Thursday, 30 September 2010

Top 9 Things I Want In a Blog Engine

  • self-hosted
  • easily template-able
  • easily customizable
  • supports email-to-post
  • supports XML-RPC
  • supports RSS output
  • internal search engine
  • an writing UI encouraging writing 200+ words at a time
  • an reading UI encouraging reading 2+ essays at a time

Update 11 Oct 2010
Add these to the list;

  • memorable, human-readable URL constructs
  • doesn’t bias how or what I publish

Thursday, 25 June 2009 Launches at

MinnPost RealTimeAds

I’m pleased to announce the launch of – a advertising product now in beta testing at

Karl and I have been building and testing the system for a couple of months now and I’m quite happy with it on three of fronts;

  • It feels like it makes advertising approachable to people and organizations that haven’t considered it within reach before. Especially, extremely small and locallly-focused people.
  • It re-frames publications that already exist (Twitter feeds, blog feeds, etc) as text advertisements, cuz, you know, that’s what they are anyway.
  • It extends the real-time nature of Twitter outside of the Twitter silo, helping those people and organizations to get more mileage out of their tweets.

“Real-Time Ads runs on RSS. So, you use what you are already using-Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, proprietary CMS, whatevs!” – Karl Pearson-Cater

Interested in trying it out? Give MinnPost a call: 612 455 6953.

Yes, the system uses a version of Cullect’s engine tuned for ad serving (verses feed reading).

For those of you following along, is Secret Project 09Q02A.

Here’s the official RealTimeAds announcement from MinnPost’s Joel Kramer

“Imagine a restaurant that can post its daily lunch special in the morning and then its dinner special in the afternoon. Or a sports team that can keep you up-to-date on its games and other team news. Or a store that could offer a coupon good only for today. Or a performance venue that can let you know whether tickets are available for tonight. Or a publisher or blogger who gives you his or her latest headline. ” – Joel Kramer, MinnPost

UPDATE 2: More from Joel Kramer, this time talking to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

“We do believe Real-Time Ads will prove more valuable for advertising at a lower entry point.”

Monday, 6 April 2009

Publishers Shorten Yourself

The Wege pointed me to an excellent article by Joshua Schachter on the issues w/ URL shortening services.

It’s consistent my concerns and my Insecurity of Short URLs post.

As I alluded to that post, I see 3 opportunities for URL shorteners, all of them revolve around increasing trust (branding, security, backup).

Let’s take that first one – branding. Another name for branding is accountability. Who really knows where a tinyurl a similar service will point you, but you can be confident a URL will point you to an article on and a URL will point you to something I authored.

From my perspective there are 3 parties that should have a good short URL corresponding to their identity:

  • the author (i.e.
  • the publisher (i.e.
  • the share-er (imagine a link blog of short urls)

Sometimes all 3 are the same.

Conveniently, as greater accountability is introduced to short URLs, the issues of security and backups address themselves.


Take one step back.

Web publishing engines – like WordPress, MovableType, and all publications engines really – should automatically generate nice long human-readable URLs as well as a short, easy-to-share URLs (at least the URL keys, you can supply your own short domain if you want). (Dave Winer said this last month in “Solving the TinyUrl centralization problemsomething along these lines a few weeks back, but I can find the link right now)

One more step back, and you can see this is only an issue now because of the growing popularity of 1 specific website and an expectation that these short URLs are permalinks. If you don’t have that expectation, shorten with RE07.US

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Collapsing Space

“But I can’t imagine that blogging and Twitter won’t fully merge, and I expect that to happen soon.” – Dave Winer

I’ve been posted to Twitter from Cullect since Cullect launched. probably has as many blog feeds as Twitter feeds (yes its more about the people than their choice of publication).

This is a long way of saying I don’t see a difference between these two printing presses (I’ve said this before).

One of the projects on my Not Until 2009 List is to eliminate the space between things like Twitter and a weblog. Agnostic indeed. Feels like some things in WordPress 2.7 will make this even easier.


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Garrick Last Minute Addition to IDSAmn’s ‘Design Your Career’ Event

This Thursday night, Dec 4th, I’ll be giving a brief talk on using online communities & publications – weblogs, Twitter, etc – to position yourself professionally.

