Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Web Trend: Charge for Premium Content

We've had several posts about online media services, particularly newspapers, struggling with finding a viable business model. The Wall Street Journal and others likely will start charging for "premium content." Derivative services like Media Bistro have taken this approach as well. Now, one of the top blogs, Ars Technica, will begin charging for premium content (about $50/year).

In line with this trend, this blog will begin charging $0.05 per century, payable at the end of the century. It's on an honor system.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is Blogging Dead?

This is my first real-time blog post. As I'm writing this, I'm reading a Mashable article about the future of blogging. Already, the author, Mr. Steve Rubel, has wondered if blogging is dead. If that is the case then, I might not finish this post because, well, if blogging is dead, what would be the point of flogging a dead blog, right? So if I just stop like

<-that, then you may infer that blogging is dead and you should spend more time tweeting. So, I'll read a little more now...still alive...still alive...has to evolve or succumb to Darwinism...doesn't sound good...oh, I could be syndicated!...or not. I'm not in a blog network; might be doomed. Ew! I might merge with a journalist. And there's a complicated diagram; I hope there's not a test. Ew! There's stuff about connective tissue in the future-of-blogging diagram. Sounds like Borg issues. A join the continuum Borg blog?

What a minute! The article stopped without a definite yes/no answer. Did blogging just die? Let me check...no, they want you to add more ideas to the blog diagram to help save blogging. OK, I suggest that bloggers be paid huge sums out of national coffers. That would save it for sure.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top Ten Literature Blogs

Here is a list of the best literature weblogs of 2008, based on an Internet vote taken by weblogawards.org. Internet votes are always problematic since they can be manipulated. This is especially true when one of the blogs is written by a very popular writer these days, Neil Gaiman. Even so, this is a remarkable result for Gaiman's weblog:

To put it into perspective, Neil Gaimans's 33% represents 1980 votes...not huge by Internet standards, but still impressive by comparison.

Literature is only one of many voting categories covered by weblogawards.org. According to their website:

The Weblog Awards are the world's largest blog competition with over 545,000 votes cast in 2007 edition and nearly two million votes cast in all editions since 2003.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blog Commenters Rights

For our international readers, this is regarding U.S. law...the state of Illinois, to be exact. Your mileage may vary.

Since many writers love to blog, here is an interesting SlashDot article about a judge's ruling regarding the rights of commenters on blogs. In summary, a law enforcement agency had requested that a newspaper reveal the identities of some commenters to a blog who claimed to know information regarding a homicide case. The newspaper refused, citing Illinois' news source protection laws. The judge ruled that commenters to blogs had no such protection as they were not sources. The article gives a link to the judge's ruling (PDF), warning that the judge repeatedly used "blogger" and "blogger commenter" interchangeably and incorrectly, though he apparently knew the difference. There was also a separate legal issue touched on in the article regarding associating IP addresses with the people who used them.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Journalism vs. Blogging

Bernard Lunn is Chief Operating Officer at ReadWriteWeb, a highly rated blog*. In this blog article, he looks at the future of journalism, "Journalism 2.0," and its relationship to Web 2.o, particularly to blogging. FlashFictionOnline.com is a literary magazine frequented by writers and avid readers, so it is a safe bet that much of its readership is interested in blogs and blogging.

Here is the tension between bloggers and journalists:

However, the imperatives that come with running a real business tend to shift bloggers from the classic blog mode to something else. This has generated a lot of anguish among blog veterans who worry that blogging is "losing its soul." Journalists, on the other hand, face a starker, more existential threat as newspapers close shop.

Mr. Lunn gives many insights into blogging and journalism. Rather than summarize it all, I'll give his captions as teasers to the article:

  • Bloggers Becoming Journalists
  • Don't Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater
  • Begone, You Self-Interested Tech Cynics
  • Would Citizen Journalists Have Exposed Watergate?
  • Online Revenue Models for Quality Need to Evolve
  • Why Pay $2.50 to Buy a Copy of the Financial Times?
  • Monetizing Quality Online Is Harder

*Popularity of ReadWriteWeb at the time of posting, according to Technorati:
--16th by authority (number of links to ReadWriteWeb)
--23rd by number of fans

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Five Reports: Technorati's State of the Blogosphere

A post yesterday mentioned Technorati's top 100 blogs. (Um, this one is not in that list.) Why should we care what Technorati's opinion is? They are the Google of blogs...a blog search engine. Their criteria for assessing the ranking of blogs is arguable but reasonable. They also carry enough weight now that their prophecy's can be somewhat self-fulfilling.

But that's not what this post is about. Technorati very generously publishes their State of the Blogosphere annual report for the public. If you're looking at blogging seriously, or are just interested, you may find the report a treasure trove of information. It is published as five reports, found here. The subject matter of the reports is:

  • Day 1: Who Are the Bloggers?
  • Day 2: The What And Why of Blogging
  • Day 3: The How of Blogging
  • Day 4: Blogging For Profit
  • Day 5: Brands Enter The Blogosphere

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Aphoristic Flash Fiction

Here is a new genre of flash fiction, a piece by writer/bloggist Nancy Jane Moore written as a series of aphorisms. She says:

"I’m always writing down great quotations and aphorisms that I find, so I couldn’t resist the temptation to write a story consisting entirely of aphorisms."

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

After One Year: Who's Linked to FFO Now?

Flash Fiction Online has been around for a little more than a year. So...who's linked to it? Here is a partial list. My search certainly didn't find them all. Note that most of the mentioned sites have links to FlashFictionOnline.com, though some notable mentions (without link) are included:


Media links

Various links to FlashFictionOnline.com (including many blogs)

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vintage Graphics, Book Deals and Eclectic Blogs

From various illustrators and 1890's storybooks, some quality vintage color and B&W graphics, thought to be in the public domain. See Grandma's Graphics.

It's easy to get a book deal these days; just become a Veep candidate.

Eclectic blogs: 3 Quarks Daily and Shaken and Stirred (Bond Girl).

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Plagiarism in the Blog Age

Many writers and readers are called to blog, whether for a journal of their writing or personal life, their reading life or their special interests. Copyright laws have been stretched to the limit by the scope of the blogosphere, up to 30 million blogs in the world by one estimate I saw. It might be wise for bloggers to revisit the topic of what constitutes plagiarism these days. One place to start is the blog site, Plagiarism Today. They have some helpful articles and a collection of related headlines. Nota bene: the bloggist advises that he is highly experienced but is not an attorney.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Author Blogs

Author blogs are of interest to writers and readers. Here is a nice list from SF Signal, SF/F writers who blog. This includes group and individual blogs.

Here is an edited list by the Internet Writing Journal. The say: "Our editors have compiled a list of author blogs that they believe are truly outstanding...."

Finally, here is a large list of published and aspiring authors' blogs at, um, Authors' Blogs.

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