English teasers in this blog

August 10, 2009 at 10:06 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

In early 2008, I shifted my blogging activity to my German blog : digiom.wordpress.com. But for a while now, I have been writing occasional English language posts on that blog. And from now on, I am going to post teasers of those blog posts on this blog here.

Busting a myth: Lolcats and literacy

May 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment
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Sigrid Jones, who has invited me to join their internet research group which I am VERY much looking forward to, just wrote a very nice article about Lolcats and their misconception as illiterate creatures: lolcat literacy. ‘nough said: Read for yourself
Illiterate

Another meme: 28 questions

May 1, 2008 at 11:53 am | Posted in Blogging | 6 Comments
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Lallopallo has tagged me – to maintain our blog friendship, I’ll have to answer his 28 questions (btw, I know that this type of pass-on questions is also referred to as a meme, but is it a meme really? dunno, don’t think so – doesn’t matter).

Here we go (I might choose not to answer if I consider a question to personal):

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?

Gerbert Rappaport’s Čeremuški or Черемушки (a Russian operetta from 1962)

2. What book are you reading?

A reader ‘Old media, new media’ and Weinberger’s Everything is miscellaneous (sporadically)

3. Favorite board game?

Scrabble

4. Favorite magazine?

They all suck.

5. Favorite smells?

The smell of whitewashed walls.

6. Favorite sounds?

Changes. Cute sounds, such as a new message coming in via twhirl

7. Worst feeling in the world?

That people who one loves will be gone forever when they die

Continue Reading Another meme: 28 questions…

I’ve launched yet another blog!

April 19, 2008 at 9:06 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

It’s in German and set up in support of my PhD thesis. It’s called: digiom (as in Digitale Online Medien). Read it here.

Finally I confess: This is a Tumblelog

April 6, 2008 at 10:32 am | Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment
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It’s been in the air for a while, but now I confess: This blog has now become a tumblelog – I just don’t have the time to write anything substantial anymore. But I don’t want to let it die either, so I’ll just keep posting bits and pieces of what caught my attention on the web. A place for commented bookmarks really.

Woo Yay – Zemanta! Automatic Links and Pictures For Your Blog Entry!

March 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Blogging, Semantic Web | 4 Comments
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Source: Wikipedia

This is great news! In February, I wrote for the first time about the Zemanta browser plug-in which was supposed to allow you to enhance your blog’s content by automatically suggesting links (e.g. to Wikipedia or news pages) and pictures (e.g. on Flickr), based on a semantic analysis of your text. Today Andraz from Zemanta notified me that they went live – and the working version is even cooler than the demo they had on their website in February: In February, you had to enter text and hit a button to ‘zemify’ the text – but the current Zemanta comes as a WordPress plug-in. Every 300 characters as you type the plug-in is going to suggest further links and tags which you can apply all at once or by clicking on them – and that is of course MUCH MUCH more convenient than going to a website, copying the URL, highlighting the word and hitting the link button in WP.

The next cool feature is that a side bar shows related content (articles and pictures) on the web – which you can simply add to your blog post by, again, simply clicking on them. Extremely cool!

But of course there are a number of glitches in this early version (and how wouldn’t there be any, as they need feedback to improve):

