Friday, September 30, 2005

Save Your Blog Template

Save Your
Blog Template

I keep having amazingly horrible problems with this Blog Core Values blog. Large sections of the template just disappear for no reason that I can discover. I know a little about HTML and CSS and so forth, so this should not be happening.

The latest nightmare?

How about this: the entire template vanished, but I could still visit this blog and see it in my browser. When I tried to post new material to this blog, during the last few days, I kept getting "error message 002: main template is empty."

I ignored this and kept trying to publish a new post. No luck. So I went to the main template and sure enough: empty.

Do you know how weird it feels to stare and a big blank space where the blog template is supposed to be, where it used to be, where it is no longer?

What happened to my main template? How could it suddenly be empty?

I will email Blogger and try to find out. I'll also do a Google search on "main template is empty". Usually a search on error messages will result in many blog posts about how others have dealt with the errors.

My message to you now is this: Save Your Blog Template. Use whatever text editor you have, Notepad, Wordpad, MS Word, StarOffice, etc. to copy and paste the entire template.

Blog Core Values looks weird right now because the template I'm now using is from July 2005. I made many changes in it since then, so you're viewing what Blog Core Values used to look like.

Now I have to go into the template and change things. So this blog is under construction again. What a pain, to have to go through all this again and again and again.

Save Your Blog Template every time you make significant changes. Do it now, if you have never saved the template. Please listen to me.

What if you don't save it? You're screwed, that's what.

If you ever get the error message about your main template being empty, I guess that means that the blog in your browser is a cached version. In actuality, if your template is empty, your blog is dead, it no longer exists.

Like I said previously, in the past I've also mysteriously lost huge portions of my template on this blog. The first 1/4 of the template will be intact, but the other 3/4 vanished. I'll have to search my own archives to locate any posts I've done on this issue. I think I did a post about it several months ago.

If anyone has better or more complete information on this problem, please post a comment or email me. I'll be researching this more and posting my findings.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Carrie's blog has Mint Mao

Carrie's blog has Mint Mao, which I display here.

I think President Peppermint is a good choice.

As we contemplate Deep Blogology, let us descend ever more deeply into a cryptic vocabulary and elusive modes of presentation. We must veil our concepts as democracy is chewed into by the angerists. Thwarted by no one, we march onward, sweeping unilateral information dissemination under the proverbial rug.

With candy as chief commander, how can we go wrong? We symbolically obey, sweeten our discourse in a sly but bitter sincerity.

With sweetness now dominant, the sugarless soldier sighs.

You who blog, do you now know?

You who reside in the blogosphere, are you now ready to begin?



SEE NEXT POST, "Save Your Blog Template", FOR MORE DETAILS.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Vint Cerf Google Internet

Vint Cerf.

Vint Cerf: Inventor of the Week

All, or most anyway, of my favorite things all rolled up in one cluster-x perigluma.

"Google Hires Internet Legend Vint Cerf"

Google Press Release: Vint Cerf

With its hiring of

Vint Cerf,

internet pioneer who has been associated with the invention of many aspects and functions of interactive, networked systems, including the Interplanetary Internet,

a network designed for linking space stations, satellites, shuttles, expedition crews, and extraterrestial bases and exploration teams, with various earth networks, via intermittent signal, sporadic connectivity networks built on the email model, rather than the IM model...,

"Vint Cerf Joins Google"
John Battelle

Google [shows, displays, manifests]...

cached cachet to lure great minds.

Svengali cabinet of curiosities to lure great minds.

threshhold jumping and deep end thinking.

penetrating and parenting the future.

Google anointed
Vint Cerf



net evangelist,"

but announced

to go with the title,

saying only that he would "help Google....."


"Computing Pioneers Discuss
the State of the Net

Vint Cerf & Bob Kahn

>>>>I was yesterday what I was not today.<<<< Vint Cerf will help Google.

"Vint Cerf on the InterPlaNet"

"Vint Cerf is taking the web into outer space"
Wired 8.01

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

Monday, September 12, 2005

blog touch

blog touch

A blog can be two people contacting each other via web objects floating digitally in no particular material location.

An ethereal mentalized touch, through words in a blog, not just a marketing slogan, but a brush of heart against heart, flowing down to Louisiana and on to Japan.

A sliding up against destruction, suffering, total loss, parentless children, sudden widows, pets with no owner, dreams crashing and burning, everything reduced to nothing in a day, torn and soiled, crushed and lost, shattered and gone forever.

What we survivors can do is honor the dead by working harder to improve the world, help our families, enhance our property, spiff up our blog, re-package the personality, update our expertise, increase the quality of thinking, expand the imagination.


path of blog perfection

path of blog perfection

What are you doing to improve your blog?

What skills are you trying to acquire to make your blog better?

What information are you attempting to analyze and present to your readers?

Are you visiting other high quality blogs, and observing what they are doing?

Are there interesting features or functions at other blogs that could benefit yours?

What high quality authors are you reading?

What classic works are you examining?

How are you enhancing your talents and expanding your expertise?

What is your strategy for posting comments at other blogs?

What bothers you about your blog?

What new and unexpected types of posts could you publish?

Could you suddenly post some cryptic, unclear, evocative, elusive material? poetry? drawings? enigmatic photos?

What other blogs have you discovered lately that you like?

How often do you publish posts about other blogs?

Could you do some serious research on a topic and share it with your readers?

Can you list what you've learned about blogging since you first started your blog?

What types of posts do you get the most comments on?


help for new bloggers

Help for New Bloggers

We who have a little time and experience in the blogosphere bear a responsibility to help those who are are new bloggers.

Helping new bloggers, or "blog babies", should be on our top priority action lists.

Educate new bloggers, help them with good advice.

Think back on the things about blogging that puzzled you, when you first started your blog. What things were hard to understand? hard to do? hard to remember?

Did you learn how to add badges to your sidebar? how to decorate text? how to compose hyperlinks? how to identify, monitor, and prevent comment spam? Share that skill by explaining how to do it, on your blog, for your readers' benefit, no matter what type of blog you operate.

More experienced practitioners must look for and accept all opportunities to lend a hand, give a boost, or prop up a drooping flower in the garden of bloggery.

Seasoned blogocombat vets can couch and even train others in estoric attack vectors, clandestine self-extinguishings, and subliminal nomenclature dethreading techniques.

Other Things Blog Babies
Need to Know:

How to modify blog templates and configure settings, for everything from post time-stamps to email comment notifications, with detailed explanations of the benefits of, and potential hazards of not complying with, recommended settings.

How to handle complaints, filth, abuse, crazies, and comment spam.

How to compose a URL for a blog.

How to write posts and post titles.

How to increase comments.

How to sell services and products (HINT: almost never do it).

How to react to reader comments.

Why quick response to each reader comment, or at least often within a long thread, is mandatory.

How to stack your sidebar contents.

How to introduce variety, controversy, and surprise into your blog.

Benefits of a strategic comment posting strategy.

How to promote blog posts. (NOTE: Not blogs, but their individual posts.)

How to have a constant flow of great ideas for new blog posts.

How to please and benefit a loyal following of readers.

How to contact, intrigue, form alliances with, or offer opposition to so-called "A List" bloggers.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Blog haters, A Listers, and Blog Day 2005

Blog Haters, A Listers, and Blog Day 2005


"Where are the so-called
A-Listers when you need
the blogosphere needs them?"

Nir Ofir, the brains behind this historic, first annual Blog Day event, offers this update:

"Blog Day 2005: The Blogal Village"

I will quote a part of it here...


Since June 2005 (3 months ago), BlogDay have generated 30,800 new pages in Google.

Technorati lists 1329 Blog posts about it and thousands of bloggers from these countries have participated: Israel, Pakistan, US, Singapore, China, France, Hungary, Spain, UK, India, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Cambodia, Greece, Finland, Germany, Taiwan, Korea, South Africa, Japan and many more.

The BlogDay description was translated in the BlogDay wiki by bloggers to 15 languages. The wiki got more than 25,000 page views on August 31st; a Greek designer won the BlogDay design contest with his brilliant design to BlogDay future web site.

The A-list bloggers (Mostly Americans) (almost) didn't write about BlogDay.

I, as a professional in this field (Blogs, Social software, web2.0 blah blah) was disappointed because I really wanted to read what do they had to say about my project and, because I truly believed that as "main information junctions" they will help me spread the word about BlogDay. Some of them did write about it. I rather some don't.

Today, I assume that most of the bloggers that have celebrated BlogDay are personal bloggers.

Bloggers that write about their lives and jobs that are using community based platforms like Blogger or Livejournal in the US, "Yam" in Taiwan, "ioblogo" in Italy or "blogia" in Spain.

BlogDay made me realize how huge the market share of the Personal blogs compared to professional blogs.

My "not so wild assumption" is that 95% of all blogs in the world are personal or half professional blogs that are being hosted in some kind of a community portal and the other 5% are professional blogs that are being hosted in independent servers or with services like Typepad (My virtual Home).

95% are personal blogs!

Do you capture the power of this large majority of bloggers? Do you, as I did, understand now that most of blog readers visit personal blogs and not the 5% professional blogs and those who are labeled as "A-list" Bloggers (No offense).


Please go visit Nir's blog to read the entire post, and other articles he has published there.

Again, I want to repeat that many alleged "A List" bloggers are my allies, friends, and mentors. I don't wish to humiliate or condemn any of them. Many were caught up in client work, the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and other pressing matters.

But many so-called "A List" bloggers are arrogant, selfish, and only care about making money, achieving celebrity status (so-called), or accumulating praises and congratulations. As self-proclaimed high priests of the holy blogosphere, some of them they seek worship and orthodoxy.

I, on the other hand, prefer to be a voice crying in the wilderness.

Shunned by the smug, hated by the corrupt, and attacked by the vile, I plug away day after day, losing RSS subscribers with every harshly critical post...

...and gaining the respect of the powers that really matter, and the audience that appreciates combative honesty and confrontational integrity.

Next time there is an important blogospheric event, I'll try to announce it in a more timely manner, email my allies and mentors faster, and hope for the best.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


P.S. Be sure to read the flaming attack on Blog Day 2005 and Vaspers the Grate in the sissy boy comments section of the Dvorak Uncensored Blog Day 2005 post:

I guess these wannbe flamers are too brilliant to see the irony of posting an anti-blog comment on a blog that is known for being contrarian, radical, and yet also associated with the MSM.

I consider John C. Dvorak a valuable ally and friend. He is an inspiration to me. We have engaged in numerous email conversations, and we have published posts about each other on our blogs.

Now, I also know that Dvorak is opposed, even though he operates a blog, to the blog frenzy and blog fanatics sweeping America these days.

Dvorak knows that I also despise the "blogs are easy ways to get rich quick", "blogs will save the world", and "blogs are miracles for all businesses" idiocy.

But these silly hateful commenters can only say "what's a Jakob Nielsen/Jacques Derrida deconstruction based web usability analyst?" and "I was the only person online at his blog". Ooooh wow, those comments really hurt my lack of feelings.

I call myself a JN/JD deconstruction based web usability analyst for a good reason. I seek to piss off the hillbilly morons who don't understand philosophy, usability, or analytical thinking.

I seek to alienate the hick town schmucks who pride themselves in their dumbed down pursuit of beer, pretzels, and sports. Who worship Harry Potter and play Grand Theft Auto video games.

I always have the last laugh as they sink in the stench of their own mediocrity.


Are blogs good vending machines?

Are blogs good vending machines?

I wonder what happens to a blog's content and credibility when it becomes just another advertising medium.

Can a blog make money and still retain integrity, candor, and objectivity?

My most serious concerns are:

(1) what is the author of a money-making blog doing to drive traffic to the blog?

(2) what are the ads trying to sell to blog visitors?

(3) are customers satisfied with the products?

(4) what does the blogger do if the ads promote shoddy products that customers hate?

Darren Rowse, who has been very kind and supportive of me, has made an unusual and startling claim. (Thanks to Jeremy Wright of Ensight blog for pointing me to this article.)

In his ProBlogger blog, Darren's announcing that he made $100,000 in a 12 month period, in his post entitled:

"I'm a Six Figure Blogger"

His announcement coincides with a seminar he's offering called "Six Figure Blogging".

Some bloggers are wondering if getting rich with a blog is a result that can be achieved by taking a seminar.

Then again, if Darren has achieved this, he has every right to declare his success and use it to promote his seminar.

But it's not the blogging that is generating income, it's the ads on the blog. There's a big difference. There's also some question about how "affiliate programs" work, though I'm not saying that Darren is doing anything wrong or unethical.

Plus, I thought that the terms of the Google AdSense contract include not divulging how much money the blogger is making from the ads.

Here is my comment that I posted at his article:


Congratulations Darren, but what is the real deal?

What were the ads promoting, and are the customers who bought the products promoted by AdSense satisfied with their purchases?

Are bloggers wanting to make money by running ads on their blogs? Then the blog becomes a vending machine and the content is going to possibly encounter credibility disadvantages.

When a blogger publishes great relevant useful valuable content, it would be very nice if he or she could make money at the same time.

I would love to see all high quality bloggers be able to live on blogging alone, and not have to work the crappy jobs that most people are resentfully forced to take just to survive.

What I cannot figure out is why anyone would click on an ad that appears on a blog. I think most blog ads look bad and I have no trust in whatever sites they lead to.

Then again, I'm opposed to online shopping due to identity theft and the failure of companies to protect sensitive consumer data, as we've seen with ChoicePoint, et al.

Are you announcing this income to promote your seminar, AdSense, or both?

I see how this declaration of income lends credibility to your concepts, but are you sure those who sign up are not expecting to get rich quick in a false hope of reproducing unique results?

I am sure you're legitimate, but I do have these questions.



I have no plans to display ads on any of my blogs. And I would never click on any ads on a blog. But remember: I'm opposed to any form of online shopping or other financial transactions over the internet.

Now, what do YOU think about all this?

Share your opinion by posting a comment here, or emailing me.

I'd like to know your experiences with blog ads, affiliate programs, and traffic sharing systems.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Thursday, September 01, 2005

What Blog Day 2005 taught me

What Blog Day 2005 Taught Me

[This post is a slightly revised version of my response to Paul Woodhouse's comment in the topic thread of previous "Blog Day 2005" post.

Reader comments are increasingly providing me platforms for subsequent blog posts. Thanks everyone for your valuable and enriching comments at my blogs.]

I observed the "A Listers" reaction to Blog Day 2005, where we were all encourgaged, by an obscure blogger in Israel, to just list 5 good blogs, hopefully from other cultures or industries, to recommend to your own blog readers.

This went over like a lead balloon.

Hugh Macleod even did a little cartoon poking fun of the concept, calling it organized "link whoring". Hugh is known for lambasting and "roasting" via cartoons, and the objects of his comical "scorn" or teasing are rarely offended, it seems.

Of course, I deposited a comment on Hugh's blog, correcting this "link whoring" of Blog Day notion.

My comment explained that...

*clinking (clique linking)

*ghost blogging

* fictional character blogs (in most cases)

*buzz agenting (pretending to be a satisfied customer/user, then posting rave reviews in blogs, forums, etc.)

...are unethical and ineffective "blogstitution", not Blog Day.

Blog Day is a way to help your readers discover new blogs, and to pull us together as a blog realm. The blogosphere has many deadly enemies. Let's all join forces in a united front to defend and protect our beloved Kingdom of Bloggery.

It requires a bit of old fashioned humbleness to stop your own grandiose posting and linking to consider lending a boost to some little blogs, not "below" your exalted position in some silly hierarchy, but below the threshhold of your readers awareness.

How many "A List" bloggers participated? A few. Some with genuine benevolence. Some perhaps grudgingly or perfunctorily.

I sent out a stroke of midnight last call email to about 30 or 40 "top tier" bloggers. I must credit Mike Bergin, of the blog 10,000 Birds, a bird-lookers site, for emailing me and reminding me about this event.

Only a handful "A List" bloggers emailed me back to say thanks for the heads up, and whether or not they'd participate in Blog Day 2005:

Robert Scoble (The Red Couch/Naked Conversations, Scobleizer)

Hugh Macleod (Gaping Void)

Karen Ruby (Karen Ruby)

Carrie Snell (Omnamaste/A Grain of Salt/Wrath of Grapes)

Robert May (Business Pundit)

David Weinberger (Joho the Blog)

Paul Chaney (Radiant Marketing)

John C. Dvorak (Dvorak Uncensored)

Greg Hoffman (Security Awareness for Ma, Pa, and the Corporate Clueless)

Neville Hobson (NevOn)

Paul Woodhouse (Tinbasher)

John Battelle (John Battelle's Search Blog)

...either already knew about it, or scrambled to publish a Blog Day 2005 post on their blog, or emailed me to tell me it was too short notice to do it justice, or promised via email to comply with it as soon as they could.

If you check their blogs, you'll see that many did not do a "5 Recommended, Unexpected Blogs To Consider Exploring" type post on Blog Day 2005, but that means they at least replied to me via email, or displayed a Blog Day 2005 button.

Of course, unexpectedly, at the same time, Hurricane Katrina hit and devastated a huge chunk of the USA, like a nuclear attack.

This horrid disaster sidetracked a lot of bloggers from previous priorities, and rightly so. I just don't quite know what to say yet, so I've not posted anything about this tragedy.


Also, I didn't email every single "A List" blogger, or ally blogger, that I know of, and this was extremely short notice.

So please don't think that anybody not listed above must necessarily be arrogant or uncaring about other blogs. That would be a gross misinterpretation.

Paul Chaney deserves a lot of credit for replying to my email, and not even mentioning the fact that, as I discovered when I visited his blog, he is in the path of the Katrina hurricane, and has been suffering power outages. That is a noble, selfless, altruistic attitude of great merit metaphysically. Way to go Paul.

That little event of my email reminder of the Blog Day 2005 has resulted in a "A List" of my own: bloggers who can see the struggling "underlings" who are their brother and sister bloggers, and try to lend them a hand, a boost, a promo.

Spend more time helping, posting comments at, and advising new bloggers, obscure bloggers, worthy bloggers...

...who write profound, witty, sincere, funny, inspiring posts...

...and consistently, heart-breakingly, sadly get "0 Comments" at their blogs, but keep on, bravely, blogging.

I dearly love those souls. What a great model of perseverance and dedication they are setting. Bravo!

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate