Detective

As can be seen from the couple of posts below, I am back online after "cycling" the wireless router. This is quite a game of Russian Roulette as BT (British Telecom) takes its time to get back to you when you switch the object off and on. This time, it took all night, but this morning, another cycle did the trick, thankfully.

I’ve reorganised my Connotea crime fiction novels, authors and websites into one area. It can be linked to at the url http://www.connotea.org/user/Detective. Anyone can add their own links to this collection — Connotea is a free, open-source resource. If they use the tag "crime fiction" (in quotes) as well as any other tag they want to use, all the resources will be gathered in one place, as I have given every entry this tag (and others in some cases).

Other tags in the list include Sarah Weinman, David Montgomery and Bibliophile, all blogs dedicated (pretty much) to the topic. So each time these blogs post a review or other item about crime fiction, I’ll try to remember to post in Detective’s area on Connotea. Of course there are other subject tags too — and links to many other sites and blogs, including some author sites (so one can see which order to read series, for one thing).

I would like to graduate to a Wiki one day, but as time is short, the Connotea area is a good start.



Blog stats for dummies

Chicken Yoghurt has a good posting on Technorati and blog stats. I have yet to work out a way to tag my blog, which drives me mad, as I just love subject-tagging. (This is one reason why I am a big fan of Connotea and, indeed, why I instantly fell in love with the Internet and the Web, as I could straight away see the potential for "joined-upness" which the print medium does not lend itself to that well.)

But because I am interested in content and not very much in the technology underpinning all these wonderful applications like the Web and blogs, and I am not a 14-year-old teenaged boy (OK, OK, joke), and I haven’t got a few days to spare with nothing better to to, my blog remains untagged and unanything other than what Google kindly gives you on a plate.

What people like me need is a primer on how to do things like subject-tag their blogs. Or maybe it is all to do with buisness plans, ie you have to pay to have a blog using licenced software in order to get as sophisticated (joke, again) as tagging.

Chicken Yoghurt takes a step in the right direction by explaining, at a level I can understand, how to track traffic to your blog. Well