THE AGGREGATOR: PART NEXT!!

So, the big dramatic story around the Atlanta blogosphere last week was of Atlantasnews.net syndicating a bunch of people’s feeds without permission. Strongly worded posts were published. Strongly worded responses were published. Feelings were hurt. Egos bruised. Confusion and frustration flourished.

The tale of Atlantasnews.net is not quite finished.

Stay tuned.

THE AGGREGATOR!!

As Maigh and Greg (which rhyme if spoken in redneck) have already pointed out, there is a new content pilferer in our midst, wherein content pilferer is defined as someone who republishes RSS feeds without permission or appropriate credit and represents websites in ways not authorized by said websites’ owners.

That pilferer is atlantasnews.net (Yes, I realize linking to the site may not be considered “best practices” regarding “web traffic justice,” but whatever), and their misguided representation of yours truly can be seen manifested as a light blue Braves hat to the left. Anyone who has stood close enough to catch a whiff knows that I detest creatively-colored sports stuff. Those every-color-but-navy-blue Yankees hats might be the dumbest things I’ve seen since Catholicism.

It’s kind of hard to tell just what AtlantasNews is all about. It appears to stem from ChronicNews, and all the Chronic sites look like little more than someone flexing their XML / CSS / javascript chops. No discernable original content. An interesting and unusual combination other source’s content. There is a note to content providers. Part of me is relieved that, seeing how many local blogs were included in this netiquitte blood bath, I was one of the ones included. Nothing would have been more embarassing than not getting to join in the outrage because my body of content hadn’t deemed good enough to violate. Ego = placated.

I think a site like AtlantasNews could be a good thing, but as it stands, it’s kind of crappy. It still has my old feed listed, which means they haven’t gotten any new content from me since February 20th, so I’m over it.

UPDATE – I changed my mind and sent a letter …

Hello nameless aggregator admin,

It looks like you’ve had quite a busy day getting batted about the Atlanta blogosphere. I’ll admit, I have mixed feelings about your site. Ultimately I am for anything that brings me increased readership, but your site was built with no input (that I’m aware of) from many of the people whose content now resides here. I don’t think that is your worst violation, mind you, because I am well aware that it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission. I’m in sales.

I was prepared to go with the flow and see how things panned out until I saw the comments feature. I tested, and you confirmed, that comments posted to entries written by me are hosted on your site with no notification to me, and are moderated by you. Comments are essentially interactive bits of content that are borne of an original piece of content created by me. That is an aspect of which I would like complete control.

Unless allowing me to have administrative control over discussions had on behalf of content generated by me is possible, I am afraid I have to ask you to please remove the tonysimon.org feed from your site.

February Search Strings

It’s that time again, when Tony can’t think of anything to write, and, just when he’s about to have a full-on panic attack that his creative lemons have been fully relieved of their creative juices, he remembers–AHA!–it’s the first of the month. That means there’s a whole page of last month’s webstats that needs analyzing. It’s a total cop-out, but at least it’s a entertaining enough to forgive.

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Really Simplelton Syndication

Unwittingly breaking my RSS feed last week has wreaked more havoc than I would have imagined. Please see the bottom of the sidebar for the current feed. Also at the bottom of the sidebar you will notice that I have accidentally validated my CSS. Thus, my career of being a really good bad web designer soldiers forth.

In the grand scheme, my RSS feed issue is a cigarette butt in the gutter of the internet. Based on traffic, a very small percentage of people have noticed it, and the residual effects will work themselves out before long. But it has gotten me thinking about the evolution of information conveyance. Everything seems so interactive and automatic and fluid, and it’s unsettling to think about how fragile the system is. The website publishes its content for all the world to see. The feed reader searches huge lists of websites and harvests only the choice nuggets of content deemed desirable by the end-user. But with one line change, the whole system breaks. The website continues to publish content and update its feed, and the feed reader continues to scan for updates, but the disconnect prevents the end-user from seeing the updates. The webmaster and end-user are none the wiser. If they’re anything like me, those who employ the services of a feed reader probably do so because they read far too many websites to do it manually and still have time for things like work and sleep and social interaction. You become accustomed to having updates delivered right to your face in real time, so if one suddenly stops, you’re not inclined to notice. I don’t really have a point here other than, as connected as we may seem, the connections are merely a complicated knot of very thin threads that can break easily, not unlike walking through a spiderweb on the way to your car in the morning.

