Category / Writing on the Web

Tyme’s Thoughts: Dave Winer to stop blogging

EDIT: I kept comments closed on this entry because I knew there would be some drama (there always is) every time I say something nice about Dave Winer. He always ends up doing “something”. This time it seems he’s screwing over Rogers Cadenhead, which of course I don’t agree with if it’s true (according to Dave it’s not). And he’s not going to stop blogging…not exactly. Don’t let the drama lose focus on my entry: bloggers should do what they feel comfortable doing – no blogger is indispensable, and whatever this drama is…it’s none of my business and doesn’t subtract from the contribution Dave made to blogging.

Dave Winer writes that he is going to stop blogging. Why? Here’s one reason:

Blogging doesn’t need me anymore. It’ll go on just as well, maybe even better, with some new space opened up for some new things. But more important to me, there will be new space for me. Blogging not only takes a lot of time (which I don’t begrudge it, I love writing) but it also limits what I can do, because it’s made me a public figure. I want some privacy, I want to matter less, so I can retool, and matter more, in different ways. What those ways are, however, are things I won’t be talking about here. That’s the point. That’s the big reason why.

Let’s keep is real shall we? Blogging doesn’t “need” anyone.

Every A-Lister could stop blogging at once and the “blogosphere” will continue on. Heck, there are large numbers of people who pray for that because the opinions of many of the A-Lister’s differ from the new younger bloggers. No one is indispensable. I agree with Dave that blogging made him a public figure. I sympathize with him wanting some privacy and I definitely understand where he might feel that we could do more if he wasn’t so focused on. The minute he writes about something it’s ripped apart, not necessarily by individuals with an open mind.

Scott Karp has his thoughts:

The counter-theory to blogs as media institutions is that blogs are “cults of personality,” i.e. Scripting News is Dave Winer, and thus has no value without him.

I read Scripting News because it’s Dave’s blog. The minute he stops writing or someone else starts writing there, they’ve lost my attention. Scripting News is not an impartial news source. The site is filled with Dave’s thoughts and opinions.

What I find interesting is that so many people would want Dave to continue writing when he no longer feels comfortable doing it. Let’s be honest. If Dave took a hiatus the minute he started blogging again the word would spread so fast…his traffic would be almost as he left it.

Bloggers should blog when and how they feel comfortable – nothing more, nothing less. Would I hate to see Dave stop blogging? Yes, but I would never be so selfish to put my desire to read his words over his desire to write and publish them.

9rules – SXSW Web Awards

9rules won Best Community/Wiki and Bryan won Best Blog. There aren’t words to describe my happiness. I would do a podcast but my voice is jacked. See….

Mike let me know that 9rules and Bryan won. My reaction at 2am? Jumping up and down screaming “YES!”. I don’t think Bryan thought he was going to win so I am reallyhappy for him.

Then the bad news…Scrivs is sick. I looked at some of the pictures from SXSW and noticed a couple of things:

1) Scrivs wasn’t in as many as I thought.
2) He didn’t look like he felt well.

It sucks to get sick right before a conference. Hope you’re feeling better soon Scrivs. Mike and Matt accepted the award, dedicated the award to Scrivs, and got the attending 9rulers onstage. Outstanding – someone better have photos of that. Yeah, I said better. It’s a moment dang it.

One thing that surprised me was the lack of updates coming out of SXSW. No live blogging. I never noticed that before…perhaps because I honestly didn’t have a reason to care. I noticed it this year…ouch.

When commercial blogs get personal

A new network launched called erati. Since I deal with commerical blogging I decided to check it out. I’m confused…are these David’s personal blogs or are readers supposed to be learning something about blog networks? Excuse me, only Scrivs’ networks at the moment.

A new network launched - Erati, a division of BlogMedia. So I’m checking out the network and I am assuming things are slow because of the holidays. That’s to be expected….what’s up with all the Scrivs’ posts? Blogerati is: “Blogerati is about blogging intelligently. Creating smart blog networks. This is the place I pick apart the blog networks, professional bloggers, and yes even the mainstream media bloggers.”

Did David talk about B5, Instablogs, where Nick Douglas disappeared to, OSM (that’s always a good one)? No…so far just Scrivs. This neutral blog has a very personal tone to it. It is supposed to be neutral, right?

Here are some examples:

“Fine Fools had absolutely no structure and that’s why I left. I cant speak for any one else. And I didnt run around recruiting people. They came to me.”

“My most trafficked portion of the site. So with a great design people came back. But they were only staying on that front page. And the right hand sidebar with no ads. Wasn’t paying off. I made more money standing on a corner in 4 minutes asking for a quarter than i did with Fine Fools.”

