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5 Years On…

September 11, 2006

Can you believe it has already been five years!

Five years ago today – on Septemeber 11th, 2001 – the world in which we live in took a horrific turn. The way we lived was questioned and questioned with such vile violence that it’s ramifications are still being heard today … and will be long after we all move on.

Quite simply, the foundations about everything we believe in was rocked to the core. This was not happening. But it was happening!

On a purely personal level, I should have no connection with this: No one I knew died and I have never visited New York. I was living in my nice quiet area of Melbourne, Australia 7,800 miles away from the scene of the crime.

And it was a crime!

But Australians have a natural affinity with Americans. We have been raised on American culture – 90% good; 10% bad. And I’m not complaining. For a young Aussie, America, and especially New York, was a lifetime away. It was the place where eveybody wanted to visit one day. One day …

9/11 affected me in more ways than one can imagine. It changed my perspective on life, on people, on family, on how one must live for today, take the initiative and so on.

One thing resonates strongly in my mind from those uncertain days. When President George W. Bush said that there were two wars that were going to be waged: one that you’ll see on your nightly news and the one that you won’t see. That said a lot of things to me. That said to me we’re in for a long and nasty ride.

One ugly side-effect that these murderous scum brought to us was the near total split in people’s political ideals – and that ugly side-effect is still with us today.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

usflag3.jpg

I recall when I first heard about. It was Tuesday night just after 10 o’clock at night. I was watching a silly chat program on Chanel 10 – The Panel, I think, when the story first broke in Australia: A plane had crashed into one of the twin towers.

Now being the news junkie that I am I went straight away to all the news channels: Fox News, CNN, SkyNews, BBC and watched it all unfold. When the second plane hit it dawned on you in that instant – that instant of sudden recognition of what was happening.

I woke up my wife (we had a four-month old at that time) and we both watched for hour upon hour as it all unfolded right in front of our screens – the Pentagon, The fourth plane that went to ground, the fear that more was coming. Shit, if the most powerful nation in the world seemed so powerless what hope is there, we thought.

And then the buildings collapsed and it all went to another level. This is not a movie. This is not a movie. Holy fucking shit, the streets of New York are being enveloped by the thick clouds of death and concrete. People running for their lives.

People have jumped to their deaths. Firemen are racing up the towers not aware of their fate. A chaplain helping those near the scene is killed. The President looks shaken and ghostly in his hurried press conference. The President is scrambled throughout the day in the skies. No planes are in the skies. Orders to shoot down are given. No one really knows what is happening or what will happen next. This is pure terror.

The sheer scale of events on that day quite simply changed the world. It changed my world.

I know from my persepctive it grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the wall and said to me: Wake up, boy, life is so unpredictable, so fucked up at times, that you’ve got to live today.

Because of that day, I’ve been to many places on a personal level since. I’ve been on a so-called journey of discovering myself and the world around me. I’ve formed opinions. I’m still on that journey.

I remember the day after the events I headed off to work but half way there decided “Fuck it”. I then drove to the beach, brought all the papers and listened all day to the radio in my car.

Sometimes when the emotions of an event are so far out of the realms of acceptance you turn to music to help soothe your soul.

Two pieces of music from that period will stick with me forever. Until the day I die, these two songs bring up that day for me in the most personal of ways – eeiry, melancholy, depressing, just sad. They are “Sing” by Travis and “Overcome” by Live – both clips are placed at the end of this post from YouTube.

One thing people should do is not forget what happened on that day. All of a sudden nothing mattered anymore. Remember the nearly 3000 who died. Remember the utter destruction. Remember the helplessness we all felt. I fear way too many people have buried all of this in the back of their mind as they go about their different agendas. Just remember what brought you all here.

One day shortly, I plan to visit New York. I don’t know how I will react. Right now I have tears in my eyes – so I’ve said all I wanted to say.

God Bless America – God Bless Humanity – and just … enjoy life!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Sing” by Travis …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Overcome” by Live …

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At the World Trade Center, faced with a desperate situation of smoke and burning heat from the jet fuel and ignited building contents, an estimated 200 people jumped to their deaths from the burning towers, landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below. In addition, some of the occupants of each tower above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue. No rescue plan existed for such an eventuality. Fleeing occupants instead encountered locked access doors upon reaching the roof. In any case, thick smoke and intense heat prevented rescue helicopters from landing.

1366 people were at or above the floors of impact in the North Tower (1 WTC): according to the Commission Report hundreds were killed instantly by the impact the rest were trapped and died later.

As many as 600 people were killed instantly or trapped at and above the floors of impact in the South Tower (2 WTC). Only about 18 managed to escape in time from above the impact zone and out of the South Tower before it collapsed.
- Wikipedia

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Those who died came from 87 countries.

