October 16, 2006
Comments and Trackbacks Down
I've shut down comments and trackbacks in preparation for moving TAM to WordPress. When the new weblogging platform is in place (later today I hope) commenting should be easier to do on both your end (no more warnings about using words like "info" and blogspot.com will probably be kosher again) and mine (reduced spam). Just as important, I hope WP is more robust than the old version of Movable Type I've been using for over three years. My inability to quickly publish updates to the Cory Lidle plane crash last week pushed me to make the move. Publishing when I want to is one of the best aspects of weblogging.
If you really have the itch to comment on a post send me an e-mail (sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com) for my consideration.
October 10, 2006
TAM Technical Issues
The lack of hard-hitting commentary is due to technical issues. I'm working on the new version of TAM (3.0 I think), and it's going slower than I'd like. I hope to get it all working soon so I can focus on writing and my special announcement instead of dealing with website design, moving megabites of posts, spam blocking, etc. etc.
September 17, 2006
Similar Web Hosting Problems
John Hawkins uses Dreamhost to host his popular weblog. He hasn't been too keen on their service:
My hosting company, Dreamhost, used to give good service. However, for the last couple of months they've been absolutely horrible and up and down like a yo-yo. I've been raising hell with them about it and they've moved me to a different, supposedly more reliable server, but my confidence in them is shot.
Hawkins is harsher because his Right Wing News is his full-time job.
September 15, 2006
Blame the Spammers
TAM has been getting hit so hard by comment and trackback spammers that comments had to be shut down. I'll get them up and running again in a day or so to see if this was a temporary situation. When I move TAM to WordPress I hope that really eases the problem. Sorry for the annoyance.
September 11, 2006
More Proof that Webloggers are Geeks
There's been way too much talk in the blogosphere about ABC's lame Path to 9/11 miniseries. Uh, guys, yesterday was Week 1 of the NFL. I watched my Packers get trounced. Sunday night, the Manning brothers faced each other for the first time and too many of you were watching a melodrama about a story you already know the ending to.
Priorities, people. Priorities.
"Video: “Path to 9/11″ Update: Side-by-Side Comparison"
September 10, 2006
Did you miss me?
DreamHost finally got things fixed and TAM is up and running. This was the worst outage in the many years I've been with the host. They tell me they'll be doing some network upgrades Monday night. I hope that prevents future problems.
I survived the quiet time without enduring the shakes. I now know I'm fully capable of surviving weblogging withdrawal without need too much methadone.
September 07, 2006
Donate to Dean
While I'm on a donation kick think about sending a few bucks Dean Esmay's way. He's dealing with some unemployment insurance problems and hasn't "seen a paycheck in the Esmay household for over a month." Ouch!
August 29, 2006
Free from Blogger
Chris at Spotting Horse 2 has thrown off the shackles (and occasional outages) of Blogger and moved to WordPress.
I hope to be joining him in the near future.
August 14, 2006
Ticket to Ride... er Weblog... er Whatever
If Glenn Reynolds ever hosts an open house I know where he can get tickets made.
August 07, 2006
New TAM Features
If you have no idea what social bookmarking is let me give you the rundown. All these services allow people to share webpages they find with others. Furl (my fave), del.icio.us, Spurl, and MyWeb are all online bookmark sites where you can jump from computer to computer and always have access to your bookmarks. The services aggregate the choices of all their users and show you what's hot on the web. Digg and reddit are news sites where the users are the editors. Anyone can sign up and post stories. Other users vote on them and the ones with the most votes go to the front page. It's a way to glimpse what thousands, if not millions, of people are interested in. Both are ways to find interesting stories that might fall through the cracks of orthodox news sites controlled by formal editors.
So if you like a TAM post you can now easily save it with something like del.icio.us or Furl, or you can submit the post to digg or reddit and see if other people like it.
Behind the scenes at TAM HQ I'm preparing for some major changes. I'm moving TAM to new, up-to-date weblogging software (WordPress) and allow for easier design and feature improvements. I hope the software will help me combat the comment and trackback spam that wastes my time. I will have a new redesign to go with the software improvement. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
July 27, 2006
Conservative Weblogger Discloses a Little Late
Patrick Hynes of Ankle Biting Pundits when he isn't posting is a political consultant. One of his clients is Sen. John McCain, and he's been Hynes' client for a few months. All this time Hynes didn't tell his weblog readers who was paying him. Jim Geraghty exposed him, and got Hynes to come clean.
Hynes made a mistake in not being as open about his political consulting dealings. His blogospheric reputation took a big hit, especially after remembering how he bashed Markos Moulitsas for being paid to plug Howard Dean, M.D. on his weblog. His consulting career may be in good shape, but he'll need to put in some effort to fix his blogosphere standing.
"Straight Talk, Unmarked Bills"
July 15, 2006
Weblog History Lesson: Robot Wisdom
Ever heard of Robot Wisdom? Well it's back on the TAM blogroll. I'm guessing over 90% of webloggers and their readers have never read or heard of the weblog. It wasn't mentioned in Hugh Hewitt's book Blog so it's understandable if unfortunate. Robot Wisdom is published by Jorn Barger and according to Wikipedia will be nine years old in December making it two years older than TAM though with interruptions. Wikipedia also gives Barger credit for coining the word "weblog." That's a good and bad thing. What's good is "weblog" sounds better than "online journal." What's bad is from "weblog" came "blog," an ugly word that caught on and is forever attacted to this medium.
Barger can be described as eccentric with refusing employment that violates his "gigantic psychological block against Mammon-in-general." He's also been strongly critical of Judaism.
Robot Wisdom is one of the original weblogs. From this we've arrived at Instapundit, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Wonkette, and millions of others. Know your history. Respect your (weblogging) elders.
July 07, 2006
TAM is Sick
Posting on TAM has been frustrating lately. I've been running into server troubles when trying to publish. I'm not sure if it's due to spammers or the increased traffic load the weblog has been having. Behind the scenes at TAM HQ I've been planning some changes. I may have to make some drastic software changes soon if my problems continue.
June 09, 2006
I Do Have a Last Name
A minor pet peeve of mine is being called only by my first name when I'm mentioned with my weblog--I'm talking to you Sykes. "Sean of The American Mind" bugs me. I have a full name that I want out there. Call it my small attempt at branding. Jessica McBride mentioned a New York article I e-mailed her about adults who try to remain locked into their 20s, and she used my full name.
Now, we have to do something about her ever-expanding blogroll.
June 05, 2006
Anyone know what's wrong with Blogrolling.com? My blogroll isn't up and there's an odd Tucows (parent company of Blogrolling.com) page up.
June 01, 2006
Return of Trackbacks
Last year I had to ditch trackbacks because spammers were hitting TAM so hard my webhost complained. I've learned Dreamhost has ended their cpu minute restrictions. So I trackbacks have returned. If the spammers hit TAM again Dreamhost won't be happy and trackbacks would be temporary. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Much of the problem is I use an old version of Movable Type. Its spam-blocking capabilities are not state-of-the art. In the future I plan on upgrading to new weblogging software, but that will require a new template. Since my design skills are zilch I'll hire outside help. Putting a little something in the tip jar or buying a Blogad would speed up the process and be appreciated.
May 27, 2006
Those youngins at Power Line are four-years old. Boots & Sabers turned three. Keep it up. Someday you might get as old as TAM.
May 19, 2006
Kos Jumps Shark
It's really, really weird (even "surreal") seeing Markos Moulitsas AKA "Daily Kos" peeking (stalking) into someone's house then charging in with a few of his
Allahpundit is right. Ned Lamont, unintentionally, made a Mentos ad.
May 06, 2006
A Damn Expensive Post
While not as expensive as the Power Line post that lead to Dan Rather's demise the CEO of Raytheon took a hit to his wallet because of this weblogger.
May 01, 2006
A Note About the Blogosphere
English isn't the dominant language. In fact, "English isn't even the primary language of one third of all posts that Technorati tracks anymore."
Just blame the Japanese.
"State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 2: On Language and Tagging"
April 29, 2006
Vlogs as The Future
Seriously, it's sort of interesting that people are playing around with video, but don't view the blogosphere as a place kick back and veg out like a couch potato. I can consume a lot more information via text and audio. On the production side writing text is easier than making a podcast. I can't imagine the complications producing a vlog entails. No, vlogs may be the "wave of the future" (great we'll have one million channels with nothing on), but I won't be surfing too much of it.
More Spice Boys Slapping
Folkbum delivered a solid smacking of the Spice Boys:
Maybe covering the blogs (so you don't have to!) just isn't as much fun as trafficking in political gossip. Maybe they just don't have any respect for people like me (and Althouse) who don't get (or want) a paycheck for writing every day. Either way, their scorn couldn't be more clear. Thanks, Boys, for all your efforts to marginalize us.
I really think the Spice Boys have no idea why webloggers spend vast amounts of time writing. They could be the good investigative reporters they are and ask us, but then their conclusion (before doing any research or serious thinking) that " These guys want to go mainstream" might not be true in all cases. We don't weblog for the chicks or the fame. We do it because we think we have something to say, and weblogs make it really easy for us to say it.
I don't deny I'd love a professional writing gig. Before I die I want to have a few books with my name on it. TAM might help me reach that goal. But understand I've been weblogging over six years. If TAM was all about me going mainstream then I should have shut this place down years ago and tried something different like *gasp* journalism school. There's something very satisfying about getting an idea, stringing some words together, hitting "publish" and knowing the end product is available to anyone on the internet.
April 28, 2006
All the "cool kids" use Hosting Matters to house their weblogs. And every few months the company gets hit by DoS attacks. Thus I'll never move TAM to their servers. Big-name weblogs are targets for crackers or politicaly-motivated script kiddies. I don't want to be collateral damage. I'm sticking to DreamHost. I've been with them since TAM got its own dot-com (the end of 2000), and I've only had two or three serious problems, none lasting longer than a day. The service has been good and the price is right.
[Hey, Spice boys, this is more weblogging navel gazing. Have a problem with it?]
"Blogs Down: Hack Attack"
The Spice boys are weblogging goofs. The Journal Sentinel should just shut them down for being such an embarassment. How long have then been zipping around the blogosphere? It must not have been long since they're surprised Ann Althouse would be posting on a weblogging conference she's attending at Harvard. Hello! Webloggers do navel gazing often. Part of it is webloggers are exploring how this new medium (which really isn't that new; it's just writing) intersects with society and institutions. Webloggers are curious folks. Another part is "Blogging: It's all about me." What, webloggers are the only ones who have egos? How about snarky newspaper investigative reporting duo?
Another thing, when has Ann Althouse written deeply about gas prices, the war, or what goes on in Madison? She doesn't. She's a law professor who writes a lot about legal issues, Amercian Idol, and pop culture. If the Spice boys actually read Althouse enough they'd know that and not toss in those straw men. All they are are punching bags for webloggers who know what's going on.
April 21, 2006
The Pajamas Media gang goofs up again. The idea of a "Blog Week in Review" is sound, but there's no RSS feed available on the web page. Quick tip to PJ Media: There are podcast programs other than iTunes.
April 16, 2006
On-the-Scene Vs. Phoning It In
Jeff Harrell's coverage of a Washington, D.C. immigration rally was good enough to be quoted by Molly Ivins. Jeff doesn't mind Ivins telling her mass of readers he's full of "provincialism." In fact, he notes the irony:
The irony here is so flagrant that calling attention to it almost makes me feel cheap. I went out, immersed myself in a large-scale event, witnessed it and in real time wrote what I thought about it. Meanwhile, a columnist sat in her comfortable house in her comfortable neighborhood and chastized me for my “provincialism.”
Jim Geraghty goes off.
April 13, 2006
Last week, Ann Althouse wrote,
Don't cave into nostalgia for a Golden Age, especially one that got its golden glow from the horror that was 9/11. Things were bound to change and shake around, and some bloggers that you liked then may put you off now. But there are always a million new bloggers, and blogging is a beautifully fruitful format. The great power of blogging is the way it releases the creativity of the individual mind. That sense of not being able to predict your own opinions and observations -- that feeling of writing to discover your own ideas and interests -- is the great intrinsic value of blogging.
Nostalgia is the last thing I want to do with weblogging. Reminiscing about the "old days," say 1999, when weblogging amounted to links to Wired News and News.com articles or some odd site on the net is worse than blogospheric navel gazing.
There are some things about weblogging I'm bummed about. I don't like the desire of many to seek a "gotcha" moment. Power Line and Little Green Footballs got a rush and minor fame from helping to take down Dan Rather. Ed Morrisey had a blast publishing coverage of a Canadian trial that was banned to our northern neighbor. Being always on the hunt makes one anxious to not miss any news. One is constantly reading RSS feeds, refreshing Memeorandum, and scouring oodles of news sites. There's pressure to get be the first so everyone else can link to you. Real scoops are moments of serendipity along with the skill to adequately convey or analyze that moment's importance.
Along with that is the need to get a trophy victim. After Trent Lott there was Dan Rather. After Rather there was Eason Jordan. When Jordan went down it felt like some wanted a Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Brett Stephens to go too. Destruction was the goal.
Then there are the annoyances:
April 09, 2006
March 25, 2006
New FEC Rules on Online Political Speech
The FEC's proposed regulations of online political speech do not look too draconian:
The Federal Election Commission last night released proposed new rules that leave almost all Internet political activity unregulated except for the purchase of campaign ads on Web sites.
Jerome Armstrong of Lefty weblog MyDD sees it as webloggers getting "the media exemption." On his weblog he wonders, "However, for a camapign, I'm unsure of the implications of their ruling. From the sounds of it, Google ads and Blogads are now going to have to carry a disclaimer. I can't imagine that even being practical for candidates to run disclaimers in their search-term ads."
Here's the summary [PDF].
It appears I won't be shutting down only to have my Russian cousin (*wink* *wink*) start it up on servers in his motherland.
"Proposed FEC Rules Would Exempt Most Political Activity on Internet"
March 24, 2006
Conservative Weblogger Doesn't Last a Week
Ben Domenech didn't last a week as a weblogger for washingtonpost.com. It wasn't the bile-spewing Left or Intelligent Design critics that got him. It was his past. This post at Obsidian Wings is pretty damning. Such criticism must have been damning to Domenech. He resigned.
Lefty webloggers may want his head on their trophy wall. If I were them I wouldn't. First, no body outside the political blogosphere knows who Domenech is. Second, he didn't last a week. That's far from taking down an institution like Dan Rather.
Domenech has written far more than I have. Part of that comes from him being an ex-speech writer. When a young writer is cutting their teeth they will make mistakes. Is past plagerism unforgiveable? Does it have a statute of limitations? When writers are seeking a new gig should they admit the mistakes in their past and hope their recent track record can make up for it?
TAM has existed since 1999. Before that I wrote occasional op-eds in my college newspaper. In all that writing I don't recall ever copying someone elses work, but I might have. Say the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wanted to take weblogs seriously and wanted me on board. How would I deal with a potential time bomb sitting in my archives just waiting for rabid partisans to detonate?
UPDATE: Domenech (AKA Augustine) posted his explanation to plagerism charges and his resignation. The story made it on The Drudge Report so the RedState servers are under a lot of stress. They're reasonable explanations. More reasonable than the hateful responses of his Leftist critics. They are still errors of judgement, but being young (he was 17 at the time) is about making mistakes and learning from them. It makes me ask the question, "When does a writer's past mistakes no longer hurt him?"
Here's something to think about: had Domenech been caught drinking at 17 he would still be writing Red America. If he would have been caught smoking pot he might be praised. Some youthful indiscretions are more forgivable than others.
UPDATE II: National Review Online admits Domenech plagerized, and it wasn't for a college paper. "A side-by-side comparison to another review of the same film speaks for itself. There is no excuse for plagiarism and we apologize to our readers and to Steve Murray of the Cox News Service from whose piece the language was lifted."
With that Domenech would have been booted from the Red America weblog had he not resigned. That's understandable for an institution like The Washington Post who has a reputation to maintain. I would like to know is Domenech scarred for life? Will editors reject job opportunities or even free lance articles when he's 40, 50, or even 80 because of what he did in his teens and 20s? With the internet as a permanent archive we all should wonder how long our past mistakes will haunt us.
What's really disappointing is washingtonpost.com will be "likely to look for someone with a more traditional journalism background." Domenech's flagrant copying tarred the reputations of conservative webloggers everywhere. Thanks a lot, Ben.
[via Michelle Malkin]
March 22, 2006
The Bile Toward Ben Domenech
A few people don't like Ben Domenech writing a conservative weblog for The Washington Post. Instead of ignoring him or actually challenging his ideas some decide to play quote-pulling (some from as far back as 4 1/2 years ago), insult him (and all others like him) for being home schooled, and call him an idiot for believing God created the universe.
At least Steve Verdon puts some real thought into his challenge of one of Domenech's points about intelligent design. Others should take notes from Steve on how a serious debate is done.
James Joyner collects a number of Domenech-bashing posts and observes:
And am I the only one who sees the irony in a bunch of 40- and 50-something bloggers with advanced degrees resorting to name calling and over-the-top rhetoric to attack someone on the basis of being too young, immature, and lacking in nuance to blog?
Let them waste their time and energy. It's better than having this shreiking part of the Left doing things they think are actually helpful or productive to their political cause.
March 21, 2006
Weblog Addiction Syndrome
Business Week's Stephen Baker joins me and thousands of others and admits their problem. We're addicted to weblogging. While Washington Post reporters wonders if they should be paid extra to post (and wonder if the newspaper can "compel employees to blog") Baker would do it for free.
"Should Mainstream Bloggers Be Paid Extra? Should I?"
March 17, 2006
Blogger Bounces Betsy
One of my favorite webloggers (who I don't link to enough) Besty Newmark is having Blogger troubles. It's still not fixed even though Blogger says it's fixed. Blogger's problems was the reason I moved to Movable Type a few years ago. Their service wasn't reliable enough for me. When Google bought Blogger I had hopes their infrastructure and software would get fix and be stable. That hasn't happened. A company can't do everything well, but Google has had a good run. A stable, reliable Blogger/BlogSpot would get more people to write weblogs which would mean more real estate for their ads. Why the company never has gotten Blogger fixed is beyond me.
My advice: go with weblogging software that's on your server. My host, Dreamhost, lets you install WordPress with one click so you don't have to deal with UNIX commands, FTP, or PHP. If you want free try WordPress.com.
"Bloggers, Back up Your Work"
UPDATE: Betsy's weblog is back, and she's not pleased with Google. I don't blame her.
March 16, 2006
Weblogger Protection Bill Pulled
Mike Krempasky reports the House Rules Committee couldn't agree on how to proceed on HR 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act. "[I]t's been pulled until after the recess."
We now have more time to put pressure on our Congressmen to protect online political speech.
"HR 1606 Pulled for the Week"
March 15, 2006
To Protect Online Speech Call Congress
It's time to turn the blogosphere's albeit limited power onto meatspace. Tomorrow, HR 1606, The Online Freedom of Speech Act, comes to a vote in the House. As Mike Krempasky puts it it "simply puts into law the existing status quo. It preserves the system under which we operated for the 2004 elections - WHEN THERE WAS NO CORRUPTION OR SCANDAL. It's supported by bloggers left and right. "
This is about maintaining lively, pointed, passionate political speech on the internet. Call these people who voted against the bill when it came up last year under special rules. For my Wisconsin readers that means making Rep. Tom Petri explain his stance on online political speech. Petri's Washington, D.C. office number is 202.225.2476, his Oshkosh office number is 920.231.6333, and his Fond du Lac office number is 920.922-1180.
Stop reading TAM for a few minutes and get on the phone.
"Get on the Damn Phone"
Huffington Post Dishonesty
Want another reason to not read The Huffington Post? Arianna practices intellectual dishonesty. George Clooney's "post" about being proud to be a liberal and how weenie Washington Democrats are wasn't his post at all. Clooney's ticked:
Oscar-winner George Clooney may make politically provocative films like "Syriana." But he doesn't write politically provocative blogs.
All Huffington had to do was note that the post wasn't an original piece. Even better she should have wrote a post under her name using Clooney's quotes. It makes you wonder what other ways Huffington is manipulating content on her collective weblog.
March 10, 2006
For What It's Worth
. . . Harrell's back. The Shape of Days is live, from Washington, D.C.—a town that is, for many reasons, dear to my heart.
March 09, 2006
A "Journalist's" Take on Blogs
March 06, 2006
Wal-Mart and Webloggers
Professor McAdams has put together a string of interesting posts [and here] on how webloggers are getting pro-Wal-Mart information. He then compares that to how the MSM works. Webloggers are more transparent.
March 04, 2006
I Feel Better...Sort of
"A li’l backtrack…"
March 01, 2006
Best Weblog Post Ever?
February 28, 2006
Weblog Post of the Year
If there was an award for best weblog post of the year Tom McMahon's would be on the short list. As a matter of fact, I'm declaring it already. It's touching, timeless, moving, and full of wisdom.
"What I Have Learned In 15 Years"
February 25, 2006
Call me a weblog snob. When someone like J.B. Van Hollen is running for statewide office and their weblog is on BlogSpot I think a few things: 1) they haven't thought much about weblogs and wanted to get something up to make it appear they "get it;" 2) they're too cheap to integrate the weblog with the rest of their website which means they either have money problems or care more about tv and radio ads than an online strategy.
There are a few big-time webloggers who have used BlogSpot for a long time. With my experience using it as a member of the Badger Blog Alliance I have to think Google has set it up so they don't have the same problems as ordinary, peon webloggers. Free places like BlogSpot are good ways to get your feet wet in the wild world of weblogging but serious people should move far away from it as fast as possible.
February 23, 2006
A Pet Peeve
It's bugged me when I go to a weblog linked by Glenn Reynolds only to find "Welcome Instapundit readers." I thought, "Act like you've done it before." Kevin Aylward had the guts to say it. I'm just the tag-along.
"Our Baby Is Growing Up..."
February 13, 2006
The Pioneers. Lakeshore Laments (http://www.lakeshorelaments.com/), the American Mind (http://www.theamericanmind. com/), Tom McMahon (http://www.tommcmahon.net/wisconsin/ index.html), Badger Blogger (http://badgerblogger.com/), and Jiblog (http://jiblog.blogspot.com/) were doing this a heck of a lot longer than the rest of us. They’re thought provoking. They are the true pioneers.
"Blog on for Fresh Insights"
February 08, 2006
Same Name, New Address
Leaning Blue now has its own domain name. Please change links accordingly.
February 07, 2006
Feel the Burn
Peakah's Provocations... hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities. I don't think he's completely sane.
February 04, 2006
After hours of Blogger technical issues the Badger Blog Alliance is up and running. Definitely check out Chris' post on making every state legislature race a state-wide one.
January 28, 2006
#1 Google Search
I'd like to thank the fine engineers at Google for this honor. I don't know what I did to deserve it. Really, I'm clueless, but I'm not complaining.
January 27, 2006
Dear Abby: Weblog-Style
Me thinks Wizbang's advice column, Dear VK, will be a winner. Read this Q&A:
Excuse me. I was rolling on the floor laughing.
January 20, 2006
SRLC Taking Webloggers Seriously
Webloggers are still looked at as the red-headed stepchild of media, but they're being taken seriously. This year's Southern Republican Leadership Conference are treating them just like newspapers, television, and talk radio.
January 12, 2006
The Business of America is Business hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Help Out Kevin
Kevin Holtsberry is asking for donations to get him to NYC for a National Review fundraiser. Give him a hand. All the money will go to helping NR remain the vital conservative institution it is.
"Send Me to New York!"
January 10, 2006
Washington Times' New Weblogging Policy
Looks like I won't be writing for The Washington Times anytime soon. Their new non-work weblogging policy is pretty strict. You not only have to "request and obtain permission from senior editors" but you can't "report on or publish anything concerning The Washington Times itself." After six-plus years of having the freedom to write whatever I want whenever I want to it would be hard to enter an environment with any restrictions.