  • The amount of code that is added to your blog entry is a bit intimidating. Adding links runs smoothly, as those links are added to text you’ve already written – but it would be cool to be given the opportunity to decide whether one wants their ‘rich’ links (with title, relation and class attributes) or just plain ones.
  • A little footer, explaining that the text was enhanced with Zemanta, is automatically added. Might sound fair enough – but it would be nicer if that were a voluntary option and didn’t happen automatically. Of course you can still remove that footer – but having to opt out is not the same as voluntarily opting in.
  • Adding a picture also automatically adds more code (span tags with e.g. margin attributes) than seems necessary – I’d rather have a plain image link (where I can easily define the size of the image myself by specifying width and alignment) than those six (!) lines of code that are pasted into my editor at the moment. It just takes far too long to scan this huge amount of information to see how it can be altered.
  • The quality of link and tag suggestions can still be improved (of course); ‘URL’ or ‘the web’ and actually not even ‘Flickr’ (because everyone knows Flickr, right?) are not a tremendous enhancement in the link department. Maybe they’ll be able to track which suggestions are used and which aren’t, and are thus able to identify the empty ones (in the same way that Google disregards ‘a’ or ‘the’ in searches). What’s going to be more difficult is to automatically identify which PHRASES should be linked – as most people (I think? I do) tend to link phrases, and not just single words. Most links in this post, and all pictures, were automatically added by Zemanta.
  • Final suggestion: The image gallery is nearly to small to assess whether the suggested images are suitable or not – but I wouldn’t know how to make them much smaller really. What’s great though is that it automatically shows which pictures you have already used and which you haven’t – so that you can automatically remove the used ones by hitting ‘minus’ in the gallery preview. At the moment, the gallery suggestions only vaguely correspond to my content – it’d probably easier if I wrote about kitten and horseys though.

That much about my feedback. I’ll keep testing Zemanta for while, and am keen to see how it is going to improve over the next weeks!

Related articles

I’m not a good blogger

March 28, 2008 at 7:33 am | Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments
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Worst Site EverI have been neglecting my blog greatly – even though there would have been soooo many things to write about and post (e.g. a panel discussion I hosted; the articles that were written about it; the link to the online streaming window; the plans to launch a club for media studies folks doing research in digital media; the joys of Easter).

But: I just didn’t get around to it.

And I still don’t like linking this blog with my real name. That’s the main reason, actually.

I am in Salzburg

March 12, 2008 at 9:35 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment
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Once again no time to blog – find updates here 🙂

Perez Unsaid: “Disney Star Manager Is a Child Molester”

March 4, 2008 at 12:05 am | Posted in Blogging | 10 Comments
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Yes, I admit: Perez Hilton’s Blog is on my list of RSS feeds – and it has taught me a lot about the importance of always publishing publishable content. Here is the situation: As soon as you hit the ‘Publish’ button on your blogging software, feed readers such as Google Reader and Netvibes will begin to index the post you’ve just published. Quite often, however, the published version is not the one you intend to be the final one; I personally tend to apply quite a few changes after publication – I actually only start to proofread once I have published the post.

The obvious disadvantage of this procedure is that, if you’re unlucky, your changes won’t be reflected in the reader’s view of your blog post, because the first draft has already been cached by feed readers. And in the case of Perez Hilton’s blog post about Disney manager Josh Werkman’s pleading no contest (=die Aussage verweigern) to child molestation charges, we note that not not even deleted post will disappear from the feed reader’s radar. Here are two screenshots:

Disney Screen 1

The top one shows a preview of the deleted post on the welcome page. The second one shows that the post whose title was displayed as a preview on the welcome page is actually no longer available.

Disney Screen 2

The good thing about netvibes is that you can switch between a live and a cache mode, by hitting either ‘show website’ or ‘Go back to feed view’. The screen shots above were taken in live mode – after switching to cache mode, I was able to read the post that the Queen himself had already deleted:

Josh Werkman, who manages the star of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Cole and Dylan Sprouse, has plead no contest to misdemeanor child molestation and misdemeanor sale of alcoholic beverage to a minor.

Who does Disney attract all the pervs????

Werkman has served as co-producer on two of Cole and Dylan’s recent movies, The Kings of Appletown and A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper. Aside from managing, he is also the CEO is Merimark Entertainment.

On Friday, Werkman entered his plea in Ventura County Superior Court and will be sentenced on Wednesday, April 2.

They better throw the book at him! And it better weigh a lot!

Steve Cron, Werkman’s lawyer, says “Josh admitted he annoyed an individual who is a minor and provided that person with alcohol on the day in question. He acknowledged that he used bad judgment on that occasion and that is why he pleaded no contest to the two charges.”

He “annoyed” a minor???

WTF?????

Sources say that the alleged victim is a 16-year-old male.

The Sprouse twins are not involved in the case, though they’ll probably be looking for a new very manager soon.

[Image via WENN]

Lesson learned: Think twice before you publish, and use the preview feature to proofread your blog post.

