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I was recently reminded of just how little most people know about how things work here @ LISNews. The reminder came in the form of an attack (followed by an apology), but rather than let it get me down, I thought I'd post some of the many things I've written about LISNews in the past few years. I've been running LISNews since 1999 and I've written enough to bore anyone to death. I've written about how the code works, how the server works, the people, the writing, and just about everything else you can imagine. I've written waaay more than I thought I'd ever write about a stupid little web site and on lunch today I did some digging.
Since you probably don't know much about LISNews, here's links to further reading where you can read till your eyes bleed. Some day I'll pull this together in a more readable format, but for now, the best place to learn about all things LISNews was my series I posted for CIL:
LISNews: A Brief History
LISNews: Strengths and Weaknesses
LISNews: Many Facets for Many People
LISNews: Past, Present, and Mostly Future
LISNews: Technical Details
LISNews: The people (Including me)
LISNews: The Story Behind The Stories
If that's not enough for you, try these three: The dysfunctional LISNews family, The Anonymous Patron Account, and The great moderator conspiracy all cover stuff that'll interest you as a participant. It's about people mostly.
Still not enough? Well I've written plenty more! If you want to know more about my crazy theories, try
Random LISNews Bits Again, and Jobs @LISNews? where we discussed a division of labor, and a follow up, More On The Jobs @LISNews. A few more like that, On ombudsmen, feedback and reporting, more theory on how to make LISNews better. Comments some thoughts on comments and commenting. A related post could be Ten Thousand Comments and So, how can off-topic be so popular?. I like when I try and think about how to make LISNews better, like in Here's To The Ineluctable Future and So, To Blog Or Not To Blog, not 100% LISNews, but might be interesting. What's our next step? on how to improve LISNews, thoughts on making it 2.0. The LISEchoChamber, one I took quite a few hits for.
If you're curious about how I find stories, Bringing You The LISNews, is mostly on how I find stories to post. We're On A Mission trying to write a mission. Writing 4 LISNews was a call for more original
writing. Some Thoughts On Popularity
A Longer Look At The LISNews Numbers When I had more time I used to look at stats alot more, here's a good explanation. Why didn't you post my story covers why a story may not have been posted. Anonymous Patron Account: Help or Hindrance?, you can guess what that's about.
You are stuck with what we find interesting on any given day, how we choose stories.
Keeping Up With The LISNewsterz, more on comments and moderation.
Friday Rambling Thoughts is mostly LISNews related, more thinking from me.
Friends and Foes and Such tells you how to filter your own comments and people. Messages You Can Get From LISNews is another code-related story.
I just wanted to say a public Thank You to everyone who kicked in a buck or twenty to help me pay for LISNews. Over the years LISNews has cost me hundreds of dollars, but this year will be different thanks to everyone listed below. I'll send out personal thank yous to everyone, but I also wanted to let everyone else know LISNews is all paid up for 2007.
Long time readers of LISNews news know that LISNews isn't a big corporation, it's an all volunteer effort. We're just a bunch of bloggers who post stories in our spare time. Over the past 7 years we've moved from server to server, and while we've found a good home finally, it's not free. I alone pay to keep things running, and do all the work on the backend. I pay $40 a month for hosting, and though I really do love LISNews like a son, I can't afford to throw away 500 bucks a year, so this year, like some years in the past, I'm asking for your help.
Last year the Google Ads paid for the server, but this year I'd like to keep it ad free if possible, and go begging for the $500+ I need to pay for hosting (minus the taxes I pay on the money I raise) our little community.
You can use the PayPal Link Here, my address is Here as well if you'd like to send a check, or let me know if you'd like to help in another way.
Update: 01/05 13:27 GMT by B :I think we're about half way there already! Thanks to everyone who has helped so far.
Looks like we're about there. Assuming a few checks show up in the mail LISNews will cost me very little this year.
Many thanks to everyone who helped this year!! I'll be emailing thanks, and make one more post next week. -- Read More
I need some help tracking down a pesky bug in the Suggest A Story page. The page will occasionally return nothing when you preview and/or submit a story. I can't reproduce the issue to save my life, so I need more people to bang on the page and send me the results when this error occurs.
To help me solve this problem I'm asking you to make up some stories, and attempt to submit them just like any real story. I'm hoping the page will fail for someone, and that someone can share with me the contents of the failure via the Contact Us form (or via email).
So take some time and Suggest A Story, or two, or three, or four. It doesn't really matter what you submit. Here's the important part: If it fails (look for an empty page), show me the problem code. I need to see the HTML of that blank page, view the source, and send it to me. It's also important I know what browser and operating system you're using. Use the Contact Us form, or email it to blake at lisnews .com Anyone who succeeds in failing and sends me the HTML can have an LISNews email account! Just a quick clarification, the bug I'm looking for here returns a page that is blank in the middle. (There is another bug that will return the same thing again and again if you've already submitted a story in the past 5 minutes. It should return an error screen that says you're submitting again too soon. Instead it just shows you your submission again and again, I'm looking for the blank page bug)
Update: 05/13 01:00 GMT by B :Still nothing! Keep those tests coming!
The newest version of Slashcode just got dropped into place this weekend by our Hosts and there's a few new features that you might want to play with.
The first is tagging. If you're not familiar with tagging already, you might find it an interesting idea. Tags have been around for a while as a system for users to categorize (aka catalog) web pages. It's hard to compare tagging to "real" cataloging, since tags are by nature uncontrolled, but you could think of tagging as a very chaotic form of cataloging. You are encouraged to use this feature to submit a handful of tags: brief labels that you think best describe any article. You might choose to say that this is an article about 'books' and 'google'
The Slashcode guys describe this as "all very beta", which means it's in the early stages of development, it may be buggy, and it might change substantially in the future. It also means it's short on a lot of really neat features it *could* be doing.
The core developers say they don't know exactly how this will all work, and a lot of it really
depends on how many people participate. If you choose to add your own tags, be aware:
It's still brand new, so any ideas you have on how it can be better used, please feel free to let me know.
You might also notice an odd title appearing from time to time on the index page. That's another new feature that allows sectional content to come out from hiding and show itself on the home page. CmdrTaco Explains All over on Slashdot. Essentially anything posted into the sections will peak out on the homepage now. It allows us to fit more good stuff into the same space. I'll be adding a few more new plugins soon that will add some new features that should be fun to use.
I've had 2 reports of troubles with the suggest a story form that I can't duplicate. Judging from the number of submissions over the past few days I'm guessing that it's a common problem?
I can't seem to find anything wrong, when I try to submit stories it works just fine, so I need your help. Please Let Me Know if you can't get a story through. If you could send me the story and let me know what browser you're using that would be great too!
If you're reading this, you are looking at the new LISNews server.
There is a slim chance that if you posted a comment or anything else to the old server at about 10:30 EST it didn't make it to the new server.
Other than that, if you spot any trouble, let me know.
This will be the last week to win a spiffy new Renaissance Library Calendar. Everyone who submits a storyr has a chance to win a Renaissance Library Calendar. The Renaissance Library Calendar 2006 features two libraries
which have been honoured with UNESCO awards in 2005. Biblioteca Palafoxiana, (the Palafoxiana Library) in Puebla,
Mexico, dating from 1646, and the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium,
including its extensive library, dating from 1563.
You can see each of the 12 libraries featured in the 2006 edition Here, which shows a bigger picture of the Calendar's back cover. You can also check out the the first five editions of the Renaissance Library Calendar.