Wednesday, August 11, 2004


The Lost Blogs' Home is now closed for business.

Now that everyone in the whole world has a blog (some of us have several!) the time has come to close the Lost Blogs' Home.

The Ranger wishes to thank every blogger he has been privileged to visit and comment upon.

Thank you everyone. You are all wonderful, and you all have something to offer, even though smetimes you may not realise it.

It is indeed a wonder of modern life that one can gaze into the lives of so many people all around the world.

Blog on, bloggers!

P.S: The Ranger will continue to blog as his alter ego Joe Bloggs.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Journalists get snippy about blogger accreditation at Democrat conference.

This reporter comments on bloggers taking over his territory:

"The newest example of the Democrat's nanny mini-state? They stopped the donut truck from coming in," writes Ana Marie Cox, describing the biggest crisis she witnessed during the Tuesday edition of the Democratic National Convention. She continues, "One wonders what threat donuts posed -- cholesterol seems an extremely inefficient medium for a terrorist attack." Glib? Frivolous? Sure. That's exactly the point. Ms. Cox is a blogger, the mind behind, a snarky Washington gossip site known for its below-the-beltway look at insider politics.

Glib? Frivolous? Snarky? And print journalism is not?

Mercury News columnist ... Dan Gillmor, the author of the new book We Are Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People, will be in Toronto on Tuesday speaking as part of a one-day conference entitled Exploring the Fusion Power of Public and Participatory Journalism. The event is co-organized and sponsored by the Canadian Newspaper Association.

Oh come on. They're going to talk about how they're all looking over their collective shoulders at the blogger threat. As for that title Exploring the Fusion Power of whatever ... how twentieth century academia!

"More voices are always better than fewer," Mr. Gillmor explains. "In the best-case scenario, bloggers bring additional kinds of perspectives from a group of people who tend to be less jaded about the process."

And less constrained by not having to attend boring newspaper association conferences.

According to Mr. Gillmor, their outsider status means bloggers tend to seek out stories that experienced journalists overlook, in the process providing a fresh perspective.

Hold the press! Experienced reporter scooped by geek! Then this:

Political weblogs have developed a reputation for being biased, pithy and specialized.

Of course no actual newspaper or print reporter, would have a reputation for bias, would they?

But did bloggers at the Democratic convention blow their big chance by describing non-issues like doughnut scarcity? (Both Ms. Cox and Mr. Rukavina weighed in on the deep-fried dessert's convention presence, or lack thereof.)

Non-issue? Says who? They were making a quite valid point about the absurd extent to which Democrat nanny-state thinking extends. Like, a grown adult can't make a personal decision not to buy a doughnut. NO! they have to be banned. Duh. These people want to run the country and they can't be trusted with the doughnut cart! That clearly goes right over the head of Mr Jaded Print Journalist. And then:

To even ask this question serves to highlight the tension between weblogs and traditional journalism outlets (i.e. the pulp and ink you're currently holding in your hand).

Oh no I'm, not Mr Pulp and Ink man. I'm reading it online on the other side of the world. I think that sums up the disconnect beautifully. Then he - WARNING! BOREDOM ALERT! - trots out an academic to weigh into the debate:

For Leonard Witt, the president of the Public Journalism Network at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, asking whether bloggers should be considered journalists is the wrong question. Because blogs link back to the source material they comment upon, from other websites and the media, Prof. Witt believes that "a good blog is almost like a strong piece of research with footnotes. And in some ways it's more legitimate than a newspaper because it explains where its information is coming from."

At that point The Ranger fell asleep.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Oh dog, you sleuth.

An amazing photoblog chronicling old buildings, streetscapes, signs, ephemera. Fascinating. Check out the 'fifties time-warp motel.

Monday, July 26, 2004


A dog's life.

Greg Hlatky is a self-confessed pedigreed member of the ankle-biting riff-raff.

Interesting commentary on all manner of subjects. Great Borzoi links.

I never met a Borzoi I didn't like. They are such noble creatures.

Sunday, July 25, 2004



Rita is a superb storyteller.

There's nothing I can add, just go read.


Vent your spleen with Tim Blair.

One of Australia's earliest and pre-eminent webloggers, Tim Blair, has garnered a wide readership and 'commentariat' across Australia, the US and elsewhere. Fearlessly right-wing and libertarian, Blair's posts are ferociously anti-left. He uses biting sarcasm and pitches his arguments almost to the point of self-parody  - which serves only to send his critics ballistic. The debates continue in the comments, which often stretch to a hundred or more.

Political debate at its rawest.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Miss Manners on weblogs.

She's absolutely right, of course, about the difference between diaries and weblogs:
'With a diary, the danger was that someone might sneak a peek at it or even steal it and expose one's secrets. With a blog, the fear is that nobody might do so. '
That says it all, really.



Friday, July 16, 2004


Another law blog. A good one.

The blog of a learned professor of law, entitled, neatly, Is That Legal. This is probably essential reading for anyone with an interest in law, politics and public policy.
Scroll down for some stunning photographs of Toledo and the Costa Brava.
I wish I was a law professor if that's the kind of travelling they get to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Feeling burned out? You're not alone.

Blogger burnout is the subject of this article from Wired.

