Thursday, September 29, 2005

Another blogger bites the dust

Another blogger bites the dust.

This, by way of my buddy Paul Woodhouse, at his Tinbasher blog.

A popular UK political/social activist blogger has decided to STOP BLOGGING. I reproduce part of his farewell post below, with Vaspers the Grate commentary in [brackets and red type].

"If it means anything at all..."


Posted by Harry

September 28, 2005


You may have noticed there have been fewer and fewer posts from myself here over the past couple of months, and I’m afraid that the shortage of material reflects an inability to continue with the efforts I began here almost three years ago.

This is then, I’m sad to say, my final post as a regular blogger at Harry’s Place.

I hope, possibly, to be able contribute the occasional ‘column style’ item if time allows at some stage in the future and I will remain a supporter, in whatever way I can be, of the various political initiatives I have associated with but I can no longer commit myself to the daily posts and day-to-day jousting that goes with this territory.

[VASPERS: Ah, the good old "day-to-day jousting"--my favorite part of blogging, the venerable blogocombat, watching the sparks fly, seeing false concepts burnt to a crisp.]

My withdrawal is due to changed personal circumstances which leave me without the time necessary to regularly write anything of worth for the blog.

[VASPERS: I hear this all the time from blog-abandoners. "Takes too much time, too much effort". Why? All you have to do is write something from your heart, or explain something you understand well, or go read another blog and find something to either praise or complain about. What's so hard about that?

Some blogs are scholarly and contain complex research, but most do not. Blogging is hard work if you want to provide in-depth, original material on advanced topics. But blogging is pretty easy, if all you wish to publish is political rants or personal thoughts.]

Work and family commitments have obviously to take precedence over blogging, an unpaid, free-time activity albeit one with many, many rewards of its own.

[VASPERS: What are these "many, many rewards" of blogging? I don't see blogging as a "rewarding" activity. I just see it as a necessity, like sleeping a few hours a day, listening to underground music, or eating black licorice. If you blog for "rewards", like a Pavlov dog, I feel sorry for you. There are none. Blogging is simply something a hardcore blogger must do...or die.]

In the past I managed, somehow, to find time for blogging alongside those other commitments – sadly that is no longer the case and isn't likely to be for some time, if ever.

[VASPERS: He doesn't think he'll EVER BLOG AGAIN. People, this is a radical departure, an extreme abandonment of the blogosphere. Did he just lose the joy of blogging, in addition to all these other work and family commitments? I don't see blogging as a "burden" or a heavy commitment of time and labor. I see it as engaging in mental combat for Truth, Independent Thinking, and Democratic Free Expression.]

Of course, this blog will continue with David T, Marcus, Gene and Brownie who have played a major role in developing the popularity of this site and I am sure they will continue to develop the site’s contribution to the big discussions going on across the media, the blogosphere and in political life and to promote the anti-fascist, pro-democracy, internationalist, secular, liberal and social-democratic stance we collectively hold to.

[VASPERS: How do I measure up against the Harry's Place agenda?

Anti-fascist: yes.

Pro-democracy: yes.

Internationalist: in what sense? I oppose One World Government, but support the abolishing of national borders and nation states.

Secular: nope. I'm not secular at all. I'm very metaphysically oriented, I have firm spiritual beliefs, and I support the good aspects of all religions and philosophies. However I'm against the institutionalization of spirituality, as in churchianity and pastor-worship.

Liberal: no. I'm an Ethical Anarchist, supporting some conservative values (individualism, family, hard work, morality) and some liberal ideals (equality, human rights, pacifism, helping the poor and downtrodden). I hate all political parties and politicians.]

It has been a very rewarding experience to write and blog on this site over the past three years and I remain flattered that so many of you regularly read the posts here, recommend them to others or comment on them - and I mean that, I am not being rhetorical, it has been a genuinely pleasant surprise to find my efforts read and responded to.

[VASPERS: Every blogger is, or should be, surprised to find others reading their blog and posting comments. There are millions of other blogs those readers could be spending time at, and thousands of other things they could be doing offline, in the real world.]

When I began the blog it was not my intention to create anything other than a space where I jotted down my thoughts about current events and political debate. I’ve always found writing not only enjoyable, but the best way to clarify my thoughts, to release them and to subject them to the scrutiny of my own eye and sometimes of others. Blogging has certainly put my ideas up for scrutiny - a much wider scrutiny than I ever imagined was going to be the case.

[VASPERS: If you must point to some personal benefit or "reward" of blogging, this is the only one I know of: improving your writing, thinking, debating, and networking skills.]

But blogging is, for most of us, whatever our motivation, a free-time activity.

It has been called in some quarters ‘citizen journalism’ but it could also be described simply as ‘amateur’ or ‘free journalism’ or at least the opinion part of journalism. While blogging may have 'taken on' part of the media, particularly the world of punditry, it has not changed it.

Blogging, unlike the media, is open to anyone. The blogosphere is the open-source software to the mainstream media’s Microsoft Office.

The liberating element of blogging lays precisely in the fact that we are able to create our own platforms or spaces to challenge the views of that small group of people who are fortunate enough to be given column inches.

Some of the opinion makers have responded well to this challenge, choosing to engage with people who are, after all, nothing more or less than their interested readers...

... while others have been less enthusiastic, even hostile, about the fact that people are actually taking up their arguments – they should get used to it because, while individual bloggers like myself may come and go, this medium isn’t going to disappear, nor are readers going to return to being passive consumers of other people's views.

[VASPERS: This is my blogo-gospel: the good news that communication can now be universal and multi-lateral. No more "being passive consumers of " the MSM (mainstream media), or religious sermons, or university lectures. The blog is the death of unilateral communication. The blog represents the uprising of individual voice and the triumph of voluntary interactivity.]

In these past years the blogging scene has grown and with it the voice of the blogger has gained a little more volume. This particular blog has become, as one friend of the site put it, “ a meeting place” and while that was never the aim, it has been a pleasure and privilege to meet you here. I shall miss being a regular part of this site but, thanks to the other bloggers here, the forum will remain for all of you.


Now...what do YOU think?

Does blogging take a lot of time and effort?

Are you a good writer, or are you becoming better by blogging?

Do you reap any personal "rewards" from blogging, or do you do it as a disciplined obligation, like I do?

Do you think you'll continue blogging until you die of old age?

Have you ever taken a break from blogging?

Have you ever re-evaluated your blog and changed your whole approach?

Is your blog a burden or a joy?

Would it "mean anything at all" if you quit blogging?

Do you think you'd be missed?

Let me know your opinion and insight.

Post a comment or email me.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bob Dylan blogology 1

Bob Dylan blogology #1.

EDIT UPDATE: PBS is providing an encore presentation of "No Direction Home" this Saturday night. Check your local listings.

"No Direction Home", the film by Martin Scorcese, about the early years of Bob Dylan's career, made me do a lot of comparing his art to that of high level blogging.

Did you see the film? Part Two was broadcast last night, and Part One the night before last, on PBS.

It filled my television with a massive amount of information that could easily and quickly be applied to various aspects of blogging.

For example:

Dylan speaks, in old footage of early interviews, of his boredom with the stupid or rude questions put forth by MSM journalists. One of the questions was something like "Are the words in your songs sincere or mere posturing?" and Dylan expresses his anger at being insulted.

Much booing and deconverted fans grumbling. Backstage backstabbing. Cloistered clusterings and blusterings. Joan Baez dumped. Complaints that he will not conform to their idea of non-conformity. Very nice dish for deconstruction work.

The lefty folk scene felt betrayed when Dylan switched from acoustic guitar solo performance to a full "ridiculous pop" band. They called him "Judas". His major fan base turned against him, and he quickly skyrocketed in popularity with the general music buying public.

Protest singers demanded that he not sing any "love songs", "surreal circus lyrics", or cryptic poetry. They wanted only simple, confrontational political activist songs, worker's rights ballads, and anti-war chants. Anything else, from a "folk singer", was not "politically correct"--that stupid concept was already being enforced way back in the early 1960s.

Bob Dylan rejects the role of Prole Messiah. He changes his soft, comfortable, folk music sound to that of a wild, loud rock band or a happy, bouncey country-western ensemble. The hardcore Dylan devotees, many of them, plus many of his mentors, like Pete Seeger, hated his new musical direction and content.

Bob becomes metaphysical. He rejects his upbringing, renounces nostalgia, and aggressively seeks a peek into the Other World.

He claims that he was born "far from my true home" and his life is a hopeless attempt to return to that original home, whatever that may be.

He, like Rimbaud, claims to have "no past", no parents, no country, no agenda that he could possibly relate to. Dylan has leaped out of his social conditioning to encounter what is beyond, or alien to, the [transient, ephemeral] self.

"Like a Rolling Stone" was, according to this film, the battle cry that really annoyed the protest folkies. They hated that line about "all alone, on your own, like a rolling stone", i.e., rolling away from the cult, the herd, the clique, the folk music community. Individual eccentricity was frowned upon as opaque, thus, questionable politically.

But Allen Ginsberg could intuitively detect that Dylan was bearing the torch passed to him from the beatnik-bohemian culture.

Aggressive Individualism is what we see in the early Bob Dylan in "No Direction Home", and what we see in the early blog pioneers.

The blogger is an artist, as much as a poet, singer, dancer, musician, sculptor, actor, or painter. Thus, there's a great deal we bloggers can learn from artists in other fields.

"Every fight I ever fought, I fought it without regret or shame." -- Restless Farewell (from "The times they are a changin'" CD)

Later, I will present more blogological insights from "No Direction Home".

What Happened to Vaspers?


I'm sorry to report that Vaspers the Grate is NOT dead, though it may have seemed that way.

My wife and I were in the process of moving to a bungalow, and we canceled our MSN dial-up, after experiencing a week worth of multiple connectivity problems.

So we had no internet connection for several days. Another delay was the move itself. We moved the computers last. Delicately.

Then I had to go and fall down a flight of stairs. Broke my scapula, the back of my shoulder. As a final impediment, we had a little trouble with our new broadband cable connection, which was, a few minutes ago, resolved by 800 number phone to a great customer service department.

I can't type very good with my broken scapula, but I will do the best I can.

I was not on any "vacation from blogging", nor had I run out of things to say (you should be so lucky).

Everything will be back to abnormal quite soon now, here at Vaspers the Grate and my other blogs.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

you are all in training

you are all in training

is the theme of this little note.

Everything I post at Vaspers the Grate is designed to secretly train a core group of bloggers, both personal and business, to invasively transmute the Blogosphere 3.0 to Blogosphere 5.0, skipping 4.0.

I am trying to forge a wedge that is rammed into the weak spot of the bloatosphere: that bloated realm of pseudo, ghosted, simulacra, faux, quasi, and anti blogs that reduces the overall value of the blogosphere.

My team, and if you're reading this, you're in the team, whether you knew it or not, is composed of free thinking rebels, cautious experimenters, and wild innovators.

Soon, I will publish a post on who I think are the best bloggers in the categories of Unique Voice, Relevant Link King/Queen, Most Imaginative, Most Artistic, Most Insane, Most Professional, Most Credible, Most Controversial, Most Radical, etc.

I want a certain contingent of bloggers to be able to see with my X ray vision.

I'd like to think a few Super Bloggers were emerging, guided at least partially by my better moments here at Vaspers the Grate.

As you read my posts, you slowly begin to be filled with Truth, which results gradually in Trust.

Blogging Blogopathic Blogophobes

There is a type of person who reads blogs, posts comments on blogs, and maybe has a blog, but more probably runs a web site, so feels superior to mere lowly bloggers.

"Blog": ugh. What an ugly lowly name. Too ugly to ever be arrogant. "I'm a blogger." Try saying that at the next cocktail party, cook out, or coffee bar conversation.

"Blog": grrr. Blogs make people angry. They attack you with subtle or blatant blows. Pretty vacant. Out to lunch, they argue that anything bloggy beyond the blog itself is ridiculous.

Did you catch that last statement? A whole world of understanding lies hidden and naked within it.

Everything bloggy beyond the blog itself: lower than lowly.

Blogocombat fighters and commenters: meet yet another enemy--wolf in dove's clothing. An anti-blogging blogger/commenter.

High Comedy: Of course it's especially funny to see them use blogs and blog comment functions to complain about, mock, dismiss, or attack blogs and bloggers.

They especially hate the term "blogologist", which is why I choose to call myself that. And "blog consultant" is extremely repulsive to them, I guess based on phony, inept people who pretend to have something valuable to say about implementing a blog in specific client applications.

According to these blogopathic blogophobes, these

Are Not Necessary:

* Blog Day

* Blog Consultants

* Meta-blogging (blogs about blogs)

* Special Blog Vocabulary (permalink, trackback, RSS, captcha, cold kicking, comment spam, wildcatting, clinking, proxy blog, podblog, glog, phlog, clog, unblog, bloggy, bloggery, blogmatic, blogoid, bloog, vlog, O-blog, Super Blogger, blogopoly, blogtivist, blogistics, blogology, blogologist, blogosphere--the more blog words are invented, the more angry they get).

* Mention of "blog" in any situation, especially a favorable report.

* Discussion of your blog and what you like about blogging.

* Explanation of why you blog and what your latest post deals with.

* Basically, anything that doesn't praise the blogophobe's conventional static web site and superior intelligence for sticking with an outmoded unilateral communication vehicle.


The background story that spawned this manifesto.

You Are All in Training

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Truth Trust Campaign

Truth Trust Campaign
for Higher Level Blogging.

(1) Universal Democracy: individual voice vs. institutional tradition and centralized control.

(2) Participatory Progress: anti-hierarchical, non-patriarchal, active voluntary conscious multi-nodal inclusion of all players and spectators.

(3) Forward Through Fight Zones: front line rules back end.

(4) Aggressive Ideology: strong presentation of mission, products, benefits, adverse considerations, available functionalities, intended audience.

(5) Gated Interactivity: users protected from -- spam, troll, pornpuff, clink clone, pharm-phish, spoofer, baiter, linkfarmer, textlink fraud, identity theft, anonymous assault, predatory lurkers, forum abuse.

(6) Fast Responsivity: interaction as personal conversation, culminating in cordial community building and rapid idea propagation.

(7) Accountable-Authoritative: researched facts, probing questions, justified disgrunting, lavish information extraction, radical innovation, internally consistent methodologies, externally effective strategems, elegant theories, vigorous hypotheses, educated opinions, phenomena-dictated doctrines, non-transient axiomatic conundrumata.

(8) Flexible Finality: firm in values, allegiances, and obligations...but ready to re-prioritize and otherwise adapt to change, contrary input, misgivings.

(9) Confrontational Combativity: quick to step to the plate of any relevant controversy, not shy about asserting the supremacy of the Core Values of Blogging, error exposure, persecution of criminality and mediocrity, and universal voluntary compliance with best practices.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Opus Onus

Opus Onus
of the blogger is to:

* practice to perfection both
endo and exo blogging.

* exo-blog: to blogify the external world.

* transmute all media
into two-way conversations.

* be as candid, direct,
entertaining, unique in
"real" (non-blog) life as you are,
or seem to be, in your blog.

* invade other realms of life
with the core values of blogging.

* transplant blogospheric
attitudes, energy, and dedication
in the soil of exo-blogistic life.

This blogtivism includes providing audience Q & A (questions and answers) in every speech, lecture, or interview.

You are roused by your own aim to transform the exo-blogistic realm into a reflection of the diverse ideology, aggressive thinking, radical questioning, blunt opinionating, participation liberty, and inflammatory controversy of the blogosphere.

