For years I have been blogging from articles in my Google Reader, which is going away in a month. When I cut and paste the article URL from the reader, I get a Google shortcut like "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Twistedsifter/~3/BohimNYue3Y/". This resolves to "http://twistedsifter.com/2013/04/strangely-similar-movies-released-around-the-same-time/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twistedsifter+%28TwistedSifter+%29". The links are written in my wordpress data base, in many cases, as the feedproxy version. So they depend on this Google service remaining live to work.
Does anyone know if the Google feedproxy servers are going away with Reader? If so, about a zillion links on my site are about to break. My hope is that Google uses these for more than just reader. Perhaps at Feedburner? (though if Google is bailing on RSS that might be next on the kill list).
I would normally just do a Regex search to fix this, but there is no systematic way to do it, you have to resolve the link and then replace the resolved URL. Someone seems to have an app for this, but I am not sure it is ready for prime time and I do not want to use it unless I have to. But once the servers are turned off, it will be too late.
Anyone know about this or have advice? Obviously, I have been trying not to use these feedproxy URL's if I can remember not to do so.
OK, the Twitter problem was fixed by shifting from gd.is (which Twitter has apparently blocked) to Goo.gl for URL shortening. For reasons I still don't fully understand, the Bad Behavior plugin was blocking the RSS feed to Feedburner. My guess is that this may be something to do with an interaction with Incapsula. I like Incapsula as a service, but they are constantly shifting their servers around so the .htaccess file and the proxy server list in Bad Behavior have to be constantly changed.
I was just informed, and have confirmed, that somehow my RSS feed stopped syndicating about 2 weeks ago. And then, on an entirely other date, the new Twitter feed stopped, but Facebook still works.
I think I have diagnosed the Twitter problem, which we will confirm with this post, that Twitter flagged and blocked the default URL shortening service my plugin uses for malware. It is either that or Coyoteblog has been blocked. Crossing my fingers I will see this on Twitter in about 5 seconds.
My readers recently taught me this trick for trying to identify an image. Go to this link:
Click on the little camera in the right-hand side of the search box. This brings up a sort of reverse image search, where you can upload an image or put in an image URL and it will give you a guess as to what it is.
This is a crass request but could two of you hit the facebook like button on the right side of my home page so I can get a better URL (it takes 25). Thanks.
Blogging from the road with my ipad2, which is perhaps the greatest piece of gear ever, especially now with my portable Bluetooth keyboard. And I don't really even like apple OS that much, but this is one awesome device. As a better kindle replacement alone it Is worth the price.
Once upon a time, years ago, I actually had one of the original twitter accounts. I had (I guess I still have it) a really short name, sort of the equivalent of having a 2-letter URL. I quickly gave it up for a variety of reasons, the most compelling of which is I find it impossible to say anything I want to say in 140 characters. I am just not a master of the glib and witty little phrase. Even one of my shortest blog posts ever, which read
My summary on the immigration debate: Republicans want immigrants who work but don't vote. Democrats want immigrants who vote but don't work.
does not make the cut. These thoughts return to me when I see this:
Nigel Leck, an Australian software developer, grew tired of debating climate realists on Twitter so he created a spambot to "wear down" his opponents. The bot, @AI_AGW, scans Twitter every five minutes looking for key phrases commonly used by those who challenge the global warming orthodoxy. It then posts one of hundreds of canned responses hoping to frustrate skeptics. CFACT's Twitter account @CFACT (follow us!) often receives many of these unsolicited messages each day. Since the bot became active on May 26, 2010, it has sent out over 40,000 tweets, or an average of more than 240 updates per day!
Technology Review gushed that Leck's bot "answers Twitter users who aren't even aware of their own ignorance." Leck claims that his little bit of trollware is commonly mistaken as a genuine Twitter user leading the unsuspecting to sometimes debate it for days. Eventually it wears people down.
Here is a good rule of thumb: Anyone on either side who thinks anything substantive can be argued for or against the science behind the hypothesis of catastrophic man-made global warming in 140 characters can be safely ignored.
My company has over 20 URL's for various recreation facilities we manage. I do all the design and maintenance of these myself, generally using a shared core design with some color and content changes. Since this is just a side job for me, I often put it off and unfortunately things get dated fast.
For a while now I have been wanting to experiment with a content management system to ease the maintenance of multiple web sites. So over the past couple of weeks, I have played around with various CMS's. I was intrigued for a while by ExpressionEngine, but the fact it was not public domain (ie it charges per site licenses that would be prohibitive for me) finally killed the deal. I also looked at Joomla and Drupal.
Eventually, I settled on what many will consider an odd choice: WordPress. Yeah, I know, its a blogging engine. I know quite well, because I am in the process of converting both my blogs from Typepad to WordPress. I chose WordPress for a few reasons:
- I understand the blogging paradigm, and so I have a good sense for how the content will be handled, and the limitations.
