Singpolyma

Archive of "Blogging"

Archive for the "Blogging" Category

On Actionstreams and Blogging Your Own Work

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So first, the plugin.  I have basically ported the MT Actionstream plugin to WordPress (you can see it in action on my main page).  This is pretty cool, and it means we can easily share settings with other efforts.

New in this release is the ability to import a list of services from another page (like MyBlogLog or  FriendFeed) using SGAPI.

Code lesson: sometimes the WordPress docs lie.  They say that you pass a function name (or array with object reference and function name) to wp-cron hooks to schedule regular actions.  Not true.  You pass the name of a WordPress action (added with add_action).

Blogging Lesson: Blog your own work.  This plugin has been covered by at least four blogs now (more than most of my stuff) and not yet by me.  I just posted the plugin on the DiSo mailing list and people liked it.  I’m not complaining, but I’ll definately post my own stuff up front in the future!

Blogging vs. Commenting

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I’ve been reading Marc Andreessen’s blog for some time now, and have been ever impressed by the quality and range of content he’s putting out.  One of his recent posts dealt with some meta-conversation about blogging.  Is it better to comment or to post about something on your own blog?

He makes some great point against commenting.  Comments require filtering and moderation.  Comments also seem to encourage poorly written posts or small ‘me too’ which are not worth reading.

He also makes a rather big point about blogging.  Anyone can do it.  There are a number of free services (Blogger and WordPress.com among them) that let ANYONE EASILY blog.

I’m not ready to turn off comments here just yet, but I must say that this makes sense to me.  If you link to me I’ll find what you said.  If you trackback it still shows up here on the post.  I think there’s a place for commenting, maybe, but it’s definitely worth thinking about.

What do you think?  Comments, trackbacks, or both?

Survey: The Perfect Blogging Service

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You know what you want from your blogging service. If you use Blogger, you may have written a ‘Beef up Blogger‘-style post, even. Or a Beef up WordPress post. Or maybe even a Beef up Xanga post (yes, there are some real bloggers on Xanga). I at one point even had a rating breakdown to see how well blogging services matched up to my ideal! While my opinions have changed over time, one thing still remains – no service is perfect. No matter what you use there are things you wish your service could do. That’s why we have blog hacks!

This post is a survey. What is the perfect blogging service? We’re all going to answer differently, but hopefully some patterns will emerge. What features are important? Forget for a moment what is supported by your particular platform and just tell us what you want. Not what you wish you had, but what you want even if you have it. Trackback can be important to you even if you use WordPress. Maybe that’s why you’re using WordPress.

The purpose of this survey is not to determine one particular existing service that is the ‘perfect blogging service’, but rather to identify the feature set that is important to bloggers.

You can respond to this survey by leaving a comment on this post (probably preferred) or by writing a post on your blog and linking back here. I don’t trust blog search or backlinks, so I’d really appreciate trackback pings if you decide on the latter, or a comment with a link to your post.

Comment Blogging

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On some ‘closed’ blogging / forum services there are present some features you cannot, present, find elsewhere. One of the most prominent of these is the ability to see all comments by a particular user. Some people have decided to overcome this problem by posting their comments to del.icio.us. Johan Sundström at ecmanaut has come up with a Greasemonkey script to automate the process. This then allows you to have an RSS feed and aggregation page (powered nicely by del.icio.us) for all comments you place on other people’s blogs, and even to publish all or some of these comments to your sidebar. I fully agree with the concept here, however I believe that using del.icio.us in this manner is counterproductive, for a few reasons :

  1. Del.icio.us is about posting URLs, comments are content with often no proper URL themselves
  2. Del.icio.us is about tagging, and while there is much useful metadata that can be associated with a comment, I see little or no use in tagging it
  3. Because del.icio.us is not meant for this application, many features that would be useful to comments are not and will never be implemented (see below)

Viewing all comments by a particular person is certianly a useful option, even including comments posted on their own blog, however a way to filter them to just on other people’s blogs would be useful. Following all comments on a particular post is certianly also a useful option, since so many bloggers are forced to reply to comments via their blog and via email to make sure the reply is received. Following all comments for a particular blog would also be useful. While some of these features are already provided by some blogging platforms / services, they are rarely all offered and rarely in a conveniant way.

What we truly need is a new service, one that tracks comments (and possible trackbacks) from all blogs just as is being done now by those posting to del.icio.us. It could provide feeds and aggregation pages for all the features I’ve listed above, and probably many I haven’t thought of. Aggregation could also be merged in-service to one page / feed, much like the del.icio.us inbox, so that you could add posts / blogs to monitor the comments of without overcrowding your feedreader with feeds for old posts or even for all the blogs you comment on. A single feed is much more conveniant for such practise.

Johan’s Greasemonkey script could easily be modified to work with such a service instead of with del.icio.us, and independant bloggers could even integrate the comment-to-commentblogger link directly into their ‘your comment has been posted’ pages. Eventually, services like Blogger could theoretically even allow you to store your commentblogger username and password in your account and auto-post all your comments to your commentblogger account.

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