You are a Blog Ambassador, representing the Best of the Blogosphere, in *everything* you do and *everywhere* you go.

Your mission is to topple the pillars and dissolve the foundations of institutionalized enforcement of passive receptor, unilateral communication.

Exo-blogging to the ends of the earth.

"You're a blawwgggerr?" they ask and tremble.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Fit in with the
Truth Trust Campaign.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

dream blog

What's your dream blog?

What's preventing your blog from being perfect? Can you start doing something to remove these obstacles? Why not start now?

When you dream of how you wish your blog could be, what do you see?

30 to 100 comments on each post? How will you repy to them?

Better template? More color? Easier to read typeface? Fewer ads?

How much has your blog changed during the last 12 months?

If it hasn't changed, why not?

Dream of the best blog you could possibly have, then start doing something, anything, to begin the process of achieving your goals.

I may start a blog on WordPress.

I may actually start a self-assaulting blog called Mothers Against Vaspers the Grate. And a blog called Stinky Ugly Toys.

Then again, maybe I won't.

Did you know that some rather famous marketing bloggers have taken breaks, totally changed their blogging style (unfortunately warning us that more personal stuff is coming), or abandoned the blogsophere altogether, for various reasons?

Jennifer Rice, at What's Your Brand Mantra blog, has this to say...


"Blog Depression"

July 08, 2005

Still around...

But unfortunately hit burn-out on this blog during the past month. I resonate with Kirsten at re:invention when she says,

"After 3 long blogging years, re:invention's blog has quietly folded into a cocoon. At the moment, we feel we have nothing to say... "

Ironically, I'm headed off to Chicago on Sunday to speak at Ad:Tech on how social technologies (like blogs) are changing the way we do business.

I still have a lot to say on the subject, but not on a blog. At least not right this moment. I think I'm starting to warm back up again; perhaps I just needed a break from all the brainpower that's required to write compelling posts.


How I See and Say It

Friends, if I (which is doubtful) ever run out of "things to say" (you should be so lucky), I promise here and now that I won't shut up. I'll have plenty to say about why I came to have nothing to say, and what this "having-nothing-to-sayness" has to say about our culture and our values.

I will not leave you to take a vacation from blogging. That would be, in my mind, rude and selfish. Other bloggers have every right to pause or kill their blogging. I cannot follow their example.

I probably would take a break from blogging, if I had some substitute for it, but I already do everything I want to do, in addition to blogging.

Operating a blog is pretty easy, requires only a little vigorous thought, a slight amount of intense concentration, not much eating or sleeping, plus a tiny bit of online research or offline reading, and is not, or need not be, time-consuming, at least not all the time.

Some are physically and psychologically addicted to blogging. The very thought of seeing the screen all lit up with ones blog becomes a gateway event leading to a pronounced loss of external reality, accompanied by intense, prolonged euphoria. No existing therapy or medication has proven to be of any value to sufferers.

Once hooked, deep within, a casual blogger turns into an always blogger, a hardcore blogger for life, there is no end and no escape.

I'm blog-embedded.

I don't know where I end and my blog begins, nor where my blog ends and I begin. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing when I'm not blogging. Nothing interests me, outside the confines of bloggers and the blogosphere, except the music I must listen to as I blog.

I cannot extract myself from my blog. I am eternally trapped within it. I cannot get out, so I must make the best of it, and try to write an interesting blog.

Hardcore Blogger Anthem

To live, I must blog.

To blog, I must dream.

To dream, I must imagine.

To imagine, I must work.

To work is to blog,

or prepare for blogging.

I have other work,

but blog is real work.


Monday, September 12, 2005

twelve televisions (yellow)

twelve televisions (yellow) Posted by Picasa

twelve televisions (yellow)

a colorized re-version of an earlier black and white image of twelve magno-spasmodic cathode ray tubesets

our 5 sensory inputs, plus 1 imagination (6 sets), display and reflect, resulting in 12 events.


"Behind opposed positions lie shared and compatible interests, as well as conflicting ones. We tend to assume that because the other side's positions are opposed to ours, their interests must also be opposed....In many negotiations, however, a close examination of the underlying interests will reveal the existence of many more interests that are shared or compatible than ones that are opposed." (p. 43)

Roger Fisher and William Ury (of the Harvard Negotiation Project), Getting to Yes (Penguin Books, 1983)


"A traditional publisher or vendor is likely to believe that on-line customers would find the greatest value in being able to access individual resources....The extent to which this business person would admit the value of interactivity would be to acknowledge that value in dealings between member and author/publisher or member and product/service vendor.


In contrast, the virtual community organizer would argue that the distinctive value of on-line environments is their ability to capture and accumumlate member-generated follows that the real focus of interactivity is interactivity between the community members themselves..." (p. 37)

John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong, Net Gain (Harvard Business School Press, 1997)

= = = = = = = = = = = =

"If you're in charge, you have to encourage the flow of bad news, because if you don't, bad situations get worse..." (p. 136)

"The mark of a real pro, no matter what the business, is recognizing that the absolutely best business information you can get is never found in a report, or other second-hand information. It's a steady diet of nose-to-nose, constant, immediate, unfiltered feedback from your customers and employees." (p. 137)

Harvey MacKay, Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive (William Morrow, NY 1988)


Sunday, September 11, 2005

truth trust campaign

comment boxing

to box,
to strike,
to slap around,
to punch and pound
another blogger.

A mild form of inflammatory rhetoric attack.

Here's an example of what comment boxing looks like in a blog's comment thread.



Comments posted to:

Fatboogy news pit

"Super Mario World in Javascript"



don't link to your blog from digg. no one gives a shit about your crappy blog.
# posted by Anonymous : 12:24 AM

yep, nobody cares about it, you should have just linked to the story moron

your shit blog has ads all over it too
# posted by Anonymous : 12:32 AM

Yeah, your blog looks like ish.
# posted by Anonymous : 12:34 AM

i agree wit the above... minus the meanness and cussing...
# posted by Anonymous : 12:34 AM

linking to your blog just to drum up traffic. ok. someone needs a life.
# posted by Anonymous : 12:40 AM

Yep... You're a jackass...

See my blog at... not really.
# posted by John Stone : 12:52 AM

you blog suck ass. next time link to the good stuff instead of this piece of shit ad-ridden toilet you call a site.
# posted by Your Daddy : 1:06 AM

What an awful blog! Crappy layout, too many ads, poorly-compiled content. Don't pollute Digg with this crap. Next time, link directly.
# posted by Anonymous : 1:08 AM

Fuck your shit blog and all it's fucking ads. Die shitcock.
# posted by Anonymous : 1:12 AM

blog sucks dude.
lame for linking.
# posted by jerk : 1:13 AM

wow, a bunch of (mostly) anonymous cowards complaining because it takes one extra click to get to the story. brilliant.
# posted by Pingsmoth : 1:15 AM

Fucking moron
# posted by Anonymous : 1:15 AM


A moderately aggressive form of blogbering, blog clobbering via comment posting.

We want everyone to have a blog, not so we can hear from them, but so they can hear from us.

Keep it real.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Freshmeat top 20 projects

Freshmeat Top 20

Programming Projects

Here are some of the programming projects that people, no: I mean geeks actually--not actual, real, human people who sleep, shop, and eat, but precision codemakers, persuading the computers that are turned on to slave away at our commands, as they keep chittering away against our {comments}.

Now discover what coding dilemmas they're talking about, working on, pondering over, grappling with, worrying about, checking syntax of, writing for pay, making it rich with mystical language of computer-talk.

It takes {what seems to be} one to know one.