"The Washington Times' Policy on Bloggers"
December 31, 2005
2005 TAM Weblog Awards
As the weblogs become more known weblogger's numbers increase. That makes for tough choices for the coveted (I would like to believe) TAM Weblog Awards. My criteria is simple: 1) it must be on my blogroll; 2) I have to think it's good for whatever reason I choose. It's the most subjective weblog awards in the blogosphere. Here we go:
Congratulations to the winners.
December 18, 2005
Why I Can't Rip on Instapundit
Not only is Glenn Reynolds a weblogging superstar, but he's also a nice guy:
CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY ADVICE to blog readers: Don't do this here, as I don't need it, but go to one of your favorite blogs and make a donation or send an appreciative email. Especially one of the smaller blogs, where the attention is especially likely to be noticed and appreciated. There are a lot of blogs out there, and the bloggers with low traffic often work just as hard as the ones with big numbers. Let 'em know if you like their work.
I've met Glenn a couple times. What you read on his weblog is what you get in person: curious, thought-provoking, and generous to others.
December 16, 2005
TAM didn't win, but she wasn't last. (Sorry Gary at Ex-Donkey Blog.) Thanks for all who voted. Next year, I hope TAM gets creamed by some Top 250 weblogs.*
*That's a subtle hint to tell other weblogs to link to TAM.
December 14, 2005
My goal of catching Meryl Yourish is fading. I'm again worrying about falling into last place. Give this poor weblogger a hand and vote today, then tomorrow, then the next day. I won't cry if you don't support me, but I will be very disappointed.
A Tight Web They Weave
Here's some quick inside
"Pajamas Media - Building A Better Echo Chamber"
December 12, 2005
It's That Time Again
I'm asking for your votes again. I'm not getting any closer to Meryl Yourish, but TAM also isn't getting closer to last place. Your vote would be just lovely.
PJM Isn't Fast
When you think of weblogs you think of ordinary people who can quickly comment on a breaking story. That's what I did when I heard about the Hemel Hempstead fuel depot fire. I quickly put together weblog, Flickr, and Technorati links. I kept that up with further updates. I did this without any funding. Pajamas Media with its $3.5 million in venture capital didn't have anything up until later Sunday morning. If I were operating a weblogging company I'd have someone awake at all hours of the day waiting to pounce on breaking news. Let's face it, they got scooped by the MSM. That shouldn't happen to a company that wants to outdo them.
"Sleepwalking In Pajamas"
Michael Crowley's NY Times Magazine weblogs article is out. That tiny thing garnered too much attention. All Crowley says is the conservative blogospheres uses uses weblogs for "eliciting strong emotional responses from their supporters" while the Left supposedly "air[s] ideas and vent[s] grievances with one another" and is too busy "examining every side of every issue." Crowley offers nothing to support that statement. If he's comparing Free Republic, which isn't a weblog, to Crooked Timber that would be unfair. Looking at the big boy of the liberal blogosphere, Daily Kos, we have this "interesting" post: pictures of four Republicans with them labled "bad guys." is that "examining every side of every issue" or "eliciting strong emotional responses from their supporters?" How about calling Iraqi elections as "The Myth of the Purple Finger?"
Then there's the assertion that conservative webloggers are part of the right wing media conspiracy. Well, I'm still waiting for Karl Rove's orders.
Crowley's piece has no point and no evidence. He's just using the pages of a major American newspaper to smear conservative webloggers.
"Conservative Blogs are More Effective"
December 10, 2005
The Blegging Continues
TAM is solidly not in last place. I thank you all for that. The next weblog infront of me is Meryl Yourish's. The unemployed Jewish writer (help her out) is a great writer with a distinct Israel angle to many of her posts. She's good. That's why I want to beat her. Help me out, ok?
Conservative Weblogs Rock
Michael Crowley will be arguing in the NY Times Magazine that conservative weblogs are more politically effective than liberal weblogs. That's quite debatable. What may be making conservative weblogs politically effective is how other conservative media, especially talk radio, use weblogs for ideas and to comprehend future political currents.
December 09, 2005
"The Twelve Days of Things that Make Baby Jesus Cry (#2)"
[via Hog on Ice]
UPDATE: Earlier this week Moxie put PJM into perspective.
I Might Have to Stoop This Low
Remember for vote for TAM. You can vote once every 24 hours.
December 07, 2005
Voters can vote once every 24 hours in the 2005 Weblog Awards. I'd love your vote. TAM is not dead last just second-to-last. It's progress. Thanks for all your support and tell your friends about TAM.
December 06, 2005
Vote for TAM
It's Weblog Awards time. TAM is in the running for "Best of the Top 251-500 Blogs." As of this moment my little hunk of cyberspace is running dead last! I guess that makes me the 500th best weblog. At least I know of one reader who loves me. I'd like to say be like someone in Chicago and vote early and often, but I think Kevin Aylward got that bug fixed. I'm happy to be a finalist. With the likes of Austin Bay, a real journalist, and Betsy Newmark, one-time TAM Award winner, competing with me I'd be shocked if TAM won. Still, I'd love your vote.
December 01, 2005
At PJM's Expense
"Flannels Media" is the new competitor to Pajamas Media. Their had their first "Flogjam" a few days ago.
November 30, 2005
Leaning Blue will host this week's Carnival of the Badger. Get your posts in by 8 pm tonight.
November 28, 2005
PJMer Goes Overboard
Tim Blair's announcement that he's leaving the Pajamas Media Editorial Board was a surprise. I didn't expect that. He writes, "PM needs people who can devote themselves full-time to rescuing the project after a launch that was, to say the least, problematic."
But I'm sure they had a good party.
[via Ann Althouse]
Thanks DJ. The family is doing fine.
Here's my approach to comments: I feel the need to respond to every one of them. Usually I stand by what I wrote in the post. I don't see the point of restating it in a comment. If I do develop a new argument I like to write a new post so it doesn't get buried in comments. (This post was just going to be a comment. It's become more deserving.)
I appreciate all serious comments and commenters. When I'm drafting a post I try to envision what the response will be. I think that strengthens my writing. Your responses are not ignored even though I don't respond.
The purpose of this weblog is for me to write. Its my running commentary about the weird, wild, wacky world around me. I allow comments to let others continue the discussion. (I'll hopefully get my Trackback problem fixed so that discussion can more easily be extended to other weblogs.) Like I wrote above, I won't respond to every comment. For me it's about adding value to the discussion. If I think a response is valuable I'll offer it; if not I won't.
I'll try to do a better job, but I make no promises. There's too many things to write about. The world is in constant flux. Something new always grabs my attention. I won't sacrifice good ideas for new posts to make the same point I made in my original post. To me that's a waste of pixels. There will be many points where we will have to agree to disagree.
P.S. Does having to write an almost meta-post like that mean TAM is evolving into a community even if a tiny one? I shudder at the thought.
November 26, 2005
Catching up on Your PJM Reading
When not consuming mass quantities of turkey or staring one's Christmas shopping, many have been talking about Pajamas Media. Here's some stuffing sure to fill you up (or make you sick of the whole topic):
November 23, 2005
Weblogging Featured Next Sunday
The next Sunday Insight hosted by Charlie Sykes will discuss weblogs and the internet. Webloggers on the show include Jessica McBride, Professor John McAdams, and Owen Robinson. I hope they mention TAM often. ;-)
November 22, 2005
Shouldn't a weblog porter resemble a weblog? That's a huge design error with Pajamas Media. Get rid of the cold whiteness. Be inspired by the nice Blogjam logo. Then actually make yourself a weblog portal by sucking in content from your associates. I thought that was one reason you wanted them to join. Or if you were really smart you'd buy Memorandum.
President Bush is accused of wanting to bomb al-Jazeera and
November 20, 2005
Bad news. My web host has been informing me TAM has been using too much of its share of server resources. The main culprits are the files that handle trackbacks and comments. In other words, TAM is under spam attacks. I've turned off trackbacks and disabled the file to see if that helps. I don't want to close up comments unless I absolutely have to.
If I decided to move to Movable Type 3.x could I just cut-and-paste my MT 2.6 templates with no trouble?
There's a nice list of anti-spam plug-ins for WordPress. That may be where I should go. However, I'm not thrilled with the UI. Or I could use one of the many weblog clients available. Oh, do I remember the old days when I used w.bloggar with Blogger.
November 19, 2005
Roger Simon Strikes Back
He counters Kenton Kelly AKA Dennis the Peasant ceaseless OSM bashing with a calm, almost CEO-like response:
He is indeed correct that we had several discussions with him and one meeting in Los Angeles. After that nothing substantive occurred. No contracts were ever signed. No investment was made. Nothing happened. Communications dwindled to zero. It was like the many preliminary business conversations that peter out before fruition in most of our lives, certainly in mine and probably in yours. Then Charles and I developed a different approach to the business. We found investment elsewhere and Mr. Kelly, when he heard about it, turned into an online stalker. He has threatened to sue me on several occasions. I invite him to go ahead and do it. I look forward to the contents of his website being read aloud in court.
It's pretty good: factual, reserved, yet strong and stern. I too would love Kelly's weblog read in court. All business lawsuits should require humorous interludes.
Now, with Kelly responding we'll see if this turns into a juicy mano a mano weblog war.
"This is So High School"
An OSM Positive
Pieter Dorsman, an OSMer makes some good point about the weblog start-up. First and most importantly, he mentions, "any content-based venture that is able to raise a significant amount of early stage financing in the post-internet boom world is pulling off a significant feat." People who are smart enough to have $3.5 million to invest in start-up aren't going to flush it down a toilet. [Like a Koran? --ed] OSM investors think there's money to be made in weblogs. Of course it's an educated guess, but putting one's money on the line forces people to think seriously. That doesn't mean OSM will succeed. Success is never guaranteed.
What venture capitalist bring to the table along with money is business accumen. That's what makes The flap with Chris Lymon's Open Source so puzzling. Presumably the VCs are on OSM board of directors. Did any of them advise Roger Simon and Charles Johnson that picking a similar name could bring up legal as well as PR headaches? The name issue is embarassing but not fatal to the enterprise. If the business plan was dependent on the name the I'd consider OSM the poster child for the new internet bubble. More important than a name is lining up advertisers and getting contributors to continue writing good material that increases their readership. That will be a tall order with highly-independent nature of webloggers.
My biggest fear of OSM is it will be the continuation of the disturbing pattern I've seen of A-list webloggers linking to other A-listers. The blogosphere has grown so much that it's harder for voice to stand out from the crowd. Someone like me who sees relative weblogging newbies with great amounts of readers hang out virtually with other high-traffic relative newbies is frustrating because I've toiled longer than probably any OSMer with no where near the success. While I haven't seen any evidence of OSM becoming a linking circle jerk there is always that potential. I will trust in the integrity of people like Glenn Reynolds and Dean Esmay. They're both good men so that's not asking a lot.
I hope my critical posts on OSM read better than petty jealousy. I admit I'm envious of the OSMers. They're on the path of becoming professional webloggers. Someone like me who's been writing his screeds for almost six years (before the blogosphere had a name) would love the opportunity to make a living through words and ideas. This is a character flaw I'm always working on. My readers should hold be accountable when it appears to be acting up.
Here's a challenge to OSM critics: write a post saying something positive about the new company. There has to be something good from this. Here's mine: OSM is giving writers I respect the possibility of earning money. That means they'll be able to spend more time on their writing and ideas. It may not change the world, but it will still be great.
"OSM - Early Validation"
More OSM Criticism
From Hog on Ice:
I made fun of OSM for failing to register their own domain name (back in the PJM days), "pajamamedia.com." That wasn't a booboo. That wasn't a slip. That was a monumental screwup worthy of monkeys. It was unbelievably stupid and irresponsible. In a real company, doing something that dumb would be a firing offense.
Moxie does Pajama Club redux.
I don't want to be completely negative. If someone found a positive post on why OSM/Open Source Media will be a success let me know so I can link to it.
UPDATE: It's getting bad for OSM/Open Source Media when the CEO's wife has to quasi-anonymously defend him.
I wish no ill will on Dean and the other OSM contributors. Making money is a beautiful thing. I hope this new start-up works out. However, I call things like I see them.
November 18, 2005
OSM/Open Source Media
Roger Simon turned on the OSM/Open Source Media machine Wednesday. From what I've gleened the company's business model reads something like this:
About the business model OSMer John Cole writes, "That is of no concern to me other than I hope they figure something out or have something in place that will work." That's not encouraging. Some very trusting investors were willing to give OSM $3.5 million in venture capital. (With Digg getting a similar amount are we entering another internet bubble?)
Earlier this year when OSM/Open Source Media was still Pajama Media (a truly bad name) I was sent a non-disclosure agreement and brief on the company. My accountant/business advisor and I looked through it. She was more optimistic. I was scratching my head. How does OSM/Open Source Media allow me to monetize my weblog better than BlogAds? The brief talked about how the company would get big-name advertisers to buy ads on weblogs. In order to build confidence this could happen I would have liked to know who would be running the business and doing the sales. Roger Simon and Charles Johnson didn't show me any history of running a successful business. Tossing around the names of A-list webloggers didn't build confidence.
The new company already is flubbing their name. Chris Lyndon has an outfit in Massachusetts called Open Source Media, Inc. which produces a public radio show with a sister weblog. Brendan Greeley, one of the show's producers, is covering OSM/Open Source Media's name problem.
Sadly, the big names associated with OSM/Open Source Media aren't talking much about the name problem. "Accidental" CEO (huh?) Roger Simon writes, "we're going to be flopping around for some time, much like a kid learning to ride a bicycle." Trampling on somone else's name is more than a new company flop. He offers no explanation or defense or even his side of the story. Charles Johnson just links to a sarcastic post by fellow OSMer Iowahawk. Michelle Malkin is quiet. She's traveling and hawking her book, but had time to post about the Iraq War vote in the House.
A big fear was Glenn Reynolds would start linking only to the OSM portal and weblogs creating a blogosphere-within-the-blogosphere. He links to OSM wire copy and weblog roundups, but I haven't seen a real OSM bias. That's good.
A good barometer of successful, good media is Jeff Jarvis. The guy has too much experience to take his opinion lightly. If they could have won him over instead of having him scratch his head and wonder what OSM/Open Source Media is I'd say Simon, Johnson, et al had a shot. Jarvis is now "cringing as I await the sound of trains crashing."
After the Huffington Post hype I'm not optimistic about OSM/Open Source Media. Being only two-days old I know I'm not giving it a chance. But OSM doesn't feel organic, alive. Even with cool people like Glenn Reynolds associated with it it doesn't have a personality. On the business side the the company founders may have completely misconstrued how advertising works.
November 16, 2005
Weblog Awards: Nominations Open
The 2005 Weblog Awards are upon us. Nominations are now open. I've already nominated TAM in the "Best Conservative Blog" and "Best of the Top 251 - 500 Blogs." If you think TAM fits in another catagory be my guest and nominate me.
November 11, 2005
Two Years Old
LaShawn Barber has been weblogging for two years. I met her a CPAC earlier this year. When I met her again at BlogNashville it was like seeing a friend I haven't spoken to in a few weeks. She can be a terror (in a good way) in the blogosphere, but she's great face-to-face. Congrats.
November 09, 2005
Patrick's Badger Blogger is one year old.
November 01, 2005
New TAM Sponsor
Welcome The Markesan Group, TAM's first Wisconsin-based sponsor. They handle public relations, political consulting, etc. If you need some help getting your message out talk to them.
October 30, 2005
October 25, 2005
In the past few weeks the amount of trackback spam has really shot up. Now, it appears Jay Allen is done updating the MT-Blacklist. Too bad. Other than the trackback and comment spam MT 2.661 has been good for me. My philosophy with software is "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Upgrading for the sake of upgrading seems pointless to me. But I'm going to have to think about it. WordPress will deserve strong consideration since it's free, open source, and let's me have unlimited authors. With MT 3 I'm familiar with its weblogging interface, and it might, might let me move my template without much fuss. Maybe it's remodelling time for TAM. Rip out its guts and put on a new coat of pixels. Any thoughts?
October 23, 2005
Zilch. Zero. Nada.
That's what my weblog is worth according to Business Opportunities Weblog.
Huh? It's not like Technorati doesn't acknowledge my existence. Almost six years of writing has to be worth something...anything. I've got an advertiser. That has to mean TAM has some value. Dane Carlson needs to do a little debugging.
October 18, 2005
House Republicans' Valiant Attempt to Woo Webloggers
Michelle Malkin posted an invitation for webloggers to come to the Capitol to post and talk with Congressional Republicans about "the House Republican record of successful economic policies, their commitment to fiscal responsibility, and the details of the historic proposed budget amendment that is expected to reach the floor later this week."
It's nice to offer the invitation but it misses a couple points about weblogging and webloggers. First, who besides the independently wealthy or someone living within driving distance of D.C. will attend? Most of us who toil at this
I give the House GOP an A for effort, but a C for not fully thinking about the wide expanse weblogs offer. They should be talking to Patrick Ruffini.
UPDATE: My quip about only webloggers "living within driving distance of D.C. will attend" was slightly off. Matt Margolis got invited. He lives in Boston and is taking the train down to D.C. I forgot about the only part of Amtrak that's worth anything. The essence of my point remains: if the House GOP wants to reach out to webloggers they should think beyond the small portion that live in the Northeast Corridor. Outreach means going west of the Appalachians.
October 06, 2005
Carnival of the Badger #8
Check out the posts from around Wisconsin's little corner of the blogosphere.
September 30, 2005
TAM got it's first mention on the National Journal's Blogometer. That could explain a couple of traffic spikes in the middle of the day. Can someone give them some permalinks. It's like Kaus. I'd read more if I could easily link to items.
September 29, 2005
Carnival of the Vanities #158
Conservative Cat hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
UPDATE: Hmm. There's controversy with the CoV this week. So much that Laurence Simon posted his own version.
UPDATE II: Kevin sets me straight. The original host, who deserves no link, did such a horrible job both Conservative Cat and Laurence Simon went to work. The question now is will any of them get an Instalanche?
September 18, 2005
On the BorderLine is one-year old. Congrats.
September 08, 2005
September 04, 2005
It's been some time but Steve of Norway is back weblogging. All it took was a natural disaster and too many playing the blame game.
It's amazing really, the President could've had 10,000 troops stationed outside of New Orleans; had FEMA ready to go and could've had $50billion earmarked for the initial wave of rebuilding/rescues, but it would not have mattered one iota. This hurricane would've blown through New Orleans and would've still flooded 80% of the city. Lake Pontchartrain still would've blasted through the levees and the looters & shooters still would be causing the havoc that they are. Because a hurricane is a hurricane...it causes an ass-load amount of damage. Is that too simple to grasp? No amount of pre-planning would've saved New Orleans. Kyoto would not have saved New Orleans. The Governor of Louisiana could not have saved New Orleans. Haley Barbour, although being blamed for causing Katrina, could not have stopped it from tearing apart Mississippi. It's mother nature and in the case of the blogosphere, it's natural to bring politics into the mess. And in some cases, call the President names to make themselves feel better about their little lives. Well bravo...bravo.
Welcome back, Steve.
August 31, 2005
Don Surber hosts the best of the worst with the Bonfire of the Vanities.
August 30, 2005
Carnival of the Vanities #154
INCITE hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities. It's a "small" one, only 48 posts.
August 25, 2005
Widgerson Library has this week's Carnival of the Badger posted.
August 24, 2005
Carnival of the Vanities #153
The Big Picture hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
August 19, 2005
Stephen Karlson is getting into his teaching mode:
With the new semester starting, it is time to review some fundamentals of policy making and argumentation. The extremists of any stripe (and I apologize for the excessive abstraction of "Left" and "Right;" nativists are not necessarily royalists or capitalists, and pacifists and war resisters not necessarily republicans or socialists) do not affect public policy unless they are able to move the marginal decision maker. And that marginal decision maker is somewhere in the middle. Why? Review the median voter theorem and the principle of minimum differentiation. (The closing paragraph of Harold Hotelling's "Stability in Competition" notes that Democrats and Republicans, or Methodists and Episcopalians, are quite similar.)
Webloggers (myself included) as well as students should heed this advice.
"The Company You Keep?"
August 18, 2005
Carnival of the Badger
Nicholas Schweitzer has put together the first-ever Wisconsin weblogger linkfest. Dumb name (no more "carnival" linkfests please; need something original) but great idea. Find some new weblogs and see what some very smart Badger Staters are thinking.
"Carnival of the Badger Edition 1"
August 14, 2005
August 09, 2005
What's That Smell?
Napalm? Well, then it must be the latest Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by WunderKraut.com.
New Home for Milt
WGN is doing the smart thing and hosting Milt Rosenberg's fine weblog.
August 08, 2005
TAM is Hot
Instapundit is four-years-old today. Wow, it feels like Glenn has been posting forever. Then that makes TAM older than dirt since it will be six(!) in December. Congrats, Glenn even though you're on vacation and not reading this.
[via Badger Blogger]
August 03, 2005
Help Out a Weblogger
A bicycle accident had really thrown a wrench in Kate's dental plans. She has daunting dental bills and is asking for donations. Kate's good people. Please help her out.
July 27, 2005
Daily Blog Roundup
TAM is featured on today's Daily Blog Roundup.
July 26, 2005
Charlie Sykes wasn't the only one to make a mistake. Chris Muir, creator of Day by Day--the unofficial official comic strip of the blogosphere--blew it twice in one strip. Both men have made amends, and a lot faster than most MSM.
July 19, 2005
Practical Penumbra hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
July 10, 2005
Four Years Old
June 28, 2005
Two Years of Burning
The Bonfire of the Vanities is two years old. For this anniversary it's returned to its original home at Wizbang.
June 26, 2005
Carnival of the Chillin
Trackbacks are wonderful things because that's how I found out about the Carnival of the Chillin (now in its second edition). I'm sure the last thing the blogosphere needs is another carnival (maybe don't call it a "carnival") but here it is for your late-Sunday reading.
An HuffPost Non-Highlight
Over at The Huffington Post Arianna recaps the past week of posts. No mention of her "scoop" that V.P. Dick Cheney was in the cardiac section of a Colorado hospital. Could it be because she was talking out of her ass?
June 14, 2005
Burnt to a Crisp
Basil hosts one of the more biting (and funny) Bonfire of the Vanities in some time.
June 09, 2005
Weblogs Threat to ChiComs
Communist China will be requiring webloggers to register with the government. The communists may claim they want to protect their citizens from "sex, violence, and superstitions," but common sense knows it's about controlling political messages. Peter Glover (TAM sponsor) writes,
The Cybercast News Service which broke the story quotes a recently released study of Internet filtering published by the OpenNet Initiative, a collaborative partnership between universities in the US, Canada and Britain. It described China's online censorship as "the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world...pervasive, sophisticated and effective."
We American webloggers are really spoiled compared to some of our international brethren.
"China Clamps Down on Blogs"
June 08, 2005
Advertising on Weblogs
Weblog cliques get their own advertising network with angel investors.
[John Battelle] said he's using his own editorial judgment to decide which bloggers to invite to join the network, but added that his judgment is informed by the community of bloggers that link to each other.
Frank, Thanks for the Traffic
It's funny how a simple link to a picture of a church years ago can really get some traffic. But if that church is the distinctive Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, WI and its designer, Frank Lloyd Wright has a birthday today no more explanation is needed. Here's the Wikipedia entry for Wisconsin's greatest architect.
June 07, 2005
According to CNN TAM is "Civilized"
Between the "Moonbat Ocean" and the "Wingnut Hordes" lies TAM and the Coalition of the Chillin. I'm a little worried. TAM is pretty much that bastion of stability known as the Balkins.
