Sunday, August 26, 2007

Roll Up, Roll Up

Yep, I know there's now a smoking ban in the UK, but the roll I have in mind is that located somewhere down and to the right; I am going away for about three weeks on Friday, so I would like to update the full member roll before I go. We have three prospective members to consider - unless there are objections, I will transfer them across on Thursday:

Critical Faculty Dojo

Sanity Optional

Nation of Shopkeepers

Did I mention I am going away for a bit? When I come back, I will have to devote a lot more time to my research, and so a lot less time to blogging. With that in mind, would anyone like to step forward and take over blogrolling duties from me? Familiarity with HTML and a help, but not essential. Please form an orderly queue in the comments, or drop me a line at the usual address.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blog Commenting

This is just too good not to share.

If blogs ever ran business meetings, perhaps they would go something like this....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blogpower Round-up #1

The very first Blogpower Round-Up can now be found over at my blog.

It ended up being a little rushed (my monitor decided to die on me a few days ago and I've had a really bad cold - I know: excuses, excuses!) but hopefully you'll find posts you've overlooked and with any luck it'll get a few more people interested in Blogpower.

Please mention it on your own blogs, as we want as many people to see these as possible.

(If you're using blogger, it's possible to highlight, copy and paste the entire thing into your own blog if you wanted to.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Age is all in the Mind

We have had one blog in our prospective member roll for, um, well, actually quite a while now. Unless there are any objections, I propose that we move Age is all in the Mind into the main roll; never mind all the tired old arguments about political affiliations, gender balance and the rest of it, what this collective clearly needs is more motorcycle riders. I'll leave things as they are until at least the weekend, and then take appropriate action based on what my fellow members have said in the meantime.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blogpower Facebook Group

As there didn't appear to be one, I've set up a Blogpower group on Facebook - all you have to do is search for "Blogpower" and it should pop up.

The group isn't intended to replicate or replace any part of this blog (or the Yahoo group), but is merely a way for Blogpower members on Facebook to find each other and add people to their friends list (assuming you want to).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

RSS explained for the non-techies

From JMB [Somebody Very Important in our Opinion]

Even though I am a user of bloglines, I only have a few BP people on it and mainly go through Pageflakes for BP blogs, except a few which I always go to through my blogroll. If you click through from Pageflakes, do you know how the stats are listed? What would the referring URL be?

Provided we all actually visit the blogs, I still think MyBlogLog is the best option, with 30 avatars displayed, if I can find out how to do that. So now below:

This post is a follow up to some discussion which has been going on over at Defending the Blogosphere. James asked, on behalf of those members who did not know, what an RSS feeder is.

Well, being rather low tech myself I cannot give you the exact details but, long ago, on the advice of a doctor whose blog I read but who posted irregularly, I subscribed to, a free reader service which I have found really useful. This is an extremely simple procedure in which you enroll then start to build your list of blogs that you wish to follow.

Following the blogs is easy, I added my bloglines feed page to the customize links toolbar in Windows ( also called the bookmarks toolbar). If it is not showing, look under View, then Toolbars and make sure it is ticked.

I always keep a special tab open for my bloglines feed in Mozilla Firefox, which is my browser, but if I close it I can easily open it again by clicking on the link on the links bar. All you do is drag the icon in front of the URL of your bloglines feed (shown in the navigation bar) down to the links bar.

Now to add a new blog to your feed, you have two options. You can go the and add the URL there (a very cumbersome procedure) or you can install a sub with bloglines button as below:

Internet Explorer Users

  1. To install the button, right click on this button Sub with Bloglines and select the 'Add to Favorites' link. You may see a warning dialog -- click 'OK' to continue.
  2. To subscribe to the blog or site you're currently viewing in your browser, just click the 'Sub with Bloglines' button from within your Favorites menu.

