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Tag: blogging

Blog to write, tweet to fight

Sunday, 25 March, 2018 0 Comments

That, by the way, is the follow up to the “blog to reflect, tweet to connect” meme of recent years. Background: Dan Cohen is a history professor at Northeastern University in Boston known for his focus on what some people call the “digital humanities.” He’s also a blogger and in a recent post titled “Back to the Blog” he wrote about the pleasure of traditional blogging compared to the thrill of posting on social media. In essence, it’s about leaving the Facebook & Twitter noise behind and taking ownership of one’s own intellectual property, but there’s more. Snippet:

“I met many people through Twitter who became and remain important collaborators and friends. But the salad days of ‘blog to reflect, tweet to connect’ are gone. Long gone. Over the last year, especially, it has seemed much more like ‘blog to write, tweet to fight.’ Moreover, the way that our writing and personal data has been used by social media companies has become more obviously problematic — not that it wasn’t problematic to begin with.

Which is why it’s once again a good time to blog, especially on one’s own domain.”

Still, it’s a labour of love because the advertising that once supported bloggers has been hoovered up by the web giants, and then there’s the enormous advantage of numbers the platforms possess. Cohen: “Human beings are social animals and centralized social media like Twitter and Facebook provide a powerful sense of ambient humanity — the feeling that ‘others are here’ — that is often missing when one writes on one’s own site. Facebook has a whole team of Ph.D.s in social psychology finding ways to increase that feeling of ambient humanity and thus increase your usage of their service.”

Talking about animals and the loneliness of the long-distance blogger (classical reference), George R.R. Martin summed it up, grimly, in A Game of Thrones: “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”


Ben Bernanke blogs

Monday, 30 March, 2015 0 Comments

Andrew’s Burnt Out? Blogs Are, Too” wrote Ana Marie Cox on 29 January, when it emerged that Andrew Sullivan was given up blogging. Sullivan’s Dish had persisted in various forms over 13 years and THE END was seen as the final blow to a self-centered, self-publishing activity encrusted with billions of unread words. But wait: “Blogging is very much alive – we just call it something else now,” responded Mathew Ingram of GigOm two days later. The irony of this is that GigOm itself expired on 9 March.

Actually, despite the headlines, blogging continues and a new name has been added to the blogroll: Ben Bernanke, who served two terms as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank. His first post is titled “Inaugurating a new blog” and it contains this piece of modest wisdom: “I hope to educate, and I hope to learn something as well.” That’s the blogging spirit, Ben. Question: Why are interest rates so low?

Ben Bernanke blog

UPDATE: Reuters informs us that blogging, in some parts of the world, is a deadly dangerous expression of freedom: “A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.”


Dave Winer went first

Thursday, 16 October, 2014 0 Comments

“I am a programmer and a blogger. In both these roles, I like to go first. If there’s a juicy idea out there to explore, I’m on it! That’s the role I played in the birth of blogging, starting on October 7, 1994.” So writes Dave Winer in Medium. He continues: “Because the power of the press belongs to people who have one, I realized how huge a change this was. Now publishing costs were zero. The only thing that stood in the way were basic practices for writers and programmers.”

After all these years and all that writing, Winer remains indefatigable. Over at Scripting News, he keeps pumping it out. Posts range in title from “Why I generally don’t tag” to “Are Twitter and Facebook silos?” How does he do it? On 28 September, he published “My manifesto for web writing.”


The power of WordPress

Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 0 Comments

WordPress “We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time,” say the creators of the open-source software that powers the likes of Rainy Day and some 60 million other sites. What began as a basic blogging tool back in 2003 has since matured into a full-featured content management system and now it’s transforming the digital look and feel of the venerable New Yorker.

“With the relaunch, NewYorker.com runs on WordPress, a more robust, user-friendly CMS,” writes John Brownlee in Fast Company. The article is titled “How The New Yorker Finally Figured Out The Internet: 3 Lessons From Its Web Redesign.” Quote: “Because the tools are no longer getting in the way of producers doing their job, NewYorker.com is now able to publish a greater volume of stories every day. The site used to top out at 10 or 12 stories each day: now, it publishes around 20 per day.”

By the way, Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, says the future of the system is in social, mobile, and as an application platform.


Blogging for a free world

Tuesday, 17 December, 2013 0 Comments

Recently, Jeffrey Zeldman had dinner with Tantek Çelik, who “lamented that there was no longer any innovation in blogging — and hadn’t been for years. I replied by asking if anyone was still blogging.” In the ensuing “blog” post, Zeldman posed more questions: “Did Twitter and Facebook kill blogging? Was it withdrawal of the mainstream spotlight? Did people stop independently writing and publishing on the web because it was too much work for too little attention and gain? Or did they discover that, after all, they mostly had nothing to say?” He does not deliver specific answers, but true to his passionate self he concludes by exhorting us to “Keep blogging in the free world.”

As regards Tantek Çelik’s complaint about the lack of innovation in blogging, serial entrepreneur Kevin Rose, founder of Digg and now a member of the Google Ventures team, is toying with a new blogging tool called Tiny.

Tiny won’t cause Twitter any sleepless nights but that’s not the point says Om Malik, who titles his latest post, “In 12 years of blogging, the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Snippet:

“I don’t really need to change anything — just continue to have a point of view (an informed one), to curate things — photos, videos, links that amplify that point of view — and tie everything together on my blog.

If you look around the media landscape, the media darlings of the moment — BuzzFeed and Upworthy — are doing essentially that, curating a world overrun with information and content and packaging it up for fast-food like consumption. Using the social web to share these content equivalent of McNuggets at massive scale is sheer genius and that is why they are worthy of all the adulation they are getting.

That doesn’t mean you and I can’t do the same. We’ll just do it at a different scale, at a different tempo and with a different lens — our own.”

Exactly.


WordPress @ 10 today

Monday, 27 May, 2013 0 Comments

Word Press update The very first version of the WordPress blogging software saw the light of day a decade ago today. Among the advances it offered back on 27 May 2003 were “Highly Intelligent Line Breaks”. The “brand new function” added “line breaks except where there is already a block level tag or another line break,” promised 19-year-old programmer Matt Mullenweg. Today, WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System. And, according to the “State of the Word,” it’s getting bigger every day.

Although it powers the likes of TechCrunch, Engadget and Business Insider, WordPress was not designed to make Matt Mullenweg rich — it’s free. Because of that, WordPress has enabled many bloggers and enterprises to publish dynamic content economically, effectively and efficiently and, this is important, to monetize it. To earn some money from his coding, Mullenweg founded Automattic in 2005 and the company was in the news last week when it announced a $50 million investment from hedge fund and private-equity investor Tiger Global.

The recent sale of Tumblr to Yahoo for $1.1 billion shows that blogging has become big business. The money is out there and it’s chasing the platforms with the right numbers. Next up? Keep an eye on Medium, the brainchild of Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone. Other contenders include Soup.io from Vienna, Overblog from Paris and Salon.io from Berlin.

Rainy Day is proud to publish with WordPress.


Happy Birthday! 10 this year

Wednesday, 9 May, 2012

The Rainy Day blog is 10 years old this year. What began on 1 May 2002 was inspired by the outrage that followed the 9/11 terror attacks on the US, much of which found expression in blogging. The format was still young back then and becoming a blogger was, if not quite subversive, adventurous and […]

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