Evil is as evil does

Recovered from the Wayback Machine, where you can see this all working.

When I was overcome with an urge to run through the woods, howling at the moon, like a banshee or some kind of wolf woman (albeit one with extremely short hair), I knew it was time to relegate my little HTML retro to the secondary page.

Marquee is evil

blink is also evil

The FONT tag is evil

This page is full of words that blink and crawl and this makes me EVIL!

Sheep are okay.


BLINK is back!

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Phil pointed to a weblog entry that mentions adding an HTML element just for marking untrusted content in a page. With this, Google would then know not to use any links within that section for page ranking.

The concept behind this new addition is that without getting the page rank boosts, the bad mans would give up spamming weblogs and email lists, and the rest of us could go back to exchanging pleasant civilities with one another.

What an interesting idea. Sort of a page rank BLINK element. I can see it now*:

You can also check some helpful info dedicated to…


Please check out the sites about…


You may find it interesting to check out some information in the field …


But why stop at comment spammers? For instance, I’m really pissed that Dave Winer drove right by my state and didn’t offer to stop in and say hi. Mortally wounded. So I think I’ll just enclose any links to his posts within page rank BLINK tags, because I no longer trust him.

In fact, my job here isn’t to promote other people’s writing and sites– my job here is to promote ME. It is all about ME. So why don’t I just wrap all my posts in BLINK tags, and then I don’t have to worry about doing it individually?

After all, this isn’t generating harm to a site, like Vote Links. We’re not taking away a person’s positive link juice; we’re just denying the person positive link juice. No harm in that.

And there are so many other new elements that we could add to HTML to help Google do its job:

The BUTTHOLE tag. This can be used when linking to a butthole. Then when the person’s page shows up in Google, a disclaimer can be attached to the results saying something like, “Someone somewhere thinks this person is a butthole. Proceed accordingly”.

(Of course, we could also call this the WEBLOG tag — most of us are buttholes to someone at some time or another, or we’re not trying hard enough.)

The SICKOPERVERTPREVENTION tag. This can be used to surround content that contains words that will most likely end up in some sick Google search phrase–words like porn, whip, sex, balls, breasts, and sheep.

The DISCLAIMER tag. This can be used to surround libelous content. Then when you’re sued, you can point to the page and say, “See? I used the DISCLAIMER tag. This means I was only joshin’ when I published the content.”

The SUCKUP tag. This is my personal favorite. Use this when referencing a specific individual who you want to suck up to. It could be anyone, from a rock star to a weblogger who has more link juice then you (that is, if they still have link juice with the use of BLINK). We all know that some folks suck up to other folks, but there’s nothing in the writing to prove it. Now we can remove any doubt that sucking up is happening.

Best of all, when the individual searches in Google for people who are sucking up to them, they’ll get back your page. Think of the miscommunications this can prevent?

HTML could get a bit messy with all these BLINK, SICKOPERVERTPREVENTION, DISCLAIMER, SUCKUP, and so on elements — but we just helped eliminate FONT through the use of CSS. Plenty of room for new growth.

Of course, there’s always spoil sports in any grand idea. You know who I’m talking about: they’re the ones who think that adding to the underlying specification in order to accomodate one specific application could lead to markup bloat. Yeah, and they probably also think that the bad guys could route around these new elements anyway. No f**cking fun. (We also need a CONTAINSBADWORDS element, too, now that I think on it.)

Personally, I think we should just BLINK away these naysayers.

*All text examples are from actual comment spams filtered by my absurdly simple and amazingly effective comment spam moderation technique. Patent pending. For licensing, inquire within and bring money. Lots and lots of money.

Social Media Weblogging

Technorati, Technorati, wherefore art thou Technorati

I remember once being critical of TypeKey because (as I said at the time) centralized services don’t scale. Those who didn’t agree pointed out the excellence of both Google and Technorati to demonstrate how well centralization works.

This week, as I noticed comment spam in a TypeKey controlled blog, I thought back on that argument and still believe that centralization doesn’t scale. True, Google seems to be the exception, as it takes a licking but keeps on ticking (though it has faltered a time or two in the recent past, and lately it seems as if you have to wade through sellers trying to get to useful information). As for Technorati, though–I can’t be the only one who wonders if this service will ever be able to re-capture it’s former glory, as days go by searching on both keyword and URL, only to get less than useful results.