Freshmeat Top 20 Projects

Top 20 projects by popularity

(based on number of subscriptions, URL hits and record hits)

1. MPlayer (score: 53,818 - 100.00%)
A movie player program.
Nov 18th 2000 18:05:47
Version 1.0pre7 has been released on Apr 17th 2005 01:36:18

2. Linux (score: 43,417 - 80.67%)
The Linux Kernel.
Feb 2nd 2001 09:18:09
Version 2.4.31-hotfix4 has been released on Aug 21st 2005 04:42:50

3. cdrtools (score: 33,908 - 63.01%)
A tool to create disk-at-once and track-at-once CDs.
Mar 13th 1998 10:32:54
Version 2.01.01a03 has been released on May 17th 2005 06:59:37

4. Gaim (score: 25,683 - 47.72%)
A GTK2-based instant messaging client.
Nov 18th 1998 15:11:25
Version 1.5.0 has been released on Aug 11th 2005 22:04:27

5. MySQL (score: 25,512 - 47.40%)
A fast SQL database server.
Jan 11th 1998 21:25:26
Version 4.0.26 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 01:30:26

6. VLC (score: 24,518 - 45.56%)
A multi-platform MPEG, DVD, and DivX player.
Jun 16th 2000 17:46:55
Version 0.8.2 has been released on Jun 26th 2005 02:29:57

7. PHP (score: 24,369 - 45.28%)
A high-level scripting language.
Jan 11th 1998 20:50:28
Version 5.0.5 has been released on Sep 6th 2005 09:34:51

8. gcc (score: 24,033 - 44.66%)
The GNU Compiler Collection
Feb 16th 1998 14:53:10
Version 4.0.1 has been released on Jul 10th 2005 12:52:20

9. xine (score: 22,907 - 42.56%)
A Unix video player.
Aug 15th 2000 17:59:15
Version 0.4.7 has been released on Sep 6th 2005 06:26:05

10. TightVNC (score: 22,539 - 41.88%)
An enhanced VNC distribution.
Aug 23rd 2000 12:11:31
Version 1.3dev5 has been released on Jun 2nd 2004 03:39:57

11. Apache (score: 20,783 - 38.62%)
A high performance Unix-based HTTP server.
Jan 11th 1998 21:20:02
Version 2.1.6-alpha has been released on Jun 28th 2005 04:58:21

12. phpMyAdmin (score: 19,669 - 36.55%)
Handles the basic adminstration of MySQL over the WWW
Nov 15th 1998 08:20:13
Version 2.6.4-rc1 has been released on Aug 28th 2005 10:19:28

13. Nmap (score: 17,669 - 32.83%)
A network exploration tool and security/port scanner
Sep 25th 1998 07:28:16
Version 3.90 has been released on Sep 8th 2005 03:07:13

14. zlib (score: 16,572 - 30.79%)
A compression/decompression Library
Sep 3rd 1998 14:24:19
Version 1.2.2 has been released on Jul 11th 2005 16:37:31

15. libjpeg (score: 15,875 - 29.50%)
Library of JPEG support functions.
Apr 25th 1999 05:24:16

16. Webmin (score: 15,644 - 29.07%)
A Web-based interface for Unix system administration.
Jan 11th 1998 20:52:56
Version 1.220 has been released on Jul 21st 2005 23:01:14

17. The Gimp (score: 15,521 - 28.84%)
The GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Jan 11th 1998 21:46:37
Version 2.3.3 has been released on Aug 10th 2005 06:36:02

18. Perl (score: 14,409 - 26.77%)
A high-level, general-purpose programming language.
Jul 23rd 1998 08:32:19
Version 5.8.7 has been released on Jun 28th 2005 23:39:29

19. OpenSSL (score: 14,275 - 26.53%)
The Open Source toolkit for Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security
Dec 23rd 1998 13:04:28
Version 0.9.8 has been released on Jul 14th 2005 07:26:34

20. Astaro Security Linux (score: 14,201 - 26.39%)
A firewall that features packet filtering, proxies, content filtering, and VPN.
Nov 22nd 2000 06:39:14
Version 6.002 has been released on Aug 14th 2005 00:45:54

Projects on the horizon:*

1. aircrack [+1.35%]
2. RageWork [+1.05%]
3. Ghost for Linux [+0.96%]
4. NoMachine NX [+0.88%]
5. DenyHosts [+0.79%]
6. XMMS2 [+0.63%]
7. Plans [+0.45%]
8. CPAINT [+0.44%]
9. SSH Filesystem [+0.43%]
10. OPEN-XCHANGE [+0.43%]
11. BixData [+0.42%]
12. BMP [+0.39%]
13. Linbox Rescue Server [+0.38%]
14. Downloader for X [+0.37%]
15. Xen [+0.37%]
16. The friendly interactive shell [+0.34%]
17. FlexCast Audio Video Streaming Server [+0.33%]
18. Parallel BZIP2 [+0.32%]
19. GNU Hosting Helper [+0.32%]
20. Tiki CMS/Groupware [+0.32%]

*) Projects with the highest score increase over the past month approaching the top 20.

Top 20 projects by vitality

(based on age of project, number of announcements and date of last announcement)

1. MySQL (score: 383,463 - 100.00%)
A fast SQL database server.
Jan 11th 1998 21:25:26
Version 4.0.26 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 01:30:26

2. Etherboot (score: 216,128 - 56.36%)
Source code for making IP boot ROMs to boot Linux and other OSes.
Dec 20th 1998 22:56:39
Version 5.4.1 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 07:51:37

3. FOX (score: 202,844 - 52.90%)
A C++-based library for graphical user interface development.
Aug 14th 1998 17:21:01
Version 1.5.10 has been released on Sep 8th 2005 08:11:40

4. util-linux (score: 111,132 - 28.98%)
Miscellaneous system utilities
Jun 13th 1998 02:54:41
Version 2.13-pre3 has been released on Sep 10th 2005 15:48:19

5. Dante (score: 107,070 - 27.92%)
Free socks v4/5 implementation
Nov 16th 1998 10:28:49
Version 1.1.18 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 07:08:33

6. JChemPaint (score: 88,236 - 23.01%)
A 2D molecular structure editor.
May 3rd 1999 02:34:19
Version 2.1.3 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 07:05:48

7. Web Performance Trainer (score: 86,944 - 22.67%)
A load testing and stress testing tool for Web servers.
Apr 13th 2000 19:33:53
Version 2.8 Build 613 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 11:13:20

8. Nmap (score: 85,157 - 22.21%)
A network exploration tool and security/port scanner
Sep 25th 1998 07:28:16
Version 3.90 has been released on Sep 8th 2005 03:07:13

9. white_dune (score: 82,869 - 21.61%)
A graphical VRML97 editor, simple 3D modeller, and animation tool.
Jan 7th 2002 15:04:28
Version 0.29beta184 has been released on Sep 6th 2005 05:42:53

10. Elm Millenium Edition (score: 81,965 - 21.37%)
An enhanced Elm with MIME, character set, POP, IMAP, and PGP support.
Mar 29th 2002 16:13:34
Version 2.5 PLalpha6 has been released on Sep 9th 2005 11:21:57

11. K3b (score: 76,097 - 19.84%)
A CD/DVD burning application.
Jun 10th 2001 12:54:33
Version 0.12.4a has been released on Sep 10th 2005 07:05:46

12. S tar (score: 72,167 - 18.82%)
The most POSIX compliant and fastest known implementation of a tar archiver.
Oct 7th 1999 23:10:47
Version 1.5a67 has been released on Sep 7th 2005 04:55:57

13. Plans (score: 66,804 - 17.42%)
A powerful and flexible Web calendar.
Jun 26th 2002 11:58:32
Version 7.3 has been released on Sep 10th 2005 01:33:01

14. PTlink IRC Services (score: 65,118 - 16.98%)
IRC Registration Services
Sep 7th 1999 06:37:26
Version 3.4.1 has been released on Sep 7th 2005 14:51:34

