Thursday, September 30, 2004

The future of browsers

The importance of browsers to bloggers should be pretty obvious. Not only do you use your browser to create and maintain your blog, you also have to take into account what browsers your users might be using.

I think we're all familiar with the problems with standards compliance that Internet Explorer exhibits. Has anyone thought about why this has come to pass? Why has Microsoft allowed IE to slip behind everyone else? The fact is, Microsoft has not come out with a major upgrade to IE since August of 2001. In computer age terms, that is about like saying nothing has been done since the depression.

Microsoft has made it pretty clear that it will not be coming out with any standalone browsers in the future. It looks like the next version of Windows will have the browser built in --take it or leave it.

At the heart of the controversy is Microsoft's longtime insistence that the browser isn't a standalone piece of software, as it is most commonly thought of, but merely a feature of the Windows operating system. In future releases of Windows, starting with the long-awaited Longhorn, Web browsing functionality will be embedded deeply within applications, reaffirming the Windows interface rather than the browser as the center of the computing experience. --ZDNet

Let's not forget that Microsoft completely dropped support for the Mac version of Internet Explorer. If Google gets into developing standalone browsers, maybe we can actually look forward to more browser wars like we had with Netscape v. IE.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Google to create browser?

It is interesting that Google is reported to have acquired the domain name If you do a search on the name, you find that it is reserved. Now why would they do that?

A news story in the New York Post said that four people who worked on Microsoft's Web browser have recently been recruited to work at Google. However, Google declined to comment on the online reports and said it had announced no plans in this area. --Economic Times

One thing is certain: Google plans to do something with Gbrowser. Whether that "something" is a browser limited to music and image searches, or whether it will be a full-blown competitor for Mozilla and Internet Explorer remains to be seen.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Belle de Jour drops her blog

One of the most famous and interesting blogs has been Belle de Jour. Belle announced today that she was quitting the world of blogging.

Doors have opened and I'd like to see where they go. Other doors close, but as my mother said when I was 10 and tennis conflicted with piano on Thursday afternoons, you can't do everything you want to do. So my plans to be elected to Parliament, win a Nobel Prize and make the finals at Wimbledon are on the back burner for now. As book and telly projects progress, I'll come back to link - and I will let you know if the site is going to be moved.

Thank you to everyone who supported me. Thank you to the critics as well. I wish you all a sweet new year.

In case you live in a blogging closet, Belle de Jour was the journal of a London prostitute. The quality of the writing was so good that many speculated the site was a hoax.

After Belle won the newspaper award, there was fervent speculation about her real-life identity, with some suggesting the blog was a hoax by a journalist.

Belle responded by posting a message saying: "Yes, I really am a call girl ... A bored journalist could probably fake this blog but I'm not that clever."

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Blogging: writing on the bathroom wall

Jessica Cutler, who did so well as the blogger behind some juicy Washington escapades, is now posing nude in Playboy. Jessica, you may remember, was an aid to Senator Mike DeWine and was fired by the Senator over revelations in Jessica's blog about "sleeping around" with Washington big-shots.

The Playboy spread is called "Wild in Washington" and appears in Playboy Online, not the magazine: What advice would you give to someone starting a blog?

Jessica Cutler: With a blog, you can't expect your private life to be private anymore. You just never know. But, when you work on the Hill you find out the guy you've been sleeping with has told everyone in your office about it. So, what's the difference? It's writing on the bathroom wall.

Gmail as a blog platform?

Here's an interesting idea: utilize Gmail and it's gigabyte of storage as a blog platform. Some open-source software named Gallina can supposedly do this.

Gallina uses Gmail messages as blog entries, and the email service's message star to signify the publish status. Email replies to conversations are posted as comments to an entry. Because Gmail provides 1GB of email storage space for free, Hernandez' software makes that space available for the blog. --ZDNet

Blogging advice

Whether you're a complete newbie or have been blogging for years, good advice is always good advice. One such bit of good advice was posted on Busblog in June and contains some good tips you don't always see in the usual places. This is probably the case because much of the advice is a bit unorthodox. Some examples from 30 good tips (I especially like #14):

11. say exactly what you want to say no matter what it looks like on the screen. then say something else. then keep going. and when youre done, re-read it, and edit it and hit publish and forget about it.

12. link like crazy. link anyone who links you, link your favorites, link your friends. dont be a prude. linking is what seperates bloggers from apes. and especially link if you're trying to prove a point and someone else said it first. it lends credibility even if youre full of shit.

13. if you havent written about sex, religion, and politics in a week youre probably playing it too safe, which means you probably fucked up on #5, in which case start a second blog and keep your big mouth shut about it this time.

14. remember: nobody cares which N*Sync member you are, what State you are, which Party of Five kid you are, or which Weezer song you are. the second you put one of those things on your blog you need to delete your blog and try out for the marching band. similarilly, nobody gives a shit what the weather is like in your town, nobody wants you to change their cursor into a butterfly, nobody wants to vote on whether your blog is hot or not, and nobody gives a rat ass what song youre listening to. write something Real for you, about you, every day.