Writing about blogging or just blogging

LISNews Is Going To BlogWorldExpo: Anything You'd Like To Hear About?

The LISNews Podcast (LISTen) team is gathering ideas and concepts to inquire about with BlogWorldExpo exhibitors. This PDF (Or the Website) has the exhibitors listed with brief descriptions of what they do as well as their websites. Full questions need not be posed, just areas to explore.

If there is anything you'd like to hear about in a future LISTen podcast, please let us know.

You have about a week to get your questions in, we would need to hear back from you and others via e-mail by late night on September 17th.

The 2008 BlogWorld & New Media Expo will take place September 20-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to the only industry-wide exhibition, BlogWorld features the largest blogging conference in the world including more than 50 seminars, panel discussions and keynotes from iconic personalities on the leading-edge of online technology and internet-savvy business.

Stephen also wrote something in the matter.

What New Blogs Are You Reading? Let Walt Know

Walt's finishing up Phase 1 of The Liblog Landscape, 2007-2008: A Lateral View (possibly not the final title). Phase 1 has two parts: Identifying liblogs that should be part of the study/survey, and doing the blog-level metrics for those blogs.

Right now, the list consists of 587 blogs. You can see the list here (yes, it’s in alphabetical order, leaving out initial articles and symbols), or click on the last of the “Pages” in the right column (which gets you to the same list).

If you know of a blog or blogs that meet the criteria below and aren’t currently on the list, let Walt know–either by commenting here or by sending me email at waltcrawford, domain


Comments, Commentors, Spammers and Mollom

LISNews has been running on Drupal for about a year now. Before that we ran on Slashcode for a few years, before that it was PHPSlash for a couple years, and even before that I did it all by hand. If you run (or read) blogs you know comment spam is a big problem. If all you do is run or read a blog you actually have NO idea just how bad it really is. I'd estimate about 80% of all POST requests to all the LISHosted sites are spammers. When I have LISNews on the LISHost servers I worked hard at fine tuning the mod_security rules to combat spam.

Within hours of moving to Ibiblio I could see they have very different rules, and I'd need to do something else. I'm actually surprised just how good my rules were working. So I turned on CAPTCHAs. I tried some images, reCAPTCHA, Math, and finally the basic text CAPTCHAs to fight spam. They also worked. A few weeks ago I got a complaint that the CAPTCHAs were getting in the way. This wasn't the first time, so I thought I'd try something new, I turned to Mollom.

I was shocked that within a day the number of comments went up. It's been a few weeks now, and I continue to be shocked at the number of comments we're seeing. Mollom is doing a decent job blocking spam, but more importantly it's letting more people comment. The bad guys are kept out (for the most part) and the good guys have a very low hurtle to get over. (Or at least I think so. If the current trend holds, then I'll be convinced that it is indeed Mollom and not just a coincidence). Two charts that illustrate what I'm seeing on this end

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Microsoft adds privacy tools to IE8

Microsoft Corp. today spelled out new privacy tools in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) that some have dubbed "porn mode" in a nod to the most obvious use of a browser privacy mode.

A privacy advocate applauded the move, calling it a "great step forward," while rival browser builder Mozilla Corp. said it is working to add similar features to a future Firefox.

The Second Amendment

The other night something bad happened at the home of someone close to me. I'll tell you part of the story today, and I'll give you the rest of the story later in the week. I'm curious about how you think it ended based on your feelings about guns and gun control. This is one of those stories that people use to point out how right they are to be on whatever side they choose to be on. So here's the story, tell me your ending based on whether or not you're for or against having a gun in the house. I'm repeating this exactly as it happened last week. This house is located on an upscale, quiet suburban street.

A woman in her early 40s accidentally fell asleep on her family room couch Saturday night. She was watching TV, exhausted, she nodded off around 10pm. Several hours later, she was woken by a loud pounding on her front door. Confused, unsure of the time and disoriented she jumped to her feet, stumbled to the door and opened it, thinking it must be her son returning from being out at the movies.

She quickly realized it wasn't her son, but someone trying to get in the house. It turned out to be a thirty something year old man screaming "they're trying to kill me" as he tried to push his way into the house. She pushed back and managed to hold him off until her husband woke up and ran downstairs…

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Does a Critical Remark About Opinions Expressed By a Commenter or Blogger On Another Blog Constitute Bullying?

There's been a "big debate/kerfuffle/brouhaha brewing in the legal blogosphere" over whether re-posting someone’s personally identifiable comment made on another blog to your own blog post without first notifying the author and giving them notice and opportunity to respond, constitutes bullying in the blogosphere. Another issue embedded in this opportunity to respond matter is whether one should use trackbacks to ping a blogger's post when one criticizes the opinion express in that post.

Lessons Learned After Twitter Blackout

Recently two librarians had their accounts torched by Twitter due to coming up in an anti-spam sweep. Their accounts were considered to have been false positives and it took time for access to be restored. Two librarians in particular, Connie Crosby and Patricia Anderson, were affected.

As an aid to others, Anderson has posted a lessons learned review. In light of the recent Gmail outage some lessons are worth considering in other contexts.

Toward a Global Liblog Survey

Toward a Global Liblog Survey: Walt Writes About a really neat looking project.

"So I’m just barely halfway through. If I average five blogs a day from here on out, I should be done with this phase around the end of September. If I average ten blogs a day, I’d be done in early September. My current target–taking into account Cites & Insights, columns, mental health, maybe a short vacation–is 50 blogs a week, which should get me through the whole list right around the time I turn 63..."

