Posts from May 28, 2004

Sudan blog

Sudan blog

: A blog to get and keep you up to date on the Sudan. [via Rebecca McKinnon]

A new leader

A new leader

: The Iraqi governing council has picked a new leader: British-educated neurologist, former exile, and Shia Iyad Allawi.

Tonight, NPR’s reporter said outright that he’s corrupt and second in Iraqi contempt only to Chalabi. Haven’t seen any reaction about him on Iraqi blogs yet.

: UPDATE: More from Glenn Reynolds.

Any of us

Any of us

: You never know where and when it is going to hit.

I happened to have on Dateline, rarely an inspiring experience. But tonight in a story that was probably a rerun, they gave us the amazing story of Harry Waizer, a survivor of 9/11 and Cantor Fitzgerald who was headed to work in an elevator that day when his car filled with jet fuel and flames, burning him horribly. But he made it down; through is own fortitude and that of his amazing wife, Karen, he survives.

He feels guilty for the colleagues around him who died. I feel guilty for watching him and coming away with nothing but a pill a day. Nevermind that. It only hits home again, as we are warned of another attack on the way: It can be any of us any time. Any of us.

Here is his testimony before the 9/11 Commission:

I have no rage about what happened on 9/11, only a deep sadness for the many innocent, worthy lives lost and the loved ones who lost so much that day. There have always been madmen, perhaps there always will be. They must be stopped, but with the cold detachment reserved by a surgeon for removing a cancer. They are not worthy of my rage. Neither do I feel anger at those who arguably could have foreseen, and thereby prevented, the tragedies. If there were mistakes, they were the mistakes of complacency, a complacency in which we all shared.

This commission can not turn back the hands of time. There is nothing to be gained by asserting blame, by pointing fingers. The dead will remain dead despite this commission’s best efforts and intentions. But it is my hope that this commission can learn and teach us from its scrutiny of the past, and if the findings of this commission can prevent even one future 9/11, if they can forestall even one plan of Osama bin Laden, prevent even one more act of madness and horror, I and the rest of this nation will owe the commission our gratitude, and I will be proud of the small part I was allowed to play today.

New York notes

New York notes

: My son and I saw Beyonce filming a scene on Madison Avenue. She walked. That’s all, walked. But she walked in a flouncy, thin, white summer dressed. She Beyonced.

: The guy at Car Cash told me that his business changed after 9/11. Huh? Well, after the economy sank and new-car manufacturers went to no-interest deals, the bottom fell out of the used-car market. Amazing how the ripples keep coming out of that rock in the pond.

: The Car Cash guy also said they’ve been advertising with Howard Stern for more than 26 years and it works for them.

Next: the hyperlocal show 15 Minutes

Next: the hyperlocal show 15 Minutes

: Don Hewitt — who has produced 60 Minutes for, what, a century? — is working on creating local franchises called 30 Minutes.

Am I wrong or didn’t Hewitt object to the creation of 60 Minutes II because it would dilute and distract the brand?

What is this going to be like in the hands of the local hairstylees? [via Lost Remote]



: I like having comments here when they bring discussion and argument over issues and the news and ideas.

I hate them when bozos who hide behind anonymity come in to attack.

Nobody says I have to take it. And so I just banned one bozo and I’m going to kill bozo comments.

Don’t give me any crap about “censorship” and Stern. I’m not the government. This is my house and if you talk trash, I kick you out just because you’re an ass.

You want to disagree with me and argue with me, great. You want to insult, then I’ll kick you out. If the bozos force out those who would talk like civilized adults, then I’ll just kill the comments.

And if you do that without having sufficient balls to use your real name or sufficient imagination to make up a name then I have no respect for you anyway.

You know who you are. If you don’t like it, tough. Go start a blog.

How many?

How many?

: For the record, the Paper of Record messed up Technorati’s statistics on the number of blogs in its story yesterday. They said:

The number of bloggers has grown quickly, thanks to sites like, which makes it easy to set up a blog. Technorati, a blog-tracking service, has counted some 2.5 million blogs.

Of course, most of those millions are abandoned or, at best, maintained infrequently. For many bloggers, the novelty soon wears off and their persistence fades.

Wrong. Those are blogs that are regularly updated. A proportion of new blogs are abandoned, as I explained to the reporter in email (emphasis added):

A good source is Technorati, which tracks blogs for links. At you’ll see that they are now tracking more than 2.4 million blogs. At the Personal Democracy Forum at the new school today, Micah Sifry quoted his brother, David Sifry, founder of Technorati, with the latest stats: They track 12,000 new blogs a day (up from 3k last March); a third of those new blogs will go stagnant (no new post in three months); the other two thirds add up. The number is growing fast.

Pew also did a study. Note, though, that its study came from figures gathered last year and the number grew considerably since. See these posts:

You are way, way safe saying there are more than 2.5 million. There are actually many more than that but they are tracked with ongoing content. If you need anything more at all, don’t hestitate to ask.

The Times made it sound as if it’s 2.5 million and dropping. They also found the lowest numbers they could find (Pew has bigger numbers than Jupiter, which they quote, but Pew didn’t fit in with their agenda.)

Smells like this deserves an Official Times Correction.

When I first got called on the story — by the intern not the reporter — they were on the track of the bloggers-are-nuts-in-bathrobes and I lectured him, saying that’s wrong and insulting and blind to the real story. They did at least include a quote of mine defending bloggers against the instastereotype. But They were setting out to make fun of and belittle the medium.

Scoff at your own risk, Times.

(They also got the description of my day-job company wrong. And I wouldn’t have minded a link, guys.)

: UPDATE: Considering the apoplexy of some in the comments, I am getting some clarification on the stats and will pass on what I find. If I’m wrong, of course, I’ll say so.

: UPDATE AND CORRECTION: I was wrong about an important aspect of this: I had understood from Dave Sifry when he spoke to ETech that Technorati dropped blogs from its count when they did not update in three months. I’m now told (and a commenter confirms) that this is not the case; Technorati still tracks the total. So I was wrong about that.

The actual count of current links from blogs is a different matter; it counts links from the home page of a blog, I’m told, and that is why the number of links to an individual blog can go down and up.

The commenter still says that The Times story is wrong but I leave that to them to discuss. My understanding that the count at Technorati was cleaned was not correct and so I’ll be the one to make the correction here.



: Taking the day off to try to sell my wife’s car to CarCash. I feel as if I am Jack taking the cow to the marketplace and if I don’t do this right, all I’ll have to show for the trip will be some magic beans. Back blogging later.

: UPDATE: I have to say, CarCash made it pretty painless. Old Bessie is now sold at market, ready to go to slaughter. And I have a pocketful of magic beans. Now in an Internet cafe waiting for John’s Pizza to open to feed my son. And if I keep going giving you a chronicle of my day, it won’t be long before I write about my cat and prove the Times story yesterday right. So I’ll stop now…