Blogging On

February 28, 2001 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Blogging On
I'm in the first paragraph of this San Fransisco Chronicle article on weblogs and Blogger. I interviewed with Mr. Yim last month as "someone who reads a lot of weblogs" and he complimented me on my own work. However, it seems he pulled a Newsweek on me and although he included me in the first paragraph of the piece he didn't include the url for my site, Retrospection, in the final article! Huh.
posted by hanseugene (54 comments total)
If this post is still here in ten minutes I'm hacking in and deleting it my damn self. That's the cheapest attempt at drawing traffic I've seen on Metafilter. (mathowie, I'm kidding about the hacking)
posted by Karl at 8:24 AM on February 28, 2001

Re-reading the rest of the article, it's not a bad piece by any means. Aside from being a little bit focused on the A-list (as usual), it's well-written and articulate and provides a fairly solid introduction to weblogging. I'm a little bit disappointed that my site was (once again) passed over for mention, but I think I know better than to get sour-grapesy about it.
posted by hanseugene at 8:26 AM on February 28, 2001

I second that!
posted by jpoulos at 8:26 AM on February 28, 2001

Karl - are you serious? I don't get it.

Anyway. I came over to mefi to post this very thing. I agree that it's not terrible, but the lack of url's is unforgiveable. If I had been mentioned, like Fresh Hell or Retrospection were, but not linked - I'd be pissed too.
posted by acridrabbit at 8:39 AM on February 28, 2001

The URL is gone hans, sorry, but it was way too damn cheap (I don't like seeing personal messages to me on the front page either).

I should delete the thread for your mention of the a-list, and whining about your url not being in the article. MetaFilter's been mentioned in several articles (the New Yorker one being the most prominent) without its url, and I don't give a flying fuck. You can talk about the a-list until you're blue in the face, though I think it's been discussed here umpteen times already.
posted by mathowie at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2001

posted by bradlands at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2001

I too... I mean.. I get upset whenever I'm mentioned in the press and they don't add my Phd or a.c.e. or whathaveyounot.. but I don't go around whoring my site.
posted by tiaka at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2001

*checks her watch*

Karl. Buddy. You let us down. I'm disappointed.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2001

I have a huge amount of respect for you and for the rules that keep this a place that informs, delights and enlightens me. Did you really have to fall for this thread like a bull chasing a red flag? I figured that with the direct challenge that Hans put out there you'd be bigger than that.
posted by Octaviuz at 8:46 AM on February 28, 2001

Octaviuz, sorry, I was too annoyed not to mention it.
posted by mathowie at 8:48 AM on February 28, 2001

I don't agree that it was whiny. I understand removing the url and I'm not pissed. However, I am pissed about the exceedingly low shots that so many MeFi readers seem to feel free to take at other readers and posters. Are these things that you would actually say to somebody's face? Matt, I'm glad you don't give a "flying fuck" if MeFi's URL isn't mentioned. I do care, though. I'm 17, I live in the middle-of-nowhere and don't have a lot of friends around. I put a lot of heart and time into my weblog and it really matters a lot to me whether people are reading and enjoying it. As of this writing, I am no longer going to be posting on MeFi. Thank you all, some of you have been great and some of you have posted and said very cool things. But I can't take the vindictiveness and the back-biting anymore. The bottom line? MeFi shouldn't claim "community" until it's "citizens" learn to stop tearing each other down every chance they get.
posted by hanseugene at 8:49 AM on February 28, 2001

I think you're reading WAY too much into the "vindictiveness" & "back-biting" that you seem to think MeFi citizens are expressing here. I wouldn't necessarily take it as a personal affront, it's just that self-blogging on the front page, even if you think it's totally justified, is probably the one thing that gets the people here most peeved. I'm willing to bet that if you had even posted the link to the article & then made the first comment to it saying something along the lines of "Hey, it sucks that I wasn't mentioned, but here's a link to my page anyway..", you wouldn't have had people asking for the link to be removed. However, posting a front page link to yourself, especially with the little aside to Matt asking him not to remove the link, is a definite no-no.
posted by zempf at 8:56 AM on February 28, 2001