Firefox Users

  1. To install the button on your browser, first make sure that the 'Bookmarks Toolbar' toolbar is visible in your browser. Click 'View' > 'Toolbars' and verify that the 'Bookmarks Toolbar' item is checked.
  2. Drag this button Sub with Bloglines to the 'Bookmarks Toolbar' toolbar.
  3. A 'Sub with Bloglines' button should now appear in your 'Bookmarks Toolbar'.
  4. To subscribe to the blog or site you're currently viewing in your browser, just click the button.
I did the latter, being a Firefox user. Then when I am at a blog that I wish to add to my feeds (make sure it's the home page), I hit the sub with bloglines button on my links bar, a separate box comes up which you complete and Bob's your uncle, all taken care of. It will appear in your feeds with the last few posts noted in brackets behind the name. It's easy to organize the entries into alphabetical order and even into folders.

Bloglines seems to continually update itself without refreshing the page, I believe, but you can hit refresh page if it doesn't. A blog with a post or posts unread by you has a number in brackets behind its title. No number means no update since you last read.

To read a blog click on its name in the left hand column. The post will appear on the right hand side, including images. You can read it here but not the comments. As far as I know the blog writer cannot tell if you have read it or not. If you wish to go to the blog itself, click on the name of the blog at the top in the right hand column. To read a post only click on the title of the post. Either action puts you at the blog and registers your appearance in the stats etc. although the referral will show from bloglines, now I come to think of it. So maybe this isn't the answer to our problem. Although clicking and going to the blog will add to the stats.

Definitely mybloglog is a good solution, to my mind, with the thirty avatars option, which needs to be explained to me, since I can't see how to go above 10.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Blogpower Round-up

From the post below it looks like I might have picked the worst time to try and get this up and running, but the first ever Blogpower Round-up will take place next Monday (the 13th) Friday (the 17th) - so you've got less than just over a week to get your nominations in.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Zero Sum Blogging - not just a BP issue

Lord Nazh posted recently on a matter which Pommygranate had previously posted on.


They both have a case and I see it as a question of:

1. a "zero sum game";

2. you have to walk before you can run.

Everyone wants to be read and appreciated. Everyone wants 200+ uniques a day. Many want entry into the unofficial "club" of established bloggers, especially the political males, a club with gentle ribbing and repartee. Some of the guys want this "real bad" and only frequent big boy blogs.

No one wants to be stuck down in the 50 or so uniques, almost begging for someone to visit. But it takes time and one must have a product to start with and blog consistently. You can't fail to blog for a month and then e-mail someone to nominate you for the Dale 100.

There are those, not many, who couldn't care less about stats - as long as their blogfriends visit, they're happy but these are a minority. Into this scenario came Blogpower last December and BP carried a clear obligation - visit others as you would have them visit you.

Now, before going any further, yes I'm aware:

1. it's the holidays and many are away;

2. it's hot and people are at the beach and outdoors;

3. people are tired after a gruelling working year.

Nevertheless, yesterday, I did a trawl through every Blogpower blog and the result was grim. Leaving aside those who have posted that they're away, there were 5 who were hardly blogging at all anyway, about 7 who regularly visit others but a whopping 22 who clearly do not visit others [at least they don't appear on MyBlogLog or in the comments] and this is contrary to the agreement.

Yet I then go to Dale/Eugenides/Dillow/Worstall/Croydonian/Dizzy and many of these 22 are out in force. And some of these 22 are the most vocal in the sphere about rights and wrongs.

I'm sorry but this is just unfair to fellow members. Let's look at this scenario:

Let's say I run a blog called Daily Comment. On Tuesdays I have up to 80 visitors but on the weekend it can drop to 35 or 40. These 40 are all good people and close blogfriends, plus a few google hits and referrals.

I join Blogpower. Instantly the regular 7 start visiting, sometimes twice a day and what's more - they're commenting intelligently [generally] on what I said. Oh gosh. Yippee.

Now twenty or thirty other BPers start to trickle in and my next Tuesday shows over 100 uniques. Avidly I visit others and slowly my Tuesdays and even Wednesdays stay over 100.

Nice theory but as Lord Nazh says, the reality is different. No more than 4 or 5 are visiting him from BP but I know he is visiting dozens. This isn't a zero sum game. It's a minus. This negates the whole purpose of Blogpower and I say firmly that it calls into question its whole existence as an organization.

Let's wait for the silly season to finish and then let's scrutinize this problem very carefully and send some e-mails to certain members.