15. Sylpheed (score: 59,713 - 15.57%)
A GTK+ based user-friendly email client.
Aug 24th 2000 03:02:31
Version 1.9.14 has been released on Sep 5th 2005 05:54:00

16. Python-SIP (score: 58,710 - 15.31%)
A tool to generate Python bindings from C++ code.
May 2nd 2000 19:21:47
Version 4.3.1 has been released on Sep 10th 2005 14:38:27

17. PHP (score: 53,881 - 14.05%)
A high-level scripting language.
Jan 11th 1998 20:50:28
Version 5.0.5 has been released on Sep 6th 2005 09:34:51

18. Downloader for X (score: 52,684 - 13.74%)
Downloads files from the Internet via both FTP and HTTP
Mar 27th 1999 23:40:58
Version 2.5.4 has been released on Sep 7th 2005 06:40:54

19. Issue Dealer (score: 52,155 - 13.60%)
An application for dealing with issues (information and tasks).
Mar 10th 2003 07:30:42
Version 0.9.83 has been released on Sep 8th 2005 07:12:21

20. Yahoo Mail Sucker (score: 51,534 - 13.44%)
A Perl script that allows you to fetch Yahoo Mail messages.
May 2nd 2002 19:57:47
Version Prototype 73 has been released on Sep 10th 2005 13:26:23

Projects on the horizon:*

1. JXTA P2P [+11.35%]
2. GNU MP3 Daemon [+11.15%]
3. RoadMap [+10.22%]
4. MIMEDefang [+9.88%]
5. Cacti [+9.77%]
6. Conary [+9.70%]
7. Metabase [+9.56%]
8. xine [+9.32%]
9. Arno's IPTABLES Firewall Script [+9.05%]
10. fcron [+8.56%]
11. PennMUSH [+7.96%]
12. PostGIS [+7.88%]
13. lm_sensors [+7.77%]
14. Xfprot [+7.74%]
15. Dada Mail [+7.56%]
16. abcm2ps [+7.37%]
17. libferris [+7.33%]
18. curl and libcurl [+7.30%]
19. libxml2 [+6.78%]
20. Mono Project [+6.78%]

*) Projects with the highest score increase over the past month approaching the top 20.

Top 20 projects by rating

(based on user ratings)

1. Linux (score: 9.52 - 623 votes)
The Linux Kernel.
Feb 2nd 2001 09:18:09
Version 2.4.31-hotfix4 has been released on Aug 21st 2005 04:42:50

2. Apache (score: 9.37 - 248 votes)
A high performance Unix-based HTTP server.
Jan 11th 1998 21:20:02
Version 2.1.6-alpha has been released on Jun 28th 2005 04:58:21

3. Fluxbox (score: 9.31 - 364 votes)
A lightweight and highly-configurable window manager with pwm-like tabs.
Nov 3rd 2001 08:00:29
Version 0.9.13 has been released on May 13th 2005 17:19:55

4. Slackware (score: 9.28 - 233 votes)
The Slackware distribution
Mar 23rd 1999 06:07:34
Version 10.1 has been released on Feb 12th 2005 21:45:15

5. bash programmable completion (score: 9.18 - 326 votes)
Programmable completion for bash.
Nov 30th 2001 15:02:15
Version 20050721 has been released on Jul 21st 2005 15:00:16

6. The Gallery (score: 9.17 - 392 votes)
A slick Web-based photo album written using PHP.
Mar 26th 2001 17:39:42
Version 1.5.3-RC3 has been released on Sep 1st 2005 22:38:34

7. PuTTY (score: 9.12 - 22 votes)
A Telnet and SSH client.
Jun 1st 2004 08:00:54
Version 0.58 has been released on Apr 6th 2005 07:46:07

8. MPlayer (score: 9.11 - 646 votes)
A movie player program.
Nov 18th 2000 18:05:47
Version 1.0pre7 has been released on Apr 17th 2005 01:36:18

9. OpenVPN (score: 9.02 - 22 votes)
OpenVPN is a robust and highly configurable VPN daemon.
Mar 25th 2002 01:38:07
Version 2.0 has been released on Apr 18th 2005 05:23:17

10. Coppermine Photo Gallery (score: 8.98 - 20 votes)
A photo gallery suite for Web sites.
Oct 15th 2003 06:38:39
Version 1.3.2 has been released on Sep 29th 2004 00:37:08

11. VLC (score: 8.94 - 245 votes)
A multi-platform MPEG, DVD, and DivX player.
Jun 16th 2000 17:46:55
Version 0.8.2 has been released on Jun 26th 2005 02:29:57

12. Astaro Security Linux (score: 8.92 - 217 votes)
A firewall that features packet filtering, proxies, content filtering, and VPN.
Nov 22nd 2000 06:39:14
Version 6.002 has been released on Aug 14th 2005 00:45:54

13. Mutt (score: 8.89 - 197 votes)
A small but very powerful text-based mail client.
Jan 30th 1998 11:41:00
Version 1.5.7 has been released on Feb 3rd 2005 02:04:33

14. Vim (score: 8.85 - 181 votes)
A popular vi clone that features syntax highlighting, a GUI, and much more.
Jan 28th 1998 20:45:51
Version 6.3 has been released on Jun 8th 2004 06:06:26

15. NoMachine NX (score: 8.82 - 230 votes)
Core X11 libraries and agents of the NoMachine NX terminal server environment.
Apr 13th 2003 02:41:28
Version 1.5.0-44 has been released on Aug 23rd 2005 09:55:08

16. Debian GNU/Linux (score: 8.82 - 169 votes)
The Universal Operating System.
Dec 5th 1998 10:33:38
Version 3.1 has been released on Jun 6th 2005 14:02:10

17. imapsync (score: 8.82 - 56 votes)
An IMAP mailbox synchronization tool.
Mar 14th 2003 20:35:41
Version 1.121 has been released on Mar 16th 2005 09:07:38

18. Inkscape (score: 8.82 - 29 votes)
An SVG-based vector drawing application.
Nov 10th 2003 13:23:25
Version 0.42 has been released on Jul 27th 2005 03:18:54

19. Sylpheed (score: 8.81 - 211 votes)
A GTK+ based user-friendly email client.
Aug 24th 2000 03:02:31
Version 1.9.14 has been released on Sep 5th 2005 05:54:00

20. Volleyball Manager (score: 8.81 - 98 votes)
Management software to schedule and process volleyball tournaments and leagues.
Feb 29th 2004 09:06:04
Version 2.3.0 has been released on Apr 2nd 2005 13:03:06

Projects on the horizon:*

1. gEDA [+0.20]
2. amaroK [+0.09]
3. GNU CLISP [+0.06]
4. RealPlayer [+0.06]
5. Drupal [+0.06]
6. The Battle for Wesnoth [+0.06]
7. dillo Web browser [+0.05]
8. w3m [+0.05]
9. graphviz [+0.04]
10. emelFM2 [+0.04]
11. Worker [+0.04]
12. qmail [+0.04]
13. eZ publish [+0.04]
14. Qt [+0.04]
15. Radiator Radius Server [+0.03]
16. ADODB [+0.03]
17. Pure FTP Server [+0.03]
18. phpSecurePages [+0.03]
19. eAccelerator [+0.03]
20. m0n0wall [+0.03]

*) Projects with the highest score increase over the past month approaching the top 20.



Blogs and Murder

Blogs and Murder

A blogger mentioned his own killer in a blog post. The "some guy ringed the bell" is the killer, who is mentioned as "my sister's former boyfriend". He and his sister were both murdered by this person.

Here is the entire post as it appears in

ToTo 247's Xanga Site


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Today I missed my Japanese class again, since I have gotten a bad throat. I only went to the class once this week, so I am probably so far behind now. I will catch up in the summer tho so no worries hehe.

Anyway today has been weird, at 3 some guy ringed the bell.

I went down and recognized it was my sister's former boyfriend.