June 02, 2005
Lakeshore Laments has grown up and ditched BlogSpot. Nice looking site.
June 01, 2005
More than Money
Mike Krempasky makes a great clarification about webloggers' political contributions. Taking ads or campaign contributions aren't the only thing the FEC is thinking about regulating:
If you sell advertising on the open market and then give an ad away to a regulated political entity - you're stuck. Worse would be the FEC determining that favorable blog posts were the equivalent to advertising.
Should the FEC be so foolish TAM will be having someone flaunt from afar.
"Sigh. More on the FEC"
mtpolitics.net is no more. Bummer.
All the best to Craig and his meatspace-only life.
May 31, 2005
The FEC regulating webloggers seems to be in order.
Draft rules from the Federal Election Commission, which enforces campaign finance laws, would require that paid political advertisements on the Internet declare who funded the ad, as television spots do.
So if TAM is fortuate enough in the future to get political ads I'll be drowned in FEC compliance. Thanks guys. Way to uphold the free speech rights of passionate, concerned citizens.
Here's how I'd get around these rules:
My plan doesn't stop legal costs from incurring. I'm not a lucky weblogging power broker like Kos who can get lawyer to file a comment for him. But it would be a big middle finger to the FEC, Sens. McCain and Feingold, and President Bush who signed the damn campaign finance bill.
May 29, 2005
Roger Simon is asking some good questions regarding weblogging as an original news source. They're good questions but why ask them during an American holiday that's about being outside and away from stuff like computers? Odd.
"Pajamas Media Question #1 - What Is 'Fair and Balanced'?"
"Pajamas Media Question #2 - 'How Can We be an Online Joe Friday?'"
May 22, 2005
Well, yes, I did stop by my favorite St. Cloud Watering Hole, Granite City Food & Brewery to participate in the first outstate Minnesota Organization of Blogs get together. I did talk to Our Gracious Organizer a bit, as well as Kevin Ecker (with whom I share a mutal friend, small world, eh?) and had the opportunity to at least meet Mr. & Mrs. Westover, I spent most of my time talking with Mitch Berg and Gary Gross.
The conversation with Mitch and Gary started off with me stating to Mitch that I don't get my politics or religion from the movies I see (i.e., "Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith"), the books I read (i.e., "The DaVinci Code") or the pop I drink (i.e., Pepsi). From there, the conversation evolved (or, devolved) to any number of topics.
A great night had by all, and Annie got my mug club membership renewed. Thanks, Annie! I eagerly await the next gathering.
Publically Embarassing Oneself...Again
Surprise, surprise. Dave Winer is having another fit. This time he's attacking podcasting evangelist and ex-MTV VJ Adam Curry. He claim's Curry has been saying "really nasty shit about me personally." What that "shit" is I don't know because Dave doesn't link to anything. I've been listening to Curry's Daily Source Code for a few weeks and don't know what is really going on. It's probably nothing since Winer has a history of going goofy for no apparent reason. Adam's response to Dave's initial attack is his 05.16 podcast.
May 18, 2005
Val Prieto will be at Cuba Nostalgia covering the festivities and also letting people in on the wild world of the blogosphere. Val is taking weblog beyond news and politics and merging it with ethnic culture. The medium is extremely flexible so I expect good things from Val's efforts.
"From the Mailbag: Cuban Convention"
May 17, 2005
Conservative Cat hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities. Sadly for you all there is no TAM entry.
May 15, 2005
Not So Terrible Two
Eric Scheie's Classical Values is a weblog I'm sad to admit I don't read enough. It's bad enough that it took me meeting him last weekend at BlogNashville to get him on my blogroll. His mind goes in unexpected directions which makes a wonderful antidote to conventional wisdom from all ideologies. Give Eric some love for reaching the two-year mark as a weblogger.
May 14, 2005
THP: A Weblogging Experiment
Steven Taylor writes, "post stuff people want to make fun of, and your linkage will soar." He dubs this "Huffington's Law." How long can a weblog survive when all its incoming linkage is of the mocking variety? How many of Ariana's 250 writing buddies continue to post when they know there are a few thousand readers ready to rip them apart? We shall see.
"New Blogging Advice: Huffington’s Law"
May 13, 2005
It's All about the Ego
About The Huffington Post's slew of new webloggers, Ann Althouse asks,
Why not blog low-profile for a while and get a feel for what your voice is going to be, what makes a good post, how to mix up the subject matter? Then one day when you've got a particularly good post on a subject some prominent blogger would want to link to, send out an email on that post.
Simple answer: it's ego. Weblogs are personal publishing. We pump out these words because we want others to read. It would be smarter to "a feel for what your voice is going to be" but knowing millions of people have access to your words the idea of garnering instant attention is intoxicating. Not getting that immediate attention hit may be the primary reason so many weblogs flame out so fast.
"WaPo on HuffPo and Some Blogging Advice."
May 12, 2005
[via Professor Bainbridge]
May 11, 2005
Best of the Worst
Pirate's Cove hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities--Star Wars: Episode III edition.
New TAM Sponsor
Regular TAM readers may have noticed a new sponsor. Check out Jason Johnson and his book Wake Up America!.
May 09, 2005
Huffington Post Up and Running
The Huffington Post has begun publishing. It's a cross between a group weblog and the Drudge Report. The celeb webloggers' post are along the left side with stories and Drudge-style exclusives on the right. So far, the weblog posts are typical Lefty junk. The hot stories are what might make me come back once or twice a day. I already found this story about the NY Times considering starting a weblog.
May 08, 2005
Vote! Vote! Vote!
You can still help TAM become MKE's "Blog of the Week."
May 05, 2005
Help TAM Win
I've just found out about this contest put on by the "hip" division of the Journal Sentinel, mke. The winner will be announced tomorrow at 5 pm so hurry and vote early and often.
UPDATE: I was wrong. The voting didn't end today. So you will have to put up with my campaign for a few more days. Lucky you.
May 04, 2005
New TAM Sponsor
May 03, 2005
Find a Better Way
Power Line and Captain's Quarters have dropped in my daily weblog reading. Their content is still fine. It's just that I hate the obnoxious ads both have in the most recent posts. They're big, gaudy, slow down page loads, and have annoying effects when my mouse passes over them. What's going on? Aren't BlogAds selling? This is a weblog trend I hope dies quickly.
Let It Burn
File it under hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
May 02, 2005
Some Noticable Attention
CNN has recently pointed out the wonderfulness that is TAM. The effect on traffic was unnoticable. CNN's sister company AOL has a "Blog Zone" featuring my post on the right to disappear. This time I'm noticing a traffic bounce. Just goes to show a brief mention on a floundering cable network doesn't mean much for web traffic.
What an interesting start to the day. I'll be ripping on Glenn Reynolds. Well, kind of. I'll just point to Ace's post on Glenn's double standards. No one's perfect, especially not a Tennesee law prof who happens to be the biggest fish in the pond.
Let me note that you know the Islamist War is going well when we find the time to debate non-war issues.
April 29, 2005
Rick at Stones Cry Out writes about "blog fatigue" and how he solved his:
I'll admit that the current SCO format is largely the result of blog fatigue. I appreciate many things about the new SCO and my partners, but most of all, I appreciate the fact that blogging is more enjoyable without all the pressure to perform daily. We're all very busy guys, and although there is still a bit of pressure to keep insightful content on the page for our readers, for me, the pressure is nothing in comparison to what it was a few months ago. I can focus on family, work, and school, and still blog. That's fantastic!
Like any weblogger frustration has hit me. It used to really hit me a few years ago when new weblogs were popping onto the scene and immediately getting oodles of visitors. Instant success came to them while struggled. It hurt more knowing I was into this weblogging thing long before some hot writers ever heard of the medium. Increased attention to TAM pushed that frustration away. I think TAM is almost at a point of critical mass. (So go tell your friends to read TAM and put it on your blogrolls just to make sure.) Being on the cusp invigorates me and give me no reason to stop now.
The whole purpose of TAM is to force me to make me write daily. I have succeeded. Since I like to write it makes sense to allow myself to be read. In an ideal world someone would pay me to write articles, books, weblog posts, etc. Until then, TAM is the center of my writing enterprise. No fatigue seen on the horizon.
April 26, 2005
TAM Got Torched
Boxing Alcibiades hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Third Party Exposure
April 22, 2005
What a Combo
A Reid-Colburn double team. No, it's not a sign of the Apochalyspe. It's just two Senators trying to protect webloggers. Mike Krempasky has the details.
"Online Freedom of Speech Act Update"
April 20, 2005
The Chicago Report is No More
There's a funky weblog called Kapitalisimo in its place.
April 19, 2005
Advertise on TAM
TAM now accepts Blogads. To help me figure out how this works and how to best format ads I'm offering a freebie. E-mail me (sean at this domain name) for the offer code. Then just click on the "Advertise here" link or click here.
April 17, 2005
Drudge vs. Weblogs
Drudge is complaining about weblogs. They're too "loud, ugly and boring." We know The Drudge Report isn't boring, but it certainly can be loud and ugly--find something new than that 1996 flashing alert light.
Matt has an ego. He's a pioneer who thinks other "citizen journalists" are just following in his footsteps. Weblogs are "competition." Someday, there will be a big time weblogger who loses perspective and complains publically about too many lesser weblogs clogging up new media's pipes.
Drudge jumped the shark a long time ago with his book the Drudge Manifesto. It wasn't so much a book as a collection of beat poet journalism for the 21st Century. It was incoherent and unreadable. It sold copies, but there hasn't been a hint of a follow up. Matt just sticks to his web site and radio show. That's what he's good at. Drudge will continue to make waves and be a big fish in a ever-growing online media ocean.
"Matt Drudge is an Ass"
"'The World is his Laptop' ... and His Laptop is His Muse"
April 15, 2005
Hell Just Froze Over
Mike Krempasky has a post a DailyKos.
Seriously, I'm glad Kos and Krempasky are making this bipartisan just like the bill in Congress. I pretty much ignore Kos' daily screeds but I don't want the FEC shutting him up. We webloggers are just little fish in a huge, ever-growing media ocean. We shouldn't be silenced just like Time, the Washington Post, or Fox News shouldn't be silenced. Call your Congressman and Senator and tell them to support Rep. Jeb Hensarling's Online Freedom of Speech Act and Sen. Harry Reid's S.678.
"Online Freedom of Speech Act introduced in House"
April 14, 2005
To Wisconsin Webloggers and Weblog Readers
Plans are in the works for an invasion of Miller Park in June. GBfan has sketched out some details.
"The Blogosphere Get Together It Begins :)"
April 13, 2005
It's About Time
A TAM mention in Slate. Welcome, Slate readers.
April 12, 2005
Get the Fire Extingisher
Give some love to MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Not only is it the host of this week's Bonfire of the Vanities but Beth put up with my incoherent submission.
April 11, 2005
Not as old as TAM Wizbang has reached its second anniversary. For some reason it feels like Kevin's been weblogging longer than that. Congrats.
"Wizbang Turns Two"
April 09, 2005
Dean's World is three years young. If you haven't read him lately go there now. Dean has been a great supporter of TAM. His links and advice have been very helpful. Bravo! I wish him many more years of weblogging pleasure.
April 06, 2005
Dowdification and Our Discontent
Weblogs rise and fall because of their reputation. If a writer publishes material readers think is credible, entertaining, and/or informative they'll come back and even tell others about it. If the writer fails to be an effective writer readership will go down.
Josh Marshall has consistently put out accusations with a veneer of truth but full of high pitched bravado. He's still hoping the Valerie Plame story will stain President Bush. Now, Bryan Preston has caught him "Dowdified" a quote by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). He's calling for an ostricization of Marshall. Good call. Ineffective writers should be punished. I'd like to say TAM not linking to Marshall will have any effect, but I don't have him on my blogroll, and I rarely read him.
"My Own Private Fatwa Against Dowdification"
April 03, 2005
Alabama Weblogging Panel
Two of TAM's favorites, James Joyner and Steven Taylor tried to enlighten the unwashed weblogging masses.
Sullivan's Lack of Reaction
I wanted to know how the most famous Catholic in the blogosphere thought about the loss of the Pontiff. I don't really know what Andrew Sullivan thinks because it's "all theoconservative all the time." Two mentions of of theocons and I'm tired. Someone let me know when he gets off this kick so I can consider reading him again. What a waste.
March 30, 2005
TAM's Top 15
Inspired by John Hawkins here's my list of my fave weblogs:
There were the ones I could rattle off in just a few minutes. They're the ones I go to look for hot news or to get views on hot news. This list tells me two things: 1. I need to broaden my weblog reading (tough with reading all the stories they link to as well as write my own posts); 2. I need to read more Lefty weblogs to better understand my opponents.
March 29, 2005
A TAM First
There's a person who comments daily at TAM. I don't think I've ever mentioned Chet by name in a post but have took him on in the comments. I don't mind him around. He can be obnoxious, but he occasionally keeps me on my toes and adds entertainment to the comments. Tee Bee has written the first post I know of solely about a TAM commenter. Looks like Chet has found a new place to comment.
"Bending the Blog Rules: Talking Terri Schiavo with Trolls"
March 28, 2005
Sign Up for BlogNashville
March 18, 2005
Here are two new weblogs to sink your intellectual teeth into.
March 10, 2005
FEC: Fun Educating Clucks
In the words of those two Guinness characters: "Brilliant!"
"Annoying the FEC: Fun and Educational!"
March 09, 2005
Not Much of a Boost
Congrats to Jib for having a post mentioned on MSNBC. Looking at his Site Meter stats a mention on the third-place cable news network was a minor boost. I wouldn't mind a national mention for TAM but traffic-wise I'd rather have Charlie link to me.
March 08, 2005
Congrats, Power Line
No official word from the Power Line guys, but Matthew Yglesias lets us know The Week named the "Rather-slayers" the Weblog of the Year.
"It's Just an Honor to Be Nominated"
Light One Up
Basil's Blog is the host of this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
March 03, 2005
The FEC regulating webloggers? Commissioner Bradley Smith worries that may happen. I remember talking to Cam Edwards about this on his show when I was at CPAC. I thought the notion was absurd, and there was such an easy work-around. If the FEC decides to limit what webloggers and write about or link to I'll move TAM to a server outside the U.S. I'll then start using annonymizer services to connect to that server. Then I'll dare the FEC to lock me in jail for speaking my mind. I'll be like John Kerry and tell the FEC to "Bring...It...On!"
I will not be stopped engaging in free speech. Sens. McCain and Feingold and take their free speech restriction law and shove it up their asses. You won't take away my weblog or my voice unless you pry the keyboard out of my cold, dead hands.
This isn't a partisan issue. There are those on the Left who are concerned too.
"The Coming Crackdown on Blogging"
"Yet Another Reason to Never Vote for Feingold, McCain"
UPDATE: Erick at Redstate offers up an opposing view. There may be more nuance to this issue than Bradley Smith let on.
February 27, 2005
Who's Hotter?--Blogosphere Edition
At CPAC when Cam Edwards showed me the picture of his weblogging cohort I knew what I had to do. So I ask for your judgement. Who's hotter
UPDATE: Brian J. had the best answer: "Yes."
February 24, 2005
James Joyner and some weblog called The Bones of Contention link to a weblog so foul I won't even give you its name. The premise seems to be to toss as many f-bombs as possible while ripping on public figures.
To use Kevin's term WTF.
February 23, 2005
Libertarian Girl, Redux?
Abigail's Magic Garden appears to be just a brand-new Lefty weblog. However, this has Libertarian Girl written all over it. Most obviously, "Abigail's" picture looks a little too professional. It screams "Russian mail-order bride." Second, she lists her interests as "politics, working out, museums, helping the less fortunate." Not one mention of pop culture. No one wanting to write a weblog is that lame. Third, why would a liberal weblogger put TAM on her blogroll along with Matt Yglesias, Kos, and Kevin Drum?
But what's convinced me is the Gender Genie. I put this post into the contraption, and it popped out a female score of 454 but a male score of 807. I then put in a series of posts (avoiding quotes from other websites). I got a female score of 1482 but a male score of 2195. So, Gender Genie thinks Abigail is really Gaylord.
I wonder if the person or persons behind "Abigail" are also behind Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred. Either they're in cahoots, or they're easily fooled. As for the comments on the S,C,&A post, they're either ironically playing along or oblivious to the obvious.
February 22, 2005
Clash of the Titans
February 21, 2005
A High Price to Pay
Strangely, I've read few comments on the NY Times' purchase of About.com. Here's a negative post by John Ellis:
In fact, the deal is an embarrassment of overpayment and reveals a kind of strategic ennui. The "metro" strategy of marketing the newspaper has failed. The television strategy has failed. The great Internet opportunity of 2000-2001 has long since passed (the NYT company could have acquired Yahoo! for a relative song in 2001). Having failed to even comprehend the turbo-dynamics of Blogger, the NYT Company now throws $410 million at 500 weblogs.
If the Times is still in the mood I'll begin negotiations at a paltry $500,000.
February 18, 2005
An Instant Hit
Someone from the Child of Reagan weblog stopped by Bloggers Corner. I clicked on the site and was immediately impressed. Any weblog that gives us "Your Daily Dose of Whittaker Chambers" is cool in my book.
Keep Them in Your Thoughts
February 17, 2005
Peggy Praises Webloggers
The same op/ed page that disparaged webloggers publishes Peggy Noonan's high praise of them. This proves the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page has no axe to grind.
February 16, 2005
John C. A. Bambenek takes the torch and hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
February 11, 2005
After Jordan, Who's Next?
Humor when done well offers insight better than straight talk. In the aftermath of Eason Jordan's resignation Jim Geraghty writes,
I have a feeling that the discussion of the "blogs as a lynch mob" is going to get a lot of coverage in the coming days.
ScrappleFace gives us this wallop:
Even as embattled CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan announced his 'resignation' tonight, the ad hoc consortium of unedited writers known as the blogosphere met online to discuss which journalist should be the next to fall.
The fictional Eason Jordan is quoted as saying, "Hubris. Hubris."
The blogosphere will get burned. It's not a question of if but when.
I felt a bad twinge while reading Captain Ed's attack on Brett Stephens. It seemed to me Ed was taking seeing a conspiracy when none existed.
A mob mentality is the opposite of conservative political philosophy and temperment. I'm reading Edmund Burke right now, so I'm riveted on the damage mobs can do. A mob destroys. Rarely does it create. Is it the intention of some in the blogosphere to destroy the MSM? If so, they should be clear about their mission to their readers. Or do they want better, more accurate news?
UPDATE: Howard Kurtz has a front page story in Saturday's Washington Post. He writes,
Blogs operated by National Review Online, radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt and commentator Michelle Malkin were among those that began slamming Jordan last week after a Davos attendee posted an online account, but the establishment press was slow to pick up on the controversy. The Washington Post and Boston Globe published stories Tuesday and the Miami Herald ran one Thursday. Also on Thursday, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens, who was at Davos, published an account accusing Jordan of "defamatory innuendo," and the Associated Press moved a story. As of yesterday, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today had not carried a staff-written story, and the CBS, NBC and ABC nightly news programs had not reported the matter. It was discussed on several talk shows on Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC.
"CNN's Jordan Resigns Over Iraq Remarks" [via Cam Edwards]
[Added to Wizbang's The 10 Spot.]
"Welcome to the Broadcast"
Today, I wondered to myself if Charlie Rose ever had webloggers on his show talking about the new phenomenon. Since Andrew Sullivan has been on his show in the past I figured he did that already. Guess I was wrong.
I do wonder why Sullivan is on there. Isn't he on weblogging hiatus? I guess he isn't when it comes to getting on television.
[via Croooow Blog]
February 08, 2005
Hugh is Wrong
Today's the day I point out errors by conservative internet titans. Earlier, I pointed out Matt Drudge's editorial opinion about a wonkish White House statement. Now, I challenge weblog evangelist and radio yapper Hugh Hewitt. On Kudlow & Cramer he said this about weblogs:
Larry, in 1999, there were two dozen blogs. Today, there are seven million. David Sifry of Technorati says 40,000 new ones a day are being created.
TAM started in 1999 so I'm aware of what the blogosphere was like before it got that name. Back then, I was reading more than two dozen weblogs weekly. Dave Winer was hosting hundreds of weblogs. Hugh is right that the number of weblogs has exploded since then, but it wasn't the Negative Zone he makes it out to be.
Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire
Sophistpundit hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Thank You, WisOpinion
We are webloggers, hear us roar!
February 07, 2005
Since Charlie Sykes started powering the Wisconsin weblogger bandwagon I've been waiting to use that line from commercial's past as a title. Anyway, Charlie praised the Journal Sentinel's token conservative columnist Patrick McIhleran for mentioning local webloggers. Charlie writes, "As far as I can tell, this is the first time the local MSM has taken note of the bloggers... it's late to the party."
On 01.18 the BBA's favorite Journal Sentinel reporter Greg Borowski wrote, "Local bloggers and others, including talk radio hosts, have labeled the gap as evidence of more than 10,000 illegally cast ballots."
Why Little Posting
Working late + picking up sis at airport + watching 24 = few posts.
February 06, 2005
Thanks, TAM Readers
As of this moment TAM is #240 in visitors on TTLB's weblog list. Wow is an understatement. I want to thank all my readers plus my fellow webloggers who think TAM is valuable enough to deserve a link.
I'm grateful to achieve this much of an audience, but I want more. If you're just a reader, tell your friends about TAM. If you're a weblogger add TAM to your blogroll. If you've done both you can always drop something into my tip jar. All your goodwill is appreciated.
Watching the Weblogs
I didn't know a research firm was monitoring weblogs to gauge reaction to SB ads. Hi, everybody!
February 03, 2005
I'm illin' but I also have to take my sister to the airport. There should be no posting for a few hours. To keep you occupied check out how two webloggers ripped apart a 13-year old. What the kid did was wrong, but the reaction was WAY over the top.
Even if Glenn Reynolds had dental work done today after reading about people arguing over an Instalanche I'd want to take a break from weblogging too.
February 01, 2005
I'm feeling a tad chilly today. Perfect, then I can warm up with the Bonfire of the Vanities.
Charlie Sykes poses two questions to the Wisconsin blogosphere:
Query One: Why no interest in Doyle's handling of school choice in the blogosphere?
The two stories I've been hooked on the past few weeks have been the voting problems and Howard Dean, M.D.'s quest for the DNC Chairmanship. Tossing in a third would stretch me thin. Also, the voting story has a more national audience. TAM isn't just a Wisconsin weblog. I write in order to be read, and the voting story has boosted traffic locally and nationally.
An occasional e-mail nudge would help me be aware that it isn't being covered. At the very least a link to someone else covering the story would give it some much needed attention.
Query Two: What's the next step in promoting the new -- very active -- WI Blogosphere? I'm open to suggestion.
Marketing and promotion is one of my weakest traits. I have an introverted personality and grew up in a Wisconsin German Lutheran environment where one's merit was shown through actions. I'm not comfortable bragging about my success--whether TAM is a success, I don't know.
You'd think Hugh Hewitt's book Blog would give you some tips on how to promote a weblog. It really doesn't. It's more of a case study/evangelist book. Hugh tells you why you should weblog rather than how to get your weblog known.
What can always draw attention is noticing goofyness in the MSM. I'm sure Power Line's war with a Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist helped many to learn about weblogs. Who wants to drive Eugene Kane so crazy to get a mention in his column?
Since the MSM (and a certain corner of the New Media) almost completely ignore the WI blogosphere we can just bypast them. An example of detouring the MSM is starting a radio show like the Northern Alliance in Minnesota. The Milwaukee radio market is different from that of the Twin Cities. It seems to be more dynamic with new stations popping up, and old ones changing formats. The NA's birth coincided quite well with the up-and-coming AM1280 The Patriot. Right now, I don't see a hungry, chance-taking station interested in putting a bunch of webloggers on the air.