Of course this can also be considered a good strategy to leak information that you know you are not supposed to blog about, for political or economic reasons, for instance.

😛

W00t! #2 of Fastest Growing Blogs

February 14, 2008 at 8:56 am | Posted in Blogging, Lent | Leave a comment
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Yesterday was a busy day on this blog – too bad the Fastest Growing Blogs counter on the dashboard became defunct soon yesterday (and still is now) as it usually means an extra boost of traffic once you get on one of their global charts.

Stats

Lent Logo 2008 Let’s also say something about Lent, shall we? I’m still not particularly enjoying it (but I guess that’s not the point of Lent, is it?) – on Sunday when we took a walk around Kahlenberg and spent some time on their churchyard, I even fantasized seeing chocolates on the graves. Can craving get any worse? What it factually was were just the remains of some Christmas ornaments, a pine cone iced with fake snow and wrapped in cellophane. And yesterday my boyfriend brought home half a dozen of Fasten yogurt drink bottles which he got for free somewhere. ‘Fasten’ means ‘Fasting’, particularly fasting practiced during Lent – but I am not sure whether the amount of fructose it contains makes it a truly eligible lent candidate… it sounds like something you could actually enjoy:-)

CAUTION! Virus on 90-day-Jane?!?

February 13, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Blogging | 12 Comments
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Folks, be careful! Everyone is rushing to the new 90-day-Jane page, which seemed to replace the first 90dayJane page. BUT: There is an unknown executable program, potentially a virus lurking behind what seems to be the link to Jane’s Dress-for-the-Big-Day video. The first Jane’s original video on Youtube has disappeared – removed by the user. So why should there be a link to it on a new blog?

If you click the you Youtube still image, this is what you get:

Virus on 90-day-Jane

I am on a Mac, so this can’t affect me…. but Windows user beware, no Youtube link would normally launch an exe – which means: virus alert! Could it be that the person hiding behind the new 90-day-jane.blogspot.com is not the same person that launched 90dayjane.blogspot.com – but someone with even worse intentions?

The original Jane had announced to be setting up something new at http://www.90dayjane.com if Blogspot canceled her account. She then canceled it herself, but the redirect from 90dayjane.com to 90dayjane.blogspot.com is still active – which only supports the fact that the new blog, i.e. 90-day-jane.blogspot.com was started by someone else.

I have hence removed all links to the site, if you want to go there you need to type in the URL manually, at you own risk.

Here is a recap of what has happened so far.

Update! We have a meme! Say hello to 90 Day Tania which is a spoof, rather than a fake:-) Also, they’re hosting a virus free copy of the original blog, in case you’d like to have a look at what it was like.

Why 90DayJane is a Fake

February 13, 2008 at 12:01 am | Posted in Blogging | 24 Comments
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Fake Suicide JaneThe Blogosphere is on suicide watch: Someone allegedly called Jane started a blog offering a count-down to her allegedly planned suicide: 90dayjane.blogspot.com. It’s barely a week old, has garnered more than 146,000 hits – and has ‘fake’ written all over it. The profile picture and the cheap wig alone (see right) is enough to sustain this point.

To begin with, the lady doesn’t sound even halfheartedly suicidal – go to places like suicide forum to learn about the nature of thinking of truly suicidal people. Their mind has become a trap, their musings a a vicious circle that over and over offers just one answer: Eliminate yourself. The Jane character isn’t suicidal – she’s just toying with a bit of nihilism. Here’s her little welcome note:

I am going to kill myself in 90 days. What else should i say? This blog is not a cry for help or even to get attention. It’s simply a public record of my last 90 days in existence. I’m not depressed and nothing extremely horrible has lead me to this decision. But, does it really have to? I mean, as an atheist I feel life has no greater purpose. My generation has had no great depression, no great war and our biggest obstacle is beating Halo 3. So, if I feel like saying “game over”, why can’t I? Anyway, I hope you enjoy my thoughts as the clock runs out. Also, if blogspot takes this down before i’m gone just go to http://www.90dayjane.com. Please don’t attempt to “help” me. If you want to truly help, please send me ideas on how to do the deed. thx-Jane

