Blogging

Figuring in other bloggers’ dashboards

It’s an honor to be included in the list of latest blog entries on some bloggers’ dashboards. That gives me a chance to attract a visit in my blog. But the probability largely depends on the title I assigned to the entry and the interests of the dashboard owner.

Specifically with WordPress.com, it’s a wish come true for me when I was able to capture the “Latest Posts” portion in my dashboard, which included a blog entry of mine. With the very active community of WordPressers (there were two million posts last July), your chance to figure in the dashboard and get the attention of fellow bloggers is slim.

Here’s wishing to be featured in the Fastest Growing Blogs, Top Posts, or Top Blogs someday. To figure in the top blogs is most difficult though.

Note: The reason why I’m super-conscious of this is that I want more and more people to read my stuff hoping to make a difference. It’s not to be popular as a blogger. But I do recognize that it may arise from attracting thousands of visitors.

When concerned bloggers expose bigoted mainstream penners

Malu Fernandez, that embattled journalist of Manila Standard and People Asia, yesterday resigned from her post apparently because of the global shame she incurred through her article “From Boracay to Greece” (published in June 2007 People Asia). That account of her flight experience with OFWs, which she described as done in “tongue-in-cheek humor” and “acerbic wit” drew the outrage from the blogosphere. Expectedly, the OFW community also took the cudgels and joined the campaign to shame the penwoman as well as pressure Manila Standard to fire her.

I tried to visit Manila Standard Today today to take a look at Fernandez’s resignation piece but, geez, that “unable to serve request” page appeared. As the explanation sought to mean, perhaps people around the world were curious to read the article. Or some hackers put the site down.

This month last year, former Supreme Court justice Isagani Cruz was severely scoffed at for his disparaging remarks about gays. Fernandez must have learned from that controversy. As a matter of reiteration, the Fernandez brouhaha teaches a big lesson to those tending to use their power of the pen without restraint or discretion: Don’t write or be caught saying something that antagonizes a person or group of persons that also have might of the pen, so to speak, and have a wide network of supporters from around the globe. Or be bashed literally into pieces.

As champions for a better world, bloggers do not only make or unmake policies; they also have the power to make or unmake persons. And for those institutions or persons unmade by public outrage, theirs is a chance to change for the better and turn over a new leaf. Failing that, they’ll go down in history as personae non grata.

Blogging from Firefox

performancing.png

Thanks to a fellow WordPress blogger, I was able to discover this cool add-on of Firefox, by which I can read my previous blog entries and post an entry without going to the admin page. I’m talking about “performancing firefox”.

I have written this entry right on the performancing firefox add-on. (See image above.) But I had to edit this entry on WordPress editor to publish the image in thumbnail format, which is lacking in the add-on.

Performancing firefox’s advantage is that you may blog about a site you’re on without leaving it (say you’d like to blog about a news story right in front of you). Loading faster than your blog service, the tool takes up half the browser’s window space, so that you may still see the page you’re blogging about. The frame may be adjusted, though, by dragging the resize button above the frame.

Once installed (and Firefox is restarted), a performancing firefox icon (a notepad and a pencil) sits right at the bottom left of the browser’s window. Clicking on it will pop up the editor. I registered my WordPress blog, which was fast and successful. I also did for my LiveJournal and Blogger accounts, which were also successful. Only that I learned that support for LJ is experimental and labels I use in Blogger were not retrieved. Tsk, tsk. Thank God I’ve stuck to WordPress.

At the right pane of the editor are four tabs: Blogs (in case you’ve got more than one blog), Categories (for tags you use for a selected blog), History (recent posts, from which you may select one for editing and even deletion), and Notes (for important text you may need for writing posts later).

As for publishing, the options you’ve got are: Post as Draft; Technorati tags; bookmark post at del.icio.us; trackback urls; and enable pings. I don’t know whether these options vary depending on the blog service selected. So, what I miss in the options is posting a private entry.

Oops! I tried to save this entry as a draft. Then when I checked back the History tab, there were two entries with a similar title: Blogging from Firefox. The first entry is the draft one and the other is the previous entry I published. I was expecting that there would only be one entry with the previous entry retracted from being publishing. I found out that I should have instead clicked on the “Publish as Edit” button.

It’s only dangerous to delete a post in performancing firefox. I tried to delete a duplicate entry. It was successful, but the dangerous thing is that I was not asked to confirm the deletion.

Anyway, blog services automatically supported are TypePad.com, LiveJournal.com, Windows Live Spaces, Performancing, and Jeeran. In terms of blog system types, the following are supported: WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, Textpattern, Roller, MetaWeblog API, and Blogger. Quite a lot, but so sad that Multiply.com is not listed. I tried to register my multiply.com account to no avail.

There are tools you may use with performancing firefox. What I like most is the “Bookmarks” tool. I can drag the web site address to the url field, assign tags to the bookmark, and send it to my del.icio.us account right away.

I also signed up for an account with Performancing as an organization of professional bloggers. But that’s another story. I’ll blog about it later.

My overall evaluation of performancing firefox is that it is a very indispensable tool for easy blogging, which should appeal most for WordPress bloggers.

powered by performancing firefox

Social issues, FOSS and Linux rarely blogged about

Yes, you just read the title: Social issues, FOSS and Linux don’t get blogged about practically. I arrived at this conclusion when I researched just today on popular interests and tags as revealed by LiveJournal.com, WordPress.com, and Technorati.com. (I’m sorry but I felt too lazy to research on popular labels used by Blogger.com sites.)

LiveJournal: Music is the most popular interest, with movies not so far behind. Ranking third to 20th are reading, writing, friends, art, computers, dancing, photography, books, shopping, singing, love, poetry, drawing, anime, sleeping, swimming, sex and food. (The last two items are lucky enough to enter the top 20. Hedonist bloggers, I must say, still hang around.)