More realistically we should use Charlie's show to get the word out about this parallel media universe. This leads into a question I've been wanted to ask Charlie for a while: How should webloggers call into your show? Yesterday, I called Charlie to talk about ethanol. I called and got on but was hesitant about telling the call screener what weblog I wrote. Charlie was kind enough to have me in the studio so I also didn't want to assume he wouldn't mind turning his show into a mini weblog commercial. Charlie could also take 10 minutes a week to talk to a weblogger. Radio is a powerful medium. We just have to remember that in order for it to work webloggers have to be interesting. That's the tradeoff. We have to add value to Charlie's show in order to deserve the attention.
As for me personally, I'll continue to follow stories that interest me and (hopefully) interest my readers. Later this month, I will be a fully credentialed weblogger covering CPAC (by the way, please donate). Getting to talk to some conservative big-wigs as well as searching for the conservative wackos who will be there should draw interest. I hope to get promotion ideas from my fellow webloggers. What I can do as an everyday thing is make linking to my fellow BBA members a daily habit. One aspect of the "power of the link" is sharing is good. When I link to another weblog I'm sharing my traffic with them. That valued interconnectedness helps both sides of the link.
January 31, 2005
Reaction to Judge Green's Ruling
Not much comment from any big name webloggers on Judge Green's ruling. That doesn't mean there isn't any interesting commentary. Here's Rand Holman's take:
And the very people she is seeking to protect are not Americans, they were not captured on American soil, and they are suspected terrorists, or have fired upon US Troops in an overseas military operation.
The State Of... writes, "I think Judge Green's ruling is rightly decided. It makes no sense to say somebody is not protected by International Law." There's one HUGE problem with this thinking: The U.S. is governed by its constitution not international law. Yes, the U.S. must hold to treaties that have passed the Senate, but the integrity of any nation-state requires its own laws to be paramount.
Lyle Denniston offers his analysis that points out the Geneva Convention aspect of the case:
Second, she decided that at least some of the detainees – those captured as fighters with Taliban forces in Afghanistan – have a right under the Geneva Convention to an independent tribunal’s decision as to whether they are entitled to the protections due a prisoner of war. She rejected the Bush Administration argument that President Bush alone has the power to decide when the Geneva Convention applies. She did accept Bush’s conclusion that the Convention does not apply to Al Qaeda members.
UPDATE: Steven Taylor has no problem with Judge Green's ruling. He writes, "I do adhere to the notion that there are fundamental hunan rights, many of which are, in fact, detailed in the US Constitution." As do I. I just don't think it's the duty of a nation state to uphold the rights of non-citizens.
January 30, 2005
Thune: Weblog Evangelist
Maybe Sen. John Thune was a little too plugged into weblogs. He had two on his campaign payroll.
"Senators Plugged into Blogs"
January 28, 2005
Webloggers at Heritage
The Heritage Foundation hosted a discussion on weblogs and the media. Matthew Sheffield from RatherBiased.com, Paul Mirengoff A.K.A. Deacon of Power Line, and Kevin Aylward of Wizbang talked about Dan Rather and how the MSM is affected by weblogs. A great part of it was connecting a name to a face, especially in Kevin's case. He and I have known each other for a number of years only through the internet. It's nice to finally see what he looks like. It will be even better meeting him in person at CPAC.
"Heritage Panel Wrapup"
January 27, 2005
The CPAC 19
Here are the webloggers CPAC was
CPAC isn't afraid of any webloggers. They are allowing Wonkette to run around freely, and I expect Radley Balko to be no-holds-barred.
Maybe the best part of this for me will be meeting those webloggers I read and connect with on a daily basis. BloggerCon I showed me how great it is to put a face to a weblog.
This is also a good time for me to ask for donations to help defray some of the costs of the trip. You can donate to TAM by hitting the tip jars below:
Since I can't find a way to know who sends me a donation please send me an e-mail so I can thank you personally. If you don't then I thank you in advance.
A Pleasant Surprise
At the bookstore last night, I helped a couple find knitting books. After taking them to the section, the gentleman asked to see Sean Hackbarth. I told him that was I only to be informed that he was none other than triticale. That's the first time a TAM reader has found me at work. Both he and his wife are pleasant. I was glad to meet them.
January 20, 2005
A Tip of the Hat
Michele is celebrating four years of her weblog. She's more surprised than you it's lasted that long:
This is the longest I've ever stuck with a hobby/obsession. I usually treat my hobbies like flings, throwing them out the door the minute I realize they are taking up my precious time. What makes this obsession different? I'm not sure. But four years later, I'm still at it. Ok, maybe it's the friends I've made, the audience I've built, the give and take that comes with having comments and yes, the ad money, which isn't a whole lot but last month's take paid the electric bill.
Michele, I salute you!
"Four More Years!"
January 19, 2005
Fighting Comment Spam
Google and others in the weblog software community have come up with a way for the search engine to ignore comment spam. There are plenty of big names involved which means this has a good chance of working. My question is how can those of us who use old versions of Movable Type get the fix? Will I have to upgrade to MT 3.0 (with its restrictions) or will a patch be made?
"Preventing Comment Spam"
[I expect some of you to just tell me to move TAM to WordPress. But with my previous experience in changing weblogging platforms I'm a bit leary.]
I'm headed to Washington, D.C. next month for CPAC, and I could use your help. Details in the post below.
January 18, 2005
Also Going to CPAC
Ace, who has an unhealthy obsession with Ann Coulter--ANY obsession with her is unhealthy--will be at CPAC.
"CPAC Credentials; Radio Appearance Tonight"
Hmmm... a BloggerCon in a Red State. It's about time. I'm going to have to save that date.
"BlogNashville: Save The Date"
Mr. Hackbarth Goes to Washington and Needs Your Help
I've been invited to cover the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month in Washington, D.C. Following the path the Democrats and Republicans blazed by inviting webloggers to their shindigs, CPAC is giving a select number of webloggers the same credentials as other media. TAM was deemed worthy enough.
Here's where you come in. Going to CPAC won't be cheap. There's the flight and accomidations. Since TAM is a labor of love, a hobby, and not a money-making operation, I'm asking for your help. Along the left column of this weblog is a tip jar button. It's also below.
Another option is to buy items from Amazon through TAM. If I write about a book or music I try to make a link to Amazon. There's also an Amazon ad along the left side of the weblog.
Would anyone consider buying a BlogAd? TAM is starting to get some serious attention with the Milwaukee voter fraud story. Plus local radio yapper Charlie Sykes sees local webloggers as a rising force. Covering CPAC should also garner eyeballs. So for anyone interested in promoting their product or website to a Wisconsin or political junkie audience TAM might be perfect.
If you don't want a BlogAd, I'm willing to promote your website or product. Any promotional posts would be disclosed. I have no desire of becoming the next Armstrong Williams.
January 16, 2005
January 15, 2005
Kos' "Other Clients"
Kos-Teachout yapping continues with a Friday night Slate article. (I guess Chris Suellentrop doesn't take it easy at the end of the week.) Suellentrop goes after Kos, not for his disclosure about being on the Dean, M.D. payroll (he says "those disclosures would be woefully insufficient" if Kos were a journalist), but for those unnamed people he won't tell anyone he worked for.
DailyKos raised money for a dozen congressional candidates this past election. Which, if any, of them paid Moulitsas for the honor of directing his grassroots minions to part with their wallets? If you gave one of Moulitsas' preferred candidates money, wouldn't you like to know if Moulitsas' endorsement was purchased?
January 14, 2005
Kill that Meme
New new meme: Kos ≠ Armstrong Williams.
Earlier in the week Kos linked to the David Corn article where Williams claims there are other conservative pundits on the take. Kos' conclusion: "Until names are named, we can assume every conservative pundit is on the White House's payola rolls." I wish the White House was paying me to promote its message (calling Karl Rove!). Unlike Williams, I'd tell you straight up there was an arrangement.
Glenn Reynolds has plenty of give and take.
"'Zephyr Can Go to Hell'"
January 13, 2005
Talking about weblogs with Charlie Sykes and my fellow Wisconsin webloggers was fun. As I mentioned in my live posting it's tough being on with a bunch of other people. I had things to say, but I was a little nervous and didn't want to talk over anyone. I also wanted those not in the studio to get their say in.
As Kevin points out, I won the coin toss and got to post from the same computer the weathermen sit at. In a way that might have been a distraction. I know I spaced out at least one time either looking through some of my past posts or from seeing something in the Journal Sentinel sitting right in front of me.
Charlie opened the show to calls but either we were just too interesting or his audience was wondering, "Who are these guys?"
Having an audience of thousands was terrific, but just a great was putting weblog to face. Kevin, Owen, and I hit it off immediately. It shouldn't have been hard since we kind of know how one another ticks by reading each other's weblogs. I can't forget the weblog newbie Patrick at My View of the World and Blog General at BRAINPOST. Unfortunately, it was impossible for me to really connect to them via the phone. Someday we'll all get together in one physical space. You know Lefties will be shaking in their boots at the thought of that.
Here are some points I'm taking away:
Below the fold I have some pictures from just after the show.
Live from Milwaukee
Hello Charlie Sykes listeners. I'm posting live from his show.
I'm holding back. It's tough with so many guests, but I'm trying.
Had a brainfart but recovered.
Later, I need to write up my thoughts about the "power of the link."
Off-air, Owen mentions The Wheeler Report for state info.
The Badger Blog Alliance is covering the show live.
Charlie is opening it up for calls. This should be interesting.
Being so independent also means if you fail it's all your fault. No one to blame expect the person in the mirror.
Another Reason Not to Read Kos
Zephyr Teachout, a ex-Deaniac staffer writes that Markos Zuniga operator of Daily Kos was a paid consultant to the Howard Dean, M.D. campaign. It's funny, I never heard him ever mention that.
New meme: Kos=Armstrong Williams.
January 12, 2005
Bookseller Fired Because of Weblog
Joe Gordon was a sci-fi whiz for Waterstone's in Edinburgh. After 11 years of service, Gordon was fired for "gross misconduct" and "bringing the company into disrepute." All because of things he said on his weblog. The posts quoted by The Guardian include Gordon calling his boss "Evil Boss," complaining about not getting his birthday off, and referring to Waterstone's as "Bastardstone's." Seems like hardly reasons for firing a long-time employee. I respect anyone who's laste for 11 years in retail. If UK customers are anything like U.S. ones then Gordon has seen his share of days that just grind away. Methinks Evil Boss just wanted an excuse to ax Gordon.
UPDATE: Captain Ed pretty much says Gordon was asking for it.
Free speech means a person is free to say whatever they want without fear of government sanction or prepublication censorship. It does not mean that a person is free from the consequences of his speech, a point that Hollywood stars also seem to miss whenever they feel the financial effects of the political activism that alienates broad swaths of their audience. Gordon has the freedom to call his manager Evil Boss in print and to call Waterstone whatever he wants. However, when his company finds out that he bad-mouths them in print - which, after all, has the added liability of handy proof of his speech - they have the right to terminate him for doing so, as long as they follow the terms of the union contract which governs his employment. That doesn't infringe on his right to speak his mind; it just reinforces Waterstone's right to associate with whom they choose. His speech can reasonably be construed to show disloyalty and an inability to work with his supervisor, as well as defamation and insubordination.
I agree with what Ed writes. However, he fails to point out that this may have been a poor business decision. Waterstone's lost a long-time employee, and they've created a working environment where employees won't feel they can express their opinions freely. Current workers may leave, and potential workers will wonder if working under such rules is worth it.
Gordon's comments were a tad childish, but firing him was overreaching by the company. That makes me suspect there was more going on an his weblog was the final catalyst.
"Rule #1: Don't Blog About Work Unless You Own The Place"
Sykes to Feature Local Weblogs
Guess I can't stay up to late tonight if I want to be coherent when Charlie Sykes devotes an entire hour to SE Wisconsin weblogs. Sykes points out, "[T]he local media has never covered the local blogs at all." Oh how true.
"The WI Blogosphere"
UPDATE: I want to point out who will be featured tomorrow: Kevin of Lakeshore Laments; Owen of Boots & Sabers; Patrick of My View of the World; BadgerPundit; Blog General of BRAINPOST; and yours truly. We'll be on at 10 a.m. CST. If you're in the Milwaukee area tune into 620 AM. There is also a webcast available.
The upside is great exposure for all our weblogs. The downside is I don't think any of us will be able to cover it live unless Charlie lets us use one of his computers.
January 11, 2005
Another Wine Weblogger
If she wanted to Lynne Kiesling could give Stephen Bainbridge a run for his money.
"Wine Review: Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard Syrah 2002"
January 10, 2005
He Forgot Something
In an article Glenn Reynolds discusses propaganda using the Armstrong Williams affair as well as some historical moments. For some reason Reynolds misses not mentioning the facts that two webloggers were paid by Sen. John Thune to bash the heck out of Tom Daschle. Only after the election did the public find out the weblogs were on Thune's payroll. This most recent instance of media manipulation proves "the blogosphere is successful enough now, and enough people have noticed that success" that it has already attracted "parasitism." We don't need to wait for it; it's already among us.
"Trust -- But Verify"
That Explains That
Instapundit and Wizbang were down to significant times this past weekend. I assumed it was a web hosting issue. RatherBiased.com proved me right. We see a downside to having a number of the most popular weblogs all hosted by the same company. I'm happy with DreamHost so TAM's not moving, but if I was I'd look for a company who didn't have a nice, fat script kiddie target as a client.
"Popular Blogger ISP Target of Hackers"
January 04, 2005
Hill Country Views, authored by Darrell Vaughn A.K.A. "Anselm," is a new weblog off to a promising start. There's this post on how a red stater can sound as elitist as a blue stater. It's now on my blogroll.
Unlike the Republican National Convention, CPAC actually has an announced process to hand out weblogger credentials. After a quick search on a few travel websites I could afford to go. So I filled out the form. Since Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Congressman, is keynoting the event that might give me a slight advantage. Michelle Malkin is plugging it so I have a feeling CPAC has gotten few takers for credentials. That means there's opportunity for lesser-known weblogs.
BlogSpot seems to be down. There's a few Wisconsin webloggers who use that. Bummer for me, and a bigger bummer for them. With the big bucks of Google behind it I didn't expect this to ever happen again.
January 01, 2005
A TAM Award Clarification
Kevin is happy to get a TAM Weblog Award, but he's confused about the criteria. I should have added this explanation like I did in 2003:
My criteria are simple: the weblogs have to be on my blogroll and I have to consider them insightful, entertaining, or have some good quality to keep me coming back.
Forget putting together nomination lists and public voting. I'm proud to say the TAM Weblog Awards are the most subjective, least democratic awards in all the blogosphere. It's simply the opinion of one weblogger who knows a good weblog when he sees it.
To those who didn't win, keep on trying. There were no repeats from last year so you know my opinions aren't set in stone.
"It's a Major Award!"
P.S. I finally watched A Christmas Story for the first time. It's cute. Even better, it's much shorter than It's a Wonderful Life.
December 31, 2004
2004 TAM Weblog Awards
Weblogs came into mainstream consciousness this year. Even before Dan Rather was taken down weblogs were considered to be important enough to play roles in Presidental campaigns and to cover political conventions. Here's my list of those who made 2004 the Year of the Weblog.
December 29, 2004
Centerpiece is feeling the effect of hosting a linkfest during the interholiday week. Only six entries were submitted to the Bonfire of the Vanities.
December 28, 2004
2005 Dead Pool
You only have a few days left to get into Laurence's Dead Pool. Here are my picks of who won't be alive in 2005:
December 20, 2004
[Blank] of the Year
President Bush was named Time's Man of the Year. I'm not surprised, and it's a good choice. I just think awarding it to Mel Gibson & Michael Moore would have made for a more interesting issue. I followed the election all year so I'm quite familiar with all the twists and turns that reelected Bush. Reading about Bush's successful past year is "old news" to me.
I won't say too much yet about any weblogs of the year. That will be saved for the TAM Awards later this month. Time named Power Line the "Blog of the Year." [UGH! Why, oh why must they call it a "blog?" It's such an ugly word.] The honor's fitting with their work taking down Dan Rather. I just wonder if some of them are getting a little out of touch with the rest of us in the blogosphere. For instance, John Hindraker, A.K.A. Hindrocket calls the initial post skeptical of the Rather memos "the most famous post in the (short) history of the blogosphere." Then in an AP story--ironic since Power Line's most well-known work before exposing the memos was exposing the anti-GOP lies from the wire service) Hindraker said Power Line only made "a couple thousand bucks a month." Heh, some of us old fogey webloggers haven't made a hundred bucks total in the years we've been posting. This is a "Let them eat cake" moment, but without the arrogance.
If weblogging was anything like a serious business Hindraker's statements would signal that the bubble may soon burst. However, what would it mean for the weblog bubble to burst? Servers wouldn't collapse; keyboards would stop working. At worst, advertisers would stop paying webloggers. A few weblogs would then shut down. The blogosphere would still hang around since most of us write in this medium not for money but for the ability to be read.
December 18, 2004
Marking the Calendar
A gathering of Minnesota webloggers is planned for 01.22.05. I'm tempted to crash it. It will be post-Christmas, and I'd love to meet some fine webloggers I've been reading (and losing too). For them, they might pick up some tips from and "elder statesman" like myself.
"Minnesota Blogger Gathering Announced"
To prevent comment spam I've installed MT-Close2 that closes the comments on old posts. I've set it so posts older than two weeks will have their comments closed. That shouldn't be a problem except for the occasional person who finds an old post via Google. Let me know if you notice anything wrong.
Move Over MoveOn
RedState has moved beyond being simply a weblog and information resource for conservatives. It's now officially a 527. The Right is behind the Left in online political activism, but their catching up.
It also appears the weblog looks more like a conventional weblog. I avoided RedState before because I didn't want to click on the "Read On" link. I'm a firm believer in posting whole posts on one page (unless it's footnote-type material). I don't mind using my scroll wheel.
"Big News for RedState"
December 14, 2004
Doing the Sullivan
Unfortunately, I can't offer an autographed book. I will do this: the first person who donates $100 I'll send them an autographed copy of a used fantasy football magazine. I must warn you, it might have bad luck.
December 13, 2004
I'm Claiming Victory
The voting is over and the 2004 Weblog Awards are history. TAM didn't win in it's catagory, but I'm claiming victory anyway. It's just like Bill Clinton claimed victory in New Hampshire in 1992 even though he took second. Last year, TAM received only 1.4% of the vote. This year, it got a whopping 4.5%!
We have that all important momentum--not "Joe"mentum, "mo"mentum. Next, we must ask--no DEMAND--that Glenn Reynolds put TAM on his blogroll. Let him know he's not doing a very good job respecting his weblog elders. ;-)
December 12, 2004
Five Years of TAM
Before Power Line helped take down Dan Rather,
Jill Stewart of the New Times Los Angeles has a interesting story of how the LA school district is ignoring Prop. 227 which was supposed end bilingual education.
The link is dead, but with that post a weblog was born.
I have no idea what was the first weblog that caught my eye. Back in 1999, I "wasted" hours on the internet filling up on the latest news. I had bookmarks to oodles of news sites. Then I stumbled upon weblogs. Maybe it was an article about the "fad" on Wired News or News.com. However I came upon them I found these running online commentaries to be fascinating. They helped me find new items to read, plus they had interesting commentary.
I seem to recall being inspired by Michael Wasylik who started What's On It for Me? back in 11.99. (WOIFM appears to be on a long-term hiatus; too bad.) I figured if he could write a conservative/libertarian weblog so could I. Really, it was my way of forcing myself to write on a daily basis. My dream job would be to get paid to write books, essays, articles, etc. There's something very heady about crafting a string of words that pursuades people. The initial idea was to write on TAM then turn some of those posts into more extensive pieces. Well, it's been five years, but that hasn't happened. Part of the problem is ignorance. Even with the internet it's tough finding the right person to contact in a publishing operation. The greater problem is just plain personal insecurity. I don't know if my writing is that good. I dread hearing the word "no," thus I take few risks.
If you look carefully, the first year of TAM was hard coded. No permalinks, no trackbacks, and no comments. I handmade archive pages at the beginning of each month.It was just me, a simple text editor, and Angelfire. But that was enough to satisfy my writing itch.
Despite my inability to sell my writing I did get some media attention. During the summer of 2000 I was obsessed with the Elian Gonzalez story. I did not want that child to go back to Cuba. I was especially appalled Janet Reno's decision to used armed troops to remove the boy from his Miami relatives. So I created ElianWatch to cover the story. A reporter for CNBC spotted the weblog and interviewed me for one of the programs Geraldo Rivera had on that network back then.
Another media highlight was this summer when CNN linked to my poll asking: Who's hotter, the Bush Twins or the Kerry Sisters?
What I learned about the blogosphere is it's a meritocracy. Traffic, readers, and now ad dollars go to those who write well, are entertaining, and add value in peoples' lives. However, this lesson is a double-edged sword. If you're not getting as much traffic and readers the only one you can blame is yourself. There have been times I whined publically about not getting credit or a link. There have been even more times I've grumbled privately about young weblogs grabbling attention. It didn't seem "fair" these newbies were jumping ahead of a weblogging veteran like myself.
An example is the 2004 Weblog Awards. TAM's gotten some votes in the category it's nominated for (thank you very much), but it's not winning. I'm also confident TAM is the longest running weblog on that list. It proves age means nothing in the blogosphere. That's painful to me. The final blame must rest with me. Other people are better marketers, writers, and attention grabbers. More power to them.
Despite my occasional frustration with the "unfairness" of a meritocratic blogosphere I don't regret diving into the personal publishing pool. I consume more news than I ever have in my life, I write about what interests me, and I know people read and respond to my thoughts. I've met new people, found allies in common causes, and learned more than I would have without weblogging.
Five years from now, I can see myself still posting, still commenting on political economy, sports, music, and whatever catches my eye. To me, TAM is my version of talk radio only I type instead of yap. (No, I don't see myself podcasting. Maybe once or twice just to see what I'd sound like.) I'd love to have a bigger audience that comments more, sends me e-mail (unlike some webloggers, I get little because of TAM), and bugs Glenn Reynolds to put me on his blogroll. Even if that doesn't happen I'll still write TAM. I need TAM. It's an outlet for griping or arguing or trying to make people laugh. Since I like to write why not do it someplace where someone will read it? Weblogging is still fun, and I can't imagine it not being so.
UPDATE: Darn Floor has proof James Lileks was doing the whole internet thing way back in 1997. I remember he had a website back then because of his pages devoted to the Gobbler. (I've driven past this place, but never stepped inside.)
December 10, 2004
Keep Voting for TAM
This weblog is still in the middle of the pack in the 2004 Weblog Awards. Do something to change that.
December 09, 2004
The Commissar Can Spell
And he has the best picture of Lenin I've ever seen.
December 07, 2004
Since TAM is a finalist in the 2004 Weblog Awards I guess I could plaster a pic on here.
Vote Some More
December 04, 2004
Weblog Awards Update
TAM's not doing so well. It's right in the middle of the pact. Thanks to those who've voted. You can do it once every 24 hours. So if you haven't voted in a while go ahead.
December 02, 2004
Start Stuffing the Ballot Box
UPDATE: This is not a good sign. I ask you to vote for TAM, and goes down in the rankings. It's like when John Kerry went up in the polls the less often he was in the media. Oh, well. To those of you who voted for TAM I say, "Thanks." To those of you who didn't I ask, "Why not?"
December 01, 2004
November 30, 2004
Weblogging can be said to have "made it" when the most well-known legal scholar and a Nobel Prize winner are teaming up for their own personal publishing enterprise.
November 27, 2004
Last Call for Nominations
By the end of this weekend the first days of Christmas shopping will past. More importantly nominations to the 2004 Weblog Awards will be closed. Get your picks in soon.
