In news that must have surprised no-one, Posterous has announced that it will be turning off the lights in a few months.
On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.
Now two of the original co-founders of Posterous — Garry Tan and Brett Gibson — are soon going to launch a new blogging platform called Posthaven that pledges never to be acquired and to be a home for your blog that will last forever.
I find a lot of my reading material via Digg, who occasionally link to a BBC Future story that looks like the kind of thing I’d be interested in.
However these articles (which appear on a
bbc.com domain, not
bbc.co.uk) are blocked from within the UK. Instead, I am presented with a ‘help’ page that tells me the following:
BBC Future (international version)
We’re sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com.
‘Dear Points of View…’ →
WordPress.com has produced some cool-looking reports for users, summing up blog activity for 2012. It’s really just a pretty stats page, but it’s very well done with CSS animated fireworks, parallax effects and colourful graphics. You can see the complete report for halfblog.net here.
Here’s the summary it provided:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
In 2012, there were 133 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 657 posts. There were 306 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 91 MB. That’s about 6 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was September 24th with 754 views. The most popular post that day was Minimalistic iPhone 5 wallpapers.
I really appreciate these hilarious videos made by Google Analytics. They’re a perfect illustration of how frustrating shopping online can be.
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s important to ensure your website and digital marketing is running on all cylinders. Your potential customers should be able to find what they need on the digital shelf as easily as in real life. Sadly, many sites leave visitors frustrated – losing potential customers. However, the advantage of your online storefront is that you can understand where you’re losing customers and work to improve your shopping experience.
Google Analytics in Real Life: What would your customer experience look like? – analytics.blogspot.ca
Watch the other two videos from this Google campaign →
Note: See bottom of this post for updates.
Last year I wrote about the blogs that were shortlisted for – and won – the Wales Blog Awards. I had an idea for a follow-up post this year that would give a more detailed analysis of the Welsh blogging scene. I would measure things like post frequency, average comments attracted per post, image use, age of blog, social media followers etc.
In addition, I wanted to go back and look at the blogs shortlisted for 2010 and 2011. This is when I noticed that much of the history of the Wales Blog Awards has already been deleted.
Do you have any record of this information? Please read on… →
Here is the Google search results page for ‘pizza’, circa 2012:
Clearly what you want to see and what Google wants you to see are now two different things. It wasn’t always like this. (And in fairness, it isn’t always as bad as this example.) Continue reading
Stephanie Pereira is Kickstarter’s Director of Art Programs, and in this diagram she illustrates the elements of a Kickstarter project. Even if you don’t use Kickstarter to raise money, there’s a lot to take from their model.
(by @happeness / via @austinkleon) Continue reading
This week I created a new Cardiff hyperlocal blog for the Maendy, ‘Lower Heath’, western-edge-of-Cathays area known to the council as the ward of Gabalfa.
It’s a funny area to cover. Wikipedia says Gabalfa “is characterised by an enormous fly over road at the Gabalfa Interchange, where the A48 road meets the A470 road (North Road) which leads from Cardiff to northern Wales, and the A469 road (Caerphilly Road)”, which about sums the area up.
The Data Journalism Handbook is intended to be a useful resource for anyone interested in becoming a data journalist, or dabbling in data journalism.
It was born at a 48 hour workshop at MozFest 2011 in London. It subsequently spilled over into an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners – including from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others.
I was lucky enough to get one of the Port80 early bird tickets, so I’ll be there. Tickets are still available for £49, plus VAT.
The talks will be on useful subjects like content strategy, site speed, project management, progressive enhancement, dealing with clients, native apps vs. responsive, personality on the web and more on responsive design. On the subject of responsive design, the newly launched Port80 website is a great example of exactly that.
You can follow @port80events for updates. The hashtag du jour is #p80N. You should also follow @Joel_Hughes who made this happen.
Kickoff is at 8:30 am on Friday 25th May 2012 at the University of Wales, Newport.
The Curator’s Code is a standard for attribution — a way of providing credit to the creators of content being shared online, and those who helped you discover it.
Curation is something I do a lot, and something I have thought about in detail. The fact that so many users of sites like Tumblr and Pinterest share content without providing a simple link back to the originator (and sometimes even going to some effort to remove a credit or copyright notice from an image) is maddening. An initiative to combat this problem is very welcome. Continue reading
Another fascinating Kickstarter documentary project.
