Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures


Archive for November 12th, 2003

Tomorrow’s Class

Posted by glasscastle on 12th November 2003

is a page I just put together for the class I will teach tomorrow in the Multimedia
lab, called "Ten Things I Bet You Don’t Know About Google".

Of course, all of YOU already know all of these tricks and hidden features,
being Internet mavens and power-users from way back, but my students
are mostly
MBA candidates, and probably don’t.  If any of you readers are teachers,
feel free to rip off or adapt this page for your own lab sessions….

from my BU web site…..

Posted in ESL Links | 3 Comments »

Betrothed by Thor

Posted by glasscastle on 12th November 2003

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Home to the Vikings of yore, Denmark said Wednesday
it will let a group that worships Thor, Odin and other Norse gods conduct
legally-recognized marriages.

The 240-member Forn Sidr, which worships Odin, Thor, Freya
and the other members of the Norse pantheon, sought recognition in 1999,
said Tissel Jacobsen, the group’s president.

Officially recognized religious communities can marry people
and exempt their members from the 1 percent income tax that is imposed
on members of the state church.


from Newsday

Forn Sidr web site

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Nobody Reads Blogs

Posted by glasscastle on 12th November 2003

Picking up a loose thread from last week, which began when Halley noted with some disbelief a survey which claimed to show that almost no one reads web logs: ““I keep reading statistics about how there are more and more blogs being written and no one is READING blogs. I think that’s completely silly and not true. I read a lot of blogs.”

Her amusing incredulity was immediately jumped on by Richard, who called her reasoning “a straw man argument.” Now I know Halley and she is anything but a “straw man”, but be that as it may, I thinks Richard’s logic is flawed. He wrote: “The highest rated website (Yahoo!, CNN and the like) get on the order of millions of hits a day, whereas the highest-rated weblogs (Winer, Kottke, Slashdot and the like) get in the order of tens of thousands. That’s chump change in Internet readership terms. A lot of people are regularly reading weblogs (and more and more of them are starting weblogs of their own), but as a percentage of Internet users, us readers and writers are a tiny minority.”

However, on checking I with, I discovered that the top news site in America (CNN) got about 650,000 unique hits a day. Yahoo got about 550,000 (figures for September). The New York Times, meanwhile, has an in-print circulation of nearly a million papers a day (via the Newspaper Association of America), and a web pull of about 300,000 per day.

Now of course that dwarfs Dave or Glen, standing alone. But the New York Times (and the CNN website) is put together by hundreds of reporters, editors, photographers, stringers, columnists and fact-checkers. If you combined the top 100 news blogs, I bet their total readership WOULD BEAT EVEN THE TOP MASS MEDIA SITES!

Now you may argue that no one (except maybe Jay McCarthy) reads all of the 100 top blogs. But then, who reads every story in the New York Times, first page to last, other than a few desperate news-deprived ex-pats haunting the international arrival terminals of the capital-city airports in their countries-of-exile, looking to cadge a two day old New York Times but willing to settle for last weekend’s USA Today?

Furthermore, with a decent aggregator you CAN scan all 100 of the top blogs in a decent amount of time, AND throw in the departments you like from the New York Times to boot! I would argue that a viable alternative to the Major Media already exists; It is a decentralized information gathering and distribution network, without managing editors or publishers. It is governed by the marketplace of ideas and public opinion, and readers can vote with their eyeballs on what what they want covered and what kind of coverage they want. Even if the percentage of the population currently using this amazing and revolutionary resource remains relatively small, that just means the potential for growth is HUGE.

It is my further belief that the true size and influence of the Blogosphere will not become appearant until the inevitable course of human events brings us to a crisis which the Major Media are transparently incapable of covering convincingly. All the rest is foreplay.

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