Category Archives: websites

Web changes

Someone asked on a listserv, “Does anyone know of a service for tracking not just website changes, but exactly what content on the webpage changed?” As a result of the question, I joined ChangeDetect, a free web page monitoring system. It’s my intention to add all of the web sites and blogs which I follow that do not offer an RSS feed, but I’ve only gotten around to tracking the website of my ol’ friend Fred Hembeck thus far.

So how does it work? So far, fine, though the e-mail notification takes about a day from the actual site change. Still, when I actually get around to using it more frequently, it’ll beats going to the page and seeing the same old stuff.
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Blogger has this feature where it’ll let you know when an RSS-equipped blog on the sidebar was last updated. I discovered, however, that if the blog poster says the post was entered two days ago, it’ll note on my blog that the blog was posted two days ago.
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I used to have something called Jigli on my side panel, a service that was creating a word cloud of my blog, which I liked. Unfortunately, it was creating an unintended consequence. It seemed to create what appeared to be hyperlinks on words that weren’t actually hyperlinks. I thought it was just my computer, but when a good friend of mine saw the same thing, I deleted the Jigli and the problem went away.
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I was on a listserv when someone provided info about a conference in Italy. One reader took great exception to this and said, “I saw the announcement for a conference that cost $15 to attend within driving range for most of New York State.
One does not need to spend hours on an international flight plus all of the money for staying in a hotel in order to present at a conference or to attend a conference.” Others responded with comments such as “funding issues notwithstanding, some people may be interested in knowing this is happening. Why the need for the nasty responses?” ou’d be surprised how heated librarians can get.
Finally, I wrote: “To quote Sylvester Stewart: ‘Different strokes for different folks And so on, and so on and scooby-dooby-doo.'” That generated a “Roger: Best. Post. Ever.” and another positive comments. That made me feel really good!
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I’ve got nothing pithy to say about the passing of Studs Terkel. I’ve read only one of his books – Working – though I did enjoy seeing him express his views in various venues. But here’s a nice piece:
Studs Terkel: The Power of His Prose By Dennis Kucinich, October 31, 2008

Studs Terkel knew the real America. The America of grit and gumption, heart and soul, passion and nerve. He chronicled five generations of American history with a compassionate and deep understanding of the American character.

He was the quintessential American writer. He was our Boswell, our Whitman, our Sandburg. He was able to get people to open up and share their innermost thoughts and their deepest dreams. In the words of Kipling ‘he walked with kings and never lost the common touch.’

Infused in each word he wrote and in his spoken word, he was a master story-teller and could regale groups for literally hours with his deep understanding of human nature its possibilities and its foibles. He was a person of great appetites and his greatest appetite was for the truth. America has lost a tribune of the people. But the power of his prose lives on.

Studs was a dear friend. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have enjoyed many visits in Studs’s home. His good humor was a constant even during a visit a couple of years ago when he was recovering from heart surgery.

I was touched by the forward he wrote to my book, A Prayer for America. I’ll never forget the encouragement he gave me to run for president in 2004.


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