These are some figures … they’re just horrendous:

Total number who died: 2,819

Firefighters and Paramedics who died: 343

NYPD Officers who died: 23

Number of families who got no remains: 1,717

Number of body parts found: 19,858

Number of children who lost a parent: 3,051

Once again…
God Bless America – God Bless Humanity

A test post using Zoundry


Technorati :

I’m trying out Qumana for the first time.

Okay. So the news is everywhere. Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter” has died.

A very sad and personal day. You can read about it at The Australian.

~ ~ ~

What caught my attention from all this attention on Australia is the realising just how much of that cultural cringe there is in us.

What the Fuck! How unbelievably sad … and you know what? It creeps up on you and you realise shit, are we all like that! And the answer is … Yes, it would appear so.

Shit, there’s even a bloody Wikipedia page on cultural cringe, which was unsurprisingly coined by an Aussie for Aussies about Aussies and how we see ourselves in the world.

I mean how sad is it that we gleefully watch overseas (mainly America) news items when Australia is mentioned; it’s like “look at me, look at me, ma!” We’re being noticed. On CNN! Wow! Like we need worldwide praise for being Australian.

Fuck that shit! Bring out the “Crikeys”, the “G’day’s”, the “Mate’s” … “Bloody”. Lets be Australian. Stop with the inferiority complex and go about our Australian way of life … and it is a unique Australian way of life we live. And we gotta start loving it, mate!

Today!

~ ~ ~

Finally, no matter what we say and want to believe about the blogosphere, when something big happens we always go straight to mainstream media … always!

And this time it has been no different.

The blogosphere simply can’t match the resources that tradtional media have at their disposal in reporting and brining out news – the blogosphere is basically a giant opinion mixer with “columnists” scattered across the globe. And is that a good thing? Well, checking out some blogs and how they have gone about “blogging” this death … it’s not a bad thing at all.

Some really disappointing stuff I’ve come up against. I’ll post no links because I don’t want to waste your time.

~ ~ ~

I’ll leave you with this …

…yet back here in my own country, some people find me a little bit embarrassing. You know, there’s this… they kind of cringe, you know, ’cause I’m coming out with “Crikey” and “Look at this beauty”. Just say what you’re gonna say, mate. You know, is it a cultural cringe? Is it, um, they actually see a little bit of themselves, um, when they see me, and they find that a little embarrassing? I’m fair dinkum, like kangaroos and Land Cruisers, winged keels and bloody flies! I think we’ve lost all that.
Steve Irwin – ABC’s Australian Story

Update: Seems like The Blog Herald has attracted a number of comments in regards to the death of Steve Irwin, most of them genuine out-pourings of immediate emotions.

The Blog Columnist v6

August 28, 2006


I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

- Hunter S. Thompson
____________________________

crazycoffee.jpgWelcome to The Blog Columnist v6 – I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and did whatever gets your rocks off. Now sit back, take your coffee in hand and settle in for a read.

In this issue I’m talking about Darren Rowse, Performancing, 9rules/b5media, The Daily Telegraph, The Blog Herald and Robert Scoble.

Lets start of with some nice, feely-good news, and go downhill from there…


The Darren Rowse / ProBlogger Effect

Darren, I could easily kiss you all over … but, err I won’t.

People of the blogosphere! Screw the Digg effect, I’m talking about something so much more powerful: The ProBlogger Effect.

It struck me over the weekend at my weekly scotch n’ glance session over my stats for the previous week … and it left me staggered. But why should I be surprised. It has happened before.

See, Darren ever so kindly did a small write up on a resource I had set up at my ePublishingDaily blog. I had written, or compiled, The Ultimate Resource Page … for information publishers – a list of 100+ useful resources.


Now check this graph … and the sudden spurt is 100% due to being on ProBlogger. Cool, ha!

The numbers: average daily pageviews 143 (don’t snicker, it’s still a relatively newish blog). Page views for 25/8: 579; 26/8: 1,279 and 27/8: 725 1,425 at the end of the day . Pretty clear-cut what getting on ProBlogger can have on a blog.

Now I know the effect this can have. Last year Darren included a post of mine in a series called “31 Days to Building a Better Blog”. The numbers this has bought in has been steady and over the long term. Even today, with my old blog a shell of its former self I still get good numbers coming directly through that one link.

Sometimes nice guys do finish first!


Performancing Exchange is a Crock of Shit

That’s what you get with such a free service. I spent Friday night writing what I thought was a pretty good offer to include in the “Exchange” for some win/win offerings I had in mind.

I spent nearly two hours on it, put it up and watched it taken down within minutes. WTF!

Fuck that shit! I wasted nearly 2 hours of my time. You’ve lost me guys and if you don’t change your overly-moderated ways you’ll lose many more. Sometimes to grow you’ve got to let the reigns go.