Word is, I’ll be on after the panel and before the beer.

Wait, that can’t be right.

More info here: IDSAmn’s Design Your Career IDSAmn + PDMA Co-Panel Event

Update: Dec 4.
Well, that didn’t work out. My apologies to all.

Saturday, 12 April 2008


When I talk about Cullect to people publishing feeds, I very consciously don’t use the word ‘blog*’. Primarily because bloggers blogging blogs aren’t the only people publishing online. Almost everyone publishing online publishes a feed.

No matter if that publication contains text, audio, video, software, or something completely different. Cullect works the same if you’re CNN, Dave Winer, or Eric Larson.

“Being called a ‘writer’ has a far more important vibe to it, perhaps the opposite of ‘blogger’, which seems to have a more amaterurish flavor about it.” – Eric Rice

I’m much more comfortable with the word ‘blog’ at – where it represents the voice of a non-human entity – and much less so everywhere else. Now that I think about it, that may be the only WordPress install I maintain identifying itself as a ‘blog’.

Also note, the button in WordPress to make this public is labeled ‘Publish’.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Saturday, 1 December 2007

RE: Blogger Sees Red Over StarTribune’s Lack of Citation

As if I didn’t have enough reasons to grumble at the STrib – a reporter doesn’t credit their sources. Coincidentally, on a story covering questionable ethics.

“Come on, Jackie. You called me about this on Thursday afternoon. We discussed the story, I pointed you to sources where you could find more info, including the email of one of the sources you quote. You told me you’d mention The Deets in the article.”- Ed Kohler

BTW – Ed’s story hit my radar first.

The Wege hauls everyone back to their own corner:

“Just to be clear, the Strib clearly screwed over Ed Kohler at The Deets, and he has every right to complain. My issue is with the piling on. Bloggers steal. Period. I try to attribute but I also have a two and out rule: anytime I give credit to a blog twice in one day, I’m entitled to steal any other links I like from them without giving credit. Others have different rules, but hardly anyone gives credit for EVERY link every day. If nothing else you don’t plug Atrios because you chose to read his take on today’s Krugman before going to the NYTimes and reading it for yourself.” – The Wege

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Client Blogging: Joanne Henry

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been setting up a blog for Joanne Henry co-founder of the Henry Schafer Partners marketing.

When I sat down to walk her through WordPress, she already had 3 posts ready to go. She’s been steady since. Which is great, her writing style is perfect for blogging – informal, local, and full of her personality. From her post on the Twin’s stadium construction outside her office window:

“What I’ve liked at the Ford is the ability to come up with an idea, run it by others – and get their participation – sometimes all within an hour, but certainly within the same day. Call it the anti-committee.” – Joanne Henry

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Opportunitize, Not Monetize

30,000 feet up, on my way to a 3-day client meeting I took a tip from Doc Searls and stared at the landscape.

That altitude provides a pretty good view of the roadway branding our country like a waffle iron. While I speculate most of these stretches of pavement are unused most of the time, without them, our economy would evaporate.

From regular Joes carpooling to the office, armies of FedEx and UPS trucks making their rounds, high school kids driving to their first job interview, garage bands loading up their gear for a show. My car? It’s sitting in a parking spot awaiting my return.

All while Eric Rice‘s Future of Podcasting plays in my headphones. He snarks, “People always ask ‘How do you make money at [podcasting/second life/etc]?'”


Without a car, there are simply fewer opportunities. Opportunities to connect with other people. Opportunities to make money. While I don’t put direct pressure on my car to pay for itself, the inverse is true. Replace ‘car’ with ‘podcast’, ‘blog’, ‘laptop’, ‘telephone’, or ‘mouth’. The statement is still true.

Remember the bit from Dave Slusher’s Amateur Means You Do It For Love talk about how podcasting makes conversations and other opportunities happen? Opportunities that wouldn’t happen otherwise?

And remember when Doc rhetorically asked, “What’s the business model of my telephone?”

Yeah. Me too.

Opportunitize: to turn anything into an opportunity.
“No, my car doesn’t make any money, but I’ve opportunitized it to get a job.”

What an awful, corpspeak word, I just submitted to the pseudodictionary.