Posts from February 2003

The storm of ’03

snow1.jpgThe storm of ’03
: Pictures from halfway through the storm o’ the century (so far).

Terrorist spotting 101

Terrorist spotting 101
: Horst Prillinger points us to a course promising to train you to be a Homeland Security Specialist — “an important new career field” — in just seven months.

The people’s party

The people’s party
: Glenn Reynolds thinks that FX’s American Candidate reaches new depths of dumb in reality shows.

I say it’s brilliant. I said it before, I’ll say it again.

What this means is that a common person — one of us — will get to help set the agenda for the next presidential race. Without debt to party bosses or special interests or handlers, this person can ask the questions and make the demands we all want to make. And, inevitably, the real candidates — and what they say — will be compared to this candidate, often unfavorably.

This means that we, the people, get real represenatation in the next race. And I like that because I’m the populist.

The monkey wrench in this is, of course, the producers (and their boss), who will also try to set the agenda. There is no free lunch.

But I think American Candidate will be a good influence. It will give credence to new views. It will point out the absurdity of the real race.

And I’ll bet you today that Glenn Reynolds will frequently gleefully quote the American Candidate.

Team coverage!

Team coverage!
: The weatherpeople on NY TV news are qvelling: The Big Storm! Team Coverage!

We delayed our departure for vacation and are glad we could. Schools are out around here and many a vacation is ruined tonight.

Life under Good King Google

Life under Good King Google
: Here’s why I say that Google will not — cannot — give unfair advantage to Blogger content in its search, as I’ve heard some people worry (and keep in mind: I have no inside knowledge of Google’s plans):

: Google has to maintain the credibility of its searches. If it favors in-house brands, that reduces the veracity and value of its searches — and thus its core business. If it ever goes to pay-for-preference results, that, too, will reduce its value. Google, in this sense, is a media brand — a journalistic brand, even — and the one true asset of a media brand is its credibility. If you don’t believe it, you won’t use it. Thus, Google must maintain a wall between church and state — content and business — just like any other media brand. Or it will destroy itself.

: Blogger and Blogspot really are the training wheels of blogging (and I say that without a drop of snot; I say it with great respect). Many, many of us started on Blogger (e.g., Reynolds, Denton, me) but then graduated to more powerful tools (e.g., Movable Type). The net result is that Blogger and Blogspot’s populations are not representative of the world of blogging and if Google is going to continue to respect the work that bloggers put into linking — into capturing buzz — then it will need to listen to the linking of bloggers across all tools.

(Note that the training-wheels phenom may change as Blogger becomes more reliable and more work is put into its development. Still, note also that there are other new starter-kit blogs coming — notably, from Lycos and, yes, AOL.)

: What Google will need — and what will benefit all blog tool makers and bloggers — will be open standards for data: If Google can incorporate Blogger links sooner thanks to its relationship, it is to Google’s benefit — and, obviously everyone else’s — to create a standard for pinging Google and everyone will do it. If data becomes deeper, more descriptive, and three-dimensional — as it must — then Google will depend on the ability to search and serve that data across weblogs — and websites — from any source and to get that juicy data, Google will need to publish an API and hope that people use it.

Google will succeed on the quality of its searches. That is why I am not worried about this. Quite to the contrary, the respect that Google shows weblogs is only confirmed by its purchase of Pyra.

Nanomedia is getting respect in our new, nano world. Power to the people. Power to the niche.

: Update: Nick Denton has concrete suggestions for the policies and standards Google should follow.