Inactivity

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I’ll be back later today with an entry.  Unfortunately, this whole moving thing is taking more of my time then I’d like, so blogging comes second!

For now, hop on over to Poligazette for some of my entries from yesterday.

 

Dymersion Radio Test Update

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Well, the test I did last night over at Blog Talk Radio was a success.  Everything on their end worked perfectly, though I think I need to use a landline next time to get some better sound quality.  I’d try using my microphone if there was a free way to do it.  Fortunately for them, but unfortunately for the rest of us, the only real option I know of for VOIP is Skype, and you have to pay to use them.  I’m not quite willing to pay $0.021 cents a minute with Skype or $2.95 a month.  Not yet, anyway, while I still have a cell phone.  Though I might consider it when I final go solo, since the rate are pretty good.

So, for now, I need to use my landline or cell phone.  Unfortunately, I don’t know if landlines are free to call their number, or if a long distance charge would be associated with it.  I sent them off a question about it, so hopefully I should get a response soon.

The basic premise I have is to not do a show solo, but with one or two other people.  I already have one person I know lined up, and have to ask another person I have in mind if he’d like to do it.  We’ll probably be doing it on a Saturday night, which is actually kind of a crappy time to do it, haha.  But, I have to go by his schedule, so we’ll see how it works.  The show will be primarily political in nature, with coverage of both American and European politics, and also a little of everythin in between.

So, stay tuned.  It ought to be fun.

 

Dymersion Radio: Barack Obama’s Overseas Tour

Posted by Mike Merritt in Dymersion, Election 2008 on | No Comments

Well, one goal from yesterday’s entry is coming true.  Although it’s official purpose is as a test vehicle for Blog Talk Radio, to make sure my deck is shuffled in terms of the service, I will be using up to 15 minutes tonight to discuss Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East and Europe this week.  I want to test it as if a show were actually going on, so that’s what I’ll be doing.  If you want to listen to the show, go to this page at 11:30PM EDT (-5 GMT) and click the “Click to Listen” button at 11:30 to tune in!

My goal tonight is to merely test out the service, but if you feel you have something to voice, feel free to call in!  The listener call in number is (347) 945-5945.  However, it may cost money to use via a landline (the help is a little ambiguous on this).  However, they have a “Click to Talk” feature in the host’s profile (above link).  If you have a microphone, plug it in, click the button, and wait patiently!  Unfortunately, it’s only for IE6, which kind of blows, but what’re you going to do?

So, if you want to hear some political talk radio, perhaps albeit with a few “testing 1…2…3″‘s, tune in!

 

Video Redux?

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As anyone who reads here knows, almost a year ago, I stopped uploading the home-made Dymersion Video episodes.  Thereafter, I uploaded a couple editorials I did for my college’s newscast.  Then I stopped doing it altogether.

I made no excuses for my actions.  I stopped doing it mainly because I was lazy, and also it was a bit difficult to set it up week after week, and sometimes I had no tapes.  But, no excuses.  I was committed to it, and I didn’t carry it on.

Well, what I did carry on doing was the editorials.  I did one roughly every couple weeks until I graduated in May.  Doing them, in combination with a speech class I took, gave me a lot of experience.  When I first started Dymersion Video, I rarely had a topic that wasn’t decided the same say, or maybe the day before.  Sometimes, I did the videos only after seeing something of interest.  Doing the editorials taught me it needed more planning.  I had known this kind of thing from doing news packages for several years prior to DV, but I thought it’d be easy to do it impromptu.

Well, I don’t do so well speaking impromptu.  I’m just not that kind of guy.  I need some kind of structure as to what I’m going to say before I say it.  So, the new Dymersion Video episodes will be based on what’s happened during the week.  I’ll look at some of the important issues of the week, and make an agenda.  I also learned during the editorials that I also don’t do well speaking off a teleprompter (though I started to get the hang of it), so the episodes will only be planned, not scripted.  If there’s something going on that day that’s important enough, it’ll get added, but mostly, it’ll be things going on that week.

I’m excited to begin doing it again, because to be frank, Dymersion’s gotten a little blah since I started at Poligazette.  Most of my meaty work is there now, and since it can often take a long time to research those posts, I don’t end up having much energy to do it here.  So, I think the video show, along with a possible radio show I have planned, can bring in some new meaty content to replace what’s now mainly at Poligazette.

There will always, of course, be a place for good ‘ol writing at this site.  Since my fanboying of the Libertarian Party and other third parties probably isn’t that interesting to those besides me, a lot of that will stay here.  I’d also like the chance to get going with some old Dymersion Creative materials I’ve kind of left by the wayside, including “The Regime”.

So, I look forward to really reinvigorating this place.  Since, while it’s still primarily for my health and sanity, I hope to have people come here to enjoy it as well.

 

Re-Configurement

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So, while trying to think over the categorization issues, I ended up doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: change up the layout.

There is now a navbar in the header, and I think it makes the site navigation much more user friendly than being shoved off to the side.  I also moved the search box up to the header.  Finally, hovering over a link will finally give you a color that doesn’t nearly blend in to the page; especially important in the sidebar.

In addition, all category and monthly archive options are now on a separate archives page.  I decided to do several main categories (which are in the process of being reformulated) and then use tags to indicate specific topics within the category.  You can see the tag cloud to the write.  Over the next week or two (actually I’ll probably end up doing it overnight), I’ll be going through all 433 posts at Dymersion and giving them all tags, so that the cloud will fill up more quickly.

More changes are likely to occur.  I may make the page wider, but we’ll see.  Stay tuned for more.

 

Re-Categorization

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When I started Dymersion I never intended to write quite as many political posts as I have.  I consider myself a pretty big politics geek, but I never thought it’d vastly overtake the site in content.

