Archive for February, 2005

Upgrade to WordPress 1.5

February 28, 2005

Thanks to Bertrand for helping me upgrade just now. The basic upgrade is indeed a 1-minute job, as Bertrand predicted, but on the other hand, doing the styles, etc (ideally you need to create your own theme) is not. So I’m borrowing a default style, and will worry about the look and feel later. Only just getting back on my feet after a rather tedious bout of ‘flu, so not in the mood for much fiddling/tweaking.

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Calling Technorati and WordPress: tag and posting mysteries?

February 12, 2005

I’m lazily using this posting to fire off a query into the blogosphere, since a quick search around failed to shed any light on the situation, and I’ve been pretty good at solving problems with the aid of some judicious search (though admittedly I am getting a bit lazier about the process). Plus it’s an interesting experiment to lob a question into outer space and see what happens.

Symptom 1: last 8 or 9 postings from this blog don’t appear at all on Technorati.

Symptom 2: my judicious use of ‘technorati tags’ yields no tag results from about the same period (more precisely demarcated in the next paragraph).

Weird mystery 1: on January 18th 2005, I sent two postings within about 20 minutes of each other. The earlier one (10:26PM January 18th 2005, labelled Technorati tags – now live), is successfully noticed by Technorati AND its tags are flagged properly in Technorati’s new tagging system. The later one (10:42 PM January 18th 2005, labelled Tablet PC NewsFeed Opportunism) fails on both counts – Technorati doesn’t appear to have that story logged, and the tags (tabletpc, etc) are not found either.

Weird mystery 2: the only difference I can detect between the above two postings is that for the second one I switched my technorati tag bookmarklet to use what I believed to be a BETTER syntax (‘…technorati.com/tag/….’ instead of ‘…technorati.com/tags/…’), even thouogh both syntaxes appear to be equivalent as far as I can tell.

Besides, even if the tagging failed, why should this affect the posting itself, given that my WordPress settings contain an automatic update to http://rpc.pingomatic.com AND http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping (should be redundant, but now I’m nervous…)?

In fact, for safety’s sake I’m manually adding those ping URI’s to the appropriate field below just to help this post to get noticed! Many thanks in any advance to any respondents – I’ve turned off comments because of a separate problem I’m having with comment spam (even though I use Spam Karma), but the ‘contact me’ link on the right side of my blog entry will lead any enthusiastic respondents to me – I’ll post any solutions.

You’ll see that the bookmarklet I use just generates the right code for me to paste in the following little box, which itself is styled by my WordPress style sheet to look the way it does… let’s see if it does anything:

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[UPDATE: ouch, as of next day, still no sign of this post on Technorati, despite manual ping; fooey.]

[UPDATE 2: problem was ultimately solved a few days later, by opening up a blocked port on the hosting machine – seems the firewall was blocking outgoing pings and also slowing down general posting times by a few orders of magnitude. This does not explain why two posts 20 minutes apart on 18th January 2005 exchibited different behaviours, but clearly something had changed or been re-set in the meantime.]

My back pages

February 12, 2005

Over on Get Real, I examine the reality behind talk of ’email overload’, by taking a look at some real numbers based on my own archive of all emails received over the past 12 years. Here’s the link.

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Go Ellen!

February 6, 2005

Down to the final day – what an amazing achievement, whether or not Ellen MacArthur breaks the solo-non-stop-round-the-world-in-a-multihull record, which she’s still well-positioned to do. Should get a fantastic reception in Falmouth Monday night or Tuesday (or Wednesday, for that matter).

I’m interested not only because this is a great milestone (well-financed or not, doesn’t matter… and let’s face it, how else could one do this), not only because it’s a sailing event, but also because her site at teamellen.com provides a nice example of what we like to call Xtreme Webcasting. We coined this phrase back in August 2002 when KMi provided the infrastructure to support Lorenzo Gariano webcasting live from the Matterhorn summit.

‘Live’ is a lot trickier than ‘nearly-live’, ‘as-live’, ‘time-shifted’ or ‘pre-recorded’, and has both advantages and disadvantages (main advantage = people love it… listening or watching later just ain’t the same). Here’s a Google search to save you ever needing to remember the URL, i.e. just Google for xtreme webcasting as follows, and delve into the saved media from there:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=xtreme+webcasting

We’re just engaged in discussions with Lorenzo concerning his forthcoming ascent of Everest in April via the exceedingly hairy northern route. Hopefully KMi will be able to provide some nice new capabilities, both for the live and playback elements… watch this space!

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