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Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category

[META] Six new blogs on the blogroll

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I will be doing the hard work of installing these six blogs on my blogroll later this weekend. For now, suffice it to say that these six blogs, still-extant islands in a blogosphere in a state of transformation, are going to be the last I’ll be adding for some time. It can be hard to keep up with them all.

  • Daily JSTOR is the famed scholarly archive’s blog. This 1 November post, timed for Nanowrimo, sharing some inspiring quotes from writers about writing, is fun.
  • The blog by Lyman Stone, In a State of Migration, has great analyses of demographic issues in the United States and wider world. This recent post, looking at what it would take to–as the alt-right would wish–“make America white” and the enormous costs of this goal, is worth noting.
  • Information is Beautiful, by famed data journalist David McCandless has all sorts of fantastic infographics. I recommend this one, looking at the United Kingdom’s options re: Brexit.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog Lingua Franca takes a look at language and writing. This recent post, analyzing the complexities and challenges of George Orwell’s thought on freedom of expression, is very good.
  • Noahpinion is the blog of Bloomberg writer Noah Smith. I quite liked this older essay, one noting that cyberpunk’s writers seem to have gotten the future, unlike other writers in other SF subgenres. Does rapid change lead to bad predictions?
  • Salmagundi is a blog by an anonymous gay Kentucky writer touching on the subjects of his life and more. The most recent post is this link to an essay by Bruce Snider, talking about the lack of rural gay poets.
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Yes, I know that traditional blogging is dying. It may be more appropriate to say that it is irreversibly fragmented. Some blogged have headed towards the short snappy sharing of links on photos enabled by (among other platforms) Twitter and Instagram, some migrating to places like Medium where long-form content has a home, and still others have simply dropped out in favour of fora in gates ecosystems like Facebook. Things happen.

All that said, what blogs–or other accounts–do you still read? Are there writers on Medium, or elsewhere, that you like? What about Twitter or Instagram accounts of note?

Please, discuss. Share your perspectives in the comments.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 15, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Meta, Popular Culture, Writing

Tagged with , ,

[META] On the latest two blogs on the blogroll

  • I’ve added Sean CW Korsgaard’s Korsgaard’s Commentary, a blog focusing on cultural reviews. In one interesting recent post, Korsgaard makes the case for the excellence of the 1999 film The Mummy.
  • Toronto writer and critic Drew Rowsome also has his own blog. He has recently shared his shortlist of picks for the Toronto Fringe festival.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

[META] On the latest blogroll expansion

I’ve added two blogs this morning, one old and one new.

  • Aziz Poonawalla’s City of Brass, a blog dealing with Islam and minority issues, is newly added. His most recent post there, drawing from the Chicago Dyke March Jewish flag event to that intersectionality is too limited a concept, makes an interesting argument.
  • LGBTQ-themed blog Unicorn Booty is a group blog that covers many queer issues. I would recommend one recent post reporting on the erasure of the nature of the Pulse massacre in Orlando by Trump (and others).

Written by Randy McDonald

June 28, 2017 at 8:15 am

[WRITING] On losing things, and finding new things

Back one day in March, I accidentally and irretrievably deleted the private entry on Dreamwidth that had contained links to URLs and details on sources that I had been saving for future posts for perhaps a couple of years. I was a bit upset by this, but, I soon realized, I was more upset by my accidental deletion of the entry than by the loss. This private document, full of links pointing to possible future writings, had become baggage, something to be periodically updated and then consistently forgotten.

This realization prompted me to a rethinking of what I am doing, as a writer and a blogger and a person active on social media. What, exactly, am I doing? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing?

I am still thinking. Suffice it to say that something different will be coming. If I don’t decide to make sure this difference will arrive thanks to my effort, well, who will do that?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Meta, Non Blog, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

[META] Some blogroll additions

Two links are being added.

  • To the news section, I’m adding the Canadian news website National Observer, which has interesting longer articles analyzing Canadian events. Of their recent articles, I would recommend Lorimer Shenher’s “LGBTQ officers need to pick the right target”, which argues that LGBTQ police officers should step back and consider the import of the police, as an organization, to many queer people.
  • To the blog section, I’m adding Strange Company, a great blog that assembles links of interesting and odd things around the world, in the past and present, and takes the occasional longer look at particular events. This link, examining the history of one Reverend Griffiths who was something of a ghostbuster in 19th century Wales, is a good example of the latter category of post.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm

[META] On one impending good reason to move from Livejournal

Dwight on Facebook linked to a Metafilter feature noting that the servers of Livejournal–the social networking and blogging platform I got started on, the social networking and blogging platform that I still use–has moved to Russia. In light of that country’s issues with basic freedoms, it’s probably worth considering ending blogging on this platform.

As of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users — especially those who do not trust the Russian government — are leaving the platform and advising others to leave.

For years, the online blogging community LiveJournal — popular in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine — has served as a key communications platform for Russian dissidents (the Committee to Protect Journalists earlier this month called on Russian authorities to release a LiveJournal user who has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for a critical blog post). Even after Russian company SUP bought it from California-based Six Apart in 2007 (previously), the fact that SUP continued to run the servers in the US meant that users felt relatively safe; a 2009 press release specifically said that LiveJournal, Inc.* would continue to run technical operations and servers in the United States (and claimed that 5.7 million LiveJournal users were Russia-based).

[. . .]

Tracerouting livejournal.com now points to a Moscow location and an ISP operated by Rambler Internet Holding LLC, the company that also owns SUP. (Former LiveJournal user Gary McGath says that a few days ago, he checked the IP location of livejournal.com, and it was in San Francisco.) LiveJournal’s official news posts do not mention the change; users have begun to ask questions there and on their own journals.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm