Visions of TLDs Danced in Their Heads

Top level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, .uk, .tv, are currently governed by strict rules. Icann just voted to relax those rules. So, all over the world wide web, nerds, organizations, squatters, and others are making lists of the TLDs they’d like.

Forgetting for a moment that I can’t afford it, I would of course like the TLD .way, or at least the URI changing.way. And no.way. I’d give theresmorethanone.way to The Perl Foundation.

If I were a squatter, I’d be after .ono, and would attempt to extort money from Yoko and from B. But I will be a mere spectator as the TLD land grab gets under way. Under.way… now there’s another nicely-URI’d corner of my empire to be…

Two Remarkable Things

A platypus called Frankie just left a comment on this blog. I found this so remarkable that I broke my Twitter silence to tell my legions of followers about it.

As to the second remarkable thing, I’ll leave it to you to decide which of the following best qualifies.

  • The platy is called Frankie. That’s a very unusual name among duck-billed mammals.
  • An Australian (Frankie) complimented a pom (me).
  • Twitter was up.

Traffic From the NY Times

I noticed that a got a trickle of traffic from a URI @nytimes.com. It turns out that I provide one of their “Headlines around the web” for Massachusetts.

Perhaps I should change the post title to “the headline heard around the web.” Or perhaps I should click on the banner ad, since this blog is certainly not a profitable business.

Long Self-Portrait as About Video

The folks at PhotoJojo coined the phrase long portrait, Mashable Stan hailed the long portrait as a use for Flickr video, and Heather Rasley commented about the long self-portrait.

That got me thinking about an About video, in lieu of, or as part of, a blog’s About page. So I made such a video. There’s about a minute of About video.

I’ve Been Heralded

That’s the Blog Herald, not the Boston Herald. Lorelle linked to my post on how Automattic is making money from WordPress.com. In the same edition of WordPress Wednesday News, she links to dozens of other places as well, but she doesn’t describe all those other places as “interesting.”

Lorelle does mention the “issues on the WordPress.com support forums over the new Administration Panels interface.” But her emphasis falls on 2.5 features and security issues.

Google Folders, and Categorical Thoughts

Hey, there are folders in Google Docs! There aren’t actually any folders in my Google Docs, since I haven’t created any. I think I can live without folders there, or in my Gmail. Tags and search seem to do the job pretty well. Having said that, as Gmail becomes my main email, I may see the case for folders there.

I think that folders or categories are useful for newcomers. That’s why there are seven fairly broad categories on this blog (plus Uncategorized). Those categories and their post counts in the sidebar should give a reasonable idea of the content here.

Hobos, Richard Thompson, Changing Way, etc.

I emailed Ape Lad to tell him that Richard Thompson’s new album includes a song called “Bad Monkey.” He blogged his curiosity as to whether RT has any hobo songs.

One answer is that he doesn’t, because Hobo refers to an American subculture, and RT’s songs tend to be very British (even after all the years he’s had a home in California).

Old Kit BagBut, at the risk of giving Ape Lad more than he wanted (although no more than he asked for), the better and affirmative answer is that there are many RT-hobo connections. The cover of The Old Kit Bag is one example.

Then there’s the song from RT’s first solo album in which the narrator tells us that “We go where the work is… and we work where we can.” The song is “The Old Changing Way,” and yes, that does have something to do with the title of this very blog. The album is Henry the Human Fly.

My favorite of RT’s hobo-ish songs is “Al Bowlly’s in Heaven,” from Daring Adventures. A more general favorite might be “Beeswing,” from Mirror Blue. Here’s a video of RT singing the latter.

WordPress.com: The Hundred and the Million

Next week will probably see the creation of the millionth blog at WordPress.com. Michael Arrington noted this, along with some other numbers. I won’t comment here about Michael’s numbers, since I want to move on to one of my own.

Last week saw the 100th day of this blog, which I created on Feb 1. It wasn’t my first WordPress blog, or even my first blog at WordPress.com, but it is my current blog, and it is only since Feb 1 that WordPress.com has been the home for my main blog.

So how is WordPress.com for someone who has previously used other blogging tools, including WordPress classic, and other hosts? It is excellent for my current purposes.

Right now, I want to focus my blogging time on blogging itself, rather than on running the blog. So, after doing the initial choice of theme, customization of CSS, and setup of sidebar widgets, I’ve just been adding content. At WordPress.com, I haven’t had to bother with installing new versions of the software, and the hosting has been robust.

WordPress.com is not for people who want complete control over their blog. It’s not meant to be. That’s what WordPress classic is for.

Having said that, I do have my wishlist for WordPress.com, and some of the things on it are there because I miss them from my WordPress classic days.

  • Tagging. I really miss the tags plugin I used to use. The case that tags and categories are different has been made by Lorelle, and by many others, so I won’t restate it here.
  • Easy links to, and images from, Amazon. Again, this is something for which I used to use a plugin. For example, when I blog about a book, I think it’s helpful for readers to see an image of the cover with a link to a page providing reviews. I understand WordPress.com’s policy against ads and the like, but it’s something I hope will become less draconian.
  • How about allowing links to approved affiliate programs, with a split of revenue between WordPress.com and the blogger?
  • I’d like more extensive support for OpenID. I made quite a few posts about this a couple of months ago. WordPress.com produces OpenIDs, but does not currently comsume OpenIDs (i.e. you can’t comment or post on WordPress.com using an OpenID produced elsewhere).
  • There are a bunch of other things, but they are less important. For example, I support the thumbnail and image resizing idea under consideration via the WordPress ideas forum, but it’s not nearly as big a deal to me as tagging.

To WordPress.com, thanks for the hundred days, and congratulations on the million blogs.

Side Notes

While wandering around the claimID site, I found the following: we are working to get the ClaimID widget integrated into WordPress.com. I’m not sure I’d use the widget, since I’m in to a compact sidebar these days. But I thought that others might be interested.

The wandering was a search for a smaller claimID badge. The page with links to the various badges proved harder to find than I expected. (Hint: look under Settings for your claimID account, rather than under FAQ.) I’ve also gone with a smaller feed symbol (under Subscribe).

Despite my previous doubts about AddThis, I’ve added it to the sidebar, under the new heading Share the Link. Creative Commons now has the heading Share the Content.