Recently in Blogosphere Category

So You Want To Be A Conservative Writer? - Kurt Schlichter

Advice from a popular columnist who came out of seemingly nowhere just a few years ago.

"Narrow your focus. Tie the concept to an event happening right now - be topical and save your evergreen think pieces for when you have a following that will indulge a more leisurely take. Be fresh, even on a subject that everyone is writing about. Take Hillary Clinton, who I often refer to as "Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit." (Advanced Tip: Catchphrases can help set you apart from the pack) You might almost think that there is nothing left to be written about that dizzy diva and her epic flameout, but she's always coming up with some embarrassing new scheme to steal back a sliver of the limelight she so desperately needs. Find one little aspect of her horribleness, like her toleration for abusers on her staff even as she poses as The Champion of Womyn, or how Democrats are terrified she might try to make it a failure trifecta by running in 2020, and zero in. Be clear. Be focused. Be different from all those writers who submit a wet noodle when the editors are looking for a cold steel scalpel."

A Story of Slavery in Modern America - The Atlantic

Alex Tizon, who came to America with his family from the Philippines in 1964, tells the story of the woman who was closer to him and his siblings than their own mother, who lived out her final years with his wife and children, and who finally had the chance to return home.

"Her name was Eudocia Tomas Pulido. We called her Lola. She was 4 foot 11, with mocha-brown skin and almond eyes that I can still see looking into mine--my first memory. She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn't kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been. So many nights, on my way to the bathroom, I'd spot her sleeping in a corner, slumped against a mound of laundry, her fingers clutching a garment she was in the middle of folding."

This was Tizon's final story. He died in his sleep in March. "The Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Alex Tizon built an exemplary career by listening to certain types of people--forgotten people, people on the margins, people who had never before been asked for their stories. Alex's wife, Melissa Tizon, told me recently that her husband was always impatient with small talk, because he believed that all people had within them an epic story, and he wanted to hear those epic stories--and then help tell them to the world. 'Somewhere in the tangle of the subject's burden and the subject's desire is your story,' he liked to say."

How Anti-SLAPP Statutes Work And Why They Are Important | Popehat

A very clear explanation of Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), how a good anti-SLAPP statute (such as California has) protects your right to free speech with an early motion to dismiss that halts discovery, and the bad things that can happen to you if your state doesn't have a strong anti-SLAPP law. (The Popehat blog has an entire category about SLAPP.) The author, Ken White, is a former federal prosecutor who handles First Amendment defense cases.

How can you smell a SLAPP? Ken's mantra: "Vagueness in legal threats is the hallmark of meritless thuggery."

How To Make Your Own eBooks And Publish Them On Amazon

It's easier than you might think.

Photograph Everything to Boost Web Visits : Marketing :: American Express OPEN Forum

Readers respond to images. If you don't have your own image for a purpose, this article has a list of sources for millions of free or one-time purchase images.

Conferences Galore - Who, What, Where and When | Midnight Blue Says

A good round-up of blogger conferences focused on technology, politics, and "blogging while female."

The Perils of Becoming a Blogging Celebrity | BloggingPro

"Even someone, such as myself, who achieves a tiny amount of fame in a very small niche quickly learns that any notoriety comes with a slew of responsibility and, at times, headaches....

"Others, many of whom may want to tear you down so they can build themselves up, will pick apart your words and ideas. Others, possibly wanting to trade on your name and reputation, will criticize you, often pointlessly, and even go as far as to libel you online.

"Depending on the size of your fame and how controversial of a figure you might be, the attacks can get downright vindictive and reach a point where nothing is sacred. Friends, family, employers and anything in between can become targets."

The Ultimate List of Blogging Platforms, Blog Software (100+!) | TentBlogger

First comment: "Dude... people still use Xanga?" Not only the names, but screenshots of the control panel for each one. (Next step: Categorize between self-hosted software like Movable Type and blog services like Typepad.)

Grauniad: Cory Doctorow: Reports of blogging's death have been greatly exaggerated

"When blogging was the easiest, most prominent way to produce short, informal, thinking-aloud pieces for the net, we all blogged. Now that we have Twitter, social media platforms and all the other tools that continue to emerge, many of us are finding that the material we used to save for our blogs has a better home somewhere else. And some of us are discovering that we weren't bloggers after all - but blogging was good enough until something more suited to us came along.

"I still blog 10-15 items a day, just as I've done for 10 years now on Boing Boing. But I also tweet and retweet 30-50 times a day. Almost all of that material is stuff that wouldn't be a good fit for the blog - material I just wouldn't have published at all before Twitter came along. But a few of those tweets might have been stretched into a blogpost in years gone by, and now they can live as a short thought."

Why aren't my videos getting more web traffic? : Ft. Hard Knox

Good advice on how to help websurfers find your videos. It's all about providing descriptive text that search engines can grab.