TAG: Blogging

Commenting is for sale?

An interesting article on the beautifully laid out Upstreamist talks about the influx of advertising into a part of the web that has classically been untouched by ads: the comment section. Located at the bottom of most blog pages (including ours), it affords the reader a chance to offer ideas, opinions, corrections and really anything else he or she wishes.  Here on Blogging Calwell we use Facebook comments with moderation. L. Rhodes talks about this idea:

Most major sites already moderate their comment sections, and closer ties between comments and paid advertising will present publishers with a financial incentive for further restricting self-expression.

The world Rhodes talks about here is a very negative one; where comments are created and the content of discussion is controlled by corporate entities. It’s clear advertising has a place, but if it sits masquerading as something other than obvious promotion, that’s a failure of the site and the advertisers. It’s a flat out lie. I tend to think people get better at spotting lies in front of, or away from the keyboard.

Rather than daring advertisers and content creators to get better at lying, shouldn’t we  just accept that promoting something is ok? And,  if done well and respectfully, support it.

The Simplest Way To Blog? – A Look At Throwww

Throwww Blogging PlatformIt is so incredible how far blogging has come since the early days. Back then, it was only possible by hobbling together HTML code and placing it on your web server. Now, what’s possible is truly amazing, easy and in many ways it let’s you focus on the task of writing – not the technical details behind the writing (well, for the most part anyway). A new blogging platform called Throwww aims to be an even simpler way of blogging.

Where Are The Stars in My Reviews?

star_ratingsYou might have come here once or twice to see reviews of various hardware devices or software applications. In fact, if you pull up a list of posts tagged as review, you’ll find quite a few of them.  We’re big fans of anything new and interesting and want to get our thoughts about them out there as quickly as we can. But, one thing you may have noticed is that there aren’t star ratings attached to the reviews you see here. Why’s that? Well, let me explain.

The Odd Phenomenon Of Vapid Articles


I’ve gotta say, writing can be some of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to do. Some of the stuff I’ve written can easily (by most means) be considered garbage. Making something coherent and readable takes a certain command of the language as well as having some sort of story to tell. This might have always existed, but I seeing more and more a rise in articles, posts and other online information written in a language that is english, but not quite completely english. From that, there is also the backlash that tends to arise – some of it downright nasty. I’m sure you’ve seen them too, the articles that look like they might be useful, but ultimately fail a substance test.

Lazy Tech Blogs Say RIM Is Bleeding Developers

Blackberry LogoToday, while reading the mass of technology news I get to see every day, I came across a story that varied the headlines on the same turn of a phrase “Blackberry is losing developers”. Across the web, this story  was picked up and amplified, yet a basic Google search of the source company turned up zero information on the survey itself. Was this stuff hidden to the general public? Was anyone going to actually cite the source? How many reporting blogs appear to have read this survey?

If It Isn’t News, Then What Is It?

Newsman In Front Of CameraI’ve taken a little time to step back and ponder what it is that happens here on this blog. Can this really be called “tech news”? Can it be that we’re a “how to” site?. Is it more of a “product review” site? Should it be said that this is more about punditry and the “curation” of information? This and other questions have been on my mind as I have been struggling to clearly define what you might expect when that browser you’ve chosen lands on this blog page. So, let me explain.

BlogSPAM And Attribution – A Look At Our Sources

Malware-LogoSince I’m reading blogs at a near constant basis, I was pretty surprised that I hadn’t heard of BlogSPAM. Amazed, I took to the Internet to really understand what this was because I think it described one the most annoying things that happens as a reader. The bigger issue with BlogSPAM is the idea of Attribution. How are we best to call out our sources and inspiration while ensuring the practice is not a slimy attempt at gaining hits? Let’s take a closer look.

Journal-schism – The Dawn Of Blogalism

Paper-BagGood night, and good luck.” – Edward R. Murrow

That was the catchphrase of a great broadcaster. With that, Murrow became a legend and, I suspect, inspired a generation. Generations of journalists and bloggers are converging on something entirely new. This story is about how journalism has changed, how it is today something different. This is the story about how something I have resisted has come full circle and inhabited a part of my own life in ways I never thought possible. It’s also important to say, I’m no expert in journalism – my perspective is a unique one though. I grew up in the radio newsroom and I learned of journalists from the inside. Also, I am part of that “new” technology blogger-ati that cow-tows to no editorialist, that plays fast and loose with the truth, and is shifting what we see in news for better or worse. What we’re seeing here is, I think, a seismic shift in how things work.

That generation Murrow inspired likely included none other than my own father, Gene Costain. He spent much of his work-life as a radio newscaster for radio stations such as CKO in Toronto. I wish I had been paying more attention to what was going on around me too, but I generally had a distaste for this environment of reporters. My exposure to these newsrooms was fairly extensive as I would often tag along with him while his did his broadcast. Many of my memories of his times on-air in those small padded booths with microphones involved him reading word-for-word from AP wire papers or text copy that was ever so slightly altered from what the wire said. Today, I’m able to bring my view of past journalism and look at it through the eyes of today’s bloggers.

Will 2012 Be The End Of ?-trailing Articles (And Other Pet-Peeves)

One of the more disgusting trends I noticed (it was probably always there), was the common blog post with a trialing “?”. Most of these blogs offer a big question and tend tease some sort of substance, but when you get into the blog – your offered nothing more than an expansion on the initial question. The trouble with this is that you’re offered nothing in the way of new or useful information, and in more cases, the actual question was never answered. So, let me take you down a dark tunnel of questionable blogs and other pet-peeves of 2011.

How NOT To Encourage Blog Comments

I read blogs. Lots of them. I’m just like anyone interested in a good spirited conversation. I came across a very interesting blog called Scripting News by a person named Dave Winer. He has all sorts of points about RSS, Blogging and, of course, scripting.  I don’t know him, I’ve never met him. I did, however,  come across a blog named “The tech industry is update-happy” (link) where he just bitches and moans about software updates. I decided I would comment on his blog, and he did the worst thing a blogger can do to their readers.