He told me he wants to get his fishing poles back. I told him to wait downstairs while I get them for him. While I was searching them, he is already in the house.

He is still here right now, smoking, walking all around the house with his shoes on which btw I just washed the floor 2 days ago!

Hopefully he will leave soon, oh yeah working on the jap report as we speak!


How about the other way around?

A blogger who blogs about being a killer?

"Killer Confesses Through Blog"

by Jason Lee Miller

Sept. 09, 2005


The latest tragedy capturing the imagination of the blogosphere: Michael Mullen, a thief, a con man, an alcoholic drug abuser, a victim of child molestation, and most recently, an executioner of two sex offenders in an attempt to gain some sort of redemption, with exacting vengeance.

"I am Agent Life! And I alone [am] responsible for the deaths of the two level three pedophiles in Bellingham Washington, and they are not the last to be executed unless things change for the better," posted Mullen on his AOL Journal blog, just before turning himself to the authorities.

Mullen deleted the original post, but not before it was indexed by Technorati, where a screenshot of the post can be found.

After looking up the addresses of two registered sex offenders in Whatcom County, Oregon, Mullen posed as an FBI agent who was there to protect them. After a twelve pack of beer on the lawn outside the pedophiles' home, Mullen shot each of them once in the head. Read more of the story from this excellently written article from the Seattle Times.

Mullen adds his entry to the list of recent eerie and telling blogs detailing violent episodes. Last spring, a Chinese student's blog led to the identity of his killer.

In the summer, Joseph Edward Duncan III, the pedophile murderer who attracted national media attention during the man hunt that followed the kidnapping of an Iowa brother and sister, wrote explicitly about fighting the demons within himself on his blog.



Friday, September 09, 2005

you are the blogosphere

You Are the Blogosphere

How many blogs do you visit every, or almost every day?

How many blogs do you visit every week or so?

How many blogs do you visit about once or twice a month?

How many blogs do you visit almost never, very rarely, but you will not remove them from your bookmarked favorites, or your blogroll?

All those blogs you visit, plus your own, is your version of the blogosphere. No one lives in the entire realm, only within a tiny neighborhood. While there may be sporadic excursions to unknown territories and exotic locales, most blog activity habitually occurs in a small section of the sphere.

When a visitor is reading your blog, for that moment, the blogosphere is you, your blog, your personality radiating through it. The blogosphere can only be a progressive composite entity, experienced one blog, one post, one word at a time.

Also--when you are interviewed, podcasted, blogged, your legend is a strand in the historic fabric of Blog Revolution Phase 3.

Engulfing each blog is a vast and complex cloud of victors, pioneers, innovators, experi-mentors, visitors from the future and more advanced civilizations, comment posters, lurkers, trackers, directories, feed transmitters, and all the blogs of millions upon millions of other bloggers.

Yet, in spite of this immersion, a person's actual contact with the blogosphere is you--when, and for as long as, that person is reading your blog.

We should all have a long list of reasons why we continuously analyze and improve our blogs. We want to have an evolving, living, breathing blog -- with an almost intoxicating fragrance of idiosyncratic extremity associated with it, following in its wake, wherever it goes.

How easy is your blog to read?

What new functions, features, or enhancements have you made lately?

What new blogging, programming, or computing skills are you learning to master these days?

What non-blogospheric writing inspires you? What medium? What authors? What topics?

How many books do you buy each day, week, month, or year?

How many books do you read, from start to finish, each year?

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


think write here

web usability errors 2005

Web Usability Errors 2005

Here are some of the more prominent and frequently encountered Web Usability Errors so far this year.

(1.) No immediate, clear presentation of site owner's identity and purpose of site.

(2.) Dysfunctional site search.

(3.) Database errors disallowing interactive functions and forms processing.

(4.) No upfront Contact, Bio, Profile, About, History, Background, or Credentials.

(5.) Failure to display a user orientation device to provide guidance through site, based on individual priorities.

(6.) No new visitor welcome.

(7.) No sense of a close, friendly human personality behind the site.

(8.) Using a multi-category discussion forum instead of a post topic comment thread.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


dream recording

blogs vs the world

blogs vs. the world

Thursday, September 08, 2005

blogoid objects spotted

Blogoid Objects Spotted:
Association of Online Publishers

It has come to my flimsy attention that some bloglike entities have appeared on the radar of a UK publishing organization and are potential recipients of awards.

I did not hear that Tinbasher blog was in this group, so I can't verify that these are true blogs. To be safe, perhaps we should tentatively label them "blogoid objects", and wait to see what the experts conclude.


"Blogs Shortlisted for AOP
awards fro the first time

by Ben Bold, Sept. 7, 2005
Brand Republic

LONDON - The inexorable rise of blogging has been officially acknowledged by the Association of Online Publishers, which for the first time is including blogs in its annual awards.

The news gives a clear signal that the UK's publishing industry is realising the editorial and commercial benefits of incorporating consumer-generated content into online media.

The AOP has shortlisted four blogs in the awards' Innovation category.

They are

Emap Performance Interactive's blog,

The Guardian's blogs,

the BBC's inclusion of amateur
video footage on the London 7/7 bombings,


VNU Business Publications'
Newsgator aggregation tool.

Other sites listed in the category include, AdGenie on by Dennis Interactive, the Sun Online TV Video News on, and The Scotsman's online archive.

[snip: deleted content]



Paris Hilton vs bloggers

Paris Hilton vs Bloggers

I used to enjoy watching Paris Hilton do things, until she did the porn hamburger hose television commercial for Hardees. From that point forward, I lost all interest in her. Until now.


...from "Paris Hilton doesn't like bloggers"



In an interview with AP about wanting to pursue a more simple life, the following exchange occurred.

AP: Do you read blogs?

Hilton: What’s that?

AP: Um, they’re these things on the Internet where people write about news and stuff.

Hilton: No, I don’t really read anything on the Internet except my AOL mail. I don’t like people who sit on computers all day long and write about people they don’t know anything about.


What kind of blogger are YOU?

Do you sit on or at your computer all day long? all night long? all day and night?

Do you write about people you don't know anything about?

Then you are the kind of people that Paris Hilton doesn't like.

Shame on you.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

recede into the ecliptic

recede into the ecliptic

...recede = cede back, withdraw, go back, return to other side, loop around to origin, move backwards, recoil from a progressive assault, retreat for temporary rest...

...ecliptic = the sun's illusory annual path around the earth which is actually in orbit around the sun which orbits a galactic hub that orbits a system center as it orbits a spinning pedigree of serendiptitious splendor...


"I have gone out of my way to be provocative, mischievous, and unclear, reflecting my belief that clarity is sometimes overrated, and that shock, obscurity, playfulness, and intrigue (carefully articulated) often stimulate more thought than clarity.

A friend of mine tells me that it is a mistake to challenge readers to think, because most readers simply want to hear what they already know and agree with, expressed with minimum personality and maximum blandness.

I would probably do this if I could, because those books seem to sell best...

But...a playful, provocative, unclear but stimulating book could actually be more worth your money than a serious, clear book that tells you what to think, but doesn't make you think."

Brian D. McLaren
(Youth Specialties, Zondervan, 2004)


- + -

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

3 reasons why bad corporations should blog

3 Reasons Why Bad Corporations Should Blog

I used to think that the only corporations the blogosphere should welcome are the ones that are good, ethical, customer-friendly.

If a corporation wanted to improve its customer relations, I'd say "start a blog".

If a corporation was sincerely wishing to hear complaints, praise, questions, and suggestions from users, I'd say "start a blog".

If a corporation wanted to counteract unfair negative PR, and present the full and accurate story, I'd say "start a blog".

For these, and many more valid reasons, I still believe a good corporation should consider blogging.

But what about bad corporations?

