A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Beyond the Beyond notes that electronic newspapers just don’t work.
  • blogTO notes that the Eaton Centre’s HMV is closing.
  • Crooked Timber notes that it will be shifting to moderated commenting.
  • D-Brief notes a new sharp image of Eta Carinae.
  • Dead Things notes that some monkeys are apparently making stone tools.
  • Joe. My. God. shares Le Tigre’s new pro-Clinton song, “I’m With Her”.
  • The LRB Blog is critical of Britain’s hostility towards refugee children.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a new historical atlas of Tibet.
  • The NYRB Daily examines Assange’s reasons for using Wikileaks to help Trump.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that New Horizons target 2007 OR10 has a moon.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the reasons for Ecuador’s clamping down on Assange.

[META] What blogs do you read?

What sites do you visit regularly? What are you into?

Let me know in the comments.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 16, 2016 at 11:58 pm

[META] What do you think about blogging?

I’ve been thinking about the direction of A Bit More Detail, and my social media presence generally, quite a lot recently.

What do you think about blogging? You’re reading this: Why do you read this and other blogs? What do you want to get from them?

Written by Randy McDonald

August 29, 2016 at 9:40 pm

[WRITING] “The lost infrastructure of social media”

Some time ago, Bruce Sterling linked to Anil Dash’s essay (published at Medium) describing the many features of the early blogosphere that were lost in subsequent generations, but could plausibly be brought back.


As extraordinary as it seems now, there was a point when one could search most of the blogs in the world and get a reasonably complete and up-to-date set of results in return. Technorati was a pioneering service here, and started by actually attempting to crawl all of the blogs on the Internet each time they updated; later this architecture evolved to require a “ping” (see Updates, below) each time a site updated. On the current internet, we can see relatively complete search results for hashtags or terms within Twitter or some other closed networks, but the closure of Google Blog Search in 2011 marked the end of “blog search” as a discrete product separate from general web search or news search. It’s easy to imagine that modern search software and vastly cheaper hardware make it possible to recreate a search engine for frequently-updated sites like news sites and blogs, with domain-specific features that general tools like Google News don’t offer.


In the early days of blogging, not every publishing tool supported comments natively; as a result, third-party commenting services popped up to meet the need. As the major tools incorporated their own commenting features, comment services came to be used primarily by big publishers using unwieldy content management systems that didn’t natively support commenting features. In the earlier era, comment systems were built without anticipating the ways that online communities would grow, and these serious design flaws enabled the widespread abuse that we see online today. Newer tools seem to be trying to put the genie back in the bottle, but large publishers are increasingly shutting down comments entirely rather than investing in building a healthy community.


One category of interaction between sites that’s nearly disappeared is the idea of structured responses between different authors or even different sites. Though Medium supports a limited version of this feature today, early tools like Trackback and Pingback made it possible for almost any site to let another site know that their story or article had inspired a response. Typically, those responses were shown under an article, similar to comments, but once Google introduced its advertising platforms like AdSense, links between sites suddenly had monetary value and spam links soon followed. A modern reinvention of Trackback-style features could connect conversations on different websites in the same way that @ replies work on Twitter.

I would also mention, as Dash did, Friends pages like those of Livejournal.


Written by Randy McDonald

August 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO describes how Parkdale’s Harry’s diner is going to be revamped.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes the joys of making friends through the blogosphere.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at Kuiper Belt object Niku and its strange orbit.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at the controversy over Google’s map of Palestine.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how Faroese women leave their home islands at a disproportionately high rate.
  • Peter Rukavina describes time spent with his son kayaking Charlottetown harbour.
  • Strange Maps depicts the shift of the global economic centre of the world.
  • Window on Eurasia describes the decay of provincial Karelia.

[BLOG] Some popular culture links

  • The Big Picture reports from Boston’s Methadone Mile.
  • The Broadside Blog celebrates its seventh anniversary.
  • Dangerous Minds shares vintage photos of Kate Bush.
  • Language Hat considers the position of Chinese poetry.
  • Otto Pohl reflects on his visit to Almaty.
  • Torontoist reports on how Torontonians are hacking Pokémon Go.

[META] Who reads A Bit More Detail?

Here’s a meta question: Who actually reads this? People who don’t normally comment here, and people who read this at sites I don’t track–Livejournal, Dreamwidth, Twitter, RSS feeds, you name it–please comment.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 30, 2016 at 11:57 pm

Posted in Meta, Non Blog

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