:::cue predictable slap-fight:::

can we just keep a template of this whole argument on file, please? much easier just to post the whole thing with one click.
posted by patricking at 9:02 AM on February 28, 2001

Personally, I like talking about the A-List... In fact I think I'll go over to Metatalk and add a feature request for a new MeFi subsite..., where posts must relate to members of the A-List... and we all know who those people are, don't we?
posted by daveadams at 9:17 AM on February 28, 2001

Maybe it's time everyone--from old-time MeFiers to people just joining--to remind themselves of the MeFi Guidelines. Just so we're on the same page, and can avoid any misunderstandings.
posted by gramcracker at 9:17 AM on February 28, 2001

Whoa. Guess that didn't turn out too well.
posted by Cavatica at 9:17 AM on February 28, 2001

hans, let me clarify: I think you're over-reacting to this piece not mentioning your URL.

I agree, that articles mentioning websites are pointless without giving the URL, but you have to think about it from a newspaper editor's perspective. The third paragraph of the article would be twice as long with URLs, in a paragraph filled with "http://", domain names, and subdirectories. How would that look to a person trying to read an article in a newspaper?

URLs make for crappy interfaces.

Although they could have gone in and cleaned up the article for the web, by adding hyperlinks to names, and taking out URLs that were spelled out, the SF Chronicle is in the newspaper business first, the web business second.

And frankly, my reaction to all this is a reaction to anyone putting any importance on this article. It's an another article in a long string of similar articles that probably won't get all that many readers in the first place. I know you were mentioned in the article hans, and that's great, and it's a shame you didn't see your URL, but you have to understand why dead-tree media creators don't usually show URLs, and that it's not the end of the world.
posted by mathowie at 9:24 AM on February 28, 2001

I initially defended you, but you really need to grow thicker skin. You are not your blog (or your posts) and until you get that straight you'll be in for a lot of pain here. Your posts are judged on their own merits not on how far you are from the Bay Area. (where all true A-listers reside)
Zempf, hear hear
Matt, When you are justified in apologizing to me, the sky will fall in. (It hasn't therefore you shouldn't)
Dave, I hope it'll be moderated, we wouldn't want to let the riff raff in, they'd spoil it.
posted by Octaviuz at 9:33 AM on February 28, 2001

Matt & everyone else: again, I apologize to anyone I've offended, it was a stupid post, my mistake. And to everyone who has said that the A-list focus isn't a bad thing... I never said it was in the first place. Re-read my comment at the top of the page and you'll see that.

Again, I'm sorry. Dumb dumb dumb. I don't want to mess up MeFi for everyone and I'm not trying to propogate masturbatory self-blogging and I'm not the devil, right?

It's the first time I've seen my name in print and messed my fucking pants is all.
posted by hanseugene at 9:36 AM on February 28, 2001

sigh. and everyone wonders why i dislike the recent string of blogging sightings in recent periodicals and newspapers--cause it makes irrelevant fameseekers and A-list wannabes like hans all pissy.
posted by rklawler at 9:37 AM on February 28, 2001

jeezy creezy, its just a fucking weblog. get some perspective. its not gonna get you chicks, make you a millionaire, etc... maybe it will make you happy. quit whining.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:41 AM on February 28, 2001

And it gives the self-important arbiters of good taste a chance to demonstrate their superiority, eh rklawler?
jbelshaw, you're awfully exercised about this for someone who ostensibly believes that none of it really matters. (Back off, the kid apologized. I'm an idiot too, we all are sometimes.)
posted by Octaviuz at 9:46 AM on February 28, 2001

I don't see anything in the posting guidelines that totally prohibits self-linking. There are reasons given there not to do it, but those reason do not apply to all cases. Yes, it is the understanding of most people here that it's bad form, but there is no explicit rule prohibiting it. Self-promotion is bad, but I don't see the only reason for self-linking to be self-promotion.

I didn't see the original offending post, so I can only assume that hanseugene linked to his site Retrospection. Yeah, sure, it was self-linking, but it would seem to be in context.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:51 AM on February 28, 2001

Hans, you rock. Good for you for sticking with this, expressing your feelings, and being adult enough to change your perspective. You've got class.
posted by fraying at 9:56 AM on February 28, 2001

Mega-dittoes to Derek, there, and a reminder that we're all self-blogging everytime we post to MeFi, if your URL is listed in your user profile. It's just a quick click to find out who's behind the post.
posted by bradlands at 10:03 AM on February 28, 2001

its not gonna get you chicks...

I dunno. Works for some people.

I second Derek's sentiment about Hans. It takes gonads to admit you're in the wrong, and I extend my kudos as well.
posted by norm at 10:04 AM on February 28, 2001

I was bitter as hell when my first interview about my Web site [must not self-link, must not self-link] resulted in a magazine article without me in it. And I have worked as a reporter, pissing off countless people with the same sins of omission.

To be honest, five years later I'm still bitter, Crystal Waters formerly of The Net Magazine! It was my first time. You said I was special. All those flattering e-mails! Then nothing. I had to find out when I bought the magazine.
posted by rcade at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2001

I don't know, I don't think it's a very good article, although, in fairness, I haven't seen one yet I thought was very good.

as for getting chicks, I can think of three couples off the top of my head who met

posted by rebeccablood at 10:29 AM on February 28, 2001

[I can't explain that. I can explain that, but I'm not going to.]

... through their weblogs, two of which are engaged (not meg and kottke, before the rumors start flying).

posted by rebeccablood at 10:31 AM on February 28, 2001

Holy crap, I was quoted!

Uhm, can someone in SF pick me up a copy of the newspaper this runs in? I'd appreciate it. Thank you.
posted by hijinx at 10:47 AM on February 28, 2001

hans, if i might offer a word of advice: this article is reprinted online at SF Gate, along with lots of URLs. but not yours, even though you're the first one mentioned. if you really want your URL in there, then rather than post here about it, why don't you write a polite email to the editors of the online editions and ask them to include your URL? complaining about it here won't solve anything.
posted by cfj at 11:03 AM on February 28, 2001

And it gives the self-important arbiters of good taste a chance to demonstrate their superiority, eh rklawler?

my feelings on blogs and recent media exposure: they can be cool and well done and sometimes are. but when people do it for the express purpose of being noticed, that's when i decide that they're icky. i've known too many people that have measured the "success" of their website by how many hits they get (and have measured the recurring and original hits and charted them and tried to figure out why one week they were more popular than another).

hans did something like this, and out loud, on the front page of metafilter. did i find it annoying? yes. did i write that after he got whiny and complained that he was never posting here again but before he made a public apology? yes. had he written the apology a minute or two before i posted my resonse, what i wrote would never have seen html. however, that's not what happened, and the "arbiter of good taste" made a boo-boo because he did not see the apology.

posted by rklawler at 11:11 AM on February 28, 2001


here's hans's address!!! here's my address!!! here's my other address!!! here's my work address!!!

ahhhaahahaha!!! shameless self promotion!!! it feels so good!!! i do it all the time!!!

is it really that big a deal?
posted by o2b at 12:34 PM on February 28, 2001


Only when you don't close your tag.

posted by Avogadro at 12:39 PM on February 28, 2001

hee hee... sorry. thought i fixed it.
posted by o2b at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2001

I yield (your explanation of the sequence of events makes your comment much more fitting. Even I thought Hans' first response was annoyingly whiny)
posted by Octaviuz at 1:22 PM on February 28, 2001

I thought the story was pretty good for a mainstream piece. But apparently it was better at some point. Roger (the author) writes: "I had to trim 10 inches out of the story at the last minute so a lot of good stuff ended up on the cutting room floor. So the story ended up short on cultural commentary and long on explanation to mainstream readers..."

I was thinking that it's too bad they don't include the good stuff that gets cut out of articles in the web version where they don't have space restraints. Then they could say "more at," and it would drive traffic with very little extra work.
posted by evhead at 1:28 PM on February 28, 2001

Bonus Tracks!
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 1:29 PM on February 28, 2001

I don't care if the story was good or bad. I don't care who's fighting with whom (though I hope everyone has kissed an made up?) All I care about is that my freakin' name was in there. I'm with Hans...I just about messed myself.
posted by frykitty at 1:49 PM on February 28, 2001

If you talk to reporters, you may be misquoted or you may not see the angle you hoped for reflected in the final story. Reporters try to quote accurately, but they work under incredible time constraints, are often assigned at the last minute to stories whose background they don't fully know, and their work may be edited in such a way that the sense of it is entirely lost.

