One of my favorite writers who covers the societal implications of technology, Seth Finkelstein, is shutting down his blog after 11 years. The closure of Google Reader this morning, which will cost bloggers a huge chunk of readers who follow them over RSS, was the final straw: It's been clear for a long time I've considered blogging to have been a failure, for me. I'll skip reciting again my delusion. In sum, while I treasure the occasional indication that someone has enjoyed something I've written, the ... read more

When I'm interested in a high-profile trial, one of my go-to sources for analysis is the liberal blogger Jeralyn Merritt, whose TalkLeft focuses on crimes with political implications. Merritt is a criminal defense attorney in Denver who has been running the blog for over a decade. While reading her posts on the George Zimmerman murder trial, I was surprised by a comment she made to a user of her site: I have repeatedly warned Ricky not to ask readers to help prove the prosecution case. ... He is sounding more ... read more

The seven-week break I took on Workbench, which just ended 11 words ago, is the longest since I began my personal blog in 1999. I'm doing some work in social media these days and thinking about launching a new company to commercialize software I've been developing for my own use the past six years. I also am deep into the manuscript for a new edition of Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Hours. My absence did not make Target employees fonder, as a recent comment to my five-year-old tale of shopping humiliation ... read more

Lambert Strether, the founder of the liberal blog Corrente Wire, has suggested that my story on the woman who sued the debt collector might be a hoax: The story (cross-posted here) is sourced to a phone interview with the woman's lawyer, Ross Teter. The best I can find in a quick search is this court docket item. I would want to make very, very certain that this story isn't really a way of propagating links to the "credit repair" services and forums, whose links appear further down in the article. The name of ... read more

Peter Ellis, the editor of the St. Augustine Record, recently began a blog with an angry post that suggests he is starting his new site under duress: My first encounter with a blogger was a miserable experience. He reported stuff on his blog about The Record that was wrong and then urged bloggers across the country to write me to complain. Many of them did, even though most of them had never heard of the St. Augustine Record. That left a bad taste in my mouth about bloggers. Since then, I've read quite a few ... read more

In a post bragging about how great Gawker Media is doing, company marketing strategist Erin Pettigrew takes shots at a few bloggers who were skeptical seven years ago that a professional weblog network would make money: ... when the controversial Gizmodo launched (laying the foundation for Gawker Media), the self-important digital punditocracy debated this 'commercial experiment' in blogging as a viable, interesting, useful, or scalable business: Dave Winer: It's such a stale idea. The Web is distributed. Try ... read more

I'm currently reading Scott Rosenberg's Say Everything, his new history of blogging that digs deeply into the origins of the medium and why it has become so successful. Rosenberg, a founder of Salon.Com and an online acquaintance of mine for many years, has written a fascinating book that begins with chapters on early web diarists and bloggers such as Justin Hall, Jorn Barger and Joshua Marshall. The introduction to Rosenberg's book centers on how bloggers covered the 9/11 attacks, an important moment in the ... read more