If you’re really serious about making an offer, an exchange, forget the free rubbish, go for quality and pay for it. At least you won’t be wasting your time.

It’s laughable … how many times have Nick & co. had to comment asking: Pay? More details please? Compared to your other offerings this one’s turning into a flop.

Once again : Performancing Exchange is a Crock of Shit. But I’m totally biased and opinionated because they fucked with my time. Maybe they work for you. I would love to hear about it, but maybe not. Next!


9rule’s Mike Rundle asks the Hard Questions of b5media

Going public, Mike Rundle has seriously questioned the numbers behind the rise and rise of b5media.

Seemingly, 9rules snarky bulldog Mike Rundle all of a sudden wants to publicly question b5media’s numbers – calling b5 out and saying the figures just don’t add up … inflated?

In the comments, Mike puts Jeremy in the hot seat. Big time.

Ouch! 20m pageviews a month says b5 and Mike seems to have spent some time digging deep – for what ever reason I don’t know.

All of a sudden, Mike Rundle is an investigative blogging journalist. It’s strange because he’s one of the guys behind 9rules, the same 9rules who keep saying they are not a blog network … really, we’re not.

I find it strange that 9rules appears to be the ones who wants to raise such questions. I don’t get it. And lets now get over the pretense of a lovey-dovey blogoshpere: 9rules have king hit b5media, in effect calling them liars.

As Jeremy said, Mike could have asked privately … before doing a hatchet job on b5 – and trust me, scrap the forced niceties this IS a huge hatchet job.

So what have we learned from all this? Number One: website/blogging stats are all over the place. Nothing is perfect and really … it should be.

SiliconBeat writes …
independent third-party tracking of traffic to Web sites, and of user clicks on Web page links, is deeply flawed … there doesn’t seem to be any remedy in sight.

Great! Programmers and techies get to work, Pronto, on a solution.

And no matter what anyone says, or will privately tell me, b5 must be fuming, especially Jeremy Wright (and by the looks of it, b5′s own bull terrier, Duncan is on the prowl with some anti 9rules comments flying). Memo to b5: if you really believe in your numbers then show some teeth.


The UK’s Daily Telegraph … Shame on You!


From Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger I read this shameful act of plagiarism … and not just by anybody, but by an old mainstream media outfit – The Daily Telegraph. Reputable. Yeah, right!

Brian asks:

Could one of only two remaining daily British broadsheet newspapers be so desperate as to steal blog content?

The answer would seem to be YES!

Check out the original article – here

Check out The Dail Telegrphs blatant rip-off: here

Caught red-handed. The solution: The “journlaist” in question should be sacked. Nothing more, nothing less. But then there was a break through. The journalist explained the situation and apologized, blaming an unknown editor. Uh-Huh, yep … sure!

Even well-kown copyright revolutionary/idealist Chartreuse writes about it. ;)

As a former journalist turning tricks these days with blogging I find this totally shameful. It was so blatant and pathetic that it had to be an error! Swine the lot of them! At best it’s was lazy, sloppy journalism/editing … and at worst it was plain theft. We’ll never know.

Oh, by the way, here’s the response from the original writer to all this, clevely entitled Today is to cut corners…

Cutting corners. Now that’s spot on.


This is How You Go About Podcasting

Want to see a professional podcasting set up? Then check my blog friend Matt over at The Blog Herald, who lets us all into his home office to reveal The Blog Herald Podcasting Rig.

Holy batshit that’s some serious goodies in there.


Scobleizer and His Boo-Boo

Amazing to see so-called A-List blogger Robert Scoble act first then think later, potentially damaging the reputation of another blogger.

As blogging matures expect to see defamation and libel action or threats thereof, unless bloggers (and you’d expect more from Robert in this case) don’t do some (usually) basic fact-checking before pressing the publish button. No matter what ideals we all believe in these times of “new media” libel is still libel and defamation is still defamation.

In the comments at the offending post:

“Hey Robert, You’ve just committed libel. That’s not my blog. Before you slam something like this, I sugged doing a WHOIS to lookup the information on who actually owns the blog. It so happens that he’s using an aggregation plugin for WordPress that I wrote and GPL released, but that’s it.”

Really stupid, Robert.

* * * * * * *

Tis all folks. Have a good week and see you at the end of the week for The Blog Columnist v7.

____________________________

Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy… or they become legend.
- Jim Harrison

____________________________


i gotta find myself some love
igotta find myself some drugs
i gotta find some liquid sunshine
igotta find myself, i gotta find myself

“Find Myself”
Motley Crue’s Generation Swine

____________________________

The Blog Columnist v5

August 25, 2006


In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely.

