Bug Fix for This Site (I think)

Ever since I relaunched CONTENTIOUS as a weblog, I’ve had an intermittent weird display problem. From time to time, when someone would view the full text of one of my longer articles, the text would cut off before the end of the article, at the same position as the end of the right-hand column in my blog layout. (If you hit the browser “refresh” button the full page would load, but that was not intuitive to everyone.)

I think I’ve finally tracked down and fixed that problem. It’s a bug with how Cascading Style Sheets interacts with IE6, known as the IE6 scroll bug. If you use Movable Type weblog software and are experiencing the same problem in your weblog, here’s the fix that has worked for me.

In the “Individual Entry Archive” template, insert this code just before the </body> tag:
<div style=”clear:both;”></div>

I found that fix in this discussion thread.

So anyway, now I think that problem is fixed – but if you’re still seeing that problem, please e-mail me.

Most Popular CONTENTIOUS Entries

I was just reviewing statistics for this weblog, which has been operating for about five months now. Just for kicks, here’s a list of the most popular CONTENTIOUS entries so far:

  1. What Is RSS, and Why Should You Care?, Oct. 18, 2003.
  2. Persuading Bosses to Allow Blogs, Nov. 26, 2003
  3. Notetaking Wonders and Woes, Nov. 4, 2003
  4. Powerpoint Presentations Online: No! Stop! Don’t!!!, Nov. 18, 2003
  5. What’s in a Name? RSS and Attitude, Dec. 9, 2003
  6. Usability and Content, Nov. 12, 2003
  7. Bloglines: An Entry-Level Option for RSS Users, Oct. 20, 2003
  8. Overlooked RSS Opportunities, Oct. 15, 2003
  9. How Not to Do An Online Pressroom, Jan. 5, 2004
  10. More on Notetaking, Nov. 10, 2003

Also, based on the statistics of the last two days, it looks like my new article Strong Finish: Writing Effective Conclusions is likely to be VERY popular.

Meanwhile, a lot of people still visit the archives of the original version of CONTENTIOUS (from before I revived it as a weblog). Here are the most popular articles from those archives (for statistics collected over the past 5 months)…
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Sorry About the Gap…

Hi, all. I’m back

Sorry about the gap in publishing CONTENTIOUS over the last month or so. I was pretty ill for a while. Thought it was the flu the first week or so, but it turned out to be a nasty dose of mononucleosis. It was all I could do to keep my head above water with my paying work, so the blog had to take a backseat temporarily.

Now I’m well and reasonably caught up, so CONTENTIOUS is back in action! Enjoy!

Amy Gahran

Ask for the Sale

I’ve just returned from a two-day conference with a select group of online entrepreneurs. This event gave me plenty of great ideas that I’ll be putting to use in my business, especially as I launch my series of e-books in 2004 (on the topics for which I also offer talks and workshops).

The most important lesson I drew from this conference was about building my business. See, I’m an independent writer, editor, and trainer. I’m in business for myself, and no one is going to build my business but me.

This CONTENTIOUS weblog is a key tool for attracting clients – but I haven’t been making the best use of it in that regard. So far, I’ve been far too understated in how I tell my readers I’m actively seeking new projects and speaking engagements.

My colleagues at this conference looked at CONTENTIOUS and said, “Uhm, Amy, you’re not really asking for the sale.”

DUH! They were right! I did have a link to my Gahran.com site, which explains and advertises my many services (and which I recently overhauled in order to more accurately reflect the kinds of work I’m currently seeking). However, nowhere on CONTENTIOUS did I specifically clarify that I am available for hire!

OK, I’m now taking steps to fix that….
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A Few Weblog Enhancements

Over the weekend I made a few upgrades to the CONTENTIOUS weblog that I’d like to note briefly.

NEW SITE SEARCH ENGINE: I’ve decided to implement a different site search engine – a bit of Google plug-in code. (See box at right of this page.) The nice thing about this engine, compared to this weblog’s original search engine, is that it searches everything at the contentious.com domain. This includes the complete archives of the original CONTENTIOUS, dating back to 1998.

SECTION (CATEGORY) ARCHIVES My entries to the CONTENTIOUS weblog fall under several categories. If you’re interested in a particular category, you can click on the relevant category archive link to read other similar articles.

Here’s a brief description of each category…
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Amy’s in ABCnews.com Today!

Being an RSS Evangelist can really pay off! This morning, I’m featured in an ABCnews.com story on RSS feeds, “Feeding the Need for News,” by Paul Eng. It’s a pretty decent overview of the topic for people who haven’t heard of RSS feeds before.

Also quoted in this story is my friend and colleague Randy Cassingham, publisher of the excellent online humor newsletter This Is True.

Yes, it would have been nice if ABCnews.com could have mentioned the name or URL of this weblog, CONTENTIOUS – but at least people will be able to find me by Googling my name. Thanks for the boost, ABCnews.com!

It’s So Good to be Back…

I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for all the support and encouragement I’ve received from my readers, colleagues, and friends for relaunching CONTENTIOUS as a weblog.

I’d especially like to thank everyone who has posted comments to my recent weblog items – such interesting food for thought! If you haven’t yet had a chance to peruse the comments about postings here, please do – and feel free to post comments of your own! I’ll be doing some future blogging on some of the topics raised in these comments, and in e-mail discussions about these postings.

Also, I’d like to thank some fellow bloggers who have been kind enough to mention the CONTENTIOUS relaunch…
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Live from Loyola

At this moment, I’m in the computer lab of the Monroe Library at Loyola University. This is a very cool library – ethernet ports all over the place, artwork, it’s fabulous, nice lighting, it’s perfect.

I’m here to deliver a presentation on RSS feeds and digital voice recorders as part of the computer workshop (still at the conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists) I’m listening to a couple of presentations first, and here are the highlights….
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