Does this sound suicidal to you? She seems worried that people might not be able to reach her blog if Blogspot/Blogger decide to pull the plug on her – doesn’t seem like she’s ready to say good bye or has objectives any more noble than beating Halo 3. The blog is only 8 days old and already has a sitemeter-button installed?* If you’ve ever maintained a blog yourself you’ll know that the widgets come over time. And instead of asking for suicide advice, she should’ve just checked Wikipedia.
* (unless these come with the blogger template these days)

On day 86 of 90, Jane went “shopping for a dress to wear on the big day”. The footage is fake from beginning to end: The camera movements upon entering the shop do not reflect the movements of a person browsing for clothes. Jane dresses and undresses for the camera (she put on men’s briefs to give it that special raunchy look) and her face always just barely eludes the camera. In the second undressing scene, the light is just right to leave her face in the dark. The final stunt when she films herself in the mirror seems like just a little narrative gadget to give proof that she really filmed herself (and not let a cameraman do it for her) – and the person walking through the picture behind her is all too obvious an attempt to make us think that this was really filmed in a shop during regular opening hours.

Neither was the 90 day period well planned – far too long to keep an online audience on edge (in particular in light of the lack of authenticity in her writing). That’s why I doubt that there’s an agency or company behind this blog (like it was the case with the Bride Wig Out) – it’s probably just a desperate L.A. wannabe-actress seeking to sell her toned body (of which we see enough during all the undressing) to audiences.

The Pre-Valentine’s Day post is finally all too annoying – in spite of her figure and face, they’re trying to make us a believe that the Jane character is “tired of being the sole member of my own Dateless Wonder Club. So, in the spirit of living my remaining life to the fullest, I said yes [to a colleague who had asked her out for Valentine’s Day]. […] I just hope he’s not looking for anything long-term.”

Cut that sh*t out PLEASE. Show some respect for the people who are REALLY on the edge of a suicide.

Update! The page already went offlne – let’s see whether it’s gonna reappear on http://www.90dayjane.com or not.

Update! The page went back online! New address: 90-day-jane.blogspot.com I like the way The Underground Scribe describes
it:

She put back up her Day 0: The Resolve post, but
renumbered, and renamed it to Day 83: The Idea.
She also edited her post from:
“This is why my project, 90DayJane, will be taken down in the next few hours.”
Now reads:
“This is why my project, 90DayJane, will be taken down on day 80.”
It’s obvious that she is not willing to let go of the limelight just
yet.

Update! Folks, be careful! Everyone is rushing to the new 90-day-Jane page, which seemed to replace the first 90dayJane page. BUT: There is an unknown executable program, potentially a virus lurking behind what seems to be the link to Jane’s Dress-for-the-Big-Day video. The first Jane’s original video on Youtube has disappeared – removed by the user. So why should there be a link to it on a new blog?

If you click the you Youtube still image, this is what you get:

Virus on 90-day-Jane

I am on a Mac, so this can’t affect me…. but Windows user beware, no Youtube link would normally launch an exe – which means: virus alert! Could it be that the person hiding behind the new 90-day-jane.blogspot.com is not the same person that launched 90dayjane.blogspot.com – but someone with even worse intentions?

The original Jane had announced to be setting up something new at http://www.90dayjane.com if Blogspot canceled her account. She then canceled it herself, but the redirect from 90dayjane.com to 90dayjane.blogspot.com is still active – which only supports the fact that the new blog, i.e. 90-day-jane.blogspot.com was started by someone else.

I have hence removed all links to the site, if you want to go there you need to type in the URL manually, at you own risk.

Update! We have a meme! Say hello to 90 Day Tania which is a spoof, rather than a fake:-) AND they’re hosting a virus free copy of the original blog, in case you’d like to have a look at what it was about.

Pimping your blog out to potential employers (?)

February 8, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Blogging, Career, privacy | 2 Comments
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I have only ONCE in my life included the URL of my blog as a reference in an application – and regretted it the moment I had hit the ‘SEND’ button. Negotiating ones need for privacy and ones needs for communication is difficult enough with any blog – I still avoid to put my full name anywhere on this blog as I do not want everybody who knows my name to be able to have a daily update on my life and whereabouts at his fingertips.