"2004 Weblog Awards - Nomination Close Sunday"
November 24, 2004
Turkey Day Carnival
With Thanksgiving tomorrow and Black Friday after that fresh weblog posts may be as rare as empty spaces on couches. So you'll have plenty of time to go through this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
November 23, 2004
Nominate Your Favorite Weblogs
There will be a second-annual TAM Weblog Awards this year. It's only the opinion of one person. For something more democratic there are the 2004 Weblog Awards. The catagories TAM would have the best chance in (however slim) are the Best Conservative Blog and the appropriate Ecosystem level.
Just Don't Burn the Turkey
Read this week's Bonfire of the Vanities before sitting down for your Thanksgiving feast. Do so afterwards is sure to cause indigestion.
November 22, 2004
Michele Does it Again
Right now, Michele has one of the greatest pics ever gracing the top of her weblog. Her kid's (I'm assuming) cooler than me since I only have a Packers hat and a couple jerseys from ex-Packers in my wardrobe.
November 15, 2004
He's Back, but He Never Left
It's weird that Patrick Ruffini is back as a weblogger, but he didn't really leave. Seventeen months ago Ruffini became the webmaster of the Bush campaign. That meant part of his job was to post for the President--there are hundreds of people jealous. So while Ruffini the individual was silent his voice could still be heard. Now, I want to hear some good war stories. He doesn't know what he'll be doing next, but I recommend a campaign memoir. Let's just hope he doesn't save all the best stories for the book.
"Back from Victory"
November 12, 2004
Little Diversity at BloggerCon
Since I attended the first BloggerCon last year and was a rare Bush backer I have plenty of thoughts on why there is a lack of right-wing voices at these events. Unfortunately I think my BC notes are on an old computer--I hope. Until I can dig them up and make something coherent out of them I leave you with Dean Esmay, Robert Cox, and Ed Cone.
Talking about the Weather
I consider a conversation to be a disaster (especially on a date) when the topic of the weather comes up. It doesn't work much better when one incorporates weather-like attributes to a weblog post. Sorry, Steven. And what does it say about me since I felt the need to post on that post?
November 09, 2004
Fight the Chill
It finally got cold in Wisconsin so I'm getting close to this week's Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by Sean Gleeson. Read the best of the worst of the blogosphere.
November 02, 2004
The Power of Weblogs
Weblogs moved the market. That's was one Wall Street trader claimed when the market went down on rumors that John Kerry was doing well.
"Exit Poll Talk Hits the Stock Market"
UPDATE: Wall Street wasn't the only market affected by the early exit polls.
October 26, 2004
An Intergalactic Bonfire
It takes a special person to get a bonfire burning in the cold of space. Overtaken by Events pulls it off.
"The Bonfire of the Vanities (The 69th Post in a Trilogy)"
October 14, 2004
The Command Post is looking for state correspondents to cover Election Day. As Michele writes,
What do you get out of it? Well, if you have a blog you get your links in your coverage and most likely plenty of traffic to your site. But the best part is really being part of something bigger than that - you’ll be showing the world just how much the internet has changed the way the world get its news. You’ll be part of the largest information gathering on Election Day. History is made each Election Day. This year, you can be part of bringing that history into millions of homes as people from around the world keep an eye on the U.S. Election results.
This is certainly an opportunity to get great exposure for your weblog.
"Election Day Coverage: Command Post Recruitment Notice!"
October 12, 2004
Joe Grossberg hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
October 06, 2004
Where There's Fire, There's Smoke
Hear that crackling? That's the Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by the Llama Butchers.
October 04, 2004
Yesterday was Captain Ed's one-year anniversary as a weblogger.
September 24, 2004
Flames! Fire! Smoke!
For your Bonfire of the Vanities fix, Daly Thoughts is the place to be.
September 08, 2004
Animals on Fire
Not really, but DeCloah Blog is hosting the Bonfire of the Vanities starring Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.
September 02, 2004
Meet The Bloggers
Captain Ed certainly cleans up nice when the newspaper shows up with a camera.
Stupid Question Of The Day
August 31, 2004
Please Send Water
Speaking of dorks, there are some really dorking posts in this dorky-looking Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by mypetjawa.
August 28, 2004
New Media Revolution
The old adage said: "Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel."
That doesn't apply today, in this new media revolution we are witnessing, where the ink is electrons beamed at your screen; they're free (and recyclable!).
The men at PowerLine are in the midst of a fight right now with a deputy editor of Minneapolis's StarTribune. The PowerLine guys didn't start the fight; the editor did. But, since it's his paper, he's the one who gets the last word.
I encourage you, if you're not aware of what is going on already, to check out PowerLine to see what is happening. Too much has happened in this last week for me to summarize here.
Even as recently as 10 (even 5?) years ago, when we wanted news, we counted on newspapers (and television) to investigate. Now, lowly amatuers are investigating and reporting and correcting the newspapers. However the "mainstream" media is not picking up on it; in fact, they still are in denial about the revolution that is taking place.
August 27, 2004
Is this or is this not the weblog of Quentin Tarantino?
Technorati Needs a Hand
Technorati's Election 2004 weblog aggregator can't figure out what side of the political spectrum TAM's on. Anyone know of a way to enlighten Technorati?
August 26, 2004
Hey Hey We're the Bloggers!
Ladies and gentleman, here is your starting webloggers for the Republican National Convention. (It's also the first time I've seen pictures of these people.)
Knock 'em dead guys!
"Meet the Bloggers, Part Two"
August 25, 2004
Then there's La Shawn Barber who has a homey, red state feel to her writing, and has the good sense to link to TAM.
August 18, 2004
August 17, 2004
BloggerCon III (Return of the Weblogger?) will be 11.06 at Stanford Law School. Even though it could be a Lefty love fest should John Kerry win on Election Day (the techno-utopianism would be running wild) I'd love to go. I haven't been to California in almost 20 years and never to Northern California. Unfortunately the date is in the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and my store needs all the able bodies at that time. Dave Winer and friends will have to find another token conservative for their gathering.
"BloggerCon III date -- Saturday, November 6, 2004"
August 10, 2004
Kevin Donahue hosts a disturbing Bonfire of the Vanities.
August 09, 2004
Happy Birthday Blogcritics
Congratulations, Eric and all my fellow Blogcritics.
"Blogcritics Second Anniversary"
August 05, 2004
Everyone Has One
From The Onion: "CIA Asks Bush to Discontinue Blog."
[via Daniel Drezner]
August 04, 2004
A Psychadelic Experience
Seldom Sober hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
July 30, 2004
July 29, 2004
More powerful than a link from a sex weblog, even more powerful than an Instalanche is a link from CNN. TAM's "suffering" under one right now, and it's all about my juvenile (yet important) question: "Who's Hotter?"
July 27, 2004
The Washington Post is running a Best Weblogs contest. If you think TAM's good enough, please nominate it.
Hey, Seattle Times
The American Mind is taken.
July 25, 2004
Tracking the Webloggers
Feedster has set up a site to track the posts of the webloggers at the DNC.
July 24, 2004
More Fun Than A Human Being Should Be Allowed To Have
This afternoon, I had to mow the grass. This being America, I wanted to listen to the radio while I mowed. Instead of punishing my ears solely with the noise of the lawn tractor, I added in more noise, as loud as the radio would do pump it out.
Being where I live, it's very difficult to get a strong signal from am1280 The Patriot, host (Saturday's from 12p-3p) of The Northern Alliance Radio Network. This is a show done by Minnesota's, and some of the Country's finest bloggers: Mitch Berg of Shot In The Dark, The Elder, Saint Paul, Atomizer and JB Doubtless of Fraters Libertas, John "Rocket Man" Hinderaker and Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson of PowerLine, Captain Ed Morrisey of Captain's Quarters, and (last but most certainly not least!) King Banaian of SCSU Scholars. Today, among other things, they interviewed James Taranto, he of Best Of The Web. Best of the Web is one of the best reasons to have email, arriving each afternoon in your inbox for your reading pleasure. Wish I could have heard it; instead I listened to 101.7, The Red House That Rocks, WHMH FM.
Tonight at Keegan's Pub in Minneapolis, The Northern Alliance hosted their first "get together" of bloggers in the Minnesota area, and your's truly attended. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting most of the above people, and putting a face to the website. Also in attendance was the Uber Scribe, James Lileks. The man with the most listenable radio show on the Twin Cities former talk radio powerhouse am1500 KSTP, Bob Davis also graced us with his presence. I had a most enjoyable conversation with Flash from Centrisity, who happens to be a member of the finest Senior Drum & Bugle Corps in the world, Minnesota Brass, Incorporated. While he is a little more left-of-center than I, he's in a drum corps, which is one of my favorite summer pasttimes: watching Drum & Bugle Corps as they take the field for competition. Jay Reding came up too, and it was great to meet him; his blog is another daily must read. And, of the local "big time" pundits (i.e., she gets paid for her opinions unlike the rest of us) Sarah Janecek of MN-Politics.com.
Those, and more, were there, and many likely still are. I have some commitments tomorrow, namely responsibilities at church in the morning, so I bailed out early. These people are all as genuinely nice (and smart) as they appear on the screen. Special Thanks to all of them for the great props that they gave this site and Sean. Next time He will have to make the trip to get the props himself. Me, I'm just lucky enough to get a guest slot here, and grateful for it.
You Have Your Orders
I expect the TAM Nation to vote for the correct entry in Backcountry Conservative's Food & Clothing Contest. HINT: It's #10.
Since she isn't funny or interesting when talking about anal sex I don't think I need to answer her question.
July 23, 2004
Break It Down Again
Do people think I'm losing it when writing an edition of House of Ketchup? What's with Power Line's Big Trunk calling the latest the "nineteenth nervous breakdown edition." In my frazzled state, I'll take it as a complement.
July 22, 2004
In the last day TAM's been getting hit hard with comment spam attempts . I'm a little flattered with the attacks because it indicates this weblog's growing influence in the blogosphere. Thank goodness for the MT-Blacklist. How are Word Press users dealing with comment spam? Is the WP Blacklist as effective as MT-Blacklist? This issue will now become a major reason for TAM to ever move to another weblogging platform in the future.
July 21, 2004
Yippee for WSJ
The Wall Street Journal now has RSS feeds.
[via Scripting News]
July 20, 2004
Don't worry. It's just Practical Penumbra hosting the Bonfire of the Vanities.
July 18, 2004
It appears the Kerry Sisters vs. the Bush Twins traffic influx is finally ebbing, but Monday starts a new week with randy Net users going back to the office.
Notice that first peak on 07.09. That was from an Instalanche. Not bad, but three days later the Sisters v. Twins hit the sex weblogs including Wonkette (which is a sex weblog with a politics shtick).
Here's how powerful the sex weblogs are: Shawn got Hugh Hewitt, the rightwing blogosphere's favorite radio host, to link to TAM. Looking through the Site Meter data, you wouldn't be able to tell because it's swamped with hits from Your Dirty Mind. I dub it the "Your Dirty Mind-lanche." I know, there's no ring to it.
You may have noticed that TAM was quiet yesterday. In DreamHost's never ending quest to be the best hosting service around they messed up a setting that prevented the Sean & Shawn Express from publishing anything. It's been fixed (obviously), and things seem fine from this end. If you notice anything out of wack, let me know.
July 16, 2004
As Smooth As Sippin' Whiskey
Stephen Green and Will Collier at Vodkapundit have a new layout.
Very nice, sez me.
Friday mean's it is time for Captain's Quarter's Caption Contest. What wacky fun!
Dave's Marching Orders
Dave Winer writes, "Okay, our mission when covering the DNC is to figure out what goes on at a DNC." Wow, I didn't know Winer was the leader of the webloggers going to Boston. Heck, I didn't know those lucky few even wanted a leader to tell them their "mission." I thought one of the beautiful aspects of weblogs was their decentralization. The individual weblogger can go down the path of their choosing and explore what they want to. Winer (unintentionally or not) is trying to turn this pioneering experience into a BloggerCon-type experiment.
July 15, 2004
Rush to be exact. Josh Cohen has given this week's Carnival of the Vanities a Rush theme.
July 13, 2004
No Kindling Needed
INCITE hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Glenn's Got nothing on These Guys
Here's something more powerful than an Instalanche: getting linked by porn weblogs. Specifically Your Dirty Mind and now Fleshbot. Oh who will ask about the Kerry sisters vs. the Bush twins next? Drudge?
If I had a smart business mind I'd get some ads up soon.
July 12, 2004
Weblog Ads: The New New Thing
There are a few webloggers who are raking in some solid dough through advertising. Some are doing so well they've garnered the attention of the Chicago Tribune. No one's asked me to run an ad on TAM and since my traffic hasn't been huge (at least before I posted about this) I figured there isn't a demand. Now this story might be a sign we've reached the high point only to have TAM jump in when the weblog ad bubble bursts.
Through all the Instalanches and what not I'd conservatively guess TAM has been averaging 300 unique visitors a day for the last year. Not bad. But realize I've been weblogging longer than Glenn Reynolds. That just means longevity doesn't equal traffic in the blogosphere.
Are there TAM readers out there who would be interested in sponsoring this hobby? Let me know. You can't be any worse than the zip I'm getting from Amazon.com. If not ads would you consider plunking a little bit into a tip jar? Or would you rather buy me something off my Amazon.com wish list? Or does the thought of BlogAds and blegging for money turn you off?
Don't feel any pressure. I'm just trying to get a sense from my audience. There are no fiscal nightmares looming that would shut down TAM. I'm a writer, and this is one great way to write stuff that people actually read.
"Blog Ad Boom"
July 06, 2004
The Clock's Ticking
To the RNC and the GOP Convention Committee:
If you want webloggers at your big gig in NYC, you better get cracking on how webloggers can request credentials. Remember that just about all webloggers have another job so planning ahead is essential. Also, the sooner you hand out those precious passes the sooner we can make our travel plans before the get too expensive. So hurray up!
June 30, 2004
Nice, Very Nice
Cam Edwards wants webloggers for a weekly segment of his talk show. If anyone wants to put in a good word for me, I'd be greatful. And don't forget to toot your own horn.
"Calling All Bloggers Pt. 2"
What an Odd Name
June 29, 2004
One year of the Bonfire of the Vanities. Fortunately for me, TAM has no entries for you to vote as the worst...at least not yet.
June 28, 2004
Sean returns home from a Secret, Undisclosed Location earlier than planned or announced.
Iraqi sovereignty is turned over earlier than planned or announced.
June 26, 2004
Saturday's In Minnesota
Saturday in The Twin Cities area used to mean yard work and parades in the summer, shoveling snow and stacking wood for the fire the other 11 months of the year.
Now, we can pass the time doing our chores listening to The Northern Alliance Radio Network. As mentioned previously, The Northern Alliance is a moniker created by radio DJ Hugh Hewitt for the best bloggers Minnesota has to offer. These include: Captain Ed Morrisey at Captain's Quarters, John "The Rocket Man" Hinderaker and Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson of PowerLine, James Lileks, The Warrior Monk and Eloise at Spitbull, King Banian of SCSU Scholars (that is Saint Cloud State University), Mitch Berg of A Shot In The Dark, and, finally, the boys (Atomizer, JB Doubtless, The Elder and Saint Paul) at Fraters Libertas.
These were a bunch of bloggers (well, not Lileks, he's a
Those in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin should check out NARN broadcast. Those of you who aren't should read the aforementioned sites; I have them bookmarked and read them daily.
Captain's Caption Contest
If it's Friday, that means it's time for Captain Ed's Caption Contest.
Captain's Quarters is one of my daily reads, and not only because it's a Minnesota-based blog. The Captain has some great insights and opinions on the matters surrounding the news of the day. I encourage you to check it out.
UPDATE: The Caption contest only goes until Sunday evening.
June 25, 2004
Not From Me
Oliver comments on Steve from Norway's post: "Yeah, Sean's definetly out of town because this blog had actual analysis instead of name calling at one point."
Well, it won't be from me. We'll have to leave that to Steve.
I've got a degree in Teaching High School Mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth, which also gives me a degree in Mathematics. When I was at UMD I took Micro Economics; didn't do that well. I tried a couple of Political Science classes; those went even worse. So, you won't ever hear me or read me talking about Keynesian Economic Policy or negative liberty or anything like that. I just have a sense of right and wrong, good and bad, etc.
June 24, 2004
What Are We?
For as long as I have been reading TAM, I have been reading John Hawkins's "Right Wing News".
Today, John tells his readers which blogs he visted yesterday. No TAM?? No TAM.
Working! (For a Couple Days, At Least)
So, a light posting day so far. Sean asked me to fill in so it wouldn't be dead then it gets dead. Well, here's why.
Since April 26, this Shawn has been unemployed. Probably one reason Sean asked me to fill in; I've had nothing better to do!
I've been actively looking for employment, and have two places that need my services, but have hiring freezes until August 1. So, in the meantime, I found a few opportunities for short-term (2-3 days each) temp work unpacking PC's and testing them and installing them in local offices. And, I was supposed to go tomorrow to work, but the placement guy called this morning at 7:45 needing me to be over an hour away in less than an hour. And, so, in the name of the almighty dollar ($15/hr, actually), I got the hell out of here.
Now, for what I will earn for today's and tomorrow's work, I will get a smaller unemployment check. Not the full check to which I am "entitled" to ($478 a week), but they will still cut me a check to make up the difference from what I earned.
No less than four people asked me today why I would go through the trouble of (showering) driving an hour, working six hours (plus tomorrow's nine hours) and then coming back home, to earn the same amount of money that I would "earn" by just sitting at home.
The answer is simple: because I could go out and create some wealth. I could be a productive member of society for six hours today. I felt a little self-worth. I didn't have to watch another "Care Bear" movie with my daughter. (I love watching movies with my daughter, but these "Care Bear" movies I think were cowritten by Satan.)
So, a little light blogging today. And, a little light tomorrow. But hey, I'm doing something!
It also means I missed "Jeopardy!" today and tomorrow... I need Ken Jennings Updates!
June 17, 2004
Dave Winer and others have put together a plan to get the Weblogs.com weblogs back up.
No apology from Winer, but you can't have everything in life. It looks like this event has been put to rest. Good job, Dave.
June 16, 2004
Winer Speaks Again
Here's what ticks me off about Dave Winer's weblogs.com shutdown: He refuses to admit he made a mistake. He thinks that putting a notice of a future shutdown on his weblog wouldn't have been effective. Maybe, maybe not. He does write one of the most linked ones in the blogosphere. He could have at least tried it. Not all would have been notified, but at least he's have a legitimate excuse.
I can empathize with all the stress Winer is under. I don't blame him for shutting down his generous, free service. I blame him for treating many webloggers with such little respect. We're all suppose to stand by and nod our heads in agreement as Winer writes about all his problems. What about some empathy for those webloggers who poured so much into their weblogs only to seem them ubruptly vanish?
Then Winer gets all sanctimonious. He writes,
One of these days in this weblog world kindness may be part of how we deal with each other.
Oh please. How about this? One of these days in this weblog world a weblog hoster will make a serious effort to notify the community he helped build that it was disappearing.
From my brief encounters with Winer I've learned he's one of the most thin-skinned and stubborn webloggers around. Everyone else can be wrong, but not him. He can be quite controlling at meetings especially when things aren't going as smoothly as he'd like. But even with these personality quirks he's done so much to grow the weblogging community through evangelism and his work on RSS and other tools. His successful efforts to grow this new means of expression should help him see why many are upset with him. His shutdown of Weblogs.com was a betrayal to his users and to the blogosphere as a whole. Sadly, Winer doesn't even realize he's done anything wrong.
He once told me that he'd be satisfied if through his technology work two people--just two--could find a way to truly communicate with each other. If that happened he'd consider his efforts a success. Through all Winer's hard work he got many, many more to touch one another through word, picture, and sound. Suddenly snipping those strings of communication is another reason so many are upset. Maybe Winer didn't think people were "truly communicating" yet. If so, no one but him knows that that term means.
It's interesting that man who writes that he's spent so much time on the "connection between the First Amendment and technology" then goes on to blast non-Weblogs.com webloggers for sticking their noses where they don't belong. It's people like me who are "behaving badly are people on the sidelines" (I thought the whole blogosphere was a community. His two BloggerCons certainly weren't limited to Manila and Radio users.) and are "hogging the microphone right now" (How, since the beauty of a weblog is giving anyone a soapbox?). (He probably doesn't think this remix is very funny. I think it's hilarious.)
I wish Winer only the best. I hope his health problems are relieved. I hope his burdens are lessened. And I hope he's learned good citizenship means living by the rules you aspire other to abide by.
For more reading there's James Grimmelmann's post. What he makes you realize is with this fiasco Winer has hurt his work on RSS. If Winer wants to continue the good progress he's made he's going to have to own up to his mistakes. His credibility is at stake. Dori Smith notes that Winer's old company UserLand should bear some of the blame. Point taken.
"Morning Coffee Notes"
Jessica's Well hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
June 15, 2004
Ragging on Winer
Elisabeth Riba has the best line on the Weblogs.com blackout I've read so far:
I never knew that much about Dave Winer before I met him at Bloggercon. I wasn't terribly impressed by what I saw and heard from him while there, and everything I've heard since has confirmed that opinion of him as an egomanaical blowhard with his head in the clouds. So much for his vision of blogtopia. Maybe now bloggers can focus on real issues instead of his utopian fantasylands?
The lesson to be learned is to move to a weblog setup as much under your own control as possible. If you're on BlogSpot or TypePad, think about buying some server space. With webloggers [and here] offering the service you should expect good service and a sympatheic hand if needed.
"Death of the Gatekeeper"
UPDATE: I was waiting for Kevin to toss in his two cents. He hasn't let me down.
For more reading pleasure there's this comparison between SixApart and Mr. Winer.
This is pure inside baseball. Nevertheless, it is interesting. Dave Winer weblogging pioneer shut down all the free weblogs at weblogs.com. Go there and you get this page with a link to an audio post explaning why he did what he did.
Since it is Winer's server he can pretty much do anything he wants with it. If he wants to host weblogs, build tech communities, or run a gazillion porn sites, fine. He's paying the bills therefore he makes the rules. My problem is with the inconsideration he gave to weblogs.com users he calls "pioneers." He gave them little if any warning about the impending doom of their weblogs. As a commenter at Halley's Comment wrote:
No problem with weblogs.com going away, but no explanation was given until those of us started posting about it. Not even on scripting.com. And then to pull the plug without warning? And then people can't access their old material?
Thousands of us got a free ride from Dave, and Userland, over the past five years. What we got was far more than we didn't pay for. For many of us (certainly for me), the benefits have been incalculable.
At a minimum, Winer should be accused of poor planning. Moving entire websites to a new host is a risky task. He could have warm users that what he was doing could jeopardize their weblogs.
Then there's the note about cost. Dave wrote that he "can't afford to host these sites." But he had the money to traipse around Europe recently, and he could afford to be a Harvard fellow. Fine, he can do what he wants, but somehow he could afford server time to give his users a little time to back up their weblogs? That's not putting the user first, something he harps on other tech-types to do.
I now understand why people have so much trouble working with Dave when it comes to technology. I have a feeling the creation of Atom technology for syndication was partially a reaction to Dave's personal stake in RSS.
If there is another BloggerCon I hope Winer doesn't run it, and that whoever does organize it take advantage of Bill Hobbs' idea. First, it would be closer to me. Second, I'd love to visit Nashville. Third, it would move the conference away from the East Coast and it's liberal media-industrial complex and let more webloggers in Red America participate.
"Dave Winer is Still a Dick"
UPDATE: Wired News is covering this story. Most noticable is the fear by some that if they say anything disparaging about Winer he will "forget" to provide weblog entries.
Have an Extinguisher Handy
Spot On hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
June 05, 2004
TAM in NYC?
