogger?"
New look for Blogger, new way to put things here
I'm posting this with a "blog this!" plugin for FireFox, and just discovered that if I select a sentence in the page I'm viewing before I choose the "blog this" right-mouse-button menu item, the highlighted text -- not the page name -- becomes the anchor for the bloglink... Example, concerning Blogger's new look: Blogger Knowledge: "The best and brightest web designers around created twenty six new templates for you to choose from; bringing the total up to thirty three Blogger template designs."

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I'm curious about combining a program like Qualrus: Idea Works, Inc. with video and audio recording, text notes and PC screen capture or PC monitoring software, such as SpyAgent or Wiretap Professional to create a record of personal interaction with a computer.
Two content management systems to look at: | community plumbing and the latest version of Plone. I'm also trying a new "Blog This!" plugin for Mozilla Firefox.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The Official Commonwealth of Virginia Home Page took me by surprise when I was looking for RSS feeds. Maybe there's a secret plan to change the state license plate slogan to "Virginia is for LoveRSS?"
Feeding Frenzy? I just discovered that this neglected Blogger site of mine generates both RSS and Atom feeds, but for some reason the last couple of posts didn't show up in the Atom version. This is a test (obviously).

It could be that publishing the previous update with NewsMonster generated the XML feed, while making this one directly in Blogger revived the Atom feed.

Friday, April 09, 2004

NewsMonster is mentioned below without a link, so adding one seems like the right thing to do. NewsMonster turns Mozilla into a three-panel RSS aggregator. Alas, the wizards at Blogger-Google don't include an RSS feed in these free Blogspot accounts, and Newsmonster doesn't yet support the new Atom format that B/G is promoting.
The Occupational Adventure (sm) Blog: Getting unstuck OK, nothing is quite as "sticky" as trying to write about a dozen aggregators at once, with a deadline that coincides with a certain IRS one... so I'm quite happy to have stumbled on Curt Rosengren's blog. I followed a link to it from Steven Cohen's Library Stuff. Actually, having two real deadlines actually helps with the unsticking, providing the "Future focus" he mentions.
300 Years of News Aggregation?
As part of my research on XML feed aggregators, I'm trying the NewsMonster aggregator, which installs into Mozilla and lets me subscribe to an RSS feed with a right mouse-click.
While doing that, I noticed that the right mouse button menu also has a "blog this with Blogger" item on the menu, so I'm giving it a try. I knew I was keeping this old blog around for something!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Blogger is now offering "Atom" syndication feeds, a standard different from the RSS syndication feeds used by my other blogs. Although I don't blog regularly here these days, I've activated the feed and added this item to see what it looks like.

The Atom file is called "atom.xml" and is located at this blog's main folder:

I knew it wouldn't work, but attempted to subscribe to it with my usual aggregators (Radio and NetNewswire) to see what would happen. Both are designed for RSS XML feeds, and both failed. Radio's message says, "[Macro error: Can't evaluate the expression because the name "channeltitle" hasn't been defined.]"

One interesting feature of the Atom feed is that its XML file includes a link to a stylesheet, which tells browsers how to display the file in human-readable format, although the feed is really meant to be read by an aggregator. Radio's RSS files are also XML, but with no stylesheet.

The human-readable version is the weblog itself, at, which you can also get to from my homepage or through my shortcut at

I don't have time to read all the debate about the RSS syndication format or the reasons Blogger (owned by Google) decided to use Atom instead. RSS works for me and for places I read -- including The New York Times, the BBC, and my weblogging friends at Harvard and MIT. From my point of view as a user, RSS lives up to its name as "Really Simple Syndication," in addition to being my Dad's initials.