charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

ONTD announces a marketing and advertising partnership with Buzzmedia, which also does this for other well-known gossip blogs. The most interesting thing in the copy is that the site claims to have 2.6 million monthly users, which must include non-logged in lurkers, because this is more than the number of LJ active users (people with accounts, that is). The press release claims that LJ has a worldwide audience of 28 million monthly, which agrees with Google Trends. However, Google Trends also claims that the US monthly uniques is only 6.1 million (Google trends says that Russian traffic is 11 million). If this is so, then ONTD might make up a substantial portion of US traffic.

In other news, Blogetry was not in trouble for anything to do with copyright, but because some terrorist organizations had signed up for accounts and were producing articles like 'Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.' The FBI says that they didn't, however, order the entire blogging site closed down, and that the hosting provider did it on their own, which is backed up by Burst.NET's statements.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)

Damn. 73,000 blogs shut down because of the actions of just of a few of them? And the owner isn't able to get ANY data back?

In the recent LJ inactivity notification, there was a lot of talk about abandoned/inactive LJs that people wanted preserved. However, it seems to me that because of this kind of thing, and 'acts of god' (catastrophic technical failures), it's simply not enough to rely on the company alone to safeguard important data. If something is very important to you, archive it. Don't wait for disaster to threaten before you act.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
So, last entry I had a poll, and from the poll, I make the following interpretations:

1. The vast majority of people who answered the poll post on DW on a regular basis. I was somewhat surprised, as I thought there would be more lurkers (or readers/commenters only), but apparently not.

2. I was also somewhat surprised to see that so few people posted to LJ original material, and that so many cross-posted. I had thought that there would be more people only commenting/reading on LJ for some reason.

3. Self hosted WP is the most popular blogging option, and when you add in, WP in general is the clear winner. However, Tumblr was much stronger than I expected it to be, which surprised me; it seems to me that not much attention has been paid to the rise of Tumblr in LJ social media discussion circles (IME). Other LJ clones were also popular.

Oh well, was anyone surprised by the poll results?

In other news, looking on changelog, I see that LJ may be putting in Google Analytics and also adding an "I like" feature.

[links to "I like": ]

[links to Google analytics: ]

commentary )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Time for a poll: all are free to participate!

Poll #2464 Poll on Blog/Journal Usage
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 78

Describe your usage of Dreamwidth

View Answers

I post in my Dreamwidth journal on a regular basis
67 (85.9%)

I have a DW journal, but don't post in the journal itself, but use it only to read other journals and comment
6 (7.7%)

5 (6.4%)

Describe your usage of Livejournal

View Answers

I have a Livejournal, and I post in it regularly
10 (12.8%)

I have a LJ, but only post in it crossposts from DW
38 (48.7%)

I have a LJ, but only use it to read other journals/comment
17 (21.8%)

I don't have a LJ, or if I have one, I never log in and never use it
5 (6.4%)

Something else not covered here
8 (10.3%)

What other blogging services do you use?

View Answers

Other Livejournal Clone(s) [Insanejournal, Journalfen, etc)
13 (28.9%)

Self-hosted Wordpress
18 (40.0%)
6 (13.3%)

1 (2.2%)

17 (37.8%)

3 (6.7%)

Other type of blog (elaborate in comments?)
11 (24.4%)

charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Apparently, my wordpress blog is blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

This is not a blog, but something hosted on space I pay for and with my own domain name. I'm at a loss to understand why my site was censored. Most of the posts there are about a certain light novel series. This is simply strange. The only reason I found out was because I sometimes talk to someone who lives in China who is studying English and likes to look at English translations for fun, and I invited her to go see the blog, and she told me she couldn't see it. 0_o I used some tests, and it really does seem to be the case that the my site is inaccessible from China.

In other news, ~1/3 through.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Yandex, the top Russian search engine, conducted a study of the Russian blogosphere. The study (PDF link), gives a fair amount of data on the various sites which make up the majority of the blogs there.

Some facts:

76% of active Russian blogs are hosted on four services:,,, and has the most active blogs., however, has the most active communities.

The average Russian blogger on LJ is a 26 year old man.

In general, the number of unique visitors of all blogs is increasing faster than the number of active blogs.

Of the active participants in Russian LJ, 22% make only posts and 25% only comments (the rest do both)

Only 2% of Russian bloggers have more than 100 subscribers. 0.2% have more than 500.

Spam blogs increased dramatically in number over the last half of 2008.

