Bangalore Workers Torpedoed?

India’s Infosys, a company that employs more than 150,000 techies, denies that they’re laying off 5,000 workers. At the same time, they suggest that under-performing workers are generally encouraged to leave. Sounds like a good policy. We may adopt it here.

Ronni Bennett writing for the Wall Street Journal

Ronni Bennett, a leader in the elder blogging community has an essay (“Put it in Writing”) in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. She provides URLs of eight older people who have been bitten by the blog bug. At 63, I’m one of the younger ones she cites.

Here’s a back door around the Journal’s pay-to-play firewall. (Just click on “Put it in Writing”).

[tags]blogging, bloggers, Ronni Bennett, Time Goes By, Wall Street Journal[/tags]

Howard Rheingold’s Vlog

Proof that the thing about old dogs and new tricks is wrong. I’m glad that intelligent people with experience and depth are arriving on that scene. Sort of a reverse Gresham’s law: Good material drives out sucky material.

[tags]howard rheingold, vlog, howard rheingold vlog[/tags]

Open Source Academics…

I’m grateful to my friend and fellow blogger, Peter (The Other) Kaye of Loose Poodle, for directing my attention to Phil Ford’s blog and to his blog posted essay/address to the American Musicological Society Annual Meeting held this week in Quebec City. Dial “M” for Musicology is an academic group blog, but Ford seems to do a lot of the heavy lifting, water carrying… choose your metaphor for assumption of burdens.

I love Phil Ford’s essay because it refreshes the conversation about the value of the interactivity associated with web publishing. It reminds me that though the meta-conversation around blogging technology may have been diluted by a recent broadening of social software platforms (Facebook, twitter, etc.) and a general disgust with the players in the silly valley blog settings, the creative potential of our medium has only an upside.

Dial “M” has a blogroll that promises to expand access in interesting ways. A recent affectation on the part of a few bloggers who have found their blogrolls to be burdensome in terms of the maintenance they require and the relationships they reflect (Doc!!!) is not imitated here. Indeed, one is hard pressed to imagine any blog with academic intentions that wouldn’t provide sidebar referential information of the type commonly known as “blogroll” (and yes, you can be forgiven for confusing that with some kind of sushi).

The essay emerges from the world of academic musicology, a bubble in the blog foam that has points of tangency with popular culture and the academic treatment of “content creation,” social software, and web publishing. Yochai Benkler gets his links. Here are a couple of passages that may want to make you read the whole thing:

The natural state of the blogosphere is anarchy. The essence of the medium is the reciprocal and nonhierarchical relationship between bloggers and their audiences. In fact, writing about “bloggers and their audiences” is misleading, because it implies that this is a clear distinction of roles, like the distinction between those who read a newspaper and those who write it.


People who complain about blogs, like those who complain about Wikipedia, ask why a medium that puts any random crank on the same footing as an expert should be taken seriously. Defenders of Wikipedia always point out that it’s self-correcting: the damage that malicious and incompetent people cause is quickly undone by dedicated Wikipedians. Now, you can’t quite say this about blogs. A stupid blog post stays stupid. But there is a kind of self-correction at work — call it peer review. The freak who writes may get links, but this won’t earn him a place in the minisphere of classical music bloggers. A geek show may get the same pull as a poetry reading, but it’s not as if they have the same clientele: poets don’t have to start biting the heads off chickens. And while one of the charms of blogging is that it allows you to post a long piece of serious writing one day and pictures of your cats the next, a clarinetist who only posts pictures of her cats isn’t going to get any play, except from the crazy cat people. (And that’s a whole different scene.)

…even more…

However, the problem with understanding the musicoloblogosphere as commons-based peer production is that the musicological commons is still very small: for reasons I’ve described, there just aren’t a lot of music-academic blogs yet. But perhaps this is also a secret strength. There aren’t enough music academics to sustain a conversation, but this means that those of us who are in the blogosphere end up spending a lot of time conversing with music people who aren’t academics, or academics who aren’t music people. And the best of them are brilliant: aforementioned critic Alex Ross, pianist Jeremy Denk, composer Matthew Guerrieri, and intellectual critic Scott McLemee, to name only four. And what happens when you spend a lot of time sharing space with these people is that you start to develop a lingua franca, a border language synthesized from the things you have in common. And as I’ve argued elsewhere, that common tongue has its own special characteristics. It is “cool,” in the McLuhanesque sense: readers can profitably interact with it in a wider variety of ways than they can with more traditional forms of academic communication. Blog writing tends to be “porous,” filled with open spaces that readers can fill with their own contributions.

I hope I can be forgiven for pulling so extensively from Ford’s piece. There is plenty more where that came from, juicy prose larded with bons mots and wry observations. If you care about the art of blogging as it applies in any specialized community, take a chance and read the whole thing.

day one or so…

Stowe Boyd,
who has been placeholding my “links” section in the right sidebar [at] began
an experiment in mindful traffic growth almost three months ago. Stowe
started his /Messages blog with a Technorati rank of 1,088,376 (zero
links from zero sources). Since I’ve been dithering and testing here
for about a year, I actually have 4 links from 2 sites (one of them
mine) and a Technorati rank of 864,574. That’s a head start. Between
now and June 30, I will do what I can to migrate from TypePad to WordPress, from Sandhill Trek rel. 2.0 to Sandhill Trek rel. 3.0 – now at

Just as a benchmark the ‘rati data on Sandhill rel. 2.0 are:

Technorati Rank:   9,200 (580 links from 161 sites), or 10,807 (448 links from 142 sites) depending on how you form the URL.  The old Radio blog that saw its last post in December of 2024 ranks  313,538 (14 links from 9 sites).

So let’s call today day one, even though there will be much
hammering and sawing, shouted obscenities, and all the other dust and
background noise associated with building the sets. And let’s see where
we are by mid-summer. I’m sure there will be some cross posting the
first month or so, but ultimately, the goal is to provide a higher
quality blog from a more intentional blogger and cut out some of the
middle-men whose performance problems turn into my own.

[cross posted from]

now we’re clicking…

after much cut and pastage entirely contrary to the WordPress plug and play philosophy, I have the Stat Counter site linked up to the listics site.  Now I don’t know how accurate any of it is, or what I’m really going to see, or why I would want to see that anyway, but heck…

Did you hear that Cap Weinberger bit the dust?  There’s a Bohemian Club membership available.


Having problems making Stat Counter work over at Listics.  All this php scripting is a baffler.  I’d like to just be able to stuff the code between the <body></body> tags of a plain old html page.  Thanks to those who are clicking over there from time to time in order to help me test.