Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wikipedia Blog goes pro!

I'm getting paid to blog! (No, seriously.)

Wikipedia blog itself won't change at all, except that now it's about SEO! Just kidding.

The one thing that will change is the address, which will be (You can go there now, but it's full of scaffolding and drywall and I'm not sure the toilet works.)

I'm really excited, and not quite sure what to say, so I recorded a video.

The details

Okay. A Seattle company called enotes is hiring a bunch of bloggers to fill out their content. I got an email a couple weeks ago from their development director, Alex Bloomingdale, we hashed out the details, and lo (insert here however many exclamation points you want) : paid blogging.

I get to keep creative control. Enotes' take is that they don't want to kill the goose (and Alex was talking about spreading knowledge as a public service).

But first: thank you to anyone who has ever read this. And especially to phoebe for bringing me onto her book, and Noam Cohen for listening to me rant.

(And to Geoff, who writes great comments, and blogs at Original Research.)

And also, everything on the blog -- all past posts, too -- is now licensed cc attribution 3, which means you can do whatever you want with it.

We're still setting up the new interface, so I'll cross-post to both places for the next few days, but early next week I'll throw the switch, wikip.blogspot will go dark (inactive), and will go live.

Man, this is a disorganized little post. As I said, I'm excited.

There are soooo many possibilities. I'm not getting full-time pay, but I am getting now-I-have-an-excuse-to-follow-through-on-all-these-projects pay. Potential directions:

  • Finding ways to spread information beyond the concentric circles of super-informed insiders that define wikipedia.
  • Posting on a schedule -- video tutorials each friday, or interviews on monday.
  • Splitting out the wikisnips into a sideblog.
  • Doing cool visualizations, writing software ineptly, and carrying the inclusionist banner.
But! I really want to keep the spirit of the blog intact. At the risk of taking myself too seriously, I think of blogging as a little like running a cafe -- an exciting, comfortable cocoon with its own character. This is where we move down the street.

Hy-Brazil is a phantom island which features in many Irish myths. It was said to be cloaked in mist, except for one day each seven years, when it became visible but could still not be reached.

Expeditions left Bristol in 1480 and 1481 to search for it, and a letter written shortly after the return of John Cabot from his expedition in 1497 reports that land found by Cabot had been "discovered in the past by the men from Bristol who found Brasil".

Others claimed to have seen the island, or even landed on it, the last supposed sighting being in 1872. Roderick O’Flaherty in A Chorographical Description of West or H-Iar Connaught (1684) tells us "There is now living, Morogh O'Ley, who immagins he was himself personally on O'Brasil for two days, and saw out of it the iles of Aran, Golamhead, Irrosbeghill, and other places of the west continent he was acquainted with."

On maps, the island was shown as being circular, soon with a central strait or river running east-west across its diameter. Despite the failure of attempts to find it, it appeared regularly on maps lying south west of Galway Bay from 1325 until 1865, by which time it was called Brazil Rock.

Category:Phantom islands

Monday, July 07, 2008

Lists of northernmost and southernmost things on earth.

By the way, what's with the brightly colored houses in greenland? It's like that in svalbard, too. Is it the same reason people like colorful scarves and winterhats (that is, because bright colors make you feel warmer)?