BLOGPULSE -- One of the ten most common phrases on 31 August 2004: classes start today. It was one of the three things awaiting me when I fired up Yahoo Messenger this morning. Northern Arizona University is one of many places back in session.
I HAD TO WORK to find television coverage of the gold medal round of women's soccer (my station guide called it "Women's Football Final"). I couldn't see it live. The replay was compressed for advertisers. I wanted to see the play because the Athens Summer Olympic Games are likely to be the last world tournament for five legendary American players: Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, and Joy Fawcett. With this group, the American women dominated the sport since the time I left the States. They won the first women's World Cup in 1991 and again in 1999, as well as the 1996 Olympic title in Atlanta (Norway won the gold in Sydney in 2000).
POYNTER -- "In a strange display of techno-turnabout, Forbes recently dismissed the entire concept of RSS webfeeds in a review of the new Industry Standard site," reports Amy Gahran. The Forbes Web Site Review includes a short paragraph explaining "the worst aspect of the site is that it ... lets you subscribe to RSS feeds, a complicated, XML-related way of reading news which doesn't serve much purpose here."
POYNTER -- The Hot or Not concept is surprisingly appealing. It's hard to make the idea work with everything but it's a champ when looking at ways to make user contributions create a buzz (or a dead panning of whatever is in the crosshairs).
FLICKR -- While the major news networks covered the march of 100,000 protestors in New York City, the blogging world offered up a populist reaction with much the same instantism that followed the events of 9/11. In some Flickr photo sets, anti-Bush sentiment is running at full steam. In fact, much of the growth in the NYC channel on Flickr is given over to photos of the protests.
MILTON -- While digging through four feet of dirt over the weekend, I uncovered little trinkets of unfound objects. Some were deviously placed two feet underground by Holly, the possessed Springer-Spaniel. Other bits--deeper still--were tamped underfoot by the builders three years ago. Bits of a tuna sandwich. A small yogurt drink. Eight inches of electric cable. Two brightly coloured, empty bags of crisps. We're digging out the compost hillside because we have a greater vision in mind for the back garden. As it evolves, it's very much a garden we found in the pages of magazines and in the inspiration of others.
PRINT MY BLOG -- Although James Corbett wonders why anyone would want to print a blog, I've seen cases where it makes sense--perhaps economic sense too. I often question students who want to reduce pixels to print but then I remember that I write in a study where I'm surrounded by the printed page. I also know how it fees to escape the screen and how comfortable paper feels when I turn pages. So from the newbie to the power user level, there's a consumer interest in a printed product.
USERLAND -- Two power users--Karlin Lillington and Jenny Levine--echo my occasional frustration with Radio Userland. From the sound of their comments, it sounds like they're caught behind Radio's files and unable to publish until Radio sifts through its records and sorts itself out. When dealing with a large local database of stories and records, it's important to let the system clean itself of debris and resync its content remotely. In my experience when running Radio for two years, that translated into slow performance. It sounds like both Karlin and Jenny are unable to post anything and it's costing them time while giving them stress.
IT TURNS OUT that another blogger has read John McGahern's That They May Face The Rising Sun. McGahern, from County Leitrim, writes about that Irish county in prose filled with imagery and vocabulary from 20th century rural Ireland. I know an Irish blogger who remembers the place well.