- I am, having messed around with my blogs, comfortable with the WordPress templating system. Though certainly more limited than ExpressionEngine, it does what I need to do. I am moderately facile in CSS and PHP, the two real requirements to make a good template.
- Most of my sites are simple. The only two API's I really need to plug in to are Google Maps and Flickr, and I have tested and am comfortable with the available WordPress plugins for these.
- I want to begin, carefully, to let some of my employees be able to add and edit some content (e.g. changing store hours). I think the wordpress interface is pretty accessible to some folks who may be new to online content and gives me the amount of control I need as an editor. For a noob content contributor, WordPress is far more accessible than other CMS's.
- With a static site, I have an advantage over a blog in that I can turn on full site caching to speed up the site (via WP-super-cache). I also added an SEO plugin to make my permalinks and pages more SEO friendly, something I don't care that much about on my blog.
I think that the first site came out pretty well, and I don't think its obvious that it is built on a blogging engine (site here, for our Arizona snow play area). The biggest internal debate I had was whether to go with fixed or variable widths. I actually went the opposite way of most modern programmers, moving from variable to fixed rather than vice versa. Most of my customers, as shown by my server logs, have slow and dated computers and monitors, so I think fixed width makes sense.
Yeah, I know that no one will ever consider me a l33t h4x0r for using WordPress, or even for using a CMS at all, but I was absolutely thrilled how fast the second site is going up now that I have built all the templates and functions I need. More reports to come (and hopefully this site will soon be on WordPress, but I am not holding my breath. Still having trouble with brinking over the permalinks so they all work right).
Years ago, I, without really knowing what I was doing, established a bunch of my URLs through Network Solutions. I didn't understand at the time that Network Solutions was both irritating and the high-cost provider.
Now that I know more, I have doing my registrations via a much lower cost supplier (GoDaddy). A few weeks ago, I did a mass transfer from Network Solutions. Apparently, Network Solutions locks the domains down, ostensibly for security (which is probably true) but also to make it harder to leave them, which makes sense as given their prices there must be a serious net drain of business out of the company. Most of my domains cleared this Berlin Wall to freedom, but I screwed up on a couple, one of which was CoyoteBlog.com. As a result, the domain ended up expired, and email dead.
Thanks for all of you who have tried to notify me of the problems. Nearly two days ago I went ahead and renewed at Network Solutions for another year, just to get things back up ASAP. Unfortunately, the URL still seems to be marked expired. I don't know if that is their poor service or because I am in Hawaii and at the absolute end of the earth for name server updates. Hopefully all will be right tomorrow. For those who visited CoyoteBlog this weekend, I am sorry about the flurry of tacky popups Network Solutions was dealing out at the URL (as many as three at a time, the losers). For those of you who access via http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/ you should have been able to read the blog but without formatting. I believe that RSS access was unaffected.
A few weeks ago, in an interview about blogging, I was asked "why are there so many libertarian bloggers?" My answer didn't make the final cut for the article, but I thought it was worth repeating here**:
First, I am tempted to answer with a variation of the argument that the left uses to justify why so many academics
are liberal "“ ie, that we bloggers are all smarter and therefore libertarians. I will eschew that one though, because I think the real reason is that libertarians have never had a really good outlet for our opinions and it is a relief to have a channel to be able to express our views without distortion.
Part of this is because there are few good organized outlets for libertarians. In the past, libertarians could perhaps find a voice in one of the two major parties, but that tends to just end in frustration as about the 50% of what either party espouses is inconsistent with a true respect for individual liberties. At the same time, the formal libertarian party has often been a joke, fielding some pretty bizarre candidates with some pretty niche priorities.
However, a major part of the problem is that libertarianism resists organization. Libertarianism tends to be a big tent that attracts everything from anarcho-capitalists to Cheech-and-chong-esque hempfest organizers to Larry-Flint style pornographers. For this reason, libertarianism defies efforts to brand it, which is a critical shortcoming since the two major political parties nowadays are much closer to brands than ideologically consistent philosophical alternatives.
Libertarians revel in differences and being different. Almost by definition, none of us have the same message, or even believe that we all should have the same message. Many of us are suspicious of top-down organization in and of itself. Blogging is therefore tailor made for us "“ many diverse bottom-up messages rather than one official top-down one.
