PubSub offers real-time earthquake info

PubSub is my favorite tool for tracking topics that interest me in the blogosphere. Blogs are what PubSub does, so it was a bit of a surprise to read a press release  announcing the site has a new service: tracking US Geological Survey (USGS) seismological activity and making it available via RSS feed or email update. But it’s just another way to take advantage of RSS.

“We realized our Internet-scale matching and notification system was ideal for making this critical data more easily and quickly available to the average person.  So we’ve developed a system to translate the USGS technical feed into XML—the standard language of the… Read More »

A new refrain: “Where were the bloggers?”

A mythology is growing around instances in which bloggers have jumped on a story resulting in some kind of consequence. Trent Lott stepped down. Dan Rather resigned and other CBS staffers suffered. The manufacturer of a bicycle lock had to deal with the lock’s flaws.

Now, it seems, bloggers are expected to take the lead—or at least participate with great zest—in any number of issues. We saw this recently when Jay Rosen cried, “Where are the PR bloggers?” following the revelation that Ketchum, representing the US Department of Education, had paid pundit Armstrong Williams to publicly support the administration’s education policy.

In… Read More »

Unintentional consequences

This morning, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, a guest on Wolf Blitzer’s Sunday morning interview show on CNN, defending the Pentagon’s development of new Web sites designed to provide information to a global audience. Blitzer asked whether these sites violated President Bush’s new edict forbidding payment to PR agencies in order to promote the administration’s political agenda. Rumsfeld responded that these sites had nothing to do with a political agenda.

Whether that’s true or not, we are going to see more unintended consequences of the Ketchum-Williams-DOE controversy. I’ve encountered one myself. I’ve been doing work for a… Read More »

Back online

Not to belabor the obvious, but after a couple days offline, my blog, e-mail server, message boards, various Web sites, and other server-based applications are back up and running. Given the severity of the problem that caused me to vanish from the Net in the first place, the recovery should have taken a week or so. That it only took from Wednesday night until Friday night is testament to the dedication of one man who didn’t have to put in the kind of effort he did.

Here’s the story.

Checking e-mail one last time before hitting the sack on Wednesday night, I realized the server was down. I called Jim Joss, who hosts my server at his… Read More »

The Web goes multimedia

Fueled by the growth in broadband access to the Net, the number of video streams increased nearly 81% in 2004, reaching 14.2 billion (with a “b”) streams. Accustream, which measures such things, expects growth to continue on the same curve this year, with some 21 billion streams (an increase of almost 50%) forecast for 2005. By 2007, the annual volume of video streams is expected to surpass 35 billion.

The adoption of broadband by consumers is also expected to keep increasing, meaning the Web is growing more and more multimedia. The value of video or audio, beyond the obvious, is that is is becoming a consumer expectation. It won’t be… Read More »

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