Simon Willison’s Weblog


52 items tagged “blogging”


Live blogging the general election. The Guardian’s ongoing live blogs covering the UK election have been the best way of following events that I’ve seen (yes, better than Twitter). Live-blog author Andrew Sparrow explains his approach.

# 10th May 2010, 4:27 pm / blogging, guardian, journalism, recovered, election, andrew-sparrow, liveblogging

The Net is the greatest listening engine ever devised. These days anyone can choose, with its help, to be well-informed. You have to make the effort to figure out which key people are really on top of what you care about, so that you can start listening to them. Plus, you need to deploy some saved searches. Once you’ve done these things, then when you turn your computer on in the morning, it’ll tell you if anything’s happened that you need to know about.

Tim Bray

# 10th February 2010, 5:40 pm / blogging, information, internet, tim-bray

The Tablet. John Gruber further demonstrates his mastery of long-form blogging. It’s reassuring to know that he started putting the notes for this entry together way back on the 24th of September.

# 1st January 2010, 3:49 am / apple, blogging, essays, john-gruber, osx, tablet


If you’re just linking to the stuff that people are all talking about on Twitter or that floats to the top of Hacker News, you may as well give up on your blog, as far as I’m concerned. Everybody already sees that stuff. You have to dig deeper to offer more interesting information, and an RSS reader is the best tool you can use for that purpose.

Rafe Colburn

# 22nd December 2009, 11:03 am / blogging, rafecolburn, rss

Me and Belle de Jour—’Could it be Brooke?’ (via) Lovely piece of internet detective work and UK blogging history. Darren from LinkMachineGo figured out Belle de Jour’s identity right back in the start, based on his knowledge of the early UK blogging scene. Not only did he keep the secret, but he set up a clever honeypot in the form of an innocuous page containing terms that tied her identities together. When the page started getting hits from an Associated Newspapers (Daily Mail) IP address a few weeks ago he tipped Belle off via Twitter.

# 18th November 2009, 12:18 am / anonymity, belledejour, blogging, honeypot

Remember when blogs were more casual and conversational? Before a post's purpose was to grab search engine clicks or to promise "99 Answers to Your Problem That We're Telling You You're Having". Yeah. I'd like to get back to that here.

Dan Cederholm

# 23rd October 2009, 4:17 pm / blogging, dan-cederholm

Meta Is Murder. I hadn’t realised how important MetaTalk was in ensuring high quality discussions on MetaFilter, by ensuring that meta-discussions happened somewhere else. Speaking of which, happy birthday MetaFilter.

# 14th July 2009, 7:34 pm / blogging, jeff-atwood, metadiscussions, metafilter, metatalk

I used to think Twitter would never catch on in the mainstream because it’s somewhat stupid. Now I realize I was exactly wrong. Twitter will catch on in the mainstream because it’s somewhat stupid. It’s blogging dumbed down for the masses, and if there’s one surefire way to build something popular, it’s to take something else that is already popular and simplify.

Matt Maroon

# 20th April 2009, 8:50 pm / blogging, mainstream, matt-maroon, popularity, twitter

It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won't be happening again. Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.


# 26th February 2009, 9:28 am / blogging, lunaticbloggers, pr, ryanair


James B. on Pownce (via) James Bennett has started using Pownce for sort of medium-format blog entries, longer than a tweet but shorter than a blog essay and delivered with a healthy dose of snark.

# 2nd May 2008, 9:15 pm / blogging, james-bennett, pownce, snark

Speechification. “A blog of Radio 4. Not about Radio 4 but of it. We point to the bits we like, the bits you might have missed, the bits that someone might have sneakily recorded. Other speech radio from around the world will no doubt find its way here too.”

# 26th April 2008, 10:30 am / blogging, radio, radio4, speechification


Blogmaker, a free blogging app for Django (via) “Blogmaker is a full-featured, production-quality blogging application for Django. It supports trackbacks, ping and comments with moderation and honeypot spam prevention.”

# 7th December 2007, 1:04 am / blogging, django, michaeltrier, trackback

Ideas rot if you don't do something with them. I used to try to hoard them, but they rotted. Now I just blog them or tell people about them. Sometimes they still rot, but sometimes someone finds them useful in one way or another.

Edd Dumbill

# 4th September 2007, 12:21 am / blogging, corydoctorow, edddumbill, ideas

How Top Bloggers Earn Money. Interesting numbers on BoingBoing, I can has Cheezburger, TechCrunch and more.

# 17th July 2007, 11 pm / blogging, boingboing, icanhascheezburger, money, techcrunch


An open letter to Mike Arrington. Former co-editor Mike Butcher’s take on the demise of TechCrunch UK. “Citizen Kane 2.0”.

# 16th December 2006, 12:19 pm / blogging, mike-arrington, mike-butcher, techcrunch, techcrunchuk


The dangers of PageRank

A well documented side effect of the weblog format is that it brings Google PageRank in almost absurd quantities. I’m now the 5th result for simon on Google, and I’ve been the top result for simon willison almost since the day I launched. High rankings however are not always a good thing, especially when combined with a comment system. A growing number of bloggers have found themselves at the top position for terms of little or no relevance to the rest of their sites, which in turn can attract truly surreal comments from visitors from search engines who may never have encountered a blog before.

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More blogmark tweaks

I’m up to 110 blogmarks now, and from my point of view they’re the single most useful feature I’ve added to this site in a long time. I’ve modified my day archive pages to show the blogmarks added on that day, and I’m considering adding them to individual entry pages as well so that an entry is displayed along with the blogmarks added while that entry was at the top of my blog. The idea there is that I could aim to blogmark “related items” for the top entry, although obviously unrelated sites would end up in there as well.

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This entry was going to be another list of links, together with a note about how much I really needed to set up a separate link blog. Then I realised that it would make more sense just to set one up so that’s exactly what I’ve done. I still need to implement the archive but it’s getting dark so I’m posting this and heading home.

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Blogging with AppleScript

Les Orchard describes an intriguing blogging tool built with AppleScript that posts links to a weblog when they are dragged on to a special folder on the OS X desktop.


Syndicated further reading recommendations

I frequently find myself reading something on someone elses blog and thinking “that’s interesting, and it fits in well with XXX that I read the other day”. I often end up blogging a link to both just to satisfy my need for completeness. Wouldn’t it be interesting if there was some standard for formalising this kind of further reading recommendation? I’m not sure exactly how it would work (it would almost certainly be XML based but I don’t know if it would require a new format or integrate with an existing one) but it could be an interesting avenue to explore. I think it’s a significantly different problem to the ones solved by XFML (external shared metadata) and Pingback for it to be worth committing some thought cycles to. Any ideas?


Brent Ashley explains K-Logging. K-Logging is Knowledge Logging, a technique that companies can use to help share knowledge built up over the course of a project. Generally it involves the use of blogging style tools to informally record every part of a project. Brent also points to this article explaining 11 common KM problems and how K-Logging helps overcome them.

Meg on blogging

Meg Hourihan: What We’re Doing When We Blog. It’s a curious fact of blogdom that many bloggers blog blogging—why they do it, what it is and why it’s so important. I feel Meg has nailed it with this article—blogging is defined by the format, not by the subject matter. She also makes some insightful comments about why the blogging format works so well:

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