- Hunter S. Thompson
_____________________________

Welcome one and all to The Blog Columnist v5.

This edition I talk about The Blogging Times, Chartreuse, InstaMedia, More Minimal, JobBoard, Performancing and InstaBlogs

Let’s kickstart v5…

v5 was written with the Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium CD blasting my eardrums from here to hell and back. I’ll be semi-deaf in 20 years but who gives a fuck. Enjoy!

* * * * * * * * *

The Blogging Times Goes Video and MySpace
I like Minic Rivera who is the founder and editor of The Blogging Times. He’s done a stellar job in bringing out a top quality blogging publication.

The Blogging TimesBut I’m not sure about their latest move. A new columnist doing video segments about music found on MySpace.com – just doesn’t seem to weave together with what I thought The Blogging Times was all about – a very-newspaperish site on blogging news. I see the stamp of Chartreuse (a recent partner) all over this. This is exactly somethig he would do. I really wonder if in 12 months times we’ll see a completelty different Blogging Times from what you see today. Not sure guys.

* * * * * * * * *

embrace minimalism with your blog
By eliminating everything that’s not of interest to your target reader, you’ll take a big step toward creating a more readable and useful site: one that invites exploration, and creates expectations which will keep your fans coming back for more.

via more minimal … and read their follow up post five ways to make your blog more readable.

Achtung Bloggers of the World: Read it! Your blog will love you for it.

* * * * * * * * *

The Hemingway of Web 2.0 writing!!!

Over at InstaMedia, Ankit had this little tidbit … “If I were a little drunk, I might have called him the Hemingway of Web 2.0 writing.”

Being a total Hemingway aficionado from way back I took notice. Who is this Hemingway of today?

He’s talking of course about the flavour of year in the blogosphere Chartreuse (aka Mr Prince Campbell).


The Hemingway of … Not on your fucking life! Sorry Chartreuse, you’ve got yourself a decent following and a simple, cool writing style that clicks with many but you ain’t no Hemingway.

I’d have to be really whacked out and plastered on Papa’s trademark Daiquiri and I’d still say … no fucking way.

* * * * * * * * *

Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs at JobBoard

Darren Rowse, fellow Melbourne blogger (the.best.fucking.city.in.the.world!) launched a classified service for bloggers this week – JobBoard.

At $50 a pop (soon to be $100) you can advertise for a blogger. Nice! And nice for bloggers to be able to go to one place and see what’s on offer. There are other like-services out there but with Darren’s high rep and a solid readership base this will work.

And good on you Darren for going straight for the money – everything can’t be for fucking free on the internet. Blogging is maturing. Cool.

* * * * * * * * *

Will Performancing Turn Digg-like?

Interesting post by Nick Wilson over at Performancing this week.

Talking about their Exchange service, Nick asked if folks liked the voting mechanism (very Digg like) where users can vote on jobs offered – and send it to the home page if the collective audience says so.

In the instance of Exchange, which is a classified-like marketplace for bloggers, I don’t see the need for it. I’d prefer to see a strong headline and a small excerpt for each offering and let it go from there. The problem, though, with such a free service, is the quality of postings. Free usually equals lots of rubbish. Do a Darren guys … and charge for the service. You cut out the crap, make some dosh and it’s a win/win for both advertisers and seekers.

But what perked my interest was what Nick said later on in the post… the community decides (in fact, i’d like to do this for all posts, including forum/blog/etc..)

In all posts. Now that’s not a bad idea. I’ve got to say that the quality of posts at Performancing is not as near as good as when it was in the first month and a half of its launch. And with any group blogging effort you are sure to get some hit and misses posts. So Performacning morphs into Digg territory and only gets better. Food for thought.

* * * * * * * * *

20,000,000 and going strong … Kudos to InstaBlogs

In my short time running Blog Network Watch I gave crap to those behind InstaBlogs for their constant delays in launching. I said it would ruin them or words to that effect.

Well this week I eat my words and am happy to report they have hit 20 million page views. But what’s astounding is they got nearly 50% of that in just (the) last 75 days. – holy fucking shit that’s some big numbers in such a short period.

Well done as he’s eating humble pie and I’ll even eat more pie when you get to 100,000,000.

Now who’s gonna be the first blog network to reach 1,000,000,000 (that’s 1 billion page views), leaving out JCal’s AOL empire of blogs.

* * * * * * * * *

That’s it folks. Have a good (non-blogging) weekend and I’ll see you early next week for v6 of The Blog Columnist.

When I say non-blogging I mean get the fuck away from the computer. Shut down your internet connection. Get out and enjoy life. If you like a drink, then have a drink. If you like to dance then dance. Do whatever you get off on and come back refreshed for another week of blogging.

____________________________

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
- Benjamin Franklin

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