I wonder how they compiled these stats? Also, it's interesting that LJ in Russia is not associate with youthful bloggers (other blogging services are). I wonder if as starts to increase its translation capacities, whether it or other Wordpress MU sites will gain traction among the Russian audience.

More on comments

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 07:31 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
From the same guy who was talking about whether empty (tho positive) comments are really desirable, on how to foster online commenting communities (for blogs. If you are posting on the net in different ways or w/ different goals, this may not be relevant)

I found the part about participation equality interesting: the more you lower the barrier to participation, the more people participate and feel like they've contributed. This is why low pressure, easy stuff like rating something on a scale of ten is helpful.

Anyway, in the previous discussion on comments, the issue of "dogpiling" was brought up. Some claimed it was caused by people with a "blogging" mentality, while others claimed it was actually also consistent with a social networking mentality. But since no one can control the actions of a bunch of unknown people, can anything be done about unwanted comments from a group of people who are previously unknown to the poster?

I think there are solutions beyond the obvious "lock the post." Comments can be turned off, or screened, or only a whitelist (the access/friends list) can post them. Perhaps more would be useful? For example, there could be "throttling" where after a certain # of comments, all comments from non-trusted people would be screened?

blog vs. journal

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 01:18 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
I (try to) follow a simple rule when blog publicly. Am I okay with J. Random Internet User, inclusive of all individuals I have met or will ever meet on the internets under this identity, seeing this, connected to this username/domain name/identity? If I am, I post it. If not, I lock it, or post it in a secured place elsewhere, or discuss it in private with a friend.

I wouldn't go as far as saying, as in this comment, that people who do post to the internet this way "treat themselves as broadcast media" or wonder if "is this their entire life?" more than you wanted to know about my opinions of internet media, blogging vs. journaling, etc etc etc etc etc )

tl;dr aside, I think this is like how Youtube is full of moron comments (not that anyone who posts comments that an OP finds undesirable is a moron; but I mean, when anyone can comment, there is the possibility that anything will be commented). The internet is now a more popular place than ever, and if you wish to avoid moron comments or "the rampantly incivil" or whatever people who comment in ways you dislike, there has to be a gate of some sort.

I think also that public-ness of public blogging is an art, similar to being a public figure in general. As in all things, it's a skill that can be learned, and some who take to it naturally, and others to whom it comes with utmost difficulty. I see it as a subset of social skills, or perhaps it has aspects of being a 'politician' or a 'spin doctor.' (Although perhaps the correct word is more 'journalist' or 'author.')
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
1) Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone these days on LJ is friends-locking their journal? Not that I'm not the same (the new journal is going to be most impersonal and topical, thus unlocked. However, I locked the more personal journal.)

Although it does make it harder to figure out whether an unknown person is worth friending or not, in some ways you could say it's a positive sign, that people are finally figuring out that if they don't want The World to go seeing their journal, for whatever reason, the very sensible, normal thing to do is to make it friends-locked. Posting for The World is a different mentality from posting for The Friendslist, and it's good to see that people are possibly increasingly realizing this, thus leading to some containment of drama.


Provocative post on why bloggers should delete positive comments (that do not contribute to discussion or do not add relevant content). Hmm... I'd say that deleting is likely to offend the commenters, and make them mad for no good reason. Also, having comments, even of the contentless kind, is often used by a metric for readers to determine whether a post is worth reading or not. What is needed, then, in my opinion, is either a comment sorting system, so that the cream rises to the top (comments are either ratable, or comments that are responded to rise up), or for alternate feedback mechanisms to be promoted. Sharing is one, and another a ratings/like system.

Tumblr and Posterous get the liking mechanism down right, IMHO. A small, but conspicuous place where you can register your approval of a post. They also use it as a bookmarking system, but that works less well because there is a lack of hierarchy (in other words, you can't tag your bookmarks).
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Been thinking what to do with my domain. Maybe I could move the fandom stuff (mostly Saiunkoku) off to, and then axe the /log subdomain. Then I could start up a new blog for book reviews (reposting the old ones I put on my LJ). I also was thinking of trying out google adsense. Most of what I write about has little commercial value, if any, but perhaps there is some interest in writing about language learning? Or kanji.
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Apologies to all of the people who read me for... well, I have no idea why people read me. I blog about too many different things, so I could never really hack it as a professional blogger. XD

But anyway, I continue to be fascinated by Tumblr and why they are so talked about and why they receive so much money, despite not making any revenue (yes, no revenue). Recently Tumblr introduced the new ridiculous 'Tumblarity' feature. As silly as it is in some ways, it probably WILL encourage people to tumble and to reblog more (you get points also for reblogging others, as well as being reblogged, I think), and it will provide a useful popularity metric (I suppose if someone wants to monetize?) Providing a list of the top Tumblelogs could also aid in discovery. If you're bored on Tumblr you can always, also, go and look at the 'popular' feature to see popular posts on Tumblr.

