“Free” blogging tools on display at John Edwards’s site

Posted in blogging, politics at 4:11 pm by cori

John Edwards’s candidacy interests me – I think he’s right on a lot of the issues and has a good opportunity to be a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. I’ve been subscribed to some of the feeds his site’s producing for a while, and the other day I took a look at their efforts to involve bloggers and to encourage folks to blog.

The site makes on-site blogs available for interested bloggers; simply sign up for an and they’ll provide you with a blog or “Diary” within their community. Sensible enough, as far as it goes. I also came across this information regarding starting your own blog on their “For Blogger’s” page” regarding ways to start you own blog :

Perhaps you are already a blogger on the John Edwards Blog. Maybe you already have your own diary on our site. That’s fantastic. But we encourage you to do more. You should start your own independent blog.Check it out; it’s easy and free.

Here’s what you do (remember – it’s all free):

  1. Go to a free blogging site. A few examples: www.blogger.com, www.typepad.com, www.wordpress.org, and follow the given instructions. It only takes a few minutes. Again, it is easy and free.

(From: For Bloggers / John Edwards ’08 Blog)

I think it’s great that they’re encouraging folks to start their own blogs and put their own voice on the web, out from under the umbrella of the John Edwards site. But right away I noticed some errors and misleading info there, so I sent them an email:

Hey all;

I noticed a few things that could bear a little attention on the site with respect to growing a blogging community. On the for bloggers (http://blog.johnedwards.com/bloggers) page there is an error and an “opportunity for improvement”

  • Contrary to the claim that “it’s all free,” TypePad accounts are not free. The lowest cost plan is $4.95/month. Not a lot of money, I agree. But not free.
  • While the WordPress.org blogging software is technically free, it requires a hosting account to host the software so that the blog is available on the web. Again, the lowest commonly available cost for hosting that I’ve seen is $4.95/month. Alternately, a WordPress.com blog is free, and requires nothing but to sign up.

The next day I got a response from David Pierucci:

Hi Cori,   

Thanks for writing in and thanks for the info. We are working 
on adding message boards to the chapter pages. Please 
feel free to write back with any questions or ideas that 
you may have. Thanks for your time.   


Nice enough, I suppose, but woefully inadequate. In fact, I get the feeling that not only do they not care that the information’s inaccurate or misleading, but that David doesn’t even understand what’s at issue. Several days later neither of those bits have been corrected. Not an outstanding way to attract bloggers to your cause, if you ask me; I had better hopes for Edwards’s “netroots” organization than that.



Scott Johnson on blogging style

Posted in blogging, Linkage at 5:56 am by cori

FuzzyBlog – Elements of Blogging Style

I was looking forward to reading this. I'm not much, generally, for sets of rules about blogging; everyone blogs for their own reason and with their own style and no one set of rules will work for everyone, but I respect Scott, and like his writing, and this was likely to be more insightful than Guy Kawasaki's tripe about blogging evangelism.

I gave up on it, however, when the navigation overcame me. Scott seemingly realized his goal of "short, pithy guidelines," but that became a hindrance rather than a strength when I had to scroll a mile and a half down the sidebar to get the next bit of pith.

Perhaps I'll get back to it, but I can't help thinking that there's a better way.


This made me go hmmm.

Posted in blogging at 11:08 pm by cori

Make You Go Hmm: » Wikiargument over Hacking Netflix being link-worthy and professional enough on Netflix page

I have no desire to argue with somebody who might not even be wearing pants.

Pretty rich from somebody who might not be wearing pants himself.


From TECHNOSIGHT: 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout

Posted in blogging, learning, Life, Linkage at 9:34 am by cori

TECHNOSIGHT » 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout

“If there is no discovery for the writer, there is none for the reader.” – Robert Frost.

Well-timed commentary for me personally, since I’ve been lax in blogging recently and have a number of posts in “churn-mode” where I think about them and write/edit a little bit at a time over days or weeks. Some really excellent thoughts from Ken.  Every single point he makes here has validity for many (most?) bloggers.
If you’re a blogger (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), go read this.


