Archive for the ‘Weblogs’ Category

trying again

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Ok, hopefully this time it will work for real.  We’re still trying to get the permalinks to work (wordpress and typepad have slightly different default structures), but you can always try the search box in the sidebar.  Update: I think they’re working.  If you run into any broken links, please let me know.

Other than the conversion issues, I’ve been very impressed with WordPress — if I were starting a new blog now, I would definitely go with for free hosted blogs with nearly all the functionality that TypePad charges for.  (The only thing I found was that you can’t have ads on, and you do need to pay for custom domains.)

In case anyone was wondering, the main issue was that, which is the hosting company T was using because they bought up his previous provider, doesn’t actually support multiple domains/sites on a single account unless you go to their much more expensive line.  We switched to InMotion Hosting and did in an afternoon what we had wasted hours upon hours trying to do previously.  Obviously, can charge what they want, but it’s maddening that none of their customer service agents could tell us what the problem was.  If they had just said “you can’t do that with this account,” we’d have been fine.  But instead they kept on telling us the problem was with GoDaddy (where my domain is registered) or that we hadn’t given the change enough time to propagate.   They’ve got terrible online reviews, and deservedly so.   A secondary issue, of interest only to others who are switching from Typepad to another site, is that you need to turn domain mapping off from the premium site, as there’s no way to do it from the free site.  I assumed that downgrading to the free version (which doesn’t support domain mapping) would do it automatically, but that’s not the case.

tap… tap… is anyone there

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Well, moving over to a non-hosted blog turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I had hoped, and we still haven’t gotten the permalinks sorted out, but at least Half Changed World is again pointing to something that I can more or less control.  Not sure if anyone is still reading, though.  So if you’re there, please say hi and let me know what you’re thinking about these days.  And if you know anything about self-hosted wordpress sites, I’d love to pick your brain.

I’m now in the middle of three different books, one as an audiobook, one on the Kindle I got for the holidays, and one on old fashioned paper.  So, I could post about the books, or about the different media, if there’s any interest.

Today’s Post Magazine had an article that tries to address the question of how is possible that time use studies suggest that working mothers have plenty of leisure, while none of us feel like we have any.  We’ve talked about that here before, but I can take another crack at it.

the beginning of the end (perhaps)

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I think it's a sign of a blog that is seriously ill, if not on life support, when most of your posts are apologies for not blogging more often.  I'm thinking about pulling the plug.

  • Next month, I'll have been blogging for five years.  According to Typepad, this is my 1,013th post.  It's not that I have nothing left to say, but I'm not spilling over with ideas the way I used to.
  • When I started this blog, I was at a job where I was frustrated with the policies, was not allowed to speak my mind, and had a fair amount of time to kill.  That's not the case these days.  I've done three presentations already this month, and have four more scheduled.  I'm loving it, but I'm exhausted by the time I get home.
  • My kids are getting older, and are staying up later, especially in the summer.  The window of time between when they go to bed and when I collapse myself is shrinking.  And I'm somewhat less willing to post about them as they get older.
  • It's not just me.  Laura at 11d had a post recently about how the blogosphere has changed, and I think she's on the mark.  I used to love the big kerfluffles (remember the Perfect Madness posts?) where we'd all read and post and link and then post some more to respond to the points that someone else had made.  It had the wonderful heady feeling of being in college and staying up until two in the morning because you were discussing the meaning of life and solving all the problems of the world.  I haven't had that feeling in a while.

So why keep it?  Because I'll miss you, my readers and commenters. The level of civility and thoughtfulness that has always characterized the discussions here is really quite remarkable, and not that common.  And (to be honest) because I still mumble about wanting to write a book someday, and having a built in "platform" might help me sell it.  On the other hand, I might be more likely to stop mumbling and start writing without the blog.

Even if I stopped posting, I do think I'd like to keep my archives alive somewhere.  Not sure I'm willing to pay Typepad for that.  Is there a simple way to migrate from Typepad onto one of the free services?


Sunday, April 26th, 2009

With great regret, I think I'm going to set this blog to reject trackbacks.  For whatever reason, maybe because you don't need to enter a captcha (the funny looking random letters you need to type to enter a comment), I've been getting far more trackback spam than comment spam lately.

While it's not the end of the world to have to go through and delete trackback spam, the fact is that it's been months and months since I've gotten a real trackback.  Even when some of my posts have provoked discussion on other blogs (e.g. the conversation about PTAs), no one did trackbacks.  Some people posted comments noting that they were writing more on their own blogs, and some I only discovered because I read their posts.  It's possible that there are other conversations going on that I'm totally missing.

This makes me sad.  When I started this blog, one of the great joys of the medium was when a bunch of us all took on the same topic, with lots of links and trackbacks and back and forth, and it almost felt like being back in college, staying up far too late and arguing passionately about the problems of the world.  It's been a while since I've been part of one of those conversations.  I'm not sure if blogging has changed, or if I have — I know when some topics come up (e.g. where are the women bloggers?), I just sort of roll my eyes and move on.

