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Saturday, June 30, 2007

More changes coming to Da Blog

Bravenet's time as provider of Da Counter is nearing an end.

When I created Da Counter, I was just looking for any old service that would allow me to track how many people, if any, were visiting Da Blog. Bravenet was listed high on a list and it had a bunch of other stuff that looked cool. Bravenet provides a poll too? That's good, because Da Blog is going to have a large interactive element.

Now, however, that's looking more like a liability. For Bravenet, hitcountering is an afterthought. It's something to be added to their real bread and butter: their web site services. And their web site services are woefully inadequate compared to the ones I'm considering.

(By the way, a quick update on the web site front. ZendURL is not accepting any new users right now as they upgrade their control panel.)

Still, I was hesitant on ditching them, because their poll is still useful. But Blogger is now offering polls themselves, rendering Bravenet's redundant.

So sometime in the near future, Da Counter is moving from Bravenet to SiteMeter. Not only is SiteMeter all about hitcountering, it provides a boatload more info.

For the moment, I don't think I'll use any more of Bravenet's services, but I don't know how robust Blogger's poll is going to be...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Da Blog One-Day Binge

For the next 24 hours every post in the short history of Da Blog will be available on the front page, instead of just the most recent 10.

This is partly to facilitate getting the first six months of Da Blog history into Technorati's search engine. Memo to Technorati users: Dump it for Google Blog Search, it nabs more small blogs easier. (But it hasn't updated Da Blog since my Upfront series. And I use Google's own Blogger service! The best way to search Da Blog itself is to use the search bar at the top of the page.)

Technorati's help section, when you look in their forums, shows a dirty little secret: If your blog is new or small, Technorati wants no part of you. The process of getting your blog properly indexed is a lot more difficult than they let on. Your blog may technically be listed, but it may also be "flagged for review" without your knowledge, and meanwhile your posts are waiving their only chance to be indexed without resorting to dirty tricks like this.

The "Classic Da Blog" tag will identify posts that have not been edited since before June 14, 2007, but are dated to later (that is, today) in Technorati's database.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NBA Re-ups with ABC, ESPN, TNT

This is a little late; blame's tardiness putting up the story, but the NBA will stay on ABC, ESPN, and TNT through 2016, well after just about all other leagues will have to renew their agreements. So far as people watching TV will be able to tell, it will be status quo, unless they happen to watch NBA TV try to become as close to the NFL Network as the NBA is to the NFL.

TNT will show 52 regular season games a year and up to that number of playoff games. ABC will show a minimum of 15 regular-season and the same number of playoff games, including the Finals; the ESPN family will show up to 75 regular season games and 29 playoff games.

More info at the linked article.

15 playoff games mean even with a 7-game Finals, ABC will have to show 8 playoff games, more games than Finals games. This represents a larger playoff commitment on the part of both ABC and ESPN. This and more analysis on Sports Media Watch.

NBC probably had the most successful run of any NBA TV partner, but this deal will give ABC rights for longer than NBC. Many NBA fans on the Internet have been critical of the NBA on ABC - and with gimmicks like bringing in the Pussycat Dolls to do songs for the opener, ABC makes an easy target - but the NBA and others have stated repeatedly that NBC, CBS, and Fox did not make a sufficient offer to compete, and it's absurd to blame the NBA's broadcast ratings woes to the presentation of games on ABC. If the games are good, people will turn in in spite of the presentation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

From the Weird News file...

Are churches preaching a pro-life stance just trying to obstruct science at this point?

Given their latest escapades, I'd have to think so.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Strange Case of Chris Benoit

WWE wrestler Chris Benoit was found dead alongside his wife Nancy and son Daniel on Monday, and all three deaths appear to be the work of Benoit himself.

The reaction to which has led to some interesting insights on human nature, or at least American culture. It seems that people's revulsion to murder outweighs their sorrow for a figure that, up until his death, was rather well-respected in the wrestling community.

People have overcome their sadness and disbelief and switched to anger at Benoit. Many people are now upset with WWE for dedicating last night's "Monday Night Raw" to Benoit's death. (The show was originally to be a memorial service to the fictionally-dead Vince McMahon, but that storyline appears to be dead.) "World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon opened tonight’s Extreme Championship Wrestling episode by saying that Chris Benoit’s name would not be mentioned at any other point during the telecast because of the revelations that have surfaced about the murder/suicide since a Benoit ntribute show aired on last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw."

Um... what? So a guy (as it is likely to turn out) goes a little insane and kills his family and then kills himself and we focus on the murders? Don't get me wrong, murder is bad, but does it change all the accomplishments of Benoit's life? (Okay, I guess it does.) Can anyone really blame WWE for showing a tribute to one of its greatest wrestlers, especially since the "murderer" news hadn't come out at the time?

Meanwhile, various news outlets are already speculating about the possible role of steroids in Benoit's rampage, and the whole story is likely to result in a lot of renewed attention towards wrestling that it really doesn't need...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Yet Another Greatest Movie List?

Last week the AFI updated their 1998 "100 Years... 100 Movies" list with a "10th Anniversary" update to the list. (Let's not get into the fact that it technically hasn't quite been 10 years.) I'm not going to give my opinions on the list, which you can see on Wikipedia here, mostly because I'm not qualified to have any, not being a movie watcher. (But yay for Do the Right Thing cracking the Top 100!)

However, it's apparent that lists like these appeal more to our desire to list things (and my magnetic pull to countdowns) more than anything else. That's why regardless of anything else, the future "greatest lists" mentioned on one of the polls will become part of the future of Da Blog.

I just need people to pick some initial topics for listing, which you can do in a comment to this post for now; later I'll introduce a more robust topic-picking system.