It talks about the weight of expectation hanging heavy on bloggers' minds, to the extent in some cases, that people feel unwell if they don't blog regularly:

"I never can post something and say I'm done for the day," said Zuniga, "because I'm always thinking about the next post. I'm always feeling like I'm letting people down if I don't have any new stuff up on the site."

For bloggers like Zuniga, this is where burnout begins to creep in.

A piece of advice from The Ranger: do not fall into the trap of writing for someone else. Whether you get no comments or a hundred comments, you are writing for your own enjoyment. If it pleases (or annoys) others, that's just an extra bonus.

It's not a school assignment. It's something you do for fun. Enjoy it. Write for yourself and you will enjoy it more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


On your marks, get set ...


It's the Melbourne Stich'n Bitch Knitalong.

And the start list is:

Jen crocheting the French Market Bag,
Diana knitting the FMB,
Suzette knitting the Lunch Bag Carryall,
Kat knitting the FMB,
Judy knitting the FMB with some embellishments,
Dianne knitting the FMB,
Kate knitting Sophie
Jacqueline knitting the Mary-Jane felted slippers.

Check out the Siamese cat showing admirable constraint in the face of severe temptation.

So far there has been plenty of stitching and not a whole lot of bitching.

Friday, July 09, 2004


A Washington State Guardsman in Iraq.

You may have seen this.

It's interesting.

R. writes about his everyday tasks and frustrations with an amusing eye for detail.

He has to deal with the media:

What amazes me is how a lot of the civilian news journalists demand to be treated like royalty. One CNN reporter demanded a helicopter to fly her from the Green Zone to here - 8 miles. hahaha Another reporter was outraged at the room he was offered here - it's the same room that a visiting field grade officer gets and certainly significantly better than what the line units get. I've had one reporter get huffy when we didn't have refreshments ready for her. She also commented that she was amazed that we didn't have any coffee ready for her. Her visit was a surprise and I offered to make a pot for her but she rudely refused saying that I "had already blown my chance." My chance? To cater to her? That was blown long before she was born!

Now the senior reporters like Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Of course they have a staff that cater to them but I never heard an unkind word or even the hint of a complaint from those guys about what the Army had or did not have to offer.

it's the up and coming reporters that are still fighting to become a name that are a pain and very demanding.

Sunday, July 04, 2004



Some time ago I mentioned the gentle and beautifully-written Gone South, a diary about life with a Solomon Islands Eclectus parrot (among other things!).

Now there's a blog for the parrots themselves, or should I say, about the parrots, for their owners.

I'm obsessed with parrots. I'll have to get one one day.

Or go live in a rainforest.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Seth in Israel.

Seth's virtual postcard blog of his trip in a lifetime. Some beautiful shots - sailing on the Sea of Galilee, the city on the hill, the amazing Hippodrome at Caesarea etc.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Meet my staff. He's asleep under the desk.

All this time, The Ranger thought the idea of 'reviewing' blogs was just a bit of fun.

The Ranger would never willingly criticise a blog. They're people's personal chronicles; not movies, theatre productions or art shows that you pay for. Yes, they are in the public domain, but they are also freely accessed.

The Ranger is clearly naive. There is a dollar to be made in blog reviewing.

He has discovered The Weblog Review, a very serious-looking site at which you can actually pay to have someone tell you what they think of your blog.

Imagine doing that in real life - offering to read and comment on people's diaries for a price.

The Weblog Review's 'Review Staff' list shows more than twenty 'current staff members' and close to a hundred 'retired staff members'.

Staff? The Ranger has no staff, just a snoring dog for company.

Sunday, June 27, 2004



Chilling news for anyone running a free blog.

'Blogging pioneer Dave Winer unexpectedly closed, his free blog-hosting service, on Sunday, leaving thousands of bloggers without access to their blogs. Blogs affected by the shutdown now redirect to a generic message posted by Winer. Some bloggers are screaming that the shutdown is a serial "blog murder." Other bloggers slammed the people whose blogs have vanished from the Internet, saying that no one should expect continuity from a free service.'
The Ranger has been concened about this for quite some time:

'And is blogger secure (if not I hope they have backed it up, you wouldn't like to see it disappear!)'

If you have something irreplaceable on your blog, like your life story, your next best-seller novel or your Christmas card list, copy and paste it somewhere now.

Friday, June 25, 2004


If they could make a radio out of coconuts on Gilligan's Island ...

... why couldn't they fix the hole in the boat?

Good question. I found it here.

What's a good name for a goldfish?

And You Think it Really Matters? is a blog from Brisbane, Australia. Pause4Thought is an animal attendant so there's lots of stuff about animals, including Pause4Thought's very cute new Welsh Springer Spaniel, Lil.

Check out the names of her goldfish.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


What goes on behind the scenes at an ad agency?

Not too much advertising, if this is any guide.

Warning: strong language.

Elude your inner censor*.

Just one of the fascinating posts at A Writer's Jottings, which is essentially a compendium of writing techniques and hints from a number of different authors, mostly Dave Fox, all brought together by Tara, 19, of Miami, FL.

*Especially the copyright censor.

This guy sure gets around.

Cameron Martindell'stravel chronicle is simply one of the best I've seen.

Buckle up for the ride, armchair travellers!

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