So, I'm turning trackbacks off, but if you feel drawn to respond to one of my posts, I'd love to hear from you.

nearly forgot

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I nearly forgot to do my annual meme where I post the first line of the first post of each month:

  • Happy New Year!  I was offline for a while because we took the boys to Florida to see their grandparents and aunt.
  • I'm really not a football fan, but D's teacher got him all excited
    about the super bowl, even though he's never watched a football game,
    so we're letting him stay up and hanging out watching it with him.
  • I'm starting to do my taxes, so I've been looking at my Prosper statement.
  • In skimming today's Washington Post, I saw a short blurb that says that women's careers are responsible for one-third of corporate relocations, up from 15 percent in 1993.
  • I took the BoltBus up to NYC and back this weekend, so thought I'd post a review.
  • The recent discussion of budgeting and how we're dealing with rising prices inspired me to revisit my experiment of trying to stick to the thrifty food plan for a month.
  • Back from the camping trip with my college friend.
  • I've got several long thoughtful posts that I'd like to write, but I've just been crashing before I get to my blogging time.

  • In response to my initial post about Palin, Beth posted a comment questioning her judgment as the mother of a child with Down syndrome choosing to take on the responsibilities of being VP.  
  • I seem to have fallen out of the routine of doing regular weekly book reviews. 
  • Since I think I'll be a bit distracted on Tuesday night, I'm posting this week's book review tonight.
  • I knew that December 1 is World AIDS Day, but I hadn't realized that it was first observed 20 years ago. 

I'm shocked at how few political posts made this list, given that it feels like I spend the year obsessing about the election.  (To be fair, the line about the super bowl comes in a post about how this is an easy post to write while I was waiting for the caucus results.)

I see there were lots of personal posts.  In part this is because after 4+ years of blogging, I feel like my regular readers know me fairly well, and care about what's going on in my life.  And in part it's because my energy for blogging was lower this year (due to the demands of work, family and politics), and the personal posts are easier to write than the deeply analytic ones.

What would you all like to see more of here in 2009?

media and the election

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

After an election that was dominated by new media (blogs, youtube, twitter), the end turned out to demand the old media.

We watched the results come in on television, and our guests nearly rioted when at one point T revealed that we were actually ten minutes behind live thanks to TiVo and channel switching.  I had my laptop on, and occasionally looked over to check things like which counties had reported in the states that had only partial results, but the focus was definitely on the big screen. 

And then, yesterday, it seems like everyone wanted a newspaper, the dead tree kind, to hold in their hands and put away in the closet.  Papers all over the country sold out, and people were lined up waiting for the special editions to come out.

When I drained the battery on the car last week, I set off the anti-theft device on the audio system, so I can’t listen to the radio until we manage to get to a dealer.  Listening to the previous day’s podcast works ok for Planet Money and This American Life, less well for the more newsy shows.*

*It’s almost like having a TiVo for the radio.

Blog Action Day

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

This year, the theme for Blog Action Day is Poverty.  Check it out.

and on Yom Kippur it is sealed

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Annika’s getting a new liver right now.  It’s been a long time since I blogged about her, but I hadn’t forgotten her.

I don’t believe in the kind of God who would decide whether or not to let a little girl make it based on how many people are praying for her.  (And I know Moreena doesn’t believe in God at all.)  But I’m praying for her nonetheless.  I firmly believe that prayer is a positive thing to do, even if no one’s exactly listening.*  If you’re so inclined, you might spare a prayer or two for Annika, her family, and the brave family that donated the liver.

*Earlier this month, I decided that I felt more or less the same way about political canvassing — I’m not sure I changed anyone’s votes, but it made me feel more hopeful about democracy.

Updated: And if you’re looking for something more concrete than prayer, blood donation is always good.

only connect

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Anyone going to the DC BlogHer event next weekend?  I’m interested in meeting people, but am not sure that I want to spend the $100 they’re charging for the actually conference.  Cecily is organizing a dinner for the night before so I may just go to that.

Phantom Scribbler posted today
, asking where the cool kids are hanging out these days.  I told her I didn’t know, but I agreed that I’m finding less sense of community in the blogosphere these days.  I’m still writing, and still reading, but commenting less, and getting involved in fewer long conversations.  I’m still on a bunch of listservs too, but I’m wondering how much this is a matter of habit, rather than something that’s still important to me.

Phantom did convince me to sign up for Facebook, which I had been resisting.  I guess I’m an old fogie or something.* I know, I’ve been hearing for years about how popular it is, but I was still shocked when it told me that there were 588 people in my gmail address book who had Facebook accounts.  I only attempted to friend about 50 of them, but that’s still a lot.  Obviously, not everyone who has a facebook account actually uses it, but 28 people use it enough to respond to my request to friend them within 9 hours.

* This summer, I decided that a good description of my precise state of being almost but not quite up-to-date is that I watched Dr Horrible, but I heard about it first on NPR.  Similarly, I’ve been blogging for four years, but this is the first social networking site I’ve joined.

Information management

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Looking for some advice…

My team at work is trying to figure out a way to keep track of the huge numbers of statistics and examples that we all run across, and to make them accessible by all members of the team, so we all don’t have to read everything.  There’s a range of comfort levels with technology, and we’re all stretched pretty thin, so it has to be something that can be implemented with a minimum of effort.

I’ve been using Zotero for tracking reports and webpages, but so far, it can’t be shared across a group.  And you have to use Firefox to access it, which I think might be a barrier for some of  my colleagues.  I think a wiki is probably too challenging.  So, what’s the right choice?  Google notebook pages?  Sharepoint?  Any other suggestions?