Plussing the Google

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know by now that Google is launching yet another social network, called Google+. It's in a private, invitation-based beta test mode, and I managed to get one from Steph Romanski before the invitations were halted due to "overwhelming" demand. Here's a peek inside and a taste of what's coming from Google.

Your Web stats are going to hell

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics," said Mark Twain. Progress has given us a fourth: Web statistics, and now Google has inadvertently invented a new way to make it even worse. 

Let's just bury the nightside copy desk

Forgive me, nightside copy editors, for I have come to dash your hopes and crush your spirit.

I come as one of you, having edited many thousands of stories and written many thousands of headlines in the darkness of an approaching newspaper deadline. But those days are gone, and that era is past. It's time to let go.

Forget about the horseshoe-shaped universal desk, the rim rat and the slot chief. They are as outdated as green eyeshades, pica poles, rubber cement, and drawing little lines below "w" and above "m" so as not to confuse the Ludlow machine operator.

Follow this article: Home delivery for the Web

Here's a little change we're rolling out on our Morris newspaper websites this month:

Links that can't be shared

I've been doing a lot more Web browsing lately on my Android phone -- not because I'm too lazy to get out of bed, but because it's always on and always with me. And I've become increasingly annoyed at a practice that should have died years ago: links that can't be shared.

Thinking about Alaska

View from a Grant Aviation plane

I've spent five weeks so far this year in Alaska, which in part accounts for my absence from blogging. I spent three weeks in Juneau, one in Kenai, and one in Anchorage. That's a tiny sample of our largest state, which has more coastline than all the rest of the country combined, and more land mass than Texas, California and Montana put together. But some points stand out.

No, you can't see Russia.

Sarah Palin is not particularly welcome to return.

Itsy-bitsy teensy-weensy type

I found myself annoyed the other day by the Washington Post's unusually small, hard to read body type, so I installed the very nice CSSViewer Chrome extension and took a look at several sites to see what's popular these days.

When activated, CSSViewer pops up a display of the active CSS rules for whatever element you're pointing at. Here's what I found.

It's not a paywall (part 2)

The New York Times has (finally) unveiled details of its metered-access digital subscription system to predictably mixed reviews.

As I've said, it's not a paywall, and using that word steers you toward misunderstandings. Think of it as rate-limiting. Light usage is free; heavy usage brings a request for payment.

Our disappointing journalism

Catching up with a crushing load of unanswered email, I wrote this in response to a query from a grad student who asked about contextualized journalism:

The video tag mess, and why Google's interests are (mostly) our interests

Earlier this week, Google's Chrome browser project announced it was dropping support for H.264 video, and immediately there was an uproar as if Google had desecrated a sacred object and posted the video on YouTube.

Most people actually have no idea what this means. A lot of people have drawn conclusions that I think are fundamentally wrong. All of this is very important to the evolution of Web media, and I'm going to try to make some sense of it.

Let's start with the word "open."