Cops sue to get names of bloggers

The head of the Memphis police department has sued to find out the names of bloggers who post information critical of his department. The City has asked that AOL turn over the identities of AOL addresses that have posted to the blog <A HREF="'>noted the Memphis <i> Commercial Appeal</i></A>.

Infectious disease surveillance 2.0: Crawling the Net to detect outbreaks

"July 8, 2008 (Computerworld) While recent outbreaks of salmonella in the U.S. have made headlines, an automated real-time system that scours the Web for information about disease outbreaks spied early reports in New Mexico about suspicious gastrointestinal illnesses days before the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an official report on the problem.

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a difficult time, a difficult task

At there is an entry titled "a difficult time, a difficult task"

It opens with: I work occasionally as a fill-in librarian at a local public library that serves a community of about 5,000 people. This is the community I am moving to next month, up the road from where I live now, and while technically it puts me out of the “rural” designation, it’s still pretty rural. Last week and the week before there was a horrible tragedy that rocked the whole community. Short form: a local girl Brooke Bennett, went missing and her body was discovered a few days ago. The most likely suspect at this point is an uncle who is on the state sex offender list.

First off let me say that I’m quoting from news stories only. Our official staff position is “no comment” and I’m sticking to that. Here is why this is a library issue.

Full entry here.

Lawyer Seriously Slapped Down For SLAPP Attempt Against Librarian Blogger

We've covered the concept of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits plenty of times before. These are bogus lawsuits filed to try to bully a critic into shutting up. In one such case, involving an incredibly broad subpoena against a librarian blogger compiling information on the potential link between mercury and autism, a magistrate judge has seriously smacked down the lawyer who filed the subpoena.

Full article at Techdirt


Twitter Scooped NBC on Russert's Death

In the world of broadcast news, it's normally a given courtesy that, when a well known news personality dies, the station they worked for will be the first to break the news after the family has been notified. It's one of the unwritten rules of journalism.

In the case of beloved NBC newsman Tim Russert, Twitter scooped the massive network on the big story.

Turns out that a minor lackey at the station heard the news and, assuming it was public knowledge, edited Russert's Wikipedia page to reflect the death. Someone at the station caught it, which makes me wonder who they pay to watch Wikipedia, and changed it back some eleven minutes later.

Too late.

By the time they made the changes, the story was already out on Twitter.

The Associated Press still sucks, but so do we.

Usually I make a bad joke, or several, about an issue and then forget about it. But I found my way back to this issue through Angel Rivera and I have some extra thoughts.

Some bloggers want you to boycott the Associate Press because the AP want to limit fair use. They want to guarantee that they get some financial compensation from our using their property. Whether it's an ad or actual money, they feel that whatever they publish, they should control, completely. And then "fair use" will get a new definition created by them which will be completely one-sided and totally unfair. So for that, the AP sucks. If you agree with that, then click the link and join the boycott.

boycott the AP?

But I feel it is also we who suck. We right-click and paste content and links without giving proper attribution. If I wrote a formal paper and didn't credit my sources, you'd call me a plagiarist. So why doesn't anyone care when bloggers omit that source credit? If you intend to have your opinions taken seriously, you should be expected to cite your sources.

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How to Annoy a Public Librarian

<a href="">A funny anedote</a> from a SoCal librarian/blogger: 1) If the computer you're working at has icons, delete them all as soon as you finish your session. 2) Randomly shuffle books around in the non-fiction section. 3) Don't watch your children. 4) Remind them that you pay their salary. 5) Hide the newspaper.

The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs

The Associated Press, one of the nation’s largest news organizations, said that it will, for the first time, attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright.

The A.P.’s effort to impose some guidelines on the free-wheeling blogosphere, where extensive quoting and even copying of entire news articles is common, may offer a prominent definition of the important but vague doctrine of “fair use,” which holds that copyright owners cannot ban others from using small bits of their works under some circumstances. For example, a book reviewer is allowed to quote passages from the work without permission from the publisher.

Full article here.

"Peak Information": Libraries and the End of Oil

As society moves towards "peak oil" and an energy-poor future, what will the impact on libraries be? Will we be needing to prepare for "peak information" too? What of the future of electronic data when electricity is no longer cheaply available?

Would You Miss LISNews if it Vanished?

John Moore at Brand Autopsy Asked about Businessweek, now I'm curious about LISNews.

Does LISNews provide such a unique "publication" and reader experience that we would be saddened if it didn’t exist? Does LISNews forge such unfailing emotional connections with its readers that they would fail to find another website that could forge just as strong an emotional bond?

What do you want and expect from LISNews?
What makes (or could make) our website essential?

Have blogs been good for books?

In today's Observer Review, Robert McCrum writes about the effect of the last decade on the world of books. On balance, he thinks change has served global literature well: "What's not in doubt is that it's a huge democratic moment: more people than ever before are being able to share their ideas and feelings with a global audience, and to engage in a vivid contemporary dialogue about the meaning of culture, in books, film, music, theatre and art."

Peer Review, Journal Articles, and Blogs - an Example

In Peer Review, Journal Articles, and Blogs - an Example David Lee King takes a look at the slow pace of print, "My article is being published more than two years AFTER the original conversation took place", and his blog as a peer review tool, "To me, that’s true, useful peer review - instant feedback, criticism, and suggestions from my peers."

Now compare that with the traditional model of peer review - 2-4 anonymous reviewers who grant the right for an article to be published or not. No discussion, no conversation, no interaction. To respond, one has to either write a letter to the editor or write another article - in which case any true discussion is killed. Which is better peer review?


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