In this tolerant, wussy, post-modern, "don't keep score", "perversity is diversity", sissified world in which we live, how can I shun and shut out the bad corporations? That's not politically correct, is it?

If criminals have tons of rights, then why not let the bad corporations blog too?

Why must I persist in my shameful exclusionary, elitist attitude?

Well friends, I've pondered this for a few seconds, and have drastically revised my rotten attitude. I want to open the blogosphere to all the bad corporations. They can play in our sandbox if they really want to.

Bad corporation =

* despises and outsources customer service

* pays no attention to customer feedback

* ignores product enhancements that would increase customer satisfaction

* provides reluctant customer assistance in product selection

* avoids comparisons with competitive products

* actually believes the first to market a product is always the winner

* practices the "ship bug-ridden product, then sell upgrade packages and 2.0 versions"... that still don't perform correctly

* sides with management against workers in all circumstances

* enables inept managers to bully and stifle smarter, more efficient underlings

* cooks the accounting books to boost stock prices, earnings reports, and executive compensation

* run by a CEO who's a total arrogant dickweed

* cultivates a corporate atmosphere of paranoia, greed, and sexual inuendo

* cares nothing for the community, the industry, or professional ethics

* downsizes, cuts pensions and employee benefits, then increases top executive pay

* hires supplemental workers at lower pay and no benefits, then builds a museum to honor its delusions of grandeur

* treats employees like slaves, ignores what front line workers say about the product and customers, cares only about excessive profit and expanding market share

* pollutes environment, then whines about the cost of emission controls

* hates wilderness, pristine landscapes, public parks, feminism, blacks, pedestrians, and "tree-huggers"

* loves concrete, parking lots, resource ravaging, gas guzzlers, patriarchy, and "good old [white] boy networks"

* offers no help during disasters, or takes advantage of the victims

* provides logical reasons why nations and individuals turn to Communism

Why Bad Corporations Should Blog

(1.) So we can humiliate, mock, shame, irritate, and yell at them via comments.

(2.) So the whole world can see how shoddy, shady, haughty, clueless, misanthropic, and antiquated they are.

(3.) So they can freak out at all the negative comments they receive, have a nervous breakdown, and experience a federal investigation for fraud, malfeasance, false advertising, and other corporate law and federal regulatory violations.

There. Now I feel much better. I am now more inclusionary, all-embracing, and tolerant.

Now the bad corporations can blog right along with the good ones.

I can almost feel the love pulsating through the blogosphere, thanks to me.

Now everybody can be happy and get on with their lives.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Update on Blog Day 2005

Update on Blog Day 2005


"Where are the so-called
A-Listers when you need
the blogosphere needs them?"

Nir Ofir, the brains behind this historic, first annual Blog Day event, offers this update:

"Blog Day 2005: The Blogal Village"

I will quote a part of it here...


Since June 2005 (3 months ago), BlogDay have generated 30,800 new pages in Google.

Technorati lists 1329 Blog posts about it and thousands of bloggers from these countries have participated: Israel, Pakistan, US, Singapore, China, France, Hungary, Spain, UK, India, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Cambodia, Greece, Finland, Germany, Taiwan, Korea, South Africa, Japan and many more.

The BlogDay description was translated in the BlogDay wiki by bloggers to 15 languages. The wiki got more than 25,000 page views on August 31st; a Greek designer won the BlogDay design contest with his brilliant design to BlogDay future web site.

The A-list bloggers (Mostly Americans) (almost) didn't write about BlogDay.

I, as a professional in this field (Blogs, Social software, web2.0 blah blah) was disappointed because I really wanted to read what do they had to say about my project and, because I truly believed that as "main information junctions" they will help me spread the word about BlogDay. Some of them did write about it. I rather some don't.

Today, I assume that most of the bloggers that have celebrated BlogDay are personal bloggers.

Bloggers that write about their lives and jobs that are using community based platforms like Blogger or Livejournal in the US, "Yam" in Taiwan, "ioblogo" in Italy or "blogia" in Spain.

BlogDay made me realize how huge the market share of the Personal blogs compared to professional blogs.

My "not so wild assumption" is that 95% of all blogs in the world are personal or half professional blogs that are being hosted in some kind of a community portal and the other 5% are professional blogs that are being hosted in independent servers or with services like Typepad (My virtual Home).

95% are personal blogs!

Do you capture the power of this large majority of bloggers? Do you, as I did, understand now that most of blog readers visit personal blogs and not the 5% professional blogs and those who are labeled as "A-list" Bloggers (No offense).


Please go visit Nir's blog to read the entire post, and other articles he has published there.

Again, I want to repeat that many alleged "A List" bloggers are my allies, friends, and mentors. I don't wish to humiliate or condemn any of them. Many were caught up in client work, the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and other pressing matters.

But many so-called "A List" bloggers are arrogant, selfish, and only care about making money, achieving celebrity status (so-called), or accumulating praises and congratulations. As self-proclaimed high priests of the holy blogosphere, some of them they seek worship and orthodoxy.

I, on the other hand, prefer to be a voice crying in the wilderness.

Shunned by the smug, hated by the corrupt, and attacked by the vile, I plug away day after day, losing RSS subscribers with every harshly critical post...

...and gaining the respect of the powers that really matter, and the audience that appreciates combative honesty and confrontational integrity.

Next time there is an important blogospheric event, I'll try to announce it in a more timely manner, email my allies and mentors faster, and hope for the best.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


P.S. Be sure to read the flaming attack on Blog Day 2005 and Vaspers the Grate in the sissy boy comments section of the Dvorak Uncensored Blog Day 2005 post:

I guess these wannbe flamers are too brilliant to see the irony of posting an anti-blog comment on a blog that is known for being contrarian, radical, and yet also associated with the MSM.

I consider John C. Dvorak a valuable ally and friend. He is an inspiration to me. We have engaged in numerous email conversations, and we have published posts about each other on our blogs.

Now, I also know that Dvorak is opposed, even though he operates a blog, to the blog frenzy and blog fanatics sweeping America these days.

Dvorak knows that I also despise the "blogs are easy ways to get rich quick", "blogs will save the world", and "blogs are miracles for all businesses" idiocy.

But these silly hateful commenters can only say "what's a Jakob Nielsen/Jacques Derrida deconstruction based web usability analyst?" and "I was the only person online at his blog". Ooooh wow, those comments really hurt my lack of feelings.

I call myself a JN/JD deconstruction based web usability analyst for a good reason. I seek to piss off the hillbilly morons who don't understand philosophy, usability, or analytical thinking.

I seek to alienate the hick town schmucks who pride themselves in their dumbed down pursuit of beer, pretzels, and sports. Who worship Harry Potter and play Grand Theft Auto video games.

I always have the last laugh as they sink in the stench of their own mediocrity.


Blog books you should buy

Blog books you should buy:

(1) Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright

(2) Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hurricane Katrina War Zone

Hurricane Katrina War Zone

From the first images I saw of the damage, I thought it looked like a nuclear holocaust or meteor strike. With all ouradvanced technology and enlightened moral compass, we humans remain as helpless, or more so, against natural disasters, as cavemen.

When the animals and birds head north, or to the high ground, you follow their example.

Actually cavemen, who I presume were more in touch with nature and deluge legends, probably would have more cunning and a better survival rate. Especially since they were not dependent on "society" or "government agencies" for practically everything: food, water, energy, medicine, transportation, protection, cohesiveness.

Now we see how our technology and interdependencies are crippling us.

My heart is breaking for the victims, the children, the elderly, the poor, the mentally ill, the disabled, everyone in the path of this catastrophic storm.

QUESTION: Where is the foreign assistance?

What are England, Europe, Malaysia, Japan, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, etc. doing for the United States? Sending "condolences" is a sarcastic insult, and you and I know it.

I did a Google search on "hurricane katrina foreign aid" and got guess how many results? Zero. Now I'm not the world expert on search, but this seems like a logical key phrase to use, does it not?

