Monthly Archives: October 2005

See you tomorrow

Scott at Philly Future: October Philly Bloggers’ Meetup this Saturday:

This month’s very spooky Philly bloggers’ meetup is taking place this Saturday, October 29, 2005 at 3:00 PM. It should be a spooktacularly good time with other local influencers (as I shall now call bloggers henceforth). The food is good, the beer is flowing, and the conversation isn’t all that awkward (other than when I chime in).

Come join fellow Philly bloggers (or local influencers) to eat, drink, and be merry at the Nodding Head. Post about this on your blog, and let’s make this the biggest meetup ever!

Here is the info:
Saturday, October 29, 2005 at 3:00 PM
Where:
Nodding Head

1516 Sansom 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
569-9525
Just look for the big dude not wearing a Hawaiian shirt (sadly it is too cold) and you will have found yourself a Philly bloggers’ meetup.

Hope to see you there! And don’t forget that you can RSVP via meetup.com or by leaving a comment on this post.

The Young Friends Came Out in Droves

Lasheild MyersHoward at Philly Future::

Well, Project H.O.M.E.‘s inaugural Young Friends Event appears to have been a smashing success, going off last night without a hitch. For those who missed it, there are photos, as our resident shutterbug Albert Yee was live on the scene; so were several other members of the Philly Future team. The picture to the right signifies one of several highlights from the evening, as Lasheild Myers read “The Never Ending Story”, an uplifting poem reflecting her experience with Project H.O.M.E.

The list of recognizable faces in the crowd included the likes of City Councilman Darrell Clarke and IBEW Local 98 chief John
Dougherty. But perhaps the largest contingent of local personalities was from Philly’s burgeoning online scene. Among them were five representatives from Philly Future, as well as other online luminaries from sites like Philly1.com, Philly IMC and Young Philly Politics.

The program was enlightening, and the silent auction included bidding on everything from gift certificates, sports tickets and memorabilia to a bona fide Mummers costume. And the room was practically buzzing with conversation all night.

But the real message of the night was the one printed across the foot of the banner in the photo:

“None of us are home until all of us are home.”

Be sure to also check out some Albert’s early thoughts on the evening, as well as his Flickr set of images from the event.

TONIGHT: The Project H.O.M.E. Young Friends Event and Wal-Mart

In light of yesterday’s article at the NYTimes, maybe some will have a new appreciation of this. The article summarizes a memo (downloadable here pdf) in which Wal-Mart’s board of directors propose ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits. Ways that those of us who have been among the working poor are all too familiar with. Ways that have been in practice for years – not just at Wal-Mart, but at other employers. Practices that are passed down word of mouth. It’s practices like these that make it near impossible to move from poverty to working class, from working class to middle class. Wal-Mart just got caught putting it in writing. Good. Hopefully this will shed some light on what we have gone thru and what others face every day. I’ll have much more to say, relating personal experience in a later Philly Future post.

As for now – I’m looking forward to tonight and the Young Friends of Project H.O.M.E. event we are participating in. If you’ve been following Philly Future recently, we’ve been trying to raise discussion and interest about the event and in Project H.O.M.E. itself, for the important work they do in our community. More at PhillyFuture:

This evening, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., the first ever Project H.O.M.E. Young Friends Event will be happening at the University of the Arts. It will be a great opportunity for concerned folks in the Philadelphia area to come down and have the opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers behind Project H.O.M.E., a hometown organization that has helped more than 7,000 individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty since 1989.

The evening will include light supper and drinks, a silent auction, as well as performances and artwork from some of the people taking part in Project H.O.M.E.’s extraordinary programs. WXPN’s Michaela Majoun is the emcee, and among the others in attendance will be at least half of the Philly Future team.

This is a perfect chance to come out and learn more about a great organization, share some great conversation, and further a good cause while you’re at it. If you haven’t already made reservations, you can still get in at the door for $50. And it’s all for a truly worthy cause, so if you can make it, why not come down? And even if you can’t make the event, perhaps you can afford to part with a few dollars for the cause. If so, please consider a donation to Project H.O.M.E.

In Memorium: Rosa Parks

The Tattered Coat:

I was going to write a bland platitude such as “Rosa Parks has passed away, but her legacy will live on.”

But the truth is that her legacy will not live on by itself. The battle for civil rights, for racial equality, is an ongoing struggle, an ever-present fight. Only by engaging the problems in America’s past, and understanding the ways in which they continue to plague its present, can we hope to brighten America’s future.

More about Rosa Parks at Wikipedia (via Howard).

PC Magazine rates sharing and tagging services (participatory bookmark managers)

I forgot about PCMag’s review of a number of these services earlier today. Curiously they miss RawSugar and Furl, slam del.icio.us (which misses the strength of community point I made earlier), and mistakenly say you need Yahoo!’s toolbar to use MyWeb (incorrect – they have bookmarklets like everyone else!). via Jeremy Zawodny.

Update: Wikipedia has a page covering social bookmarking that I could have linked to yesterday to save myself some time. Check it out for a great list of related services.

Participatory bookmark managers

Furl, one of the first participatory bookmark managers, launched a while back, had some hype, got bought by LookSmart, and disappeared from the radar of the digerati. I’m now using three different bookmark services – and following the community of a forth – which is downright nuts – but I can’t help the curiosity – or the search for the ultimate one.

This is more for the benefit of my friends, family and co-workers who don’t know what a participatory bookmark manager is – and I think I just coined the term anyway. A participatory bookmark manager helps you organize your bookmarks online, making them accessible on any machine you use, they help you organize them in novel ways, and encourage you to share them, or subsets of them, with others. It’s in the sharing that the interesting benefits of all this start to emerge. It’s the sharing that reveals the strength of a participatory tool is bounded more so by the community that is using it then by the technical merits of that tool.

The four I find very interesting are RawSugar, del.icio.us, Yahoo! MyWeb 2.0 beta and digg. And remember Furl. Each has varying sets of features and more important – communities that show different preferences as to what is a good link and what is not. Check them out. Let me know what your favorite is and why.

Getting Unbanned by Google

For a long time phillyfuture.org was blacklisted by Google – a previous owner of the domain abused it and Google reacted by banning it from the index.

For months, after getting the domain back, I attempted to get Philly Future indexed by Google. I followed its instructions, not realizing we were blacklisted. Philly Future had links pointing to it across our community, and as far as I knew, we followed Google best practices – no stupid tricks. Yet for almost a year I could not get Google to send searchers our way.

I came to the conclusion we must have been blacklisted. I found the appropriate instructions on handling that – - emailing help@google.com with the subject ‘reinclusion request’ with a summary of my problem – but I got an automated response. A week or so of waiting I put out a call to the community here at paradox1x, at Webmaster World, at Search Engine Watch, at Ask Metafilter and on Philly Future itself.

Friends responded by spreading the news here, here, and finally here.

The email I had sent to Google was the appropriate course to take it turns out. A Google engineer replied in Dan’s comments that it was the correct way to get unblacklisted – and that they were in the process of reviewing the site.

Some were telling me to give up the domain name. Start all over again. That it was hopeless. I’m happy to report that was not the case. But the fact that I did not have a way of confirming we were blacklisted and for what reason was frustrating and more than a little scary.

Dreamhost update

Performance and uptime have improved considerably in a day. Dreamhost contacted me and informed they have solved a database issue that was the cause (they did not say what). Today has been smooth sailing. Keeping my fingers crossed.