Tim Berners-Lee blogs!

Posted in blogging, Linkage at 12:41 pm by cori

His first post.  Some other interesting stuff (not by Tim) there as well.


Scripting News trackbacks

Posted in blogging at 12:56 pm by cori

Dave Winer’s added Technorati search to the sidebar of Scripting News. This is a nice feature, but one that I’d like to see even more would be for Dave to put a small Technorati bubble (technorati bubble) by the permalink icon for each post that would allow a Technorati Search based on the url for that particular post. That would be as close as you could get to implementing trackbacks on Scripting News without actually hosting trackbacks.  Like so: technorati bubble


Untrue quote of the day

Posted in blogging, Life, Linkage at 10:32 am by cori

Conversations worth having require beliefs that you are secure in.

Many of the most valuable conversations I’ve ever had are exploratory – about things I don’t have a settled belief about. The conversation helps me resolve those ideas.

Having looked at Sawdust and Incense when Doc last linked to it, I find something very appealing about the gentleman’s approach, especially when contrasted against that of many of the pro-life or pro-choice groups. I’d also like to hope that this fellow isn’t thinking “conversation = conversion”.

In addition I’d like to encourage a conversation with a few women I know, who could tell him that the first few paragraphs of this aren’t necessarily the norm.

via Doc.


Stand-alone WordPress blog posting with OPML Editor fixed…

Posted in blogging, OPML at 8:14 pm by cori

See elliptical for details. Please comment here or there with problems, concerns, or comments.

Dave Pentecost also wants to post to his WordPress.org blog…

Posted in blogging, OPML at 12:14 pm by cori

He‘s getting the same message that I am, but doesn’t have xmlrpc logging turned on, so we can’t verify that he’s having the same precise problem that I am, so I still don’t know for sure that the problem I think I see in my log is caused by the interaction between OPML Editor and WP or whether it’s something on my server. Anyone who’s got xmlrpc logging tuned on (or can turn it on) willing to give it a whirl?
Next step is for me to make OPML Editor skip over some of the whitespace handling that it does to see if something in there is causing the munging.


No luck using OPML Editor to post to a WordPress.org blog….

Posted in blogging, OPML at 11:18 pm by cori

See my conversation with Dave starting here.

When I step through the code I get what appears to be a valid xmlrpc method call over http, but my xmlrpc log file looks munged.  If there’s anyone around who uses a WordPress 1.5+ blog and the OPML Editor and woud be willing to try a post, I’m interested to see if you have the same problems or if the issue is on my server.

Results of trying the OPML Editor WordPress posting on a standalone WP blog…

Posted in blogging, OPML at 7:50 pm by cori

I tried Dave’s wordPress.root tool or the OPML Editor to create a new post at elliptical this evening, and it seems as though the inplementation of the MetaWeblog API in OPML Editor is different than that in Flock, because Flock’s blogging tool works just fine while the OPML Editor’s tool won’t authenticate me to xmlrpc.php.

Here’s what the log file records from Flock (actual post data removed for clarity):

2005-11-10 19:38:50 Input: <?xml version=”1.0″?>
<param><value><struct><member><name>title</name><value><string><![CDATA[post title]]></string></value></member>
<member><name>description</name><value><string><![CDATA[post text]]></string></value></member>
<member><name>mt_tb_ping_urls</name><value><array><data><value><string><![CDATA[ping urls]]></string></value></data></array></value></member></struct></value></param>
and here’s what’s recorded from OPML Editor:

2005-11-24 00:28:55 Input: <?xml version=”1.0″?>^M
<value><struct>^M <member>^M <name>description</name>^M <value>^Mwhat’s the log say?</value>^M </member>^M <member>^M <name>title</name>^M <value>test for kinrowan.net</value>^M </member>^M </struct></value>^M

Among the oddities are the presence of the “^M” strings at the end of each line.

Also strange is that OPML Editor is able to communicate just fine with WordPress.com blogs, and so is Flock.

Here’s the error message I get:

error message from OPML Editor


Nevertheless the wordPress.root tool is really cool – being able to use the OPML Editor to post here is boon enough!