It's quite possible since the GOP is doing the smart thing and letting webloggers witness first-hand the political circus that is their political convention. They'll be protesters outside and bored media types inside. Webloggers will be there for a unique take on it all. It will be more than covering the convention. It will be covering the coverage. It will be umpteen (who knows how many credentials they'll give webloggers?) independent observers noting items that strike their interest. Heck, imagine an edition of Kerry's House of Ketchup live from Madison Square Garden? Ooo! I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
June 02, 2004
PoliBlog is hosting this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
May 26, 2004
Catallarchy.net is one year old.
May 25, 2004
Go Get Some Marshmellows
Hooray! Laurence hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities. Through that I discovered Interested-Participant's post on naked roller coaster riders. I just hope they really hosed things down after the riders were finished.
It seems the pink fad has hit webloggers too.
"Pink: The New Business-Blue of Web Design?"
May 23, 2004
On the Map
In the heart of what used to be called lovely Kablogh sits the TAM Hotel. At the TAM Hotel room service will never be interrupted. Plus, there's always an Imam al-Ron speech on pay-per-view. That's why all the journalists cringe when staying there. But where else would they stay? The TAM Hotel still has running water.
May 18, 2004
Flames, Glorious Flames
Some Great Reward hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
May 16, 2004
There still aren't enough people yet for the next Milwaukee-area Weblogger Meetup. So far it's just me and Jay Bullock, Iron Blog Democrat, who have decided to come. Let's show that SE Wisconsin is full of fun, interesting webloggers. Here are the gory details:
WHO: SE Wisconsin webloggers and readers.
WHAT: Milwaukee Weblogger Meetup
WHEN: Wednesday, May 19 @ 7:00PM
WHERE: Pizza Shuttle, 1827 N Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI (map)
WHY: Because I said so. And to carouse with local webloggers and readers.
May 12, 2004
Running off to the Carnival
Erick Erickson is hosting this week's Carnival of the Vanities. I haven't submitted a link in a long time. I'm glad I did since Erick provided a nice remark about TAM: "The American Mind, one of my daily reads (it should be one of yours too)...." That just earned himself a place on my blogroll.
May 11, 2004
What do you get when you mix Iron Chef with weblogging? It's obvious: Iron Blog. Similar to the Food Network cult hit, a challenger chooses an Iron Blogger and they debate a topic of the Chairman's choosing. Right now, Iron Blogger Republican, Rosemary Esmay, the Queen of All Evil, and challenger Ara Rubyan are knee-deep in the Battle Rumsfeld.
May 09, 2004
Bad Posts Wanted
Kevin has extended submissions to the Bonfire of the Vanities due to lack of content. We all have bad stuff we've written. Send your worst post of the past week to bonfire--at--wizbangblog.com.
May 08, 2004
Enough with the animal linkfests! I admit I had a little fun with Laurence's Carnival of the Cats, but the post was funny, and it wasn't my cat. However, for those of you who think dogs get the short shrift here's the Carnival of the Dogs.
P.S. Bad weather has been moving through which means occasional power outages. That means the computer has been off most of the time. That explains why I've been so quiet. Regardless of my reasons, it's Mother's Day weekend. Get away from the computer and do something special for your mom. If Glenn Reynolds can (kinda) do it so can you.
May 04, 2004
Calling It a Night
Posting was almost non-existent tonight. A new furnace was installed today, but a gas leak had to be fixed tonight. You combine that with me digging into a new collection of essays by Islam scholar Bernard Lewis, and "poof" vital weblogging time vanished. Sorry. Hopefully, I make it up to you tomorrow with a new edition of Kerry's House of Ketchup. If you have a post you think is worthy e-mail me or leave a comment with link.
May 03, 2004
Upgrade and Anti-Spam Install
I just upgraded to MT 2.661 so I can install an anti-spam comment plug-in.
UPDATE: All seems well. I had to again FTP a file for the search engine. There has to be an easier way to install this. Hasn't someone coded a installation progam that all I'd have to do is have an open Net connection, fill in some server info, and installs everything onto the server? For the past 30 minutes I have had to squint to see if the files and folders on my web server matched the structure I was trying to upload.
Now, I'll test the trackback by trackbacking to this post. It's oh-so postmodern.
UPDATE II: The trackback seems to work. The only noticeable problem is an ugly search results page. If that's the worst that happened, then I'm fairly pleased. The MT-Blacklist plugin has been installed. That should stop the spammers from wasting my time deleting them.
April 29, 2004
Unless some last few donations trickle in the Spirit of America fund drive just missed $50K by $318. Thank you everyone. Nothing to be ashamed of. You all helped make a difference.
"Spirit Of America - Final Results"
My Final Offer
There's only a few hours left until the SOA campaign is over. I've had only one taker on any of my offers, so I think I'm not risking much so here goes:
For a $100 donation, you will get a dozen Krispy Kreme golden glazed goodies, PLUS I will don a Vikings or Bears item--even from the un-hated Lions, PLUS you will get a CD of a bunch of Howard the Duck "Dean Scream" remixes, PLUS I will praise the Democrat of your choice.
That isn't enough? Wait, there's more.
For a $100 donation to SOA you not only will get some great doughnuts, a 2004 campaign keepsake, and the giddy feeling of publicly embarassing me, you also will get me to drink a bottle of French wine, PLUS I will adorn my weblog with French stuff.
For other last minute offers, visit Wizbang.
April 28, 2004
What sound does a weblog bubble make when it pops? Because the word "blogging" made it into an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
"Blogging Officially Jumps The Shark"
One Last Push
We're getting near the end of this corner of the blogosphere's little version of public television begging season. Hooray for me! Someone finally thought with their stomach and took me up on my Krispy Kreme offer. And thank goodness no one has taken me up on my other ones.
In other VC news:
Please, be like Chicago and give early and give often. Let's help our men and women defending us, and let's help the Iraqis have a chance at liberty.
April 27, 2004
I hold my head in shame for I'm a part of the latest Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by On the Fritz.
April 26, 2004
A Day with Gerard
If you're a writer, Gerard Van der Leun has an offer you can't refuse. He's donating an entire day's time to editing and critiquing your writing. He has 30+ years of experience in the word world working with authors including Harlan Ellison and Robert Fulghum. Gerard charges $200/hour for his time, so a whole day is quite a donation. The biddings already at the super bargin of $225. And remember, all the proceeds go to help our soldiers and the Iraqis build a free nation.
"Writers: One Day of Professional Editing to Highest Bidder"
Pulling out the Big Guns
Michele's display of
If you don't care about sports or have no desire to see my face here's another offer: for a $50 donation I will write something nice about the Democrat of your choice. It could be John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, *gasp* Bill Clinton, or *gasp* *gasp* Howard Dean. It's your choice. It won't be some smart-alec post about how great Ted Kennedy holds his liquor or Bill Clinton's ways with the ladies. I will write a serious, positive, intellectually honest essay that's respectful of the subject.
"Dedication #11: The Enemy, Suppuko, Red Sox"
April 25, 2004
Being an amateur economist, I understand the law of demand. People are willing to buy more of a good at a lower price than a higher one. Since no one has taken me up on my "Donate for Doughnuts" offer, I'm lowering the price. The first five to donate $15 or more to SOA will get a dozen golden, glazed goodies. Call it doing my best Wal-Mart impersonation. E-mail your proof of donating to sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com.
April 24, 2004
It's Come Down to Stripping Already
Dean Esmay's wife, Rosemary, is pulling out the big guns (pun intended). A $10 donation will get you some skin. If I wasn't on a (soon-to-be) winning team, my Alexander Hamilton would be headed her way.
Oh, by the way, I'm still offering doughnuts. Boy, do I feel inadequate now.
Donate to Spirit of America.
UPDATE: I added the Krispy Kreme-style graphic. I wonder if Michele was inspired by my sweet offer?
UPDATE II: One Fine Jay has topped my offer. He's running an auction for web design services. While only offer 12 golden glazed goodies, he's giving up 6-9 hours of his time. Again, I feel inadequate.
What's wrong? Nobody like doughnuts? Have my readers all gone on low-carb diets? No one has taken me up on my Krispy Kreme offer. Even if you don't like the golden glazed goodies (Heretic!), please generously donate to Spirit of America. With your gift our troops win, liberated Iraqis win, and the Victory Coalition wins.
"Spirit Of America Challenge - Day Three Report Card"
April 22, 2004
Donate for Doughnuts
What could get you pumped up to donate to Spirit of America? How about doughnuts? Not just any old fried sweets, but those golden, glazed goodies that are the crack cocaine of junk food. I'm talking about the original, hasn't been duplicated Krispy Kremes! The first five people to donate $25 or more to Spirit of America will get themselves a dozen doughnuts courtesy of TAM. Donate, then e-mail me (sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com) proof of your good deed.
If you have any hesitation, just let your sweet tooth do the thinking.
"SOA Challenge - Day 2 Schedule Of Activities"
The Coalition is Losing
But Spirit of America and Iraq is winning. Forget bringing back the draft to more equitably share the burden. You can bear more of the burden (who's paying to kill the bad guys and rebuild there?) by donating.
"Spirit Of America Challenge - Day One Report Card"
April 20, 2004
Milwaukee MeetUp Cancelled
Not enough people signed up for the weblogger MeetUp. Bummer. The next one is around 05.19. I'll be bugging TAM readers when the date gets closer.
Cam Edwards Live!
I'm finally watching Cam Edwards on NRA News. He's good, but how long can a guy keep talking about a single issue (guns and the 2nd. Amendment)? And how long can someone listen to a single issue show?
d-42 has this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
April 17, 2004
As I type, the second edition of BloggerCon is taking place. The conference's weblog has links to audio and video feeds and IRC (see webcasts). There is also list of participants with links to their weblogs. Dave Winer and Jeff Jarvis are both posting from the event. This time around, I'm not there. I'll try to explain my reasons later. Instead of talking about weblogs, I'm going fishing.
UPDATE: Jeff Sandquist is posting live with pics.
It's great when a post inspires an entry on another weblog. Trackbacks are really helpful in finding new, interesting weblogs. However, it's a bit rude to trackback to a post but not link to it. So, it's now an official TAM policy that I will delete any trackbacks that don't link to TAM or a specific entry.
April 14, 2004
TAM's First Blogchild
Jeff MacMillan, one of TAM's most prolific commenters now has a weblog of his own. If you like his comments on TAM (as well as across the blogosphere) then check out American Optimist.
April 13, 2004
Cam's New Job
Cam Edwards is now hosting NRAnews.com. It's that organization's big middle finger to McCain-Feingold. Great for him. Now, is one of the fringe benefits all the ammunition you can shoot?
TAM Denied Again
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel messed up. Reporter Nahal Toosi, former Iraq War embed, wrote a story on weblogs. She mentioned weblogs in Oregon, Vermont, Madison, even Larry Lessig at Stanford. No mention of any local weblogs. Not to toot my horn to loudly, but I know of a pretty prolific one *ahem* *ahem*. I can even point Ms. Toosi to a couple (the Steve half to be exact) other (the Owen half to be exact) ones if she thinks my opinion is a little biased. Heck, two talk radio hosts at a sister station to her employer have their own (only ok) weblogs. But since there isn't enough interest to have a MeetUp for Milwaukee webloggers, I can see why Ms. Toosi went with the college angle.
Anybody interested in doing some pro bono PR for TAM? The previous guy wasn't cutting it so I pulled a Donald Trump on him. Another question: Can you get unemployment for firing yourself?
"Post and Publish"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
April 12, 2004
Glenn has a nice, evolved, new look to InstaPundit. Just one huge problem: still no TAM link on his blogroll. Enough about linking to his "BlogChildren." He should start respecting his "BlogElders." When it comes to weblogging, Glenn's still a youngin'.
At least I have a picture. [The shorter, good-looking guy on the right (figures) is me.]
April 09, 2004
I think she did a really good job testifying today, especially when Ben-Veniste was not very professional to her. She didn't back down and answered all the questions.[Emphasis mine.]
What I'm most impressed about isn't D.J.'s interest in current events, it's that he can spell "Condoleeza."
April 06, 2004
Some of the best of the worst--the Bonfire of the Vanities that is--is over at Soundfury. Read 'em and weep.
In contrast, I will be watching the best of the best, Connecticut and Tennessee, battle for the women's national championship.
"UConn-Tennessee Still All About Dee"
April 04, 2004
Laurence has the Carnival of the Cats. I'm holding back from making any derogatory comments. Just go get some catnip and enjoy.
P.S. The only reason I'm subjecting you to this is Laurence was nice enough to link to my Morris for Prez post.
April 02, 2004
Why I Don't Bother with Kos
UPDATE: Oliver Willis chastises Kos. Good.
March 31, 2004
Have Fun with This
Da Commissar discovered an old Russian map of Bloggahland. Oddly, TAM isn't on it even though it's older than most of the other weblogs named. But then, I don't remember meeting any Vodka-breathing Ruskies. Now, this is a more accurate map.
March 18, 2004
Not That Infuential
BlogRunner put together another list that drops TAM down to #142 as "most influential reporters and bloggers on the web." That's down from #61 in an earlier analysis (I think. I can't make heads or tails of BlogRunner's methodology.). Intuitively, it feels better (or maybe I'm just not giving myself that much credit). There's still something weird when I'm ranked higher than James Joyner, OxBlog, NRO's The Corner, and Stephen Green all with much more traffic than TAM. This list inspires me to ask myself (and you by default) this question: Which would I/you rather be: influential or popular? That's not to say I/you can't be both, but which would I/you choose if I/you could only choose one?
For me, I'd rather be influential. I put a lot of mental effort into my writing. If I were just a popular read I'd be bummed that all my effort was going in one ear then out the other. Since I find ideas important having something sink into my readers is satisfying. The trouble is in the blogosphere popularity is more easily measurable by counting links and hits. "Influence" is much harder, if not impossible, to quantify.
[via Dave Winer]
March 17, 2004
Things Won't Be the Same
Bummer. Kevin is taking maternity leave along with his wife.
March 16, 2004
Aaron's Rantblog is hosting this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Influence? What Influence?
There's something wrong with BlogRunner's analysis of the most influential webloggers and reporters on the Web. The names at the top appear correct even if I'd change the rankings, but if you wander down to #61 you'll find me. I'm more influential than John Hawkins, Peggy Noonan, Power Line, and OxBlog? I don't think so. If I am then there's little correlation between influence and traffic.
March 06, 2004
Give some love to Andy Wismar. His Wizblog is one year old.
February 27, 2004
I don't know how much posting I'll do this weekend. It's one of the rare ones where I'm not working. However, it's filled with activities: the Milwaukee Auto Show; seeing Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ (My sis surprised me with the tickets.); doing some reading; and taking a good chunk out of the 1 1/2 seasons of The Sopranos I have to see before the start of season five, 03.07.
I do have some responsibilities to my readers to continue to deserve their attention. It's time for a new installment of Kerry's House of Ketchup to get us all ready for Super Tuesday. I want to write about Peg Lautenschlager's apology. And I might even take up same-sex marriage again. (It certainly has drawn lively conversation.) It is a weekend, and I have a tendency to be lazy. So bear with me if you don't find much to read in the next few days.
Overtaken by Events has been weblogging for two years yet has never gotten an Instalanche. Methinks this is his off-handed way of finally getting one. If so, it hasn't worked.
February 25, 2004
Thanks for Linking to TAM
Kudos go to the following weblogs for having TAM on their blogrolls:
I'm sure I'm missing somebody. Sorry. I don't acknowledge new linkers enough, but I do appreciate all those who think TAM is of value to their readers.
February 21, 2004
A Use for Your Tax Refund
BloggerCon II will have to go on without me. Dave Winer has tentatively scheduled it for 04.10. My spring travel plan is catching some Brewers spring training baseball next month. This BC has no cost and I'd have a chance to talk to Oliver Willis in person again (we'd have to talk about Washington's strange post-season moves), but besides the travel expense I don't want to be the token conservative/Republican there.
"Reserve this Date: April 10, 2004"
February 18, 2004
The Future of Weblogging
Glenn Reynolds offers some advice for finding your niche in the blogosphere.
P.S. Thanks Glenn, for another link. Three in two weeks. I must be doing something right.
"Blogging: The Next Wave"
Laugh at Us
Kin's Kouch is hosting this week's collection of bad weblog posts, the Bonfire of the Vanities.
February 14, 2004
Why Michele is Cool
Who are your sporting heroes? > Thurman Munson. Mike Bossy. Bret (sic) Favre.
UPDATE: I think I used "sic" incorrectly. I think it's fixed, but my future career as a copy editor has run into a big roadblock.
February 06, 2004
China or Bust
Matthew Stinson is off to China. Wish him luck.
February 03, 2004
Call the Fire Department
Outside the Beltway is hosting this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
February 02, 2004
KM Links to TAM
Thanks go to Kevin's Mind for having the good sense to put TAM on his blogroll. Go there to read a good post on WMD intelligence.
"Endorsing The Commission?"
No, not for TAM for Dan Wismar's Wizblog. Change blogrolls and bookmarks accordingly.
February 01, 2004
TAM's getting crushed. It looks like elimination, but there's still a chance to vote for me. I'd appreciate it.
Beware of the Seven of Spades
"DemCom Deck of Cards for Operation Bloggi Freedom"
January 29, 2004
BlogMaddness Round 2
TAM made it out of Round One. Thanks to everyone who voted for me. Now, it's on to Round 2 where the competition gets harder.
January 28, 2004
Other places all over the country have periodic weblogger gatherings. Sad to say, the Milwaukee area hasn't seen any. The weblog Meetup is scheduled for 02.18. Let's see if we can get a SE Wisconsin group together. After my BloggerCon experience I know face-to-face contact with other webloggers only makes me more enthused with the medium. Come on, sign up. It will be fun.
Carnival of the Vanities #71
By hosting this week's Carnival I've learned two things: 1. This is a lot of work; 2. There are some great weblogs I've never heard of. My thanks go to everyone who has made this possible. Next week's Carnival will be at A Perfectly Cromulent Blog.
And away we go...
Vote for TAM
I'm still locked up in a tough battle in the first round of BlogMadness 2003. If you haven't voted yet, do so. You'll feel better.
January 27, 2004
Final Carnival Reminder
I'm working the night shift so work on the Carnival of the Vanities won't resume until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. That means you still have time to get your entry in. Send them to carnival --at-- theamericanmind DOT com. Please put "carnival" or "CotV" in the subject heading so I don't think they're spam.
Flames! Glorious Flames!
Southern Musings hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Vote for TAM
There's this little contest called BlogMadness 2003. Think of it as the NCAA basketball tournament for weblogs. In the first round, yours truly is matched up against a formidible challenger. It's early in the voting, and TAM has the narrowest of leads. Read both posts then make your choice as to who should go on. My fate rests in your hands.
January 22, 2004
Carnival of the Vanities entries are starting to trickle in. Just a reminder to send them to carnival --at-- theamericanmind DOT com. Please put "carnival" or "CotV" in the subject heading so I don't think they're spam.
January 21, 2004
TAM Hosting CotV
PoliBlog hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities, but mark your calendar for next Wednesday when TAM will be the momentary center of the blogosphere when I host the CotV. Start sending in your entries to carnival --at-- theamericanmind dot com.
January 19, 2004
January 18, 2004
I just entered BlogMaddness 2003. You should too. It should be fun, but the deadline is 01.21.
January 14, 2004
Snooze Button Dreams hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
January 13, 2004
Stuff Momma Wouldn't Even Love
New Bonfire of the Vanities at The Evangelical Outpost.
January 08, 2004
Easterbrook in CJR
CJR has a good story on Gregg Easterbrook's troubles from last fall. As Gregg put it, "If we'd just pressed the delete key, all this never would have happened."
January 06, 2004
And the Winner Is...
The 1000th post was left by long-time commentor Steve of Norway. Being the good Green Bay Packers fan that he is, Steve will be getting some fine, high-quality merchandise from the Packer Pro Shop.
Now, read how Steve sees a parallel between Martha Stewart and Howard the Duck.
"Howie, Meet Martha"
Bad, Bad Stuff
The Bonfire of the Vanities is on the road. First stop: Boots and Sabers. Christmas certainly provided lots of material for some really lousy posts.
We Have Ourselves a Winner
The 1000th comment has been left. Details will follow when I contact the winner.
January 05, 2004
We're almost to the 1000th post, so get your Amazon wish lists reading and yap away.
January 01, 2004
New Year's Eve at InstaPundit HQ
Glenn Reynolds is such a wild guy that he spent part of his New Year's Eve grading papers.
[I needed to post something just to stop looking at my mug everytime I reloaded TAM. I'm now off to watch Gettysburg.]
December 31, 2003
2003 TAM Weblog Awards
This is a brand new award. My criteria are simple: the weblogs have to be on my blogroll and I have to consider them insightful, entertaining, or have some good quality to keep me coming back.
Congratulations to the winners.
Warm Up with Something Bad
The latest Bonfire of the Vanities is up. Fortunately for me, Kevin didn't add the post I submitted.
No, I won't tell you what it was.
December 30, 2003
I'm a few dozen comments away from hitting 1000. Back in September, Jim at Unix, Music, and Politics left the 500th comment and got a CD off his Amazon wish list. That's what will happen to the lucky 1000th commenter so comment away.
December 27, 2003
Best of the Worst
If I pointed out all the "Best of" lists on others' weblogs I'd have no time to enjoy this Christmas weekend. There is one list I will point out for you. Right Voices AKA Boycott Hollywood had a wild year. By pointed out the stupidity of certain Hollywood celebrities the William Morris Agency tried to shut them down. Lisa S and her crew are still at it so the attempt failed. For your pleasure and for WMA's displeasure here is Right Voices' worst quotes for 2003.
Belated Weblog Anniversary
The wild and wooly Christmas shopping season is my excuse for missing TAM's 4-year anniversary. On 12.11.99, your humble weblogger uploaded his first post onto a bit of free space on Angelfire. I won't reminisce too much because it is only TAM's fourth birthday, and who gets all worked up about four years of anything (marriage excluded)? Oh, but those were the days. Weblogging by hardcoding HTML with plain old Notepad. Today, I have a fancy, schmancy CSS-based template (thanks Joni) and some spiffy software to make publishing so much easier (thanks MT guys). TAM's purpose was to force me to get in the daily writing habit. Ideally, it would lead to a paid writing gig or book project. That hasn't happened yet due to me having a poor ability to self-promote. A lesson I've learned from over four years of weblogging is just putting content on the Net isn't enough. There's too much other stuff out there competing for people's scarce attention. What I haven't learned is how to self-promote without looking (or feeling) like a linkwhore. Maybe I'll find my answer in 2004. I'll be sure to let all of you know.
I do want to thank all those who have linked to TAM over the years. More importantly, I want to thank all of you who read my screeds. Your traffic and feedback means that I'm writing more than the merely non-trivial. Thank you.
December 17, 2003
Learned Something New
Blaster's a pilot. I didn't know that.
UPDATE: Like the New York Times, I have to make a correction. Pittspilot is a co-weblogger at Blaster's Blog who is the pilot. I may have been wrong, but I've still learned something new.
Pass the Marshmellows
The latest Bonfire of the Vanities is up. Read 'em and weep. Really. They're that bad.
December 14, 2003
Kevin is checking the vote totals for accuracy, but it's clear TAM didn't win the Large Mammals Category. It's not like I expected to since I was competing with the likes of Roger Simon and Professor Bainbridge. I'd like to say I was just glad to be nominated, but I nominated myself. Anyway, it was fun, and I found some interesting weblogs.
Kevin's exercise has convinced me to add a weblog category in this year's TAM Awards. I'll try to post the method of this maddness in a few days. If you think you have a weblog that you think deserves this award leave a comment or e-mail me.