To put it in perspective, the biggest category on the site after ones having to do with politics is the category “Personal Life.”  Even then, not everything is strictly to do with my personal life.  Not everything there is a “this is what I did today” kind of post.

Ever since upgrading to WordPress, my method of categorization has been more like tagging, mostly because WordPress didn’t have tags at the time.  I’ve thought about starting to tag, and actually did do it while still on MovableType, but I’m unsure about it.  My fear is that if I use tagging, the system will grow inefficient and messy, and I’ll end up with several different tags about the same subject (e.g. “McCain”, John McCain”, and “The Mac Attack”)

Yet, with my increase in political posting, I’ve been putting most entries in either “Politics”, “Elections 2008” or both.  Well, that’s just all kinds of vague, now isn’t it?  I should have a category for just Obama, one just for McCain, and one just for Clinton.  Then there’s categories suited for the Bush Administration, torture, Congress, and other issues.

I probably should have creating new categories all along for the new subjects, but laziness set in.  Also, a long category list would frankly, become too long for my tastes.  Categories on WordPress, unlike tags, are not context searchable.  WP will suggest previously used tags while typing.

So, interestingly, I may have actually just answered my own question.  I think perhaps the final solution is going to be a combination of both.  Have several main categories, and then use the tags to further delineate the entry.

We shall see.  Stay tuned

 

My Final Duo Tuesday Appeal for Direction

Posted by Mike Merritt in Dymersion, Politics on | No Comments

Indiana and North Carolina, listen up!

I like politics.  I really do.  I love learning about what the politicians in my state and the federal government are doing.  I love analyzing the bills that came before them, and deciding if they’re good or bad.  I love following elections, especially ones that rejuvenate the American interest in participating in them.

What I don’t like are long, drawn out elections, where the two candidates are damaging themselves (one candidate more than the other I think).  Now, I can appreciate the democratic process.  Holding the primaries to select a candidate is definitely a good thing.  Better than party leaders selecting for themselves.

But the process is too drawn out.  You have all these states who get to decide early on, and then a bunch right at the end who, depending on earlier results, may feel disenfranchised if one candidate is leading early on.  Look at the Republican party: they already have their candidate, and thus the later primaries are rendered meaningless.

Back on the Democratic side, the later primaries definitely are not rendered meaningless, thanks to the proportional representation, but they are threatened by the fact that one could become the inevitable candidate.

Such a thing could happen today, if either Obama or Clinton were to pull forward by a lot.  The math seems to indicate this is unlikely to be Clinton, but who really knows?

I said this about Pennsylvania, but even though Clinton did really good there, it was no landslide.  She got momentum, but didn’t become the clear leader.  So, I think today needs to be that day.  Voters in Indiana and North Carolina, please show us today where this nomination is headed.  I crave to know.

Unfortunately, the polls seem to show that she will get Indiana and he will get North Carolina, but as noted yesterday, the polls are all over the place.  Not one poll concurs with another.  So, my hopes for clear direction may be dashed after seeing the results tonight.

But, if you two states could get together and make a clear decision, I think a lot of people will breath a sigh of relief.  Not to mention one of the two candidates.  People will see where things are headed, and the later states will still have a job to do in electing their favored candidate.

So, all the primary voters in Indiana and North Carolina: give us a clear sense of where things are headed, please!

 

WordPress 2.5 & Return of the Client

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It is here, my friends, at long last.

One of the things that always bugged me at WordPress was how cluttered it was. It was difficult to navigate, and just looked all sorts of messy.

The developers at WordPress have switched things up with 2.5. Gone is the day of a messy admin layout, and come is the day of the clean layout.

Thus far, I’m impressed. I feel things are laid out in a more common sense fashion than previous versions. The more common elements are enlarged and placed on the left side. The least common elements of the admin panel are made smaller and aligned right.

I also like the new dashboard. I didn’t have much beef with the old version, but the layout in 2.5 is very nice.

Finally, there are some new features to the write/edit screens that I like. WordPress has finally added the ability to embed videos. Previously, you had to use a plug-in, which kind of sucked, given the flexible nature of today’s blog. I think if anything, that’s where WordPress was lagging behind. They have also made it easier to add photos and other media. Good for them.

I’m not an incredibly big fan of the new placement of the category selection. If they’re trying to promote tags over categories, it shows, as the tag form comes before the categories. They used to be at the right of the textbox, and I can’t speak for others, but I preferred them there.

A Change

As I’ve spoken about before, I’ll be bringing my laptop with me to Las Vegas, so that I might try and live blog the NAB/BEA conferences. Thus circumstances require some changes. My hotel has free wireless, and I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to get to wi-fi hotspots easily enough on the floor of the convention. Now, assuming this, it’ll be easy enough to get to the blog. But, I’ll be looking around all day. I don’t want to constantly have to go over to the WP admin panel.

Therefore, I’ve downloaded Windows Live Writer. It’s Microsoft’s answer to all the other desktop clients out there, and the official client of their Spaces service. I figure that it’ll be a lot more convenient. I just open that up, write what I want, add any pictures, and publish. A lot easier than even the new-fangled photo and video adding features of WP can give me, I think.

Next week will give me a chance to really try the program out. If I like it, it’ll became a permanent fixture in my blogging. We shall see.

Now off to bed…

 

Nothing

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This is my “I was too lazy to write something tonight, look for something tomorrow” entry.

 

Independents Week Update

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Just a quickie before I hit the hay…

Sorry about this delay.  This is important to me to feature those candidates who are not getting the national spotlight.  However, life must come first, and life commitments are calling.

Going to do my best to start it up tomorrow!

 

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