Final thoughts on BlogNashville

Blogdex screenshot

Now that BlogNashville is in the rear-view mirror, I have two final thoughts.

My first comment is a big yee haw! If you click the fuzzy picture up top here, you’ll see a full-size screenshot of Blogdex, a service that essentially takes a snapshot of the most popular links around the blogosphere on a given day. Since I first stumbled across Blogdex a couple of years ago, it’s been a secret dream of mine to have a site I built appear on the Blogdex front page. So I was pretty happy to see BlogNashville- a site I was fortunate enough to build for my good friend, Media Bloggers Association prez and BlogNashville organizer Bob Cox – appear on Blogdex on Sunday.

That leads me to my second point. I owe a big public thanks to Bob for continually (and curiously) allowing me a front-row seat to some of the coolest happenings, projects, and people in blogosphere over the past few months. Those of you who are lucky enough to know Bob know exactly what I mean when I say that he is both a pleasure and a blast to work with.

Dang, that’s a nice site!

Via Glenn, we learn that Tennessee Governor Phil Bresden is now blogging at his state’s official website, Tennessee.gov/governor. (Too bad they didn’t call it tennesse.gov/ernor, right?).

A couple of thoughts on this:

* Did Bill Hobbs get Gov. Bresden blogging? Or was it his state’s larger (and surprisingly larger) blogging community that got him started?

* Dang, the Gov (and the state) has a really, really nice site design/layout going on! World’s better than most other official Governor’s web sites, Bresden’s appears to be easy to use as well as attractive, modern, and friendly. It doesn’t validate– got to add “alt” tags to your images, team! – but it’s got email updates, some nice accessability features (in-context font sizing, multiple links to the same pages, intelligent navigation, etc.), and I like it.

Now, they need to update the rest of the Tennessee.gov site to match.

Winer UNleads a BlogNashville session

During the final track of BlogNashville today- in a session titled “A Respectful Disagreement” – Dave Winer combined with cartoonist John Cox and a few others to create what became, at times, quite a contentious, un-respectful discussion.

Near the middle of the frequently awkward hour and forty-five minutes- after a couple of flare ups- Dave gave up and sat down, prompting Glenn Reynolds to leave. As Tom Biro rightly called Winer out for rudeness towards one of the session-goers, I captured Winer giving up as session leader in a bit of shaky video. I left shortly after I filmed this, but Les Jones posted a running commentary on the complete session.

UPDATE: I had to take the video down because it wasn’t loading properly. I’ll try to bring it back sometime.

Winer’s take: Dave Winer posted his thoughts here. I think he’s correct when he writes that “…it was a hostile exchange, lots of the usual mindless crap you get on political TV shows.” But in my view, Dave did as much to contribute to the Crossfire-esque atmosphere as any of the others involved.

More: Tom Biro live-blogged the session as well.

Still more: Dave Winer unleashes a sarcasm-drenched rant. Not all that respectful. When will it end, Dave? When will you get over it?

Still, still more: The Professor and I agree.

Kottke is blogging full-time “for blogging’s sake”

Jason Kottke, one of the web’s earliest and still most influental bloggers, announced today (on his own site, of course) that he’s quit his job and is now blogging full-time. Not for a professional site, mind you, or a niche site- but rather, his own personal, any-topic-goes weblog. It’s a pretty bold and exciting move that should have the community buzzing for a few days.

Always out there with unconvential ideas, Kottke is foregoing any kind of advertising-supported or subscription-based model and instead opting to ask his readers for voluntary donations.

Because Kottke is a much-loved and widely-read blogger, I predict that his voluntary donation model will work quite well, especially at the outset. But as community-minded and utopian as the idea is, I’m not sure how well it would work for much of the long tail. I’ll have more thoughts on this later on as I think it over.

I donated $35 to the cause, in part because I’ve been reading his site for about four years or so, and also because I hope that a move like this by a long-time “spokesperson” for weblogging will help to stir ongoing discussion around the issue of financially-sustainable blogging.

Stopdesign re-designs

Stopdesign– one of the two original inspirations for my argous transition into standards-compliant design practices- has scrapped their world-famous design in favor of a clear, leaner, whiter look.

Bowman’s new look is shocking, especially for him. While it may seem confusing for one of the early inventers of the rich, stylized capabilities of CSS to be “backtracking” towards a simplified design, he offers up some interesting behind-the-scenes that led to his decision.