I feel like I’m kicking baby squirrels again being critical of Technorati — I like Dave, and think he’s providing a very useful product (which, I should add, is not costing me penny). I’m glad he got VC funding, and a great gig at CNN. And I like the fact that Dave never gives excuses when things go wrong.

But today was the first day in six that I got anything back for my weblog and this afternoon the results will most likely differ wildly from what it was this morning. This is seriously cutting into my ego surfing, forcing me to take drastic measures.

I’m warning you Dave — if you don’t get Technorati fixed soon, the squirrels get it.

Cute squirrels begging Dave for help, saying they're road kill without it.

Social Media Technology Weblogging

Exit door

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I wanted to to thank those (SteveLorenLizaTim) who have volunteered their weblogs for conversion for my upcoming tutorials on weblog tool independence. This is in addition to those who are offering space and installation of MT 3.1.

I’ve been asked if because of this series I’m thinking of switching back to Movable Type; what I’m going to do with this weblog moving forward, I’d prefer to leave for the denouement. (Sorry Marc – no peeking at the end.) The purpose of the series isn’t to sell one weblogging tool or another, as much as it is to sell the idea of weblog tool independence.

Sam Ruby once said, and I can’t find where, that the first thing to look for when evaluating a weblogging tool is the exit. Most tools provide an import utility and instructions, but very few provide an easy to use method to export entries into a format consumable by other tools. In fact, Movable Type is one of the best in this regard, though it’s also relatively easy to export from Blogger.

Weblogging tool lock-in serves no one, not even the tool makers. If a person feels they can’t easily move their weblog to a different tool, but they’re also not happy with the one they’re using, they’re going to be vocal in their criticism of the tool; this is the only outlet they have for their frustration. A better approach would be to give them an easy out, so they don’t feel ‘trapped’.

Moving the data is only part of the battle, though. The tough part is handling the differences in tags, functions, and plugins. But there’s a method to the madness, and the tools are more alike than unalike when it comes to processing that data they all hold in common.

Of course, none of us wants to have to spend time moving to different weblogging tools; we’re here to put deathless prose and pithy comments online, not spend time fiddling with technology. Still, it’s hard to be creative when your software crashes, your writing disappears, your post takes forever to publish, your host shuts your weblog service down in a hissy fit, or you’re fighting off hordes of comment spammers who clutter up your space (not to mention taking down your server with the force of their attacks).


Etern-urh-Internment Debate

I listened to the debate between Eric Muller and Michelle Malkin on radio yesterday. It was interesting to hear views normally only read.

Muller was very knowledgeable, but sometimes his legal background got in the way. For instance, when he asked Malkin to name one Japanese-American in the internment camps who was arrested for espionage, I think he was expecting Malkin to respond with the answer she did, but then he’d have time to cross-examine her response. Debates don’t work that way, and the issue was left hanging.

Still, he came off very confident about his background in the topic. Frustrated a couple of times, but confident.

I thought that Malkin started out fairly strong, but ended up sounding rather dogmatic and very defensive. It was as if she was reciting facts memorized for a history test, rather than arguing from any real depth of knowledge. She seemed comfortable until a point when the program had to break for commercial, and that seemed to rattle her. She came off sounding abrasive from that point on, only softening when she felt she received a phone call that supported her position.

I would say this debate did not end up a positive experience for Malkin. Perhaps this explains why last night she came out with a rather petulant sounding challenge for Muller and Robinson. The gloves are now off, but, frankly, does anyone care?

This dog has rolled over, and the bunny is dust. The blogosphere holds for no man or woman, and this story has done been played, and the drummer gone home for the day. He went home with the fiddler who played the good-night song for the saga of Kerry and the Swift Vote –urh– Swift Boat Veterans.

Good, golly Miss Molly, but politics is certainly getting mighty dull around here. With a Presidential election nine weeks away, I thought we’d have so much to talk about: Iraq and unemployment, health care, the deficit and the environment, gay marriage, racism and religious intolerance, and the growing nightmare of AIDs and genocide in Africa–not to mention there are still a lot of people in this world who don’t trust us.

Whatever reach was made between this topic and today’s events has been stretched beyond stability; popped, like the gum bubble of an overenthusiastic teen. Japanese internment as excuse for racial profiling has been chewed, and the flavor is gone; time to stick it under the table and move on.

Sigh. If this continues, I’m going to be forced to bring out the old squirrel photos in a desperate attempt at entertainment.

Squirrel with tail to camera saying, 'you call that a cute butt? This, this is a cute butt.