December 10, 2003
Lots of Vanity
No, I don't mean one of the women who hung out with Prince in the 80s. First, there's the (ick!) bug-infested Carnival of the Vanities hosted by Signal + Noise. Then after reading some good posts, check out the stinkers at the Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by Wizbang!
December 09, 2003
Vote for TAM
I'm stunned the folks at LewRockwell.com care about little old TAM. More on that later after some much-needed sleep.
I ask you to vote for TAM in the 2003 Weblogs Awards. I only have 10 votes, and it's been that way for some time. I don't expect to win, but don't want to end up in last place. Remember, a vote for TAM is, well, a vote for TAM.
December 06, 2003
Vote for TAM
You can now vote for TAM in the Large Mammals catagory of the 2003 Weblog Awards. You can vote once every 24 hours. There is some really tough competition. Roger Simon, Professor Bainbridge, Jay Solo, Josh Clayborn, mtpolitics.net, and Ben Domenech are all really good weblogs. I'm already greatful (and surprised) for the votes for TAM so far. Thanks for voting and reading.
December 03, 2003
Bad, Bad Oliver
Oliver Willis is upset that some Reagan zealots want to put the 40th President on the dime (sounds good to me, just wait until he's dead). But Oliver goes over the top when labeling them the "GOP jihad."
I'm posting the comment I left there:
GOP jihad!?! That's really over the top. Wierd Reagan cult, yes. Republicans intent on waging holy war across the country in the name of their hero, absolutely not.
Are the people who want to change the appearance of a coin on par with bloodthirsty killers willing to turn planes into cruise missiles? Of course not. Oliver knows better. No wonder some webloggers think he's "overrated." (I am not one of them.)
Oliver crossed the line. The blogosphere is wonderful because its passionately opinonated, but civility must still be maintained. He should apologize.
"The Hagiography of Ronny Continues"
Flames of Desire
Or at least some really bad posts in this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
December 02, 2003
Professor Bainbridge has added TAM onto his blogroll. Thank you, professor. I'm in great company with the other newcomers.
December 01, 2003
Nominations are Now Open
November 30, 2003
I'm Buyin' Me a Star
Since TAM was shunned from Commonwealth of the Blogosphere States, I'm going to get a star named after me. I want it to be a big one, just about ready to go supernova. I'll watch in glee as deadly TAM radiation pours across Reynoldssia and into Joyneria. It sure beats Michele's (one L) measly plan for secession.
November 29, 2003
TAM Still Not "Cool"
You know you're still not one of the "cool kids" of the blogosphere when you don't even get river on the Politburo's map.
November 28, 2003
How Much Can Glenn Bench?
Jay's super-secret spies have gotten a hold the cover for Glenn Reynolds' next book. In the comments, Jay and I are both wondering about his buffness. Glenn, have you been working out? Here's a picture of Glenn and I at BloggerCon in October (I'm the short, very attractive guy).
It's hard to tell anything from it, but it might be enough evidence to start testing webloggers for steroids. Maybe that's his secret for his relentless posting.
November 26, 2003
Setting the World to Rights is hosting this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
November 25, 2003
Feel like your weblog posts just aren't cutting it? Feel like you just aren't getting your point across? Don't fret. Read a few of these bad posts and you'll start feeling much better.
"Bonfire of the Vanities - Week 21"
November 20, 2003
James' Inferiority Complex
James Joyner doesn't think he's an "Influential."
Now, since I'm a super-duper Influential according to the checklist, one would think people would be flocking around asking for my advice on everything under the sun and copying my every move. So far as I can tell, that's not the case.
Strangely, James doesn't include all the weblogs that link to him and generate traffic. In N.Z. Bear's Ecosystem, OTB is ranked #49 with 381 unique inbound links. To compare, TAM is #363 with 102 unique inbound links. In the daily visitor count the difference is similar (1190 vs. 404 visits/day). Assuming the Ecosystem is a pretty good indicator of weblog popularity, OTB is about three-times more popular than TAM. Being read more also means one's writing is more desired and therefore more influential. So, it's safe to conclude that OTB is more influential than TAM.
Don't be so modest James. People aren't reading you just because you're another pretty face.
November 19, 2003
New Carnival of the Vanities
A post loaded with good links means another Carnival of the Vanities. Peaktalk is hosting this week.
November 18, 2003
Burn Blogosphere Burn!
Have fun with all the bad posts on this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
November 17, 2003
More on "Weblog Incest"
Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy.net has a great response to Jennifer Howard's article. Jonathan writes,
There is absolutely nothing democratic about blogs. Rather, the blogosphere is the ultimate free-market anarchy. Bloggers are vendors and ideas are their wares. Readers who spend their time reading blogs are free to choose which blogs they visit, and they are free to never come back again, just like the customer who never re-visits the restaurant that served him cold pasta.
Ralph Luker describes the blogsphere well:
The blogosphere is like a library in which books offering competing interpretations of things sit quietly beside each other until you open them up and the dialogue begins.
I would just add that since some kind of network principle underlies much of Man's social behavior (have read little on this topic so bear with me) it's natural for there to be hubs or link concentrations. I suspect it has something to do with people having limited time to deal with an unlimited amount of information. We need ways to filter all this stuff. Popular weblogs like Instapundit do just that. But since the blogosphere is in essence an anarchy, Glenn's popularity depends on him continuing to produce useful content.
A flaw in Howard's (I'll use her last name since she feels webloggers use first names too casually) analysis is the list of weblogs she uses to prove her point. For example. Old Hag my be popular in Howard's world, but it's a "Crawly Amphibian" in N.Z. Bear's ecosystem with only 17 unique inbound links. The Minor Fall, The Major Lift has even less link popularity with only two unique inbound links. In comparison, TAM is ranked 357th with 103 unique inbound links. That's not big time, but it certainly makes TAM a giant compared to those Howard mentioned. If she would have mentioned all the linking between the big time webloggers like Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, the Volokh gang, and Kevin Drum then she'd have some credibility. Instead, she looks like a Big Media writer who doesn't know what she's talking about.
"The Blogosphere: a Free-Market Anarchy"
November 16, 2003
Weblogs Illustrate Human Nature
Jennifer Howard thinks the blogosphere is too incestuous. Certain webloggers are constantly linking to one another. Somehow, she fell into the trap of believing that weblogs would end the cult of personality. It obviously doesn't. Something is engrained in Human Nature that draws us to people. What that is is the desire to find something interesting (subjectively defined). Weblogs ease of use and few barriers to entry only give people the opportunity to get their views out. Having a weblog doesn't ensure those views will be read.
November 15, 2003
Milt Rosenberg may be the smartest man on radio. I don't listen to his show Extension 720 enough, but when I do Milt is just as insightful as his guests. Milt also has a great weblog and was kind enough to add TAM to his blogroll.
November 11, 2003
Read 'em and Weep
This week's Bonfire of the Vanities has been posted.
November 05, 2003
Thanks to Interested-Participant for having TAM on its blogroll.
That Traffic Whore
November 04, 2003
Fire, Fire, Fire!
This week's Bonfire of the Vanities is up.
November 03, 2003
October 30, 2003
Three Years Ago
Covering Montana Politics
A Passionate Link
Go visit Earthly Passions which is wise enough to link to TAM. ;-)
October 29, 2003
Lots of Good Posts
Who Censored Blogger Rabbit? is hosting this week's Carnival of the Vanities. Read it.
October 28, 2003
The new Bonfire of the Vanities has been posted for your reading displeasure.
John Hawkins has put together another weblogger list. This time it's a list of Right-wing webloggers' most-influential books.
TAM doesn't post much Wisconsin news. That's probably because I listen to a lot of local talk radio where they go over everything. However, there is at least one weblog to get Wisconsin news commentary: Boots and Sabers.
October 26, 2003
Weblogs as Portals
If Tyler Cowen is right, then TAM will never become an uber-weblog. He writes,
Glenn is so successful because he understands the idea of blogs as portals. (This is my view, not Glenn's own self-description.) Blogs that offer too much of the author, and the author alone, are vulnerable to other blogs that cream-skim them, and other blogs, thereby offering the superior product. The question is not who can write the best stuff, but who can collect on the best stuff, and comment on it most effectively.
I consider this weblog as my version of talk radio (minus the sound) and a place to write. TAM isn't a portal. It's a content generator. Tyler is correct that with so many good weblogs around good portals like Glenn and the many weekly Carnivals are desparately needed to prevent info-drowning.
To counter Tyler is Professor Bainbridge with a number of points. His strongest is that technology can make a portal weblogger obsolete:
My news aggregator already does a better job of finding stuff in which I'm interested than does Instapundit (no offense to Prof. Reynolds, as I did enjoy last week's Instalanche).
To defend Tyler, a good portal requires an editor with a keen eye and the ability to add insightful remarks. Glenn does that extremely well.
This argument had many "thinker vs. linker" parallels that John Hawkins has written about.
"The Future of Blogs, More"
October 21, 2003
Not to be outdone, Kevin has the best of the worst in the blogosphere with this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Eric Berlin comes out of retirement to host this week's Carnival of the Vanities.
Will Duck Fire Cho?
In the 10.10 entry of her weblog [scroll down], commedian (and I'm using the term loosely) Margaret Cho told the world she wants the Pope dead. In her 10.09 entry, she calls Ann Coulter Cunta Kinte. This seething hate-monger is actually on a stand-up tour that includes a few universities. If Cho were a conservative defaming the Dali Lama and and calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a Socialist, baby-killing slut student groups would be protesting outside the auditorium. While the blogosphere goes off on some poorly-worded thoughts by Gregg Easterbrook (that gets him fired from ESPN) all you hear about Cho is the white noise of web servers humming. No sound comes from Meryl Yourish when Cho writes that Christopher Columbus "killed f**king everybody to prove that the world was round, not actually flat" [10.13]. She even has the audacity to model herself after that Communist thug Che Guevara.
Based on her hateful statements will the Howard Dean campaign let her post on their weblog again? If so, that means they're implicitly endorsing a hate-monger.
October 20, 2003
Yourish: An Unapologetic Apology?
Meryl Yourish tried to apologize for her hyper-rant that played some part in Gregg Easterbrook's firing from ESPN. (Meryl talked to Gregg on the phone, and he told her the gig was "a huge chunk of his income.") She really, really tried:
This matter is making me rethink the way I do things around here. I rarely get into blogwars (and by that I mean personality wars, not just disagreements between bloggers), and I didn't think that I was getting into a blogwar when I first wrote about Gregg's TNR blog post. I don't generally do the interpersonal thing. I reserve my ire for national and international figures, particularly terrorists and known Jew-haters. When I first wrote about the Tarantino Easterblogg, I thought of it the same way I think when writing about a news article: Here's something that doesn't sound right, let's point it out.
But she just couldn't do it even knowing her words unjustly hurt someone:
Naaah. I can't do that. There are no hard feelings, he told me on the phone, and I have none here, either. Frankly, if he ever writes something like that again, I'll take him to task all over again for it. How much influence did I have in this affair? Not as much as some people think.
It's hard to admit you're wrong. It's especially hard to admit your wrong when you're a writer read by more than a small circle of friends. Meryl Yourish and Roger Simon were the loudest in their denunciations of Easterbrook. Simon did fess up. Unfortunately, Yourish just can't seem to do the right thing.
It's interesting to note that this post was inspired by Meryl's post titled "Easterbrook: An unapologetic apology?" After writing it she ended up leaving a link to a story on the hoopla and deleted her criticism of Easterbrook's apology. When deleting the post she realized that "sometimes, something that you write has unexpected consequences." That may be the closest we ever get to a real apology.
"The Easterbrook Affair: I Have a Bad Feeling about This"
October 15, 2003
New Carnival of the Vanities
Priorities & Frivolities is hosting this week's Carnival. Enjoy.
Houston's Best Weblog
Kevin also publishes Reductio Ad Absurdum, another very good weblog.
October 14, 2003
The Heat is On
A new Bonfire of the Vanities is out. If you think you write a lame weblog, don't fret. Read a few submissions to see how bad webloggers (like myself) can really be.
October 11, 2003
Jeff Jarvis is having a good post-BloggerCon conversation with Jay Rosen. Rosen came away with a similar feeling that I did:
Well, I would be cautious about proclaiming any revolution. That was the one thing in the Harvard conference I found unwise and unnecessary. The weblog is an exciting form, the Internet holds many marvels, and the more I think about it, the more different the emerging pattern seems — compared to what we’re used to with The Media. But it’s a big leap from, “wow, this is way different” to “the revolution is upon us.”
I promise in a day or two I'll post something on my BloggerCon experience. I will touch on the same revolutionary feeling Rosen talks about as well as why I was the token conservative there.
October 09, 2003
Here's a compliment from Fire of The Chapin Nation:
Sophisticated endeavor to be sure. I think you'll like it. This guy has done a good job. We could learn from him.
October 08, 2003
Go to Carnival
The newest Bonfire of the Vanities is up. This week, Kevin has added a twist. Readers can vote on the post that should be recalled.
Oliver Willis on candidate weblogs:
If you expect the candidates to be blogging, you need to get out more. Especially for Bush, quite frankly if the leader of the free world is spending his time blogging in front of the fricking computer I'll introduce the articles of impeachment myself.
I'd help Oliver make it a bi-partisan issue if said President didn't add TAM to his blogroll.
October 07, 2003
Weblogs: The Next TheGlobe.com
Home sweet home. You'd think that sitting around for a few hours wouldn't drain you, but that's what travel does. At least I flew Midwest which has two-across seating so you aren't forced to know what perfume your neighbor is wearing. Midwest's baked-on-the-plane chocolate chip cookies are a plus too.
I unwound tonight with the Boston-A's game and the Indianapolis Colts' amazing comeback. But you don't read TAM to get the highlights of my day (or maybe you do). I know you guys are waiting with baited breath for my take on BloggerCon 2003. Don't fret, it's coming. I'll post some pictures I took too. Dan Bricklin was going photo-crazy at BC and caught Glenn Reynolds, Esther Dyson, and me in one. I have pictures with each individually. Lucky me!
To give you a taste of what thoughts are floating in my head, here's Oliver Willis' take on BC participants' wild-eyed view of weblogs:
Blogs are transformative tools, they're doing amazing things and they are enabling wonderful advances. On a personal level, if it weren't for blogs I wouldn't have improved as a writer (debatable, I guess) and there is certainly no way little old me would have made it on the front page of the Boston Globe. That's great for me on a personal level, but it ain't changing the world.
I want to let it be known that one of the highlights of BC for me was meeting Oliver. He and I disagree politically, but he's smart, can write, and knows his football.
"Deflating The Blog Bubble"
October 06, 2003
Odds and Ends
I'm still in an undisclosed location in the heart of the People's Republic of Cambridge. BloggerCon continued today with a number of different discussions and the event was opened up to more people. From meeting so many interesting people, hearing lots of provocative opinions, and coming away with some observations it will take me a little while to process it all. One quick observation is that I felt like the token Bush backer there. Sure, Glenn Reynolds, Eugene Volokh, and Jeff Jarvis (pro-war liberal) were there, but the place was filled with Duck devotees and Bush-bashers.
BC was a great way to spend my birthday (Saturday, 10.04). Now, I'll get to go home and celebrate with my family. My fun just won't stop.
The first Milwaukee flash mob took place on Wednesday. Doing a quick Google news search found zero media coverage so I'll reprint the discription of the mob from the Brew City Mob Yahoo Group:
The first (is it the first?) MFM was a success. Today at exactly 5:30, a crowd of approximately 40 people converged on the Starbucks at Farwell and Brady. We'd been instructed to act like tourists, calling our friends and telling them we were "in Milwaukee, at Starbucks!" We'd been instructed to act surprised about there being a Starbucks in Milwaukee.
Surprisingly (and thankfully) I didn't hear any mention of flash mobs at BC. To me, these little vignettes of cyberspace-meatspace community are a flash in the pan (pun intended) and only a fad.
UPDATE: Saturday night, I chatted with Kevin. He turned the conversation into a good post as to how I felt a little like a part of a circus freak show.
"BloggerCon (Job) Day 1 Update"
October 01, 2003
I haven't found any stock weblogs. It should be a natural for this medium: it's geeky, there's a ton of info to wade through and filter, and people are interested in investing. CotC should help me discover some of these type of weblogs.
Carnival 54 Where are You?
This week's Carnival of the Vanities is available for your reading pleasure.
September 27, 2003
TAM to Host Carnival
Mark your calendars for 01.28.04. That's when TAM will host the Carnival of the Vanities.
Webloggers Out of Commission
With Kate out with illness and Stephen out because he was dreaming about weblogging, remember you can still cuddle up with TAM for your fix. I may be on vacation from my bill-paying job, but there is no let up planned for TAM.
September 26, 2003
More Speakers at BloggerCon
Added to the BloggerCon lineup are Eric Folley, Democratic National Committee; James Taranto, Wall Street Journal; Len Apcar, New York Times; Jeff Jarvis, Advance Publications, Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News. With some interesting stuff happening on Day 2 (the free day) it may cut into my Boston sight-seeing.
New domain for Cynthia. Change all links accordingly.
Kudos to Blaster for adding TAM to his blogroll.
September 25, 2003
Can Now Focus, Focus, Focus
Nothing sucks out the weblogging energy quite like hunting for stuff on eBay. That's what's been diverting my attention for the past few days. I did get a deal on a notebook computer so I won't feel like a tech neophyte at BloggerCon.
Because of my eBay hunting, I missed my second Bonfire of the Vanities. I hold my head in shame again. Go check out the bad stuff. After that, go to the Carnival of the Vanities hosted by Pathetic Earthlings.
September 22, 2003
Just below PrestoPundit's title is a list of publications, websites, and weblogs that recommend it. Along with big newspapers, a cable network, and some major weblogs is TAM. I'm flattered. Read Greg. He's good and hyperactive, two qualities that make for a must-read weblog.
Greg even gets profound. In this post, he briefly argues that James Madison failed in his quest to set faction against faction in government. In California, he writes, "the faction driven legislature is killing the taxpayer and business in the interest of the trial lawyers, the government unions, and the countless spending lobbies and dependency constituencies. This is Madisonian government run amuck...." He then praises ballot intiative and recall as "effective tools for saving the people and the common good." I'm not so sure. From what little I know about California government, much of the state budget is out of the hands of the legislature because of ballot intiatives. Also, if Madisonian government has been such a failure how come other states haven't run into similar problems as California?
The topic of Madisonian government versus Progressive reforms within the context of California political history would make for a really good paper or dissertation. I know TAM has a few political science (oxymoron) PhDs and students. Has anything been written on this?
September 21, 2003
Weblog or Rock Band?
Lynn lists some weblog names that would also be good monikers for bands.
September 20, 2003
Where are the Hits?
TAM made MSNBC's Weblog Central. Cool, but it's generated almost zilch for traffic. Does anybody read this weblog? Or do they read it and just don't bother clicking on anything? Jay Solo has a nice weblog with no connections to Big Media and he sends more traffic to TAM just with his blogroll.
September 19, 2003
Glenn's a Swell Guy
One reason so many people like and respect Glenn Reynolds is his humility. On Instalanches he writes,
My advice is keep blogging, get noticed by other bloggers at varying traffic levels, and you'll build an audience. The vaunted "Instalanche" looks impressive on your counter for a day, but most of those readers won't stick around. Readers you build on your own will.
I hope he's a nice in real life at BloggerCon as he is on the Web.
September 18, 2003
Kevin gives some good advice to best get Glenn Reynolds' attention. Based on my two Instalanches (that I can remember), Glenn likes music posts and posts that covers an event (a car accident in my case) faster than big media and just as accurate.
What I want to know is how to get on Glenn's blogroll. I don't know how much traffic one generates (especially if near the bottom), but it would be a great badge of honor. If anyone wants to start an e-mail campaign to get TAM on Glenn's blogroll, I won't get in the way. ;-)
"How to Get an Instalanche"
September 17, 2003
It's the 52nd Carnival of the Vanities. It's grown from 15 entries to 70. None from TAM. I always seem for forget to submit until just after the deadline has passed.
September 16, 2003
Some Lessons of My Own
Wow, that was longer than I planned. I hope that my little bits of wisdom help you with your weblogging.
"10 Things I've Learned About Blogging"
James has some comments about Kate's list.
Summer may be over, but there's still one good reason to break out the marshmellows. This week's Bonfire of the Vanities is here.
September 12, 2003
"War" Has Taken Odd Turn
Can the Blog "War" get any weirder? Glenn has joined the alliance against himself. No wonder I'm still waiting for my bribe. There's no intention of winning. It's kind of like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We need a big news event. This August-doldrum escapade has driven people wacko. But don't worry TAM readers. You can depend on TAM while everyone goes loony. Unless, one side finally offers me a bribe.
September 10, 2003
Lisa Williams found a bunch of webloggers who will be coming to BloggerCon next month. Attending will be a little strange since people I don't know and have never directly communicated with will no about me. It's being famous but without the fame.
"An Incomplete and Probably Inaccurate List of Bloggercon Attendees"
September 09, 2003
BOTV 10: I Hold My Head in Shame
Shame, shame, shame on me! I forgot to enter something. If I would have remembered (even with Kevin's reminder e-mail), I would have submitted this entry where I offered to hand out a prize in a weight loss contest, but no one replied.
September 08, 2003
We Have a Winner
Someone has left TAM's 500th comment. There will be more details when that lucky person contacts me. Don't stop giving me your two-cents (how much is that in euros?). There will be a prize for the 1000th commentor. Ghost of a flea was wondering about the prize. Since I don't have any cool TAM merchandise to offer (never jumped on that weblogging bandwagon), I'll just pick something off the winner's Amazon wishlist.
We are very close to having a winner. It should be sometime today, so post away. If you leave the lucky comment, there will be a prize. There will also be a prize for the 1000th comment so don't stop reading and responding.
September 04, 2003
Looking for the 500th Comment
In a few days some TAM reader will write the 500th post since TAM's been MT-powered. Whoever that lucky person is will get some kind of prize. Don't expect something with four wheels, but something off of an Amazon wish list isn't out of the question.
September 03, 2003
Bear Tracking "Blog War"
The Bear is tracking the "Blog War." The anti-Glenn side is way behind in traffic but ahead in links. I don't know what constitutes a victory for the Alliance, but if they offered a bribe to TAM their war progression could be improved.
The Bear also notes that he's a member of the Neutral Until Bribed Coalition too.
I'll remain neutral in this particular conflict for now, pending suitable incentives from one side or another --- simply consider me your humble war correspondent, observing from the sidelines...
"Tracking the Great Blogwar"
August 30, 2003
Top Linkers to TAM
Since August has already been the best post-Elian Gonzalez month for TAM traffic-wise, I want to thank the top five webloggers who drove the most traffic here.
I might list the top five again next month. It's easy to make the list. Just link to TAM early and often.
August 29, 2003
Greetings Vodkapundit Readers
Thanks to the link and kind words from Stephen Green TAM had its best traffic day of the week. A little over 300 visitors came yesterday. My goal of 5000+ visitors for August will now easily be reached. That will make August the biggest traffic month since ElianWatch way back in 2000. Thank you all for reading, leaving comments, and coming back.
This is as good a time as any to thank the weblogs that have recently linked to TAM:
I still get many of my visitors from bookmarks and favorites lists. If you have a weblog consider putting TAM on your blogroll. You won't be sorry.
August 27, 2003
It's official: In this weblog "war" TAM is the founding member of the Neutral Until Bribed Coalition [look down the left sidebar]. I have received no contact from either Frank J or Glenn so TAM's status looks to be the same for quite some time.
I may have the occasional Paleowatch, but it's nothing compared to ex-Communist Greg Yardley. He has turned his hobby into a full-blown weblog.