People, this is sickening, pathetic, insulting. Where is the wonderful "world community" when we need it? Nowhere, that's where.

If you have any reports to the contrary, I'd love to hear them.

News from the War Zone

Here's a quote from Michael Brown, the director of FEMA:


"Some kids [referring to the plundering rapists and murderers] think it's just a game [Grand Theft Auto video game?].

They've somehow got their hands on a gun, perhaps by breaking into a sporting goods store.

But the 82nd Airborne is down there, and they don't like to be shot at....

...This is a war zone we're working on right now.

Guys in camouflage outfits are going to change the mood in this city [New Orleans] significantly."


Ya gotta love it. Kill those lousy slugs.

I'm highly in favor of the "shoot to kill" policy of the military against internal enemies, the looters, rapists, bandits, marauders, fire starting maniacs, and those who fire weapons at rescue or supply vehicles.

Gasoline and oil truckers are scared to attempt to enter the affected areas, fearing that vandals and homocidal thrill seekers will fire at them, causing their trucks to explode in a fiery hell.

So I cheer on the military and law enforcement: shoot to kill.

Now, check out these typically brain-dead statements from MSM journalists questioning Michael Brown, director of FEMA...


MSM journalist 1: "Why is it more dangerous at night than during the day?"

MSM journalist 2: "Have there been any arrests of those who fire weapons at rescue workers?"

Michael Brown: "FEMA is not a law enforcement agency."


NOTE: All quotes from C-SPAN, a decent MSM outlet.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina is us

Hurricane Katrina is us.

Natural forces devastated the land, then human forces devastated the people. Waves of psychopathic monsters flowed over the victims, raping, looting, murdering, plundering, setting fires: nonsensical party animals, violence addicts, carnage mongers.

Incompetence to the rescue!

The Powers That Pretend To Be: prancing around delicately, smiling for cameras, not a single wet eyelash.

Here come the goons and loony tunes!

Thin veneers, mordant masks, calculated cosmetics. Look at what was always slithering around deep inside. Pampered narcissists and myopic misanthropes leap for joy with pyromanic torches and phallic freebooter filly-busters.

Citizens juggle, with buttery fingers, the law of the gun that has been forced into their own hands. Every man a soldier, every boy a nurse. Every woman a shelter, every girl a scout. Unfamiliar flags, poet pirates, sewage for supper.

The cityscape now a martyr double-doomed, drowned to death, then burning at the mistake of purulent pusillanimous politicians. Another Pyrrhic victory for unblindingly shock-absorbent hindsight and faltering flinching forecasts.

No lapis lazuli here.

Check out these resources and
come to your own conclusions:

(1) "Do Events Like Katrina and 9-11 Make Us Crazy?"

(2) The Interdictor

Thanks to Will Gaus of Buzzing Fridge blog for this link.

(3) Hugh Hewitt

(4) PCUSA Hurricane Katrina Volunteer/Relief

(via Hugh Hewitt)

If you donate money, be sure to select your charity very carefully. The con artists are coming out of the woodwork, as usual. Donation Frenzy is in full force.

Investigate the recommended groups that your favorite, most trusted sources guide you to. But no matter how much a trusted advisor raves about a charity, investigate it carefully, or don't donate any money at all.

Don't let disreputable, non-credible, unreliable organizations rip you off. Many will take advantage of this tragedy to con you out of your hard-earned money.

Be swift to probe, slow to give.

I don't trust the Red Cross.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Thursday, September 01, 2005

What I learned from Blog Day 2005

What Blog Day 2005 Taught Me

[This post is a slightly revised version of my response to Paul Woodhouse's comment in the topic thread of previous "Blog Day 2005" post.

Reader comments are increasingly providing me platforms for subsequent blog posts. Thanks everyone for your valuable and enriching comments at my blogs.]

I observed the "A Listers" reaction to Blog Day 2005, where we were all encourgaged, by an obscure blogger in Israel, to just list 5 good blogs, hopefully from other cultures or industries, to recommend to your own blog readers.

This went over like a lead balloon.

Hugh Macleod even did a little cartoon poking fun of the concept, calling it organized "link whoring". Hugh is known for lambasting and "roasting" via cartoons, and the objects of his comical "scorn" or teasing are rarely offended, it seems.

Of course, I deposited a comment on Hugh's blog, correcting this "link whoring" of Blog Day notion.

My comment explained that...

*clinking (clique linking)

*ghost blogging

* fictional character blogs (in most cases)

*buzz agenting (pretending to be a satisfied customer/user, then posting rave reviews in blogs, forums, etc.)

...are unethical and ineffective "blogstitution", not Blog Day.

Blog Day is a way to help your readers discover new blogs, and to pull us together as a blog realm. The blogosphere has many deadly enemies. Let's all join forces in a united front to defend and protect our beloved Kingdom of Bloggery.

It requires a bit of old fashioned humbleness to stop your own grandiose posting and linking to consider lending a boost to some little blogs, not "below" your exalted position in some silly hierarchy, but below the threshhold of your readers awareness.

How many "A List" bloggers participated? A few. Some with genuine benevolence. Some perhaps grudgingly or perfunctorily.

I sent out a stroke of midnight last call email to about 30 or 40 "top tier" bloggers. I must credit Mike Bergin, of the blog 10,000 Birds, a bird-lookers site, for emailing me and reminding me about this event.

Only a handful "A List" bloggers emailed me back to say thanks for the heads up, and whether or not they'd participate in Blog Day 2005:

Robert Scoble (The Red Couch/Naked Conversations, Scobleizer)

Hugh Macleod (Gaping Void)

Karen Ruby (Karen Ruby)

Carrie Snell (Omnamaste/A Grain of Salt/Wrath of Grapes)

Robert May (Business Pundit)

David Weinberger (Joho the Blog)

Paul Chaney (Radiant Marketing)

John C. Dvorak (Dvorak Uncensored)

Greg Hoffman (Security Awareness for Ma, Pa, and the Corporate Clueless)

Neville Hobson (NevOn)

Paul Woodhouse (Tinbasher)

John Battelle (John Battelle's Search Blog)

...either already knew about it, or scrambled to publish a Blog Day 2005 post on their blog, or emailed me to tell me it was too short notice to do it justice, or promised via email to comply with it as soon as they could.

If you check their blogs, you'll see that many did not do a "5 Recommended, Unexpected Blogs To Consider Exploring" type post on Blog Day 2005, but that means they at least replied to me via email, or displayed a Blog Day 2005 button.

Of course, unexpectedly, at the same time, Hurricane Katrina hit and devastated a huge chunk of the USA, like a nuclear attack.

This horrid disaster sidetracked a lot of bloggers from previous priorities, and rightly so. I just don't quite know what to say yet, so I've not posted anything about this tragedy.


Also, I didn't email every single "A List" blogger, or ally blogger, that I know of, and this was extremely short notice.

So please don't think that anybody not listed above must necessarily be arrogant or uncaring about other blogs. That would be a gross misinterpretation.

Paul Chaney deserves a lot of credit for replying to my email, and not even mentioning the fact that, as I discovered when I visited his blog, he is in the path of the Katrina hurricane, and has been suffering power outages. That is a noble, selfless, altruistic attitude of great merit metaphysically. Way to go Paul.

That little event of my email reminder of the Blog Day 2005 has resulted in a "A List" of my own: bloggers who can see the struggling "underlings" who are their brother and sister bloggers, and try to lend them a hand, a boost, a promo.

Spend more time helping, posting comments at, and advising new bloggers, obscure bloggers, worthy bloggers...

...who write profound, witty, sincere, funny, inspiring posts...

...and consistently, heart-breakingly, sadly get "0 Comments" at their blogs, but keep on, bravely, blogging.

I dearly love those souls. What a great model of perseverance and dedication they are setting. Bravo!

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate