Monthly Archives: July 2004

How to post a comment anonymously.

Here’s a screen shot of the comment login page. Please notice the circled link. If you choose that link, you’ll be able to post your comment without having to create an account at Blogger.

Hope this clears up the mystery for those of you who were having a problem. Also if this graphic is too small to view, just click on it and you’ll get a larger display.

Click the cirlced link to post anonymously. Posted by Hello

Comments Revisited

Some time back, when I changed the template on this blog, some of you reported that you had to create an account and sign in to Blogger in order to post a comment. I wrote the Support group and asked why, if I had set my blog to permit anyone to leave a comment, would it be necessary for people to do that. I never received a reply to that question.

However, Shannon and I experimented with trying to leave a comment at our respective blogs from work, where we were NOT logged into Blogger. What we discovered is that there is a radio button you can check in the comments section to enable you to post anonymously. So those of you who are reluctant to create an account just so that you can leave a comment don’t have to do that. Just check the button to post anonymously and all should be well.

Let me know if that works for you, please.

A new blogger

At my urging, my friend, Shannon Kamer, created a new blog yesterday. 

He is a young man (22) with whom I’ve worked for the last couple of years who has made extremely significant contributions to our department’s work by creating a notes template that standardizes the notes we have to post to customers’ accounts and that makes accessing the various tools we use much easier.  He is an extremely talented HTML programmer and a good resource for information about life on the Internet and software applications.  Though it may take him a while to get his feet wet and become accustomed to sharing his knowledge and findings at his blog, I anticipate that he’ll be a valuable resource that I plan to read regularly.  I recommend his blog to you as well.

Welcome to the world of Blogging, Shannon! 

A good time to sample other blogs

This week is a good time to sample some other blogs, if you’ve never done that before, because for the first time ever a number of bloggers (35?) have been given press credentials to the Democratic National Convention in Boston. See this article in the New York Times on the subject. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent, and whether or not you have any interest in what is happening at the DNC, I think you’ll find this diversity of approach to blogging interesting. Or at least I do, so I thought I’d share the idea with you.

I recommend you set aside at least an hour or two each day to surf and read and listen, since some of the bloggers are including audio links (like this one for example) at their sites, and many of them are using digital cameras to post pictures of what is going on. At the moment, most of the chatter is about the preparations for the convention and the sights and sounds leading up to the activities of the convention itself. For the bloggers, just being there is a momentous event, and they hope to bring a kind of reporting about the convention that doesn’t follow the typical “official” press coverage. Jay Rosen has written a thoughtful piece about the conventional wisdom that political conventions are no longer really news events and what he thinks bloggers might bring to the coverage that is different. Give that a read and see what you think.

The way I am keeping up with many different blogs during this time is by using FeedDemon that I mentioned in my previous post, which makes it easy to review a very diverse sampling of different blogs and news sites quickly. I’ll try to post links to other blogs that I think are worth reviewing as the week rolls along. For the moment, here are a couple of possible places to start Scripting News and JOHO the blog. Like everything else on the Internet, if you just follow the links you won’t run out of things to examine.

More as the week goes on and as my time permits.

RSS Feeds and Feed Readers

When I was in college in the early 1960’s (yes, Virginia, I am that old!), the Evelyn Wood speed reading course was a popular fad. Until I looked for a link about it just now, I didn’t even know the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics company was still in existence. This course has been mocked, such as in this quote from Woody Allen (“I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”), but it works and has helped a lot of people learn to increase their reading speed and their comprehension.

Given the amount of information available on the Internet at the click of a mouse, reading slowly coupled with the habits that arise because of the way web browsing works leads to a failure to get the maximum benefit from the resources that this remarkable technology provides. So many web pages, so little time!

So if you find yourself making a daily visit to a lot of different websites to get your news each day, it may be time for you to think about experimenting with using an RSS News Reader. Please bear with me as I explain a couple of concepts — RSS and RSS readers.

The WebReference site gives the following answer to the question What is RSS?: “Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Think of it as a distributable ‘What’s New’ for your site. Originated by UserLand in 1997 and subsequently used by Netscape to fill channels for Netcenter, RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites (including the BBC, CNET, CNN, Disney, Forbes, Motley Fool, Wired, Red Herring, Salon, Slashdot, ZDNet, and more). RSS solves myriad problems webmasters commonly face, such as increasing traffic, and gathering and distributing news. RSS can also be the basis for additional content distribution services.”

Before your eyes glaze over in reading that somewhat technical explanation, let me say that RSS is nothing more than a way for web sites to distribute their content to your desktop without your having to visit the sites you find of interest. You don’t need to know how they do it to benefit from having the results show up on your computer screen for you to examine. But you do need an application called an RSS Feed Reader to collect and display the information that you choose to have sent to you each day. See this description of FeedDemon for more on the reader that I’ve chosen to use and recommend to you.

I’ve run out of time to complete this discussion right now, but please notice over to the right the link that says Site Feed. That is the link to the RSS feed from this site. You could choose to add this site to FeedDemon to have new entries show up on your computer everytime a new entry is made here.

You can try FeedDemon for 20 days without any cost before deciding whether you would like to purchase it ($29.95) if you find it as valuable as I have. It took me only about 5 hours of experimenting with it yesterday before I realized that it was well worth the money.

Check it out. I think you’ll be glad you did.