random thoughts to oil the mind

Tag: Blogging

Rise and Fall of the Blogosphere

A recent Wired article has certainly provoked some controversy amongst bloggers. Claiming that blogs are history, and that Twitter, Flickr and Facebook are the future, the post’s author Paul Boutin recommends that anyone who’s thinking of starting a blog should stop, and anyone already writing one should pack it in.

Whilst I wouldn’t normally comment on a post of this ilk (given my feelings about bloggers who blog about blogging) it seems pretty clear that unless Boutin is giving us a tongue-in-cheek excuse for a debate on web trends, he’s essentially wrong in his assessment. After all, it comes as no surprise that Boutin proclaims the fall of the blogosphere from the comfort of a blog entry, nor indeed that he rails against his own ilk in decrying the “tsunami of paid bilge” that ranks highest on the Technorati charts. The idea that blogs should be abandoned on account of the fact that personal blogs rarely garner any extended readership or popularity calls into question why authors set up their blogs in the first place, and why indeed they should switch to other means if popularity is their main objective. Boutin upbraids blogs for being text-only affairs, a charge which I daresay isn’t especially accurate, particularly since it is easily possible these days to integrate precisely those services that are supposed to supercede blogs, such as Flickr or Youtube.

Of course, no one can deny that the nature of the Internet is constantly changing, so much the better, and whilst the blogosphere may start to shrink once the new wave of Web2.0 forms of communication become fully fledged, they will merely overlap and supplement the current crop of technologies available. The continued prominence of email, IRC, Usenet and web forums all point to this fact. So whilst I daresay the number of new blogs appearing on the web will start to slow as new users find outlet to their thoughts on other media, there may always be a place for the humble (and not so humble) blogs that litter the webscape today.

[Via huffenglish.com]

Another Day, Another Plugin

WordPress Plugins

With the news that WordPress Photo Album plugin potentially contains a security vulnerability, I decided it was probably time that I took stock of my increasingly long plugins list and removed some of the outdated and superfluous items. One of the greatest improvements to WordPress of late has been the automatic update checks provided for plugins listed on the official site, which whilst by no means universal does at least mean that updates for many popular plugins will automatically be reported without the need to check up on each one manually. This little list of what remains represents some of the better plugins I’ve encountered.

Late Resolutions

Although it may be customary for resolutions to start after New Year’s, most things surrounding this blog and its author work in a slightly different time zone to everything else. Nevertheless, it was my intention to make an effort to post more on this blog, partly since it might otherwise fall into disuse, partly in order to stretch these fingers more and let a little blood into parts of my brain that are getting a little dusty. The content will be much the same—i.e. as random as ever—but the aim is to post something once a week, albeit supplemented occasionally by interesting links and silly YouTube videos. That might also include some crazy literary wonderings. We’ll see.

But to kick start February, vaguely akin to the peacekeepers, here’s the THX lemur:

To Blog, or Not to Blog

WordPress

That is the question; as the well known soliloquy roughly goes. A Mind @ Play is now a year old, and not a day wiser, as far its author is concerned. Courtesy of GeneralStats, I can see that in the past year (excluding this post) there’ve been 57 posts, 18 comments/trackbacks, together a total of 31,400 words, and over 8,000 spam comments caught by Akismet. But to what end?

This isn’t intended to be another one of those ‘blogging about blogging’ posts, but occasionally one has to ask why we blog at all. I wouldn’t claim to be anything near an expert on the subject, but it would appear that the more successful blogs do just that: ‘blog about blogging’. Nor should that sound derogatory, some of them do an exceedingly good job of it, but there are only so many times you can read the ‘top 10 ways to get more readers’ et al. But then these people tend to come from the professional end of the blogging community, those who aim to earn something through their work. There were and are no such intentions with this blog, and if there are any advertisements on this site I can only say they are unintentional.

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