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A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

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Anthonty has a wee think about how useful those “post to Digg” links at the bottom of blog posts are in generating traffic, based on this handy graph. He’s done a really nice little round-up of how different “big media” properties, including my own employer’s New Scientist, handle them.

Executive summary? They’re pretty good traffic drivers. The irony here is that I’ve just removed mine. They will probably reappear after some work and thought.

However, the thing that troubles me about these social voting and bookmarking sites is that, on the whole, they’re great for technology-based content, but none of the services seem to have made aggressive inroads into other niches just yet. So, I could see them working for our Computer Weekly bloggers (Stuart, David and Tony), but would they work for Caterer, say?

If you’re reading this, the transfer worked. The vitual removal men have drunk their last cup of digital tea and have headed for home. One Man & His Blog is now happily hosted on Dreamhost. I’ve been using them for my WoW guild‘s various community bits and bobs for a while now, and am mighty impressed with their service.

I’ve taken the opportunity to stick yet another new design on the blog, one that leave enough space for large pics to be posted from Flickr. I’d missed that in the last iteration of this blog and am really glad to have it back. I have a suspicion that I won’t be truly happy with my design until I pay someone to do a custom one for me, though.

The new version of Movable Type supports something called FastCGI, and I’m now running the blog under that. And my, does the web interface fly. You should see a real speed increase when leaving comments.

Anyway, that’s enough blog geekiness for the time being. Back to the normal waffle of marginal interest to anyone bar myself.

If all has gone according to plan, you can now sign into this blog to comment using OpenID. That means you can use your Vox blog address, Livejournal username or any other OpenID service to identify yourself to my blogging software. This is very exciting to the geeks in the audience and probably rather confusing to everybody else…

It was all done using this handy wee plugin.

Incidentally, I discovered while doing this that my webhost had decided to rename my comments.cgi file without informing me, presumably because of an uptick in spam comments, without bothering to inform me. Well, thanks guys. Oh, and thanks for the helpful suggestion in the rename that I should install spam protection. I already had Spam Lookup and MT Akismet in place. Any other suggestions? Or are you just going to randomly disable parts of my site without talking to me whenever you feel like it?

The time has come to move hosts, I suspect.

On my morning commute, I catch up with my podcasts. And, on this morning’s commute, I caught up with the latest Strange Attractor podcast, which had been sat on my iPod for a little while without me noticing. And, my goodness, what a corker. It’s not often you catch me laughing out loud as I drive the Croydon flyover, but I did this morning. The pair’s evisceration of both The Independent’s “blogs” and Keith Waterhouse’s laughable opinion piece in the Daily Hate Mail is just perfect.

And I strongly suggest my blogging journalist colleagues have a listen to it, just in case they feel the temptation to write “What do you think?” at the end of their posts…

As the podcast is hosted on Odeo, I can embed it here for your listening pleasure: 


powered by ODEO

If everything goes according to plan, our time in Lewisham is nearly over. The refurbishment of the flat is nearly done, and it should be on the market by the spring. And, when it is sold, we’ll be moving away from Lewisham.

Just as I spent a while looking at Soho in the lead-up to leaving it, I’m going to do a series of posts, saying goodbye and charting what I thin about the past, present and future of the borough where I’ve lived for over a decade. A lot of my early blogging was about Lewisham, and many of my early blogging contacts were locals. This seems a fitting end to this era of my life.

Let’s start with this:

23012007134Lee High Road leaving signLee High Road moving

A whole parade of shops has suddenly closed down on Lee High Road. That’s a classic sign of a landlord pulling in leases for redevelopment. And let’s face it, Lewisham is ripe for redevelopment. Aside for a dodgy pub making way for a new Nando’s, the only significant thing to happen in the town centre over the last decade has been the Docklands Light Railway terminal.

There’s plenty planned, sure, but I’ve been hearing about Phase II of the Lewisham Shopping Centre for around 7 years, so you’ll excuse me if I take the current proposals for the north of the town centre with a pinch of salt.

The recent wave of redevelopment seems to have bypassed Lewisham as it rushed eastwards along the Thames, passing just north of the town centre. But, given London’s desperate need of new accommodation, how long can that last? Are all these streets of Victorian suburbia ripe for gentrification, or redevelopment at higher density? Or is the area destined to become a slum and a dumping group for another decade?

That’s what I hope to explore over the next few weeks.

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Richard Sambrook, reporting from Davos, touches on a long-running debate:

Finally, a neat way of differentiating journalists and bloggers. “Bloggers suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, journalists suffer from Attention deficit disorder.” In other words, journalists report and move on and don’t always follow up. Bloggers are obsessive, get hold of an issue and won’t let go….

And I can’t help feeling that more reporters should be like bloggers.

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When blogging first hit the mainstream media consciousness (and by that I mean “articles appeared in the nationals”, not “individual journalists started experimenting with blogs”), the image they portrayed of blogging was usually of the bedroom journalist, posting his online diary in his underwear. That image has stuck in some journalists’ minds, even as their more enlightened colleagues embrace this new publishing medium and do great things with it.

Strangely, though, things are starting to come full circle, with new tools developing to support the “bedroom blogger”, the person who is using a blog only to talk to a small group of friends and family. That’s why I find this interview with Ben & Mena Trott of Six Apart good reading:

This is a good and growing business that supports 150 employees, but it is not the break-out phenomenon that justified the fancy price paid for YouTube.

For that reason the Trotts recently launched Vox, a free personal blogging and social-networking service – and Six Apart’s shot at the big time.

One of the important advances with Vox is the privacy controls that allow users to choose just who can see “every post, every picture, every sound clip, every video”. Not every blog, and not every post, needs to be wholly public. There are many times when people want to share information and photos only with their family or friends.

“Just because you’re a blogger, it does not mean you’re publishing to the world,” said Mena. “Without this privacy, blogging won’t grow in the way that it should grow.”

Tincan AlleyCertainly, there’s no good reason why the tools for mainstream publishing should look the same as those for private publishing. Indeed, it’s a sign of the growing sophistication of blogging as an idea that a company like Six Apart can happily support five different blog platforms.

Personally, while I happily use Movable Type here and its Enterprise version at work, I just love playing around with Vox. My blog there is full of multimedia gubbins that it’s actually quite tricky to get posted on this blog, but which is dead easy to do on Tincan Alley.

But then, why should posting photos or movies to a “serious” blog be any harder than to a “fun” one? Vox is a great service, but I hope to see some of that fantastic interface innovation hit Movable Type in the near future, too.

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Maddy Wood from Spannerworks

Originally uploaded by Travel Weekly Gallery.

Speaking of my colleagues from Travel Weekly (whose blog was the source of the quote in my last post), I just love this gallery of the best dressed attendees from the Travel Weekly Globe Awards that they’ve stuck up on Flickr.

What a fashionable lot the travel industry are. Clearly far more Louis Vuitton luggage that backpacker chic…