And another:

“Athough it will be fun watching 9rules get off the ground again. I wonder if they haven’t hurt their image by not communicating. The same issue happened at Fine Fools when bloggers began jumping ship. I wonder how long before 9Rulers begin jumping ship.”

And why is the fact that 9rules took the site down for 24 hours news? Why? I don’t get it. I just did a major overhaul here and I fully understand taking the front page down. Makes life a heck of a lot easier…should have done it myself. If I had perhaps I wouldn’t have the bugs I still have to sort through. Anyway, a redesign is not news…because you know what they are going to do right? Report the redesign…which I suppose “could” be news. I’m losing my point…sigh…

Is it that David is trying to use the drama that happened at Fine Fools to draw traffic to the new site or is it another personal blog?

David why don’t you get it all out of your system, tell your story what should have been done or shouldn’t have been…then move on to something else? Blog Network List has a decent amount of networks – pick one, rip it apart then pick another one, rip it apart. I’ll help you out. Duct Tape Marketing – what not to do if you’re going to start a network. Or DailyPixel – don’t put “daily” in the domain name unless the site can um…actually be updated daily. Ooh…another - B5 launched a new channel.

Perhaps it is my business perspective but new blogs should launch hard – come out swinging. Really show their stuff because they have to gain attention and keep it. I’m not feeling that with blog.erati. Or tech.erati. biz.erati – complete opposite…excellent content. Shame it has a FeedBurner feed or I would subscribe. The posts on tech.erati that David made are personal “5 Essential Technologies I Use Daily”.

Matt, I wish you the best of luck but I’m honestly puzzled at the approach and the personal feel of the blogs in a commercial space…unless it’s not commercial….

And before anyone goes there – yes I am in 9rules but I am also in TPN…this is a neutral observation – a rather obvious one.

Yet another blogroll clean: dumping WIN

I wrote recently about loyalty in the comments of Cookie Cutter Effect. For those that read my sites, I am very loyal and I try to be ethical (I need to update that because it still references BYW). When my loyalty dies, it is hard to get back. Anyway, in Cookie Cutter Effect, I recommended people check out WoW Insider. I regret that now for multiple reasons. Scrivs wrote about one of them, much better than I would have. Go read his post, express your thoughts. I wrote about another issue I have with the site too.

Now I regret the recommendation but not the post because a unique discussion came out of it….still going on two weeks after I made the original post. Thank you Scrivs for taking the time to answer all the questions.

I had a bit of loyalty towards WIN but I dumped Jason’s sites from my blogroll before, Jason did eventually correct the issue and I added some back.

Even though Jason said his “blunt style” will continue, and AOL “loves” his blogging Jason does not comment on corporate AOL/TW matters and when he does AOL doesn’t listen.

They aren’t Jason’s sites anymore. I have no loyalty to AOL and the popunders will most likely appear on other pages as well unless there is a serious uproar. When I dumped the WIN sites I felt no remorse. I wonder if other people feel the same way?

Tyme’s thoughts: Blogroll cleanup

It’s ironic that Robert Scoble made his post today because for the past couple of days I’ve been struggling with my blogroll. I made some decisions and WOW is it making life easier.

1) I put all FeedBurner feeds in their own category. If FB goes down, I can ignore that folder.

2) I put all link blogs in their own category.

3) I cut out any feed that uses an excerpt of their post as a indication of what the feed is about. 90% of the time the first 20 words don’t cut it. Heck on a lot of blogs the first 100 words don’t get it. Make a description on what the post is about, with a proper heading. If I must deal with feeds that are not full-feeds, then a description works for me better than the first X lines.

#3 dropped my blogroll down considerably. Made room for me to find more goodies!

4) If there isn’t a identifiable name (blogger) on the site I toss it. It doesn’t have to be a real name, I understand the need for anonymity, but I will no longer refer to a blog by blog name unless it is a group blog.

5) If a feed does not properly attribute the source of the information, I unsubscribe. Which meant quite of the Weblogs, Inc. blogs got dumped. They give attribute on the site but not on the RSS feed – which means anyone reading the RSS can never click over to the source unless they go to the particular blog. That’s low down to me, sorry…and I won’t help other blogger lose out like that.

6) A feed that had ads on anything but full content. Ads on descriptions or teasers don’t work for me, sorry.

7) With very few exceptions (like niche blogs for example trade show blogs) I deleted feeds that were not updated within 30 days.

I’m still not done. It surprised me how many blogs I read but really didn’t know the person by name. The information was there on an about page or something but because the name is tucked away somewhere, I don’t associate the blogger’s name with the blog, I associate the title of the blog with the blogger. That’s not good. Now my blogroll will have the person’s name…that’s what is important right?