August 26, 2003
August 24, 2003
Jimmie Walker's Weblog
Jay linked to Jimmie Walker's weblog. I've only read a few posts and I know he's cool. His television watching is much like mine ("C-span, Fox News and Sports"), and there's his view on affirmative action:
Affirmative action was very necessary at the the time, but like "the lava lamp" , "the hula hoop", and "the eight track tape" affirmative action's time has passed.
There aren't permalinks so scroll down, nod your head in agreement (or roll your eyes), and laugh.
Gracias and Welcome
Thanks go to Cynthia for the addition of TAM to her blogroll.
And welcome fellow Battlestar Galactica fans.
August 21, 2003
August 20, 2003
TAM on Daypop
"How About Them Carnivals?"
Other than forcing us to view Dallas Cowboys history (Dallas' 5 Super Bowl victories aren't even close to Green Bay's 12 league titles), James at Outside the Beltway has put together a great Carnival of the Vanities.
A Thank You & Some Blegging
Many of you visit TAM through your bookmarks. If you have a weblog I'd be honored if you'd put TAM on it. Also, use the trackback feature. TAM doesn't get enough of those. It's a easy way for me to find your weblog. If you don't think you have the time to weblog, that's ok. Just tell your friends about all the neat, insightful stuff you find here.
August 19, 2003
It's Gettin' Hot in Here
That heat you feel isn't from the lack of A/C due to a power outage. No, it's just the latest edition of the Bonfire of the Vanities.
August 18, 2003
I don't read many liberal weblogs. Shame on me. Occasionally I'll read Brad DeLong to get the Clinton economic spin. I have enough trouble finding time to read the conservative/libertarian weblogs. But lists from Daniel Drezner and James Joyner provide good places to visit.
The Frank J. vs. Glenn "war" is still dumb. I have no horse in his race. Frank J. looks like he's suffering from a heat-induced neurosis, while Glenn links to weblogs that are quite inferior to TAM (I won't name any names...yet). But if either of them wants TAM on their side I do have a price. Put me on your blogroll and I'll think about it.
"The Force Grows"
A Real Weblog War
Kate is the victim of a nasty weblogger and an overcautious government agency. Just from some posts on a weblog and (presumbably) a telephone call, Child Protective Services (CPS) came to Kate's home to investigate. I've read her for a few months and never even suspected she was any threat to her daughter. CPS came to the same conclusion and called the complaint "malicious." While doing their job, I don't think they should have even been there unless they had a real suspicion that something harmful was taking place. If evidence like screaming from the house or bruises on the child were found, then sure investigate; but some posts and comments on weblog? Give me a break.
What happened to Kate is a downside to being a widely-read weblog. A little less popularity in the blogosphere does have its benefits.
August 14, 2003
Crazy Days of August
"Fair and Balanced" Meme
Fox News was pretty dumb to sue Al Franken, but I'm already tired of people pasting "Fair and Balanced" all over their weblogs. Seeing it once was funny, twice was boring, any more and I just roll my eyes.
Warning: Petty Post
[whining and navel gazing]
I'm glad the story about a Milwaukee human shield being fined is getting around the blogosphere. Mr. Clancy's should get no sympathy for backing Saddam. What irritates me is RWN and Cam Edwards both linked to the story with no trackback or hat tip to me.
Do I know those two webloggers got the link from TAM? No. With stuff like Google's new News Alerts they may have gotten it somewhere else. According to Technorati, only two other weblogs linked to the Clancy story. Since the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is my local paper, and RWN and Cam Edwards both link to TAM they had an opportunity to read my post.
I'm not mad at either John or Cam. With all the news they're tapped into they just may have forgot the source. I've done it too. What bugs me is I felt this story had legs and would spread throughout the blogosphere. It's made it to the Volokh Conspiracy, and I would have loved to get a bunch of traffic from there.
How come I have a feeling I'll be submitting this post to next week's Bonfire?
[/whining and navel gazing]
August 13, 2003
Bonfire and Carnival Entires
UPDATE: Ladies, sorry I forgot to link to the Carnival. It's a few hours late, but it's fixed.
August 12, 2003
I ashamed to admit it, but TAM has an entry in this week's Bonfire of the Vanities. And I thought I had a pretty good week.
August 10, 2003
Seeking Web Designer
Kevin (Mr. Wizbang) and I are working on starting up a sports weblog. I'm the ideas man and Kevin is the tech geek. What neither of us are any good at is design. We both relied on a great designer (thanks, Joni), and are looking for someone to come up a design fitting a embryonic media giant. It's a few weeks before the NFL starts so time is of the essence.
Kevin has more details, and you should contact him if interested.
August 07, 2003
See Me at BloggerCon
Today was a long day dealing with a bad night's sleep. No real substance (no jokes) tonight. However, my check is in the mail and the schedule has been worked out so I will be at BloggerCon on 10.04 (my birthday by the way) at Harvard. You should come to just to talk to me and some guy from Tennessee who gets a little more attention than me.
August 06, 2003
Daniel Drezner has left BlogSpot. Change all links accordingly.
Thanks for the link, Tim.
Go check out Right On! for conservative comments from up north.
August 05, 2003
Navel Gazing Traffic Post
Yesterday, TAM had a real good traffic day. Thanks, Zombyboy. If recent trends continue, today should be even better. For some reason, Tuesdays have out did Mondays. I understand the Monday bump since people are back to their computers from weekend activities, but I don't know why Tuesdays would be better.
August 02, 2003
Glenn Reynolds Interview
For some reason I can't listen to Christopher Lydon's interview with Glenn Reynolds. What has to be mentioned is Glenn looks much better in this picture than this one from an interview published last month. Vacation time does wonders for him.
August 01, 2003
What's in a Name?
UPDATE: Sorry Steve about the name mix-up. Now I know how Kevin feels when he biffs it.
July 31, 2003
Sign Up for BloggerCon
To get an invitation to BloggerCon sign up here and get the bulletins. I plan on being there, will you?
On a technical note: I want w.bloggar to have a trackback feature. Right now, I'm pasting the trackback URL into my post and fixing it in MT, but sometimes (as in this case if you caught it) I forget.
Webloggers Pick Movies
Right Wing News, the VH1 of the Blogosphere, has posted the Greatest Movies of All Time. Being the Internet, Star Wars got the top spot.
"Bloggers Select The 15 Greatest Movies Of All-Time"
July 30, 2003
AfricaBlog has a laudable goal:
The goal is to create a site that focuses on the challenges faced by the West in developing policies that help lift the continent of Africa out of the political and economic strife that has plagued the continent.
There's already a discussion on some of the root causes for Africa's political economic problems. It will be interesting to see what's posted.
[via Jay Solo]
July 29, 2003
Thanks to Firefive for putting TAM on his blogroll.
TAM: Readers' Blog
Oscar Jr. has confirmed my suspicion that TAM is a "readers blog" as opposed to a "bloggers blog." According to his analysis, TAM gets "47 more visits per day than would be predicted giving the number of inbound links to, and the age of, your site." I noted in a comment on his site that on most days TAM's biggest referrer is bookmarks. That piece of information backs up Oscar's analysis.
The easiest conclusion I can come to is my audience contains many people who don't have weblogs of their own. If they did then TAM would have more links and fewer bookmark referrers. My audience either doesn't have time to write to their own weblog or just use TAM as part of their daily info fix.
Why TAM draws readers and not webloggers, I don't know. Any ideas from the peanut gallery?
July 28, 2003
July 27, 2003
Michele is "too old for this shit," but you know she'll do it again next year.
Laurence wins the TAM Dedication Award. He weblogged for 24 hours straight and goes to work at a new job tomorrow. You're co-workers will just love your Monday morning demeanor.
Joni listed her food and drink consumption for the past day. You know you're desparate for posting material if you're down to that.
And speaking of desparate, Kevin was desparate enough to post a lesbian picture. When all else fails, think with the groin.
Good job all. You survived and lived to post about it.
Ambassador to France
I've been nominated for Ambassador to France. I'm honored. If Glenn's elected and the Senate confirms me I'll do my best to bug the hell out of them while sampling as much of the fine cuisine the French would offer to butter me up (and they are French so lots of butter would be used). I would give lots of pro-Israel speeches at synagogues and help pro-democracy Iranian dissidents. I would also visit lots of American institutions like McDonalds and Euro Disney. Finally, I'd try to get Paris a NFL Europe team.
After about 10 hours away from the computer it's time to check on our Internet money-making friends.
From these cam shots I'll be nice and say most of them look like hell.
Kevin has pleasantly forced me to listen to cool 80s tunes.
You know Laurence has been up way too long when he's publically fantasizing about ACME products.
Michelle was desparate for material so she told us her dream about a member of Slayer.
Last, but not least, Joni posted on her cat whisker collection.
Keep it up guys. You don't have that much longer to go. What am I saying? You guys have HOURS TO GO!!! Are those eyes getting heavy? I promise not to dream about you when I'm catching my Z's. Good night.
July 26, 2003
Blogathon is Go
July 23, 2003
So, if you post some stuff about Kobe Bryant's rape case you get a flood of trolls. It's been said that any publicity is good publicity, but on the Web any traffic isn't necessarily good traffic.
"Your Search Cannot be Completed"
There's still a few days left until Blogathon 2003. Sadly, TAM will not be participating. I'll be earning money to fix the AC in my new (used) car. It was a steal so I have no problem putting a little money into it.
As a show of solidarity here are a few webloggers who will be posting 24-hours straight for some good causes:
Support them. Them's good people, and none of them are posting for some lame Lefty cause.
July 22, 2003
Bonfire of the Vanities
July 21, 2003
Rob Dreher, formerly of National Review is now posting at the Dallas Morning News' new editorial weblog.
July 17, 2003
Kudos to The SmarterCop for blogrolling TAM.
July 16, 2003
TAM's a Carnie Now
Going through it I found Kevin Murphy's take on experienced racism and population proportion to be insightful. It gave me one of those "ah-ha" moments.
Terry Teachout, Weblogger
July 15, 2003
Bonfire of the Vanities
July 13, 2003
Happy B-Day, Joni
You still have a few minutes to wish Joni a happy birthday. I have to be extra nice to her for having her put up with a cranky weblogger when he was making the transition to MT. She's also pretty good at design.
July 12, 2003
"Welcome to the Blogosphere"
July 08, 2003
True, oh so true.
Feel the Burn
For something that's pretty much a complete waste of quality Internet time, Kevin has posted the inaugural Bonfire on the Vanities. It's a collection of the worst of the Blogosphere. Do not confuse it with the Carnival of the Vanities or Silflay will get mad. Here's a little piece of advice: never anger a person who has a first name you can't pronounce.
"Bonfire Of The Vanities - Week 1"
July 06, 2003
Thanks to Chris at painfultruth.org for having the good sense to link to TAM. He has a whole category devoted to "Idiot Liberals." This is a man who pulls no punches.
July 03, 2003
Bonfire of the Vanities
The converse to the Carnival of the Vanities is Wizbang's new Bonfire of the Vanities. I've never entered anything into the Carnival, but I'm jumping all over the Bonfire. This is a pretty lame post on Hooters Air.
New Weblog Showcase
In the New Weblog Showcase, I'm voting for HD Blog's "Ethics & Genetics." In this post, Dave writes about maintaining a watchful eye on those who are willing to use unethical short-cuts in genetic research.
I'm also voting for ThePopulist's "The De-Evolution of Warfare." Scott Piraino writes that small-scale warfare will be the norm, and that the kill-and-run attacks in Iraq are a reason why we shouldn't have invaded.
Welcome to America
July 01, 2003
Kevin Holtsberry hosted a weblog (I still refuse to use the word "blog") symposium. Participants include Jonah Goldberg, Matt Welch, and Nick Gillespie.
"Blogs and the Media Symposium, Round Two"
June 28, 2003
TAM Publically Traded
I wasn't sure what to do with my RSS feed. What I must have done was sign up with Syndic8 because now TAM is listed on Blogshares. People even own shares. Does that mean TAM's now beholden to his shareholders? Is there some Zen thing that goes like this: if you have an IPO, and you don't know about it, do you really have a P/E ratio?
June 26, 2003
Sullivan Votes for Himself
Dawn Olsen give Andrew Sullivan a righteous ribbing by mocking his vote of himself as most influential weblogger. Way to go Dawn. I too wondered about his pick. It sure takes a lot of gumption to vote for oneself.
[via Wizbang who had the sense to add TAM to his blogroll]
June 25, 2003
TAM Odds and Ends
June 24, 2003
Boycotting Boycott Hollywood
June 23, 2003
Get ready. Ann Coulter begins weblogging today, and the blogosphere may never be the same.
June 22, 2003
Down Under Kudos
June 20, 2003
Jay's New Home
Jay Solo has swanky, new digs. Change links accordingly.
June 18, 2003
Want to Use MT?
For those of you who are tired of Blogger and Blogspot problems or had enough of sitting on the sidelines and want to get your weblogging feet wet TokyoShoes has a tutorial for beginning Moveable Type users. One suggestion I didn't see is to get have a friend available who's installed and used MT. That way you have a quick resource if (when) problems come up and you won't have to rely on MT's forums.
Blaster Has Moved
Blaster's Blog has dumped Blogspot and is now MT powered. Change links accordingly.
June 16, 2003
Near Death Experience
John at Right Wing News almost bought the farm. Thank God he only ended up with some cuts.
Here's a few hops through my blogroll:
Fredrik Norman warns us that he's headed for the States.
Howard Owens lists the lies the anti-war/Bush crowd told us.
Craig of mtpolitics.net and his wife just celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary. Yeah!
Mike brought home a bouncing "noisemaking machine."
June 15, 2003
Thanks to MediaReview for linking to TAM.
New Blog Showcase
Here are TAM's votes in The Bear's New Blog Showcase:
June 14, 2003
For newbie webloggers or for veterans like myself, here are some weblogging tips I've found.
John Hawkins is a generous guy for offering these tips. His best one is to drop Blogspot and/or Blogger. I haven't use the latest version of Blogger so I can't say if it's better or worse than before. But having weblogging software on one's own server is nice. It feels better not relying on a server out of your control. Even with the frustration I initially had with MT, my set up hasn't let me down yet.
Then there are Rebecca Blood's tips. Her big one is to "become an active part of the community." That means commenting on other's posts and submitting comments. She also recommends find a niche that interests you and become the "expert." [WARNING: Rebecca's a little weird. She has her very own favorite information architect. I guess it isn't that weird, because I have my very own fave economist. Don't you?]
And if you've tried everything, there are Frank's tips. Make note of the first one: "Don't f**k with me. I will destroy you."
June 13, 2003
TAM is "Adorable"
June 10, 2003
Jim has been weblogging for a year. Congrats.
Go to RWN (Again)
A way to garner attention on the Internet is to give stuff away. But what do you do if you're an non-profit weblogger? What do you give away? Well, John Hawkins, the marketing genius that he is, is giving away links. It's the Link RWN & Win #2. I hope TAM has better luck this time.
June 09, 2003
June 07, 2003
Jay has posted the longest comment in the history of TAM. Golf clap for Jay. It deals with how he and the Right We Are! gals got a whole lot of links. You can either read Jay's comment for this post or read it on his weblog (be warned, it is a Blogspot permalink)
Shout outs go to Dave Tepper, James at Outside the Beltway (who I've linked to a bunch of times), Matthew at A Fearful Symmetry (even if it is on Blogspot), Oscar Jr., Greyhawk's Mudville Gazette, Spiced Sass, Chris at painfultruth.org, and the ladies of Right We Are! (do they know any single women who would be interested in a guy who's intellectual hero is F. A. Hayek?). They've all linked to TAM.
June 05, 2003
TAM is Flapping Away
According to N. Z. Bear's ecosystem, TAM is a "Flappy Bird." Up from being a "Slithering Reptile." I would like to thank all the members of the blogosphere who have made this possible. *sniff* *sniff* You like me! You really like me! At least a little.
June 04, 2003
June 03, 2003
Cam Edwards inspired this idea with his comment from the mainstreaming of weblogs, "As soon as someone writes a song about it (i.e. "Convoy", "Email my Heart") then you know blogging has gone mainstream."
Here are some song titles:
Feel free to add your own via the comments or e-mail. No prizes, just plenty of ego-boo.
Weblogs Go Mainstream
John Dvorak predicts weblogs will explode onto the pop culture.
Let me stop here for a moment and make some specific predictions. Within the next year, both David Letterman and Jay Leno will make jokes about blogs and even discuss them. "Nightline" will do an entire show on blogging. San Jose journalist and blog promoter Dan Gillmor will be a guest for the episode. This is the point where blogging will become mainstream. Shortly thereafter, we will see blogging millionaires, as venture capitalists figure out ways to make money from the trend.
How many television news stories will Glenn and Andrew be interviewed on? Will there be a running total, a kind of race to see who can beat the other? Which weblogger will get their own show? It sounds like something TechTV would try. Will any of the many, many minor webloggers get some substantial buzz? Will this whole phenomenon just get too big and collapse upon itself going the way of the CB radio fad?
May 31, 2003
Go To RWN
Today, in SE Wisconsin, the weather was cold. You'd think since I've lived here most of my life, I'd be used to it, but even us tundra tribemen know that warmth should arrive by the end of May. No such luck yet. It was the kind of day where you just want to cozy up on a couch and waste the time away. Along with a strained back, that was my excuse. But here's a post just to let you know I wasn't too lazy.
In that spirit of lazy weblogging, here's an interview of uber-weblogger, Glenn Reynolds over at Right Wing News. It's old, but it's a look into the mind of a very smart, interesting guy. If only he'd put TAM on his blogroll. Maybe if a some people e-mailed him about the TAM (*hint* *hint*).
May 28, 2003
NY Times Wants Your Money
A nice thing about the NY Times (maybe the only thing since you can't trust their reporting, and their columnists are shrill, knee-jerk anti-Bushies) is their News Tracker service. Say, you want to keep up with all the Times stories on taxes. Just sign up for News Tracker (located on the side of every story) and the paper will e-mail you links to new stories as they are put up on the web. I don't make it a habit to visit the Times website daily and don't know how many times I've read and written on stories just because of News Tracker. So, for me, News Tracker got me to read more Times content (and see their advertising) than I would have without it.
Unfortunately, the free ride is over and the Times will be turning News Tracker into a subscriber service as of June 13. Will I be signing up for $19.95/year? No. Would I sign up for a lower price? Probably not. Will the Times lose out on traffic coming from me and my website? Definitely. Will the Times care? Not at all.
To follow the trend of more web content ceasing to be free there is the aptly named End of Free weblog.
May 27, 2003
Kate's Name Sure Fits
For its sheer veracity, Venomous Kate gets my vote for The Bear's "Microbes on Parade."
"20 Warnings About My Blog (a.k.a. 'A Blogger's Manifesto')"
Win One for the Gipper--I Mean Me
John Hawkins over at Right Wing News will be drawing names for free advertising on his weblog. All you have to do to give TAM a shot at winning is to go there through here. Simple enough. If you're a serious TAM reader you already read RWN for its look at non-right wing ridiculousness and great interviews. For a few days, all I ask is to go there through TAM. 'Nuff said. End of blegging.
"The Link RWN and Win Contest"
May 23, 2003
Thanks go to radio host, Cam Edwards for linking to TAM.
Blogcritics on NBC
It might have been "Must See TV" if I saw it. Oh, well. I'm just glad Blogcritics got some attention, and that I'm a part of it.
May 17, 2003
I've been acquainted with Greg Ransom since college. On an economics listserv, I made the mistake of challenging Leftist economists while not having the depth and breadth of knowledge they did. I ended up looking like a fool. Greg was kind enough to e-mail me about what an effective argument would require. To take on Leftist PhDs requires knowing their arguments. That way you're talking to each other instead of talking past each other.
Along with offering good advice, Greg runs the Hayek-L listserv. If you want to follow academic discussion on F. A. Hayek, you have to sign up. This month, Greg has also jumped into the weblogging world with PrestoPundit.com. Wow, is he linking up a storm.
May 10, 2003
Go To Sleep Night Owl
There won't be any late night TAM posting this evening. Nasty storms are blowing through the area (just got through the fastest tornado warning of my life) so I'm shutting down TAM HQ. See you tomorrow, and to all the mothers reading this: Happy Mother's Day. You deserve (at least) one day for putting up with kids like me.
May 08, 2003
The William Morris Agency must have stopped bugging B-H because I haven't heard about any more threatening legal letters. On a technical front, B-H will be moving to a new domain, boycott-hollywood.net. Then B-H will continue to torment the Hollywood Left while protecting contributors' privacy.
NewsMax.com reported on Lisa's and her gang's trouble.
May 03, 2003
The attack on Boycott Hollywood has already gotten some media attention. CNSNews.com has a story. They didn't add much since neither the William Morris Agency nor their lawyers were willing to talk.
As for the B-H website, it's still up and running. Since Lisa hasn't been able to get any response from Dotster, she doesn't know what the status of the domain is. Maybe somebody at WMA got the hint that this is one hornet's nest they should upset.
"Website Critical of Anti-War Celebrities to Be Shut Down"
May 02, 2003
Boycott Hollywood Update
Some other weblogs have posted the letter from WMA's lawyers complaining about B-H (which is still humming along), but if you haven't read it yet just click below. I like the threat about B-H's comments on WMA clients to be potentially liabel. Other than getting a lots of negative (even nasty) e-mail, what harm was done by opposing the political stances of WMA clients?
Lisa, one of B-H's publishers, has a new e-mail account up and running. If you want to send her a message of support or some good advice, e-mail her at boycott_hollywood at hotmail dot com.
The best we can do to help B-H is to shine as much light on this incident as we can. That means contacting the press (national and local), talk radio shows, and sympathetic websites. With enough sunshine, WMA's lawyers might go scurrying back from where they came from.
April 25, 2003
TAM is a Newt (Gingrich?)
Yippee!! (as in Anakin from Phantom Menace) Based on the Bear's Ecosystem, TAM is no longer an Insignificant Microbe. It's now a Slithering Reptile. This is as good a time as any to bleg for links. If you're a reader who has a weblog, consider putting TAM on your blogroll. If you want to do a link exchange, send me an e-mail and I'll look at your weblog. If you don't have a weblog of your own, but wander around the blogosphere tell some of your favorite webloggers about TAM. I wouldn't be plastering this space with my thoughts if I didn't want people to read them. Let's spread TAM love across the globe.
April 14, 2003
Ruffini Powered by MT
For all the sophistication of MT in pure content-management, I found the process of managing the physical data involved in the changeover very cumbersome.
If you have a long-running weblog with lots of entries I don't recommend the move to MT unless you're a whiz-bang MT geek well versed in databases.
April 05, 2003
Paid to Weblog
Eric Olson of Blogcritics.org fame is weblogging for fun and profit. Hello, Journal Sentinel guys, I'm your man. I usually disagree with your editorial page, but so does your best talk radio host (and unlike his, my weblog actually has links).
March 30, 2003
Happy Birthday, Sara!
I know she won't read this but I want to wish my sister a happy belated birthday. It was yesterday, and no, I wasn't some rude dude who forgot about it. I gave her her gift yesterday (a book and a Casablanca DVD), and this evening the family will be going out to dinner.
March 29, 2003
Will Intern for Food
Someone hire Fredrik Norman so he can come to the U.S., soak up plenty of American culture, and go back home with lots of pro-America ammunition to use.
March 28, 2003
TAM now MTed
Like the new digs? Thank Joni, she's the design whiz behind this. If you've been a frequent reader to TAM over the past few months, you know about my battle with MT. I've managed to get all my Blogger posts into MT so that's a good sign. Since I've been having trouble publishing with Blogger for almost a day this might be God's sign that I should finish my MT plunge. There will be tweaking with the visuals, importing of comments (if it's anything like importing posts, I should get it finished by Christmas 2006), and I have to figure out a comfortable way to post--it will be hard to beat the ease of the blogBuddy/Blogger Pro combo. If something just doesn't look right or you have suggestions/comments let me know.