Saturday, November 12, 2005

On a Three Day Weekend, a Holiday for Lobsters

Image from Genetic Gallery, Visualization Lab at SUNY Stony Brook.

I always plan to cut short the linky-linky and do a quickie post, but I start blathering, and those intentions evaporate. I do plan to get caught up on NaNoWriMo. Perhaps. My handy Excel spreadsheet says a mere 2500+ words per diem until month's end, and I'll make it to the 50k. I'm going to try to produce fiction like a maniac- thank heavens quality isn't a requirement- and do enough today and tomorrow to get my daily quota down to something more reasonable. After all, I'll lose some days to Thanksgiving, and next week is the Pajamas Media (whatever its name will finally be) launch event. I'm so excited about wasting Wednesday listening to and meeting people whose online presences I admire.

1) PJ Media had originally planned to incorporate so-called "tail" blogs. By size, that's what this is, however unflatteringly named. In later developments however, PJM decided to split into different missions and launch instead with 70 main blogs in their portal. They have some big-biggies signed up (if I'm right, 4 of the top 10 as ranked here). So, despite my voluntary enrollment, I wasn't invited on board. I can cry into my Cheerios, but I can't be suprised.

I want first to testify how pleased I am that persistent, candid willingness to accept one's humble place has its perqs. Though not in their blog portal (and I can't blame them- if it weren't a question of numbers, it might be one of taste), I was invited to the launch event at Rockefeller Center. Free eats, even. Tell me that ain't class. Last I read, Judith Miller was slated as lunch's keynote speaker. I will be interested to see if that's still happening since she's cleaned out her desk at the NYT. Also, many, many bloggers I enjoy and who are pushing the medium forward as a commercial and informational and communicational (?) tool will be attending. I eagerly await what they have to say in panels and at the hotel bar. I keep thinking there ought to be a way to work my kind of fiction and maybe artwork into a real online format, but I've yet to see it done in a way that I adore, and my own brain hasn't stormed.

I do still believe in PJM's notion of an organized portal. I'd love a categorical way to search blogs, not only by those covering a certain topic on a given day, but by style and general themes since so many (like this one, cough, cough) are varied in nature, making strange bedfellows of readers who may each appreciate it for very different reasons. As one example, if I read Vodkapundit's substantive foreign policy pieces or technology updates, would I also know to look for the occasional recipe? Well, you say, I would were I a diligent reader. But as my Favorites list expands geometrically and the eclecticism that blogging allows blossoms, shouldn't there be a way to find out if my fave bloggers are hitting my fave topics? (It would allow you to more easily dodge my frequent DDT posts...come on, that's worth something isn't it?)

I know lots of people use tags, but I don't have them here in my prepackaged Blogger set-up, and I'm not sure they're the be-all, end-all. Yet. What I really want is more like a one-page RSS digest of all new posts or on selected topics, not a real-time push or scroll. I'm playing with Jeeves' Bloglines, but I'm not so convinced, because I'm not finding it intuitive to arrange the stuff I want. The feature to allow mobile surfing of differing blog formats on my Palm is a fabulous idea, but I don't know if it works yet, and I'm reserving opinion. My bottom line, and perhaps yours, is to optimize the substance and enjoyment I get from the time I'm spending online, not to lengthen the already significant hours, put a streaming feed on my cornea, or feel like I'm in a chase. Probably, people have figured out an elegant solution already, and I'm just hopelessly behind. It's my fate to be the Tail.

I'm still disappointed that they're not keeping the original Pajamas Media name. That monikker came from the Big-Time-Media Rathergate attack on bloggers as inherently ignorant, unethical cranks sitting around in their nightwear. Now that wonderful name isn't serious or professional enough. Phooey. As others have asked, what sounds so serious about Yahoo or Google? When the people and the venture are professional, neither the logo nor the name need to be. Now, I suppose they'll use only Copperplate so all the words look solemn and true. Anyhoo, enough grousing about it. Despite developing recognition with the old name and profiling their participating bloggers under it, they will unveil their new identity on Nov. 16th. I will be there forming snap judgements to report.

2) If you could care less about me and the backstages of blogging, here's a heartwarming story of respect for age, despite the sweet, sweet allure of a bath in butter. 87- year old Fat Joe's going to the lobster stud farm.

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