I also noticed that the quality of my feeds improved. I didn’t realize how much stuff I didn’t read because it wasn’t presented properly (to me). I feed as though I enjoy reading the categories I’ve completed.

That’s the beauty of RSS – I can subscribe/unsubscribe and tailor my reading list exactly the way I want it. What works for me might not work for you.

RSS feeds need to link to the source…period. is a very good source for Microsoft information. I noticed that lately the feeds do not contain the link to the source. To see the source I have to go to Bink, then click on the link. Let me clear – full feed, no reference on the feed. You know how I feel about that right?

As much as I like Bink, that is something I will not tolerate. I will subscribe to a partial feed before I support something like this. See, the originating source is losing out big time on this deal and who deserves the traffic more than the site that created the content? Even with flexible Creative Commons licenses attribution is a must – and that means feeds too.

It saddens me to see sites do this. Weblogs, Inc. fixed their feed and I respect that. They also fixed their popup issue, although I question how they could not know the popunders where there if they read the blogs. It was not just one day – the popunders were there for awhile….just like the reference links have been missing from Bink for awhile.

So goodbye Bink…it was nice while it lasted.  And for the record – since the popunders disappeared from Weblogs, Inc. I added some WIN sites back.

I broke it, I’ll fix it…the sidebar that is

If you are viewing this site using Internet Explorer I truly apologize that the first right sidebar is at the bottom of the page. It seems to be an IE only thing.  And I will fix it, I promise but there are a couple of articles I would like to get out first because it might take me until next week to figure it out – and not screw up everything else.

Not that I would screw up everything else…ok, who am I fooling? It’s a known fact that I am good at whipping out code that theoretically should not work and boggles the mind…yet does. Designing better…it’s on my ToDo List.

Google’s clarification of AOL’s announcement

Google says we can trust them.

I read the announcement.

Google doesn’t have to manipulate AOL’s search results. AOL properties already have a high PR. Shouldn’t AOL’s content come up first because the content is more relevant? AOL’s content legitimately comes up higher in results because it’s relevant. Users click on the results and see Google’s graphical ads on AOL’s properties. AOL and Google both make money. What I want to know (because Google did invest $1B in this deal):

  1. How will bloggers/webmasters be affected by this deal?
  2. How will advertising networks be affected by this deal?
  3. Why invest in AOL when Google should have been indexing their content anyway?

Scrapers abusing Google Adsense

Om wrote about a problem he is having with scrapers stealing his content and wrapping Google Adsense around it, laughing all the way to the bank. How do we combat this problem?

Om wrote about a problem he’s having with people using his content without permission on another site to get ad revenue. This is something I’ve spoken about before, many times in fact. Om successfully got one site down but for every one he shuts down, there are five more he doesn’t know about.

He said the same thing I did – the problem rests with the company that control the ad revenue…nip it at the bud. In this case, it’s Google. If you read my blogs you know I am not pleased with Google right now. This is an example of why I’ve just about lost patience with Google.

Instead of buying companies and expanding, fix current problems first. Get rid of scrapers, prosecute them. Take a strong stance. Clean it up already…what are you waiting for? Shutting down sites only bandaids the problem. The site will be back in another form this time targeting someone else.

Google needs to take responsibility for their product. I’d love to know how much they’ve paid out to scrapers. If I was an advertiser I would be extremely cautious about using Google because of where my ad might end up.

Let’s be fair, I had the same problem with Microsoft. When companies expand prior to fixing what is broke, the user ends up with the short stick, every time. I hope that Om’s popularity will bring more attention to this issue and force Google (and other ad networks) to clean up their act.

Not Too Geeky changes…again

New design, new backend…I’ve been busy.If you are reading this in an RSS reader you missed out on the fact that I made some major changes to the site.

  1. Moved from WordPress to Expression Engine.
  2. Split the content into different sections
  3. Posted the links to individual RSS feeds

Lots of changes but more on an admin. end than user end I suppose. Which is probably why you’re yawning right now. :)

Yes, I am going to tweak the design. I needed something as a place holder while I worked out the bugs on the site. Once I have everything in place (because there is a bunch of stuff I want to add feature-wise) I can begin work on a final design. If I could only implement the stuff I have in my head faster.

The good thing is that I am much more organized now. Slowly I will be converting everything back to Expression Engine.

If there is anything missing from the old site you liked, let me know although I do have every intention of incorporating everything the old site had plus more. :)

Posted by Tyme
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Charlotte  on  12/27

I’m enjoying the multiple sections. I would add most popular posts, the gravatars, and take away this “type the word you see below”. I know you have it for spammers. I suppose I need to get used to it.

Felix J  on  12/27

Watch you switch back to WordPress now that 2.0 is out. LOL

Raymond  on  12/28

You know women, always changing their mind. :)