Wikipedia is a corrupt political environment, and it should be disrupted.
“The Encyclopedia Game” is a documentary film about Wikipedia vandalism. The film focuses on the stories of a handful of Wikipedians who have managed to be banned from the site for one reason or another. All have been accused of some sort of vandalism or disruption. Are they guilty? Are they innocent? Or is the truth more complicated than that? This is a quirky character documentary with fascinating stories that shed light on the inner workings of Wikipedia, the world’s largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia.
Filled with enthralling stories of Wikipedia vandalism, quirky and eccentric characters, and offering a look behind the scenes of the world’s most used and trusted source of information, “The Encycopedia Game” is at once amusing, intriguing, and endearing.
The Encyclopedia Game
More of the interview with ‘Cognition’ below. Continue reading
Playfic is a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games (aka “text adventures”).
Behind the scenes, Playfic simply takes the game source you enter and passes it to the commandline Inform 7 compiler, and views it in the browser using the open-source Parchment interpreter that plays the games. Playfic’s just the social glue tying them together.
This seems like a great way to get started with IF!
Declan Lawn hunts down racist troll Darren Burton aka Nimrod Severn.
Panorama: Hunting the Internet Bullies (via TNW)
Debatewise.org is a site I think about every time I see an argument on Twitter or in a comment thread on some blog or other. The reality of the site falls very far short of the promise on offer:
[…] a place where the best possible arguments for one side are listed next to the best possible arguments against. These arguments aren’t created by one person, but by like-minded individuals collaborating to form the strongest case. This allows people both to easily compare the pros and cons and also to come to a decision safe in the knowledge they have the best information to hand.
This post by Robert Scoble describes the main reason why I despise Facebook. It’s not their lack of respect for user’s privacy, it’s not their amoral founder or their virtual monopoly in social media. It’s that they have provided something that satisfies the needs of most regular users so well that they’ve critically — and perhaps fatally — injured the common web.
It’s too late to save the common web. It’s why, for the past year, I’ve given up and have put most of my blogging into Google+. I should have been spending that effort on the web commons and on RSS but it’s too late.
Normal users don’t care about the argument anymore and they are addicted to Facebook and Google+ and Twitter and apps on iPhones and Android. Heck, if you are at the Super Bowl tomorrow the official app is on iOS and Android and not other platforms.
The common web isn’t just under attack, it’s been under attack for more than four years.
Why did it take so long for people to wake up?
It’s too late for Dave Winer and John Battelle to save the common web – scobleizer.com
I share a lot of suff from the web, on this blog and elsewhere. Typically I like to use a passage of text from the site I’m linking to (wrapped in a
<blockquote>), followed by a link to the source (using
<cite>). Then I’ll add some of my own text above or below the excerpt to add any necessary context.
I’m very particular about how I format all of this information. Only fairly recently I’ve started using the excellent TextExpander to speed up the process.
When I need to excerpt a passage that is more than just plain text (containing, for example, lots of links, lists or a table) I’ve been making use of the handy Posterous bookmarklet, which takes any selected text and formats it very much in the way described above. I’ll then modify the code it produces to suit my own needs.
The Posterous bookmarklet is fine, but it has two drawbacks:
- It uses Posterous-specific markup (a class on the blockquote and
div instead of
- I don’t use Posterous any more, and the bookmarklet requires that I be logged in.
So starting with this need, I’ve produced a mockup of a bookmarklet that would be of great utility to me, and presumably to many others:
WordPress.com are making it easy to black out your own website in protest of SOPA/PIPA. I realise that these are US bills, but the ramifications of such harmful legislation will be felt all over the world. If you are a US citizen, please take a stand!
Drew Breunig on how journalism, writing, photography and art have become “content”.
Wikipedia is amazing, but I’ve come to realise that getting involved in actual editing work there is a very daunting prospect. Adding a link or fixing a typo is simple enough, but when it comes to creating a new article from scratch a new Wikipedian will discover that they have a lot to learn.
In this post I’ve listed what I think are the barriers to entry for an aspiring Wikipedia editor. This post may also be useful as a ‘getting started’ guide.