Technorati pays to be pinged first…so why are the still so sloooowww?

BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting reports that Technorati has struck “exclusive deals” with some blog utilities to be pinged first before any other services (such as weblogs.com or Pingomatic) are notified that your blog has been updated.

So what? Is this a big deal?

It might not be, except for the fact that despite this alleged advantage, Technorati is still dreadfully slow and often misses a small to medium share of relevant data per site.

Mickey Kaus and the infalability of Malcolm Gladwell

To be honest, I think it’s getting past time for somebody to infuse some much-needed skepticism into Malcolm Gladwell‘s writing.

As much as I love and respect Gladwell’s writing- his book, The Tipping Point, is one of my all-time favorites- he’s coasted far too long on an overwhelmingly unchecked public image. Call me cynical, but I believe that few, if any, public figures should enjoy a 100% approval rating.

It’s curious, then, that along comes Mickey Kaus to inject a healthy arched eyebrow towards Gladwell’s latest New Yorker article, subtitled The bad idea behind our failed health-care system.

Kaus doesn’t trash Gladwell- he just raises some interesting arguments that suggest Gladwell’s tendency to sometimes avoid mentioning counter-arguments hinders his points. Kaus’ sharpest criticsm:

Like many New Yorker policy articles, Gladwell’s reads like a lecture to an isolated, ill-informed and somewhat gullible group of highly literate children. They are cheap dates. They won’t think of the obvious objections. They won’t demand that you “play Notre Dame,” as my boss Charles Peters used to say, and take on the best arguments for the other side. They just need to be given a bit of intellectual entertainment and pointed off in a comforting anti-Bush direction.

Interestingly, Gladwell’s healthcare article isn’t getting flack from Kaus only- here’s the IceRocket blog search results for the article’s URL.

Hotlinking: when is credit due, and how much?

My former high school speech club coach Mike Daisey was “busted” by a blogger for hotlinking to one of the images on her blog- and Mike responded with a reasoned rebuttal.

At first glance you’d probably side with Martha, the blogger whose image Mike re-posted on his site. But that’s why it’s often fun to get deeper into an issue- because that’s where the complexity lies. See, the image Mike linked to wasn’t one of Martha’s own creation, nor is it owned by her. She- keeper of the blog “Your Daily Art“- was meerely linking to a famous painting, available on innumerable other websites (not to mention offline places) throughout the world.

So in linking to the image from her site, Mike makes two arguments in his defense. The first, which I don’t tend to agree with on principle, is that there should be no problem for Martha since his site receives “modest” traffic and hence isn’t likely to cause any realisticaly negative effects on Martha’s website or life (negative effects might include bandwith overage charges; largely irrelevant here since Martha’s site is hosted on Blogger UPDATE: Per the comments below, Martha’s husband Jerry alerts me to the fact that her site is not hosted on Blogger, but on their own web space. My regrets for the error).

Mike’s second argument, which rings much truer in this case (in large part because it’s not conditional) asserts that he wasn’t stealing per se, since Martha’s original posting of the image (one she neither created nor owns) was no different than his own re-posting. Here, Mike’s defense that his site isn’t likely to cause any unfriendly bandwidth problems for Martha’s blog make sense, since in this scenario that appears to be the only potential wrong that could arise as a direct result of his hotlinking Martha’s image (or, more accurately, the image on Martha’s site).

The brunt of Mike’s defense:

It’s also patently absurd that once we’ve moved onto the web, and are living in an era when we put images there that can be instantly downloaded to any location on earth and duplicated digitally millions of times we’re arguing about credit. Not credit for creating the artwork, mind you, but “credit” for hosting–a shared act that every server on the WWW performs every day or you’d never be able to even read this site. Sure there are examples when folks can be linked to and cause massive traffic problems, but I doubt that’s happening today, and if it were a possibility I would exercise some natural diligence.

Perhaps the safest route is for Mike (or anyone in his position) to simply right-click, save the image, and serve it from his own website (or Flickr account?)

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.