General: February 2005 Archives

A slight change of style

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I'm experimenting with a slightly different way of presenting blog entries. Unless the entry is really short, you'll just see a lead paragraph on the home page, followed by a link to the full story. The link will take you right to the point in the story where you left off. This change will make it easier for you to scan quickly and see what's been posted since your last visit. It will also give me a better idea of which stories attract the most interest, and might teach me to write more compelling leads. Let me know what you think about it. And if you've got other thoughts on the appearance and organization of BatesLine, you're encouraged to express your opinion in a comment on this entry.

Time for a new look?

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Here's another opportunity for you to weigh in. I received a complaint recently that grey on white is hard to read. My wife thinks that the font is too big and spread out too far, which means you have to scroll, scroll, scroll to find everything. Some have suggested running two columns -- Tulsa stories in one column and everything else in the other.

What do you think? What would make your BatesLine reading experience more pleasant and productive? I look forward to your comments.

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Sorry for the multiple posts earlier. Movable Type was behaving strangely, and it wasn't clear that the entry about the City Council meeting had been posted.

That's all for tonight...

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...and not just because no one's hit the tip jar since my Gene Scott post. I'm listening to a replay of Wednesday's Michael DelGiorno show, and he's going through some really interesting connections between political consultant Jim Burdge, campaign manager for Randy Sullivan, Bill Christiansen, and Sam Roop, and who owns the domain for the pro-recall Coalition for Responsible Government; and Wilson Busby, the investigator selected by Sam Roop to handle the Council's airport investigation, and whose law partner was an active supporter of Bill Christiansen -- allegations of favoritism for Christiansen at Jones Riverside Airport is the subject of FAA scrutiny. It's going to take some time to process it all.

A lot of blogs have been getting hammered with trackback spam -- online c*s*nos, online p*k*r, and ph*nt*rm*ne -- over the last month. I tried to dodge it by renaming my trackback script, which stopped the stupider spambots, but one spambot was smart enough to figure it out, and I was still getting a dozen or more spam pings a day.

The spam trackbacks were all aimed at older entries. The spammers aren't really interested in being read; they are trying to increase the Google page rank of their websites. The rel="nofollow" patch is supposed to remove some of the incentive for doing that.

So I installed a plug-in called MT-Close2, which I read about in an entry on defeating trackback spam on the Learning Movable Type blog. MT-Close2 closes comments and trackbacks for entries based on user-specified criteria.

The downside is that it won't be possible for legitimate pingers to trackback to entries on BatesLine that are more than about two weeks old. The upside is that I haven't had a single spam ping since installing MT-Close2, but I am still getting legitimate pings. If you are trying to ping an entry and can't because it's more than a couple of weeks old, e-mail me at blog at batesline dot com, and I'll see what I can do.

Q.U. is in session


On Friday, 1170 KFAQ launched "KFAQ University" -- aka Q.U. -- an on-the-air civics class airing every Friday morning at 6 a.m., and available any time on the Internet in MP3 format, along with class notes and bibliography.

The point of Q.U. is to give listeners the foundation for understanding how our political system works and how to be effective participants in the system.

The lecturer is State Senator Scott Pruitt, and the topic for the first class was, "What would cause men to risk all for an experiment? The motivation behind the revolution." Pruitt profiles George Washington and Patrick Henry and what motivated them to seek independence from England. I've listened to the first session, and it's very well done. (And regular listeners to KFAQ will be amazed that Pruitt speaks with almost no interruptions.)

Thanks and congratulations to KFAQ for the start of a worthwhile effort.

Overpromise and underdeliver


My apologies to those of you who've been waiting patiently for me to write about what I said I would the other day. Work has consumed more time than normal, and it's about to get worse for the next few days. I'll do what I can to keep in touch.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General category from February 2005.

General: January 2005 is the previous archive.

General: March 2005 is the next archive.

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