Leslie had a special kind of magic. But today there's no trace of her sites. As long as those sites were up, her brand of humanity was alive, pure, unedited and quenching. The availability of her writing made her slightly less absent. Sad isn't really an appropriate construct for missing Leslie. And sappy sentimentality wouldn't please her at all. But that writing should remain on the Internet. Those sites should never come down. They belong here like Leslie belonged here. Immortal. -- a comment by Liria Mersini ... read more

I'm a huge fan of the web designer and magazine publisher Derek Powazek, but I couldn't disagree more with his rant that calls all search engine optimization (SEO) a con game: Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned. ... The problem with SEO is that the good advice is obvious, the rest doesn't work, and it's poisoning the web. I tried to respond on his blog, but he's closed ... read more

I'm working on a relaunch of Wargames.Com, the wargaming site that attorney Wade Duchene and I successfully defended from a UDRP arbitration challenge by MGM Studios two years ago. The site began as a wargame store, but sales and traffic weren't enough to justify the aggravation of running an online storefront, so I retreated from ecommerce after 18 months. (I was the entire customer service department. You'd be surprised at the number of people who order from one web site, then call a completely different site to ... read more

I was clearing off my desk today when I found an article I've been meaning to scan and send to somebody -- the story of how my friends almost elected a dalmatian and squirrel to the homecoming court of the University of North Texas in 1989. The alumni magazine wrote a feature on Hector the Eagle Dog and Agnes the Squirrel's campaign, which attracted national media and made a few of the human homecoming candidates very angry. I can never tell when a file's too big to send in email without aggravating the recipient, ... read more

I've added a ReCaptcha component to the comment form on Workbench to deter spammers. The ReCaptcha system presents two hard-to-read words that must be typed in successfully for a comment to be saved. Here's what the component looks like: I tried as long as possible to avoid using captchas, but the amount of spam hitting this blog continues to grow, particularly from foreign IP addresses. Workbench has received 16,000 comments and more than 260,000 spam since it began accepting comments in 2002. The ReCaptcha ... read more

Last night several of my web sites, including the Drudge Retort, began crashing Internet Explorer with the error message "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site ... Operation aborted." I've encountered this error before, and when it occurs out of the blue on a site you haven't changed, the culprit is usually a problem with third-party Javascript code, as CNet's Clientside blog explains: IE does this when you attempt to modify a DOM element before it is closed. This means that if you try and append a child ... read more

I occasionally cite web traffic stats from Alexa and Compete, two services that measure traffic across the entire web. It's probably worth pointing out that I have no idea at all whether they're accurate. Compete publishes a monthly count of site visitors based on data from two million U.S. Internet users, so I can compare its numbers directly to the stats I get from Google Analytics. Since the latter is based on actual traffic, it's a reliable metric. For the Drudge Retort, Google Analytics reports 337,985 U.S. ... read more