links for 2007-11-18

Jeremiah Owyang, via Flickr
My friend Jeremiah was chowing down on tapas in Barcelona last week. Now it’s my turn, heh heh heh…

Participatory Journalism in the USA: My Talk

J-Lab’s Jan Schaffer will be a hard act to follow, but I’ll do my best.

Next Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain, I’ll be teaming up with J-Lab’s Jan Schaffer to give a talk on Participatatory Journalism in the USA: Opportunities and Challenges. This is part of the fourth Online Media Week. I’m really excited about it. I wish Jan could actually be there, but she ended up not being able to attend in person so she’ll be giving her talk via webcast.

Here’s Jan’s presentation (streaming video), and here are her slides (PowerPoint). It’s a great overview, check it out.

After Jan gets to answer some questions live (technology permitting), I’ll expand this discussion by talking about the bigger picture: Why participatory journalism matters, why it isn’t new, and how the news landscape might evolve because of participatory journalism.

What follows is merely my best guess about how my part of the talk will go. Of course, I don’t really do speeches; I prefer to engage groups in conversation so we can explore issues and think things through together. That’s much more fun for everyone. So I will most definitely stray from this script at some point during the talk. (So translators, be forewarned!)

With that, here’s what I’d like to be able to cover…
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links for 2007-11-15

Denver Airport: Boneheaded net censorship

I’m at the Denver airport, on the wifi (but in a much safer way than before, I’m getting smarter about it), and will have a very safe solution soon. But I’m finding more and more reasons to hate public wifi.

I’m also on chat with Tom Vilot, who just sent me a link to a really cool video of people flying using suits that make them kinds of human flying squirrels — I kid you not. For context, here’s the video:

Now, the irony is that when I tried to access this video via the first link Tom sent me, I got this message from the airport network:

Funny how I can hit YouTube with no problem. Go figure.

links for 2007-11-14

Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, getting very excited indeed about statistics.

Feed overload? Ditch the guilt, embrace serendipity

Here’s what my feed reader looks like right now.

I’ve lost track of how many RSS feeds I subscribe to in my feed reader — somewhere between 100 and 200, I’m guessing. But that doesn’t matter, because despite the volume it’s surprisingly manageable and rewarding. The secret, I’ve found, is to let go of any sense of obligation to keep up with all that content.

It’s simply impossible to keep up. There’s too much stuff published online every day — hell, every minute! Why feel pressured or guily about not being able to achieve an impossible ideal?

Here’s what I do…

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I think this blog hack is under control (knock wood)

Blmurch, via Flickr (CC license)
Yep, spammers are asses. And evil, in a mostly banal sense. Grumble….

Over the last few days, and especially this morning, I’ve been wrangling with fixing a hack done to this blog by a spammer. It’s been pretty stressful, but Tom Vilot and other helpful geeks have been absolute angels in helping me figure out this server-side crap. Thanks, all!

For now, I think we’ve probably neutralized what this hacker has done. But I’ve got a contingency plan in place to rapidly relocate this blog to another server should new problems from this hack arise. If problems do arise, I’ll probably have Bluehost create a new account for me, reinstall WordPress, repopulate the blog’s database, etc. A hassle, but not unrecoverable.

Lessons learned. These mostly apply to WordPress blogs, but can have wider applicability…
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This blog is still hacked, grrrrrrr…..

Apologies in advance to my readers, but it appears my hacker woes are not yet over.

This morning I was trying to edit my links post from last night. When I tried to save the edits, I got the following message:

Already hacked by Magic SEO Toolz =)

I have no idea what’s up. I’m investigating.

I really, REALLY don’t need this time sink just before a major business trip. Any help diagnosing it would be greatly appreciated. Please comment below.

UPDATE: The blog BittBox is experiencing an identical problem. The comment thread there offers some tips. Jay at Bittbox is helping me troubleshoot (see comments below).

Also, thanks to Tom Vilot, who just upgraded me to the latest version of WordPress (2.3.1). However, Jay notes over at Bittbox that he was already running WP 2.3.1, so that won’t fix this problem.

On further investigation, Tom found that the hacker messed with my Akismet anti-spam plugin for WordPress. Tom just reinstalled that plugin with a clean copy. At this point, I’m no longer seeing that “already hacked by…” message when I try to upload an image. However, my WordPress visual editor is screwy, and image upload doesn’t work for me at all in Firefox. I can upload images to WP posts in Safari, but I see no visual editing interface in Safari.

The weirdness continues. But if you’re having this problem seems like reinstalling Akismet might be a useful step. Also, scan your directories for the character string: Already hacked by Magic SEO Toolz =) to see if the evil lis lurking anywhere else.
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