According to LJ’s listing, “boys” are more interesting than “girls”. Surprisingly, though, “women” outnumber “men”. (Do girls become more interesting when they metamorphose into womanhood? Let me say yes, in general.)

WordPress: For WP bloggers, music is less interesting, though. It ranks just fourth to Life, Politics, and News. The tags that rank fifth to 20th are Personal, Family, Books, Humor, Technology, Blogging, Thoughts, Movies, Random, Media, Video, Work, Photography, Travel, School, Food. Interestingly, it is still food that ranks the last of the top 20, similar to LJ.

Technorati: As a tool for bloggers to have their sites promoted, Technorati monitors popular searches and tags. The list here is a great departure from LJ and WP. Deviating from the tags used by most bloggers, the list is as follows: wordpress (WP simply rocks!), Bush, youtube, iPhone, State of the Union, money, mobile, war, mp3, web-20, Windows, 2007, Mac, iPod, and showjournal.

But where in a hell are my favorite tags–human rights, FOSS, open source, free software, ICT, and Linux? Politics is sure very much around with WP, I’m glad about that. But I’m madly looking for the tags I just mentioned. I found Linux at the tail-end of the WP’s popular tags. (Unluckily, BSD is not listed anywhere.)

Environment and education are two social issues I managed to find in the WP’s tag clouds. But they’re almost in the middle.

So what does this mean?

There’s a dearth of bloggers (at least among those registered with LJ, WP and Technorati) who talk to the world about serious themes. Even Linux which is supposed to be taken as a fun way of computing has not been heralded. It’s sad to note that serious bloggers, few as they are, who are critical of stuff like their own governments face troubles. Read this story.

All Linux-loving, FOSS-advocating and social activist bloggers unite! Let’s tag and blog about our favorite themes and issues. The more we do so, the higher rungs these get in the popular-tags/interests lists.

If we believe in the power of blogs and other social networking tools, we must do this.

Taking control over control: Why I moved back to WordPress

Google has been powerful. Starting off with a very fast and robust engine, it has now hosted  tens (and counting) of cool and free services like Gmail, Docs and Spreadsheets, Calendar, Blogger and the like.

Let’s look at it in both positive and negative senses. On the one hand, netizens, whether rich or poor (economically or otherwise), have more opportunities to express themselves and relate with the rest using the Internet, and with much ease. (Actually, this has also made Internet service providers and cafes even happier.) Google has successfully made a unique business case that it’s much more profitable to provide really free services.

On the other hand, Google’s successful projects also mean monopoly. Naive netizens (is it an oxymoron?) having loyalty to it, while still have their hands free, literally, unknowingly have their minds closed to other Internet possibilities that make for their creativity and development. I’ve been one of late.

I hold a account for many Google services (from Gmail to Calendar). Several weeks ago, I decided to create a Blogger account, having the resolve to move there all my WordPress blog entries. Yesterday, my guilt pricked me. That guilt proceeded from my principle that there should not be monopoly in all scheme of things. And the software world is not an exception.

I don’t want an entity to impose on me, whether it gives me free stuff or not. I want my own control. I don’t want unwarranted prodding that this one company is greatest, therefore, its services are greatest of them all. I want options, which must be made known to me in no time.

So I moved back to WordPress to host my advocacy blog. It’s a break from my ‘extreme loyalty’ to Google, extreme because I hadn’t known that Yahoo! has improved very much (like a toolbar that can already run on Mozilla Firefox on Linux).  I don’t want to dwell too much on the pros and cons and I don’t want to compare the two here. But I feel that with WordPress, I can relate to the world much deeper. I come to know people who think and work similar to my concerns, which contribute further to my progress as an individual having work/life.

And I’m not saying that because WordPress is cool, I’ll stick to WordPress forever. As I said, I should have control over Internet stuff, lest I’d be like one of those ‘naive netizens’.

Enough with “1 comments”

An appeal to all software programmers: Please don’t ignore this simple yet distracting grammar lapse. Non-questioning grade-schoolers peeping at lapses like this will accept them as correct. And one of my English gurus will definitely kill and get jailed for life for this simple grammatical error.

I’m sure it would not take another kilobyte of code for inserting an if-then-else construct to count stuff and describe them grammatically correctly.

Not ATOMatically supported

I’ve tried snownews feed reader since a few days ago and I would say it’s fast and easy to use. (Don’t be fooled, you GUI pal; in case you have not followed the link provided here, FYI snownews is console-based).
I was only disappointed to find out that Atom feeds are not automatically supported by snownews, unless one has scripts to filter or convert the feed into RSS. I tried to seek help from the Internet but could not have more time to really find one. Until my mobile phone (Sony Ericsson K610i) came to my mind. Remembering that it had been able to catch my Blogspot blog feed automatically, I got my phone, went to the RSS Feeder service and snooped on the feed information of my blog. Cool! It has a feed address different from that provided by my site. To the address is appended this string: ‘?alt=rss‘. (Does it mean that any other Atom-oriented web sites also provide such RSS feed?)

I inputted the full feed address in my snownews. The blog feed was then extracted successfully. Thanks for that.

But then, I began to wonder why Blogger has chosen Atom as its lone feed syndication format, even though I understand that it started with RSS format. In my web search, I learned that Atom was a brainchild of the movement among software/web developers who wanted radical change in the RSS web feed format system. The motivation lay in their desire to universalize/standardize web content sharing among authors who may be using different languages and applications. I haven’t read much deeper about it but consulting Wikipedia and following the links stating why the reform was necessary gave me a comprehensive view of Atom as a great alternative to web content sharing.