Back in July, I noted how many RSS readers my sites had. I figured that the July 1 closure of Google Reader, by far the most popular feed reader used by my visitors, would show up in the stats at some point and I wanted to quantify the change. The subscriber numbers didn't drop for a long time, but it appears they finally are reflected in the analytics on FeedBurner, the service I use to deliver feeds. Here's the past and current RSS reader counts for my sites and the percentage drop: Drudge Retort: 15,449 ... read more

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 practical ... read more

There's a great interview in Willamette Week about my friend Matt Haughey, who has turned MetaFilter into a successful small business that employs around 3-5 people and gets 25 million hits a month. Haughey, who was one of the founders of Blogger, left Silicon Valley for McMinnville, Ore., several years ago. The interviewer does a nice job of picking up on the phrase "lifestyle business," which is used in the dot-com world to insult startups that make a sustainable amount of money for their staff but don't get ... read more

Democratic political consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce have sued the Huffington Post, claiming that Arianna Huffington and other founders took their idea for the site and never compensated or credited them. Daou and Boyce had a lot of planning meetings with Huffington before the 2005 launch of the site, which was originally intended to be a liberal counterpoint to the Drudge Report. They sent Huffington a proposal for a site called fourteensixty.com that pitched features that were later implemented on ... read more

Out of thousands of comments made about the PAC expenditure story, this one on Balloon Juice is my favorite: Roger Cadenhead, who posted this, is someone who has churned out a large number of computing books, many with titles like Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 24 Hours or Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days. As a software engineer, these titles make me doubt Cadenhead’s credibility. It might-just-be possible to learn a substantial amount of Java in 21 days (it is a very large language once one counts the ... read more

I posted the story about Jane Hamsher's PAC expenditures on Daily Kos, where it has attracted more than 1,100 comments in six hours. It also earned me a warning from a site administrator because I referred to the real names of two members who post there as Nyceve and Slickerwink: The publication of DKos users' real names here -- if they have not revealed them on this site -- is forbidden. Your use of nyceve's and slinkerwink's real names violated that prohibition. Don't do it again. I wasn't able to comment until ... read more

After banning the same person more than a dozen times from the Drudge Retort, I decided to experiment with a new site feature this afternoon that turned into a failure of epic proportions. I'm documenting it here so that other people who run online communities will avoid making the same mistake. Throughout its history, the Retort has attracted a small number of users who delight in creating a large amount of trouble. They want to prove that no moderation system has ever been devised that can hold them. I am not ... read more