I picked up the 2/20 issue of New York Magazine at the airport a couple weeks ago solely for the cover and the purported article on blogging within. I’m not sure why, but air travel somehow necessitates these kinds of impulse purchases. Anyhoo, the article contains some interesting insight into the world of “A-list” blogging. I had no idea the kind of money that the huge blogs pull down. Granted, the ratio of blogs that pay their own way to the total number of blogs in existence is so ridiculous that I’m hesitant to even fantasize. But it was interesting to read that there are people who not only make a living, but have become rich blogging.

The stickiest tidbit I took away from the article is every successful blogger’s insistence that the number rule for success is a hyper-regular publishing schedule. They talk about sitting in front of the porn box for 16 hours a day and posting several times a day. That sounds like a whole lot of not fun to me, but then again, it’s not like I’ve been trying to actually make any money doing this. And, after reading the article, what do I do? I go a whole week without posting anything. A-list, here I come!!

Feed change … update yo shizzy.

It has been brought to my attention that, through tinkering with the archiving structure, I have broken the RSS feed on this here site, but I think I know what the problem is. Update!

Old feed:
RSS: http://www.tonysimon.org/feed/

New feeds:
RSS: http://www.tonysimon.org/?feed=rss
RSS 2: http://www.tonysimon.org/?feed=rss2
Atom: http://www.tonysimon.org/?feed=atom

Does anyone know what the comments feed would be under this structure? I can’t find it.

Mostly Cloudy

Snapshirts.com has a feature where you can build a word cloud of your blog. Ultimately, they hope you purchase a shirt with your cloud printed on it for $14-$21, but I imagine they are being inundated with narcississies like me who post the fuzzy preview JPEG on their blogs and get on with their lives.

January 2006 Search Strings and other meta meat

It was brought to my attention last week that I am a political consultant (paragraph 20) for Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R – 19), and that he paid me $11,364.79 in 2005 for polotical consulting, printing / postage for a fundraiser, and a fundraising dinner in Tifton. Interestingly, the same site that linked me to Richardson kindly gave me the nod as their blogger of the week back in December. I’ll have to ask the Geester about that $11k because I don’t remember getting to blow any of it on underage Thai hookers and meth, and that’s just not fair.

I rather like the idea that some other Tony Simon is on Richardson’s team if only because I have the Google search of our name all but sewn up. People searching for him will probably find me.

And speaking of Google searches, let’s have a look at the January search strings as recorded by AWStats. Here are the top ten, complete with the number of times they showed up in the logs:

54 – truth drums
39 – gay shorties
20 – holz hausen
16 – utah sluts
15 – how to make nunchucks
13 – truth drum
11 – how to make roofies
10 – trivia team names
10 – sandy porno
10 – michelob celebrate

As with most months, the entries this month are a glimpse into the wildly depraved carcass of morality that is The Internets. Here are highlights from the remaining 1360 strings (names at the bottom):

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December 2005 Search Strings

It’s nice to have monthly recurring posts because that means I don’t have to come up with any ideas of my own that day. In December, the two previous champions, gay shorties and truth drums, were supplanted by a new victor. This is the dawning of the age of michelob celebrate. While the phrase michelob celebrate was the champeen, several related phrases (celebrate michelob, michelob dark vanilla, michelob oak aged dark vanilla, michelob oak-aged dark vanilla) popped up quite often. And so, without futher ado …

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Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping

Holy fork. Is it Wednesday already? I promise to have entertaining tales of hardy-har-stop-it posted here soon, but not right now. I’ve also consumed and taken notes on the final two beers of Xmas, but I have het to write them up. Tonight, I’m going to see American Beer at 5 Seasons. My preliminary expectations of this movie are that I will walk away thinking, “I could have visited 38 breweries in 40 days and it would have been a helluva a lot funnier than those farting jerks. They didn’t even hump anything or each other.” But it’s about beer, so I’m going to go, and I’m going to like it. That reminds me, I need to recap last Friday’s brew session. I jacked up the recipe twice because I am a colossal jacker-upper, but that just means I will need to brew the exact same beer again in two weeks to redeem myself.

In the meantime, here is a cameraphone picture of my beard:

November Search Strings

“Tony, where have you been all week?”

“Shut it up, you.”

Jay pointed out in the comments that I have yet to post November’s search strings. Since I have absolutely nothing to talk about, I will take this opportunity to do just that. This month, Truth Drums managed to eclipse Gay Shorties as the most oft searched phrase. Believe it or not, that original post I did about Truth Drums almost a year ago, still gets a new comment every few weeks. As does the follow-up post from May. Some are from people who, I can only assume, feel it their duty to pass along the word of Jeebus. The rest are from people getting in their shots because I’m passing up such sweet drums for such a silly reason. Yawn. Onward to the mischief and sandy porno!!

The winner this month: my feces smells like a perm

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