Also, I am a bit wary of the influence that using this blog as a job reference might have on my blogging habits: I don’t want to end up writing self-censored and streamlined posts that would be fit to endorse a CV, but wouldn’t make sense to my friends and family. One of the main purposes of this blog is to serve as a repository for the things and ideas that cross my mind in a day, and blogging is a good instrument to add that layer of reflection that draws the line between an idea and an opinion, or an idea and a plan. Also, it helps me keeping my English in shape:-)

Application business
photo by jenna77

What I DO mention occasionally is that I am a daily blogger – for instance when I applied for the editor training that I did in October/November. So far, however, nobody has ever asked for the URL – until today, that is, when I received an email from a consultancy who are looking for someone to take care of their Online PR (part-time!). I hesitated for a moment – then sent them link, also because I appreciated the fact that they had actually READ my application (is there anybody among you readers who has never been in a job interview where the people opposite you didn’t even know your CV?)

Nonetheless I added a little disclaimer: I am not a business blogger, and I am not using this blog as a PR or advertising tool. So whatever you may find here is a reflection of my personality, but it is not intended as a showcase of my PR skills;-)

And to finish the story of that other company, the first and last ones to have received my blog URL in an application: Well, they turned out to be one of those unreliable parties who don’t even bother to send you a either notification of receipt or at least a letter of rejection. I wonder why these things still happen – if marketing and advertising is all about establishing good relations with potential clients, shouldn’t an advertising agency know better?

Lent Logo 2008UPDATE: Lent is of course still on – it’s day three today, and I’m already having a craving for sugar. Looks like it’s going to be a bit tougher this year – but I will not waver, falter or compromise on this issue!

Ballmer kitteh sez: I Can Haz Flickr?

February 8, 2008 at 12:01 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment
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Ha! Everyone and their dog were blogging about Microsoft’s bid to buy Yahoo this week – even Austrian ‘quality’ newspaper Der Standard dedicated its front page to this topic. The internet is really having a stranglehold on our minds and economy, isn’t it? Today I’ll add my five cents as well: by reposting Knowprose’s icanhascheezburger variation:

I can haz flickr

Originally uploaded by TaranRampersad a.k.a. Knowprose

How to Write Rich Blog Entries Faster (In The Future)

February 3, 2008 at 11:26 am | Posted in Blogging, Language | 11 Comments
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I came across* the nifty Zemanta WordPress plug-in which automatically enhances your text with semantic links, tags, pictures – and does quite a good job at it. Using their demo, I entered the plain text of the recent Carnival post:

Zemanta

And Zemanta returned it as follows:

Zemanta Output

The text highlighted in orange identifies the words that are automatically converted into links. In the full working version, you can add and delete words to the list.

The obvious downside, however, is that Zemanta is not available yet – and if it was, it could probably not be used by wordpress.com users like me, but only by those who have installed WordPress on their own server space. On their own blog and website, Zemanta are not exactly spilling the beans about their immediate plans to release or not to release this plug-in (I quite like Jochen’s notion of a blog being something like a personal tabloid).

It’s also too bad that one cannot just grab the source code of an enhanced page from their demo, as the way it is coded (lot’s of div’s and id’s instead of straight links) is not accepted by wordpress.com! Neither can one simply copy the tags as they use space separation whereas WP uses comma separation (I am all for comma separation, btw, as it allows for collocations). Yet I guess their server would soon be flooded with requests if they offered a demo that allowed you to enhance a page and take the code with you.

*I’ve subscribed to a couple of blogs from Barcamp presenters, and even though I didn’t go to the next one in Klagenfurt (and would not have had anything to contribute anyway), I still get the fresh news that gets circulated there. Nice:-) According to one of those blogs, Zemanta will go beta towards the end of March. By then I might have switched to wordpress.org – and then the decision will be pending whether it wouldn’t be wiser to switch to German, too – blogging in German, however, does oddly not feel natural to me.

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