What struck me was that, now that I'm logged into Tumblr, I notice how a lot of the new amusing link of the day blogs posted on sites like Reddit and Metafilter are Tumblelogs. (It's often not obvious because you can use your own domain name w/ Tumblr). Minor celebrities, people affiliated with certain artistic scenes, often hipster meccas, are also on Tumblr, and have helped publicize it.

so maybe... )
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
I finished uploading the LJ journal to To avoid people complaining about the importing of comments, I made the backup visible only by me. Maybe I should upload a backup of the entries only (no comments) to Dreamwidth as well; although, the appeal of uploading to a wordpress installation is that finally, people can search your blog, so maybe what I should do is re/up to and then abort the install when it starts doing all of the comments.

rambling on my own blogging; probably boring to people who didn't read my LJ blog )

Actually, I think other blog services have really improved their privacy functions. LJ no longer is necessarily the only one that has locking functions. Both WPMU and Tumblr seem to have the functions of a "secret blog," although I haven't tried either one of them.

I wonder how a completely "secret blog" compares with an LJ style journal whose existence is public, even if its content can be private, or a journal which can have private and public sectors? Socially, what are the consequences? Well, one is that the "secret blog" is truly a black box (this is probably what some people truly WANT on LJ though, and actually, I can't think of any reasons not to give them it); its existence can't even be easily seen, especially because WPMU's private blogs allow you to automatically code all external links through a referral privatizer. I'm not sure about Tumblr's secret blogs because I haven't tried them out (anyone want to be invited to my test private tumblr?).

Whereas, with an LJ style code fork, you can't exclude yourself from the directory, nor can you privatize your profile page to a select group. However, the privacy of LJ is clearly visible, with all of the LJs that advertise their friends-lockedness. What would it be like if everyone had a public facing identity, with the option of creating a private facing one(s), which was totally invisible?
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
BTW, [personal profile] manticore created [community profile] world_of_wol, a comm dedicated to posting owl pics and videos. So, if you like videos related to owls, feel free to join and even post.

Anyway, apropos of the recent rash of people registering community names in order to sell them later (namescalping, I suppose), I was reminded of a discussion on the DW ML. People were debating whether DW should delete accounts for inactivity etc, because of the situation on LJ where desirable usernames are, at times, taken up by someone who has never used the account, or to all appearances has abandoned it. For the record, the DW owners will not delete accounts for inactivity.

This is something which has also been a topic of heated discussion on the LJ suggestions comm. Some advocate renaming empty or seemingly abandoned accounts. While I can see how this might work with comms which have no friends, no entries, and have never commented, I don't think it should be done with accounts that have been used in any fashion.

Also, I wish people wouldn't create accounts merely to prevent the name being used by someone else, especially if it is a nick conceivably used by someone else on the internets (and yeah, probably someone else on the internets is using your nick). I think it would be too difficult to set up a rule to prevent this, but if you're not going to use a service in any way, you should allow someone else who wants the name to use it. (Impersonation is a separate issue, and clearly against DW TOS, so I'm sure they will deal strictly with it when it occurs).

Randomly, I thought of a way for people who can't use LJarchive to deal with the "can't search your own journal on LJ problem." They should import into their LJ, and then use the search function there to find things.


Thursday, April 16th, 2009 07:27 am
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Buddypress seems to have developped further from when I last saw it. This is a mod of WPMU (wordpress multiuser) which allows social networking functions. In other words, I guess this means you can create something like Buddypress has social networking features, like user profiles, private messaging, friends, commenting on things (the Wire), activity streams, seeing all of your comments/blogposts, etc., and people can also have their own blogs. Plus, they can form groups with their own forums. I'm not sure if they can also have group blogs or what kind of privacy features there are though.

What will the next iteration of social networking look like? What kinds of new features will it have? It's exciting to watch this develop.

There seem to be some interesting things going on in the DiSO world, but as a non-web-developer there's a lot that I don't understand and will need to read up on more. (like oAuth).

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