An "information society" that values instant access to data (whether that data is meaningful or not, has been deeply considered or not) puts incredible pressure on the news gatherers. They do the best they can, but mistakes are frequent.

I've been quoted in a tech magazine as saying "XML doesn't exist." That may be a valid statement on some metaphysical level, but it's not what I said and not even close to anything I might have said. How did it happen? I was talking to a reporter who had a tight deadline.

I've been on the other side too. I was a teenage journalist. The Washington Post let me go. Did they find out I was making up some of the stuff I reported? Or were they just closing ranks? I don't know. I do know that I wasn't always scrupulously accurate, though I'm sure most journalists do a much better job than I did.

I hope.

The sad thing is that many people work hard yet mistakes are rampant. The other sad thing is that many people believe they are getting "the news" when they read or view or listen to news media.
posted by Zeldman at 2:21 PM on February 28, 2001

Just echoing what Ev said -- Roger did about a half-dozen phone interviews with me during which he asked some really good questions. Almost none of it ended up in the article itself, but I'm sure that if Roger had had his way, the end result would have been different. I know he was going for a much more introspective piece.

And something to keep in mind about getting your URL mentioned in the paper -- top-level domains usually have a better chance because they're shorter. And newspapers are all about column inches.
posted by shauna at 7:06 PM on February 28, 2001

Yeah, actually. I also want to make clear that any disappointment I had in the article was in no way directed at Roger. He did a great interview and, although I was upset (as discussed above ) that my url wasn't included, I did think it was a pretty good piece overall, even only having seen the cut version. No hard feelings toward anyone and I hope that no one will have any towards me.
posted by hanseugene at 9:15 PM on February 28, 2001

I can understand how disappointing it would be to have your URL left out of an article like that - so I don't think it does anybody any good to get on Hans case like that. And he apologized. A lot.

You can slag on "self-linking" if you like, but for me a self-link in that post would have given me some context on Hans; I found and read said article via and I didn't have the opportunity to visit his site because it wasn't linked in the article.

(Alright, alright, I'm just being lazy and I could just go to Hans' profile and get his site from there. Shhh.)

In any case, I'd be pissing myself too if I was even considered for an article like that, let alone mentioned!
posted by sammy at 10:59 PM on February 28, 2001

(It would have been OK if he'd followed up his own post. A self-link in a comment is tolerated, though it ought to be properly labeled as such.)
posted by dhartung at 9:29 AM on March 1, 2001

It just amazes me what self serving media whores some webloggers are (no I won't name names).Yeah, I guess you're cooler than me. Like I care.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 7:14 PM on March 1, 2001

I thought we were all self-serving media whores. Isn't that the point?
posted by Zeldman at 7:29 PM on March 1, 2001

Actually, I don't charge for interviews most of the time so, technically, that makes me a media slut. Of course, you could just leave off the "media" part. ;-)
posted by bradlands at 8:19 PM on March 1, 2001

I may be a media whore, but I serve my adoring public.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 8:29 PM on March 1, 2001

Wait, I'm sorry. I didn't realize anyone was still reading this thread.
posted by bradlands at 8:45 PM on March 1, 2001

Then make me a sandwich beotch.
posted by dangerman at 8:46 PM on March 1, 2001

damn brad...*sigh* am I suppose to keep CuJoe subservient if you keep interrupting my post? ;p~
posted by dangerman at 8:48 PM on March 1, 2001

You don't charge for interviews?
posted by Zeldman at 12:15 AM on March 2, 2001

sammy: In any case, I'd be pissing myself too if I was even considered for an article like that, let alone mentioned!

/me for the past two days

Note that frykitty did the same. I think we can establish, therefore, that you need to a) charge for an interview, because you're a media whore, but also b) you may mess yourself when you actually get published.
posted by hijinx at 7:32 AM on March 2, 2001

I'm gonna take the hit to my rep and self-link on the front page. How many hits did hanseugene get from this thread? ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:46 AM on March 2, 2001

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