Finally, since libertarianism is really about celebrating dynamism and going in a thousand different directions as each individual chooses, in some sense the Internet and blogging are not only useful tools for us libertarians, but in and of themselves are inherently libertarian vehicles. Certainly libertarian hero F. A. Hayek would recognize the chaos of the Internet and the blogosphere immediately. For a good libertarian, chaos is beautiful, and certainly the blogosphere qualifies as chaotic. The Internet today is perhaps the single most libertarian institution on the planet. It is utterly without heirarchy, being essentially just one layer deep and a billion URL's wide. Even those who try to impose order, such as Google, do so with no mandate beyond their utility to individual users.
When people are uncomfortable with the blog phenomenon, they tend to be the same people who are
uncomfortable with anything chaotic. I have written several times, particularly here and here, that people across the political spectrum, from left to right, are united by an innate fear of and need to control chaos. Conservatives don't like the chaos of themes and messages found in movies and media. Liberals insist on a unified public education system with unified messaging rather than the chaos of school choice and home schooling. Socialists hate the chaos and uncertainty of the job market, and long for guaranteed jobs and pensions. Technocrats hate the chaos of the market, and seek to impose standardization. Everyone in the established media hates blogs, which threaten to upset the comfortable order of how-we-have-always-done-things.
** Which just demonstrates another reason why we all blog- no editors! There is a saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. It may well be that we bloggers are in the process of proving a parallel adage about being our own editors.
February 9 will be my first attempt to host Carnival of the Vanities. For those of you unfamiliar with the Carnival, it was started by Silflay Hraka and is meant to give smaller blogs a chance to reach a wider audience.
Send an e-mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "COTV" in the subject line. Add a one word category to help me sort them (i.e., sports, religion, politics, etc.). It should look like this: cotv -- rambaldi devices. I am not insisting on any theme, and all political points of view are gratefully accepted (if you want a theme, wait for our Carnival of the Capitalists issue at the end of the month).
In the text of the e-mail include the following information:
- Name of your blog:
- URL of the blog:
- Title of your post:
- Permalink to that post:
- Trackback of the post:
- Describe the post in a sentence or two:
I need to receive your e-mail by
3 p. m. (EST) Tuesday, Feb. 8 for it to make the 125th edition. Deadline extended to 6PM EST.
Last Thursday I spoke at the the Phoenix Enterprise Network about buying your own business, a topic I discuss in more depth here. The audience was pretty full, not for me, but in expectation of Sharon Lechter of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame. Since Ms. Lechter and her partner Robert Kiyosaki have become the chief evangelists of starting your own business, a lot of people were there who were interested in that topic.
I found that for at least one reason, I was probably the wrong person to speak at this function. Many people in the audience seemed fixated on my Harvard MBA and felt intimidated that somehow they were under-qualified or undereducated to be entrepreneurs.
I tried as hard as I could to convince folks that everything I learned at Harvard was virtually useless for running a small business. I told them (truthfully) that my Harvard diploma hangs in my laundry room, since that was the only thing I really learned to do well at school. I emphasized that knowledge and passion about the business you want to start is much more important, and that everything else could be learned. Night courses in certain areas could help, and I would focus on two areas:
- accounting: it is always good to know accounting. It is never good to entirely trust someone else with the books.
- marketing and competitive advantage: the one "framework" that still serves me well from my MBA is that I never look at an idea or business without asking what I am going to do with it that is different than competitors.
In reality, the Harvard sheepskin on my wall actually hurts me running a small business as often as it helps me. For example, many of my employees when they first work for me seem intimidated by the degree, and assume I must know everything and therefore they are afraid to raise concerns or share ideas. Any of my managers who read this will probably laugh, because most have gotten some version of my speech on this topic:
DO NOT assume Warren has a secret plan or brilliant idea on any subject that he has not told you yet. Assume that if you have not heard from Warren on a topic, he either has no clue there is an issue at all or else he has no idea what to do. Therefore, do what you think needs to be done, and call Warren if you need help.
By the way, if you are in the Phoenix area, the Enterprise Network not only has one of those exceedingly rare and valuable two-letter URL's, but it is a great group if you are an entrepreneur or you business sells to entrepreneurs.
The overly type-A readers may note that I have two different links to TTLB ecosystem ranks below. Apparently, this site is in their twice, once as www.coyoteblog.com and once as http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/. It is unclear to me how TTLB handles these. From what I have read, I think they have yet to implement a merge code, and I know a while back there were folks who claimed that some rankings were pumped up by internal cross-links between URLs like these. If anyone has any insight on this, please comment below.
Well, posting stuff like this can be simultaneously helpful and embarrassing. I just got an email from a friend who pointed out that he did not know anything about TTLB, but the reason I was still getting linked via http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/ URLs was that I had not turned on domain mapping in Typepad. I checked the box, republished, and now all my permalinks, etc. are in the coyoteblog.com domain. Yeah. And duh.
A second email pointed me to this TTLB notice, which seems to offer a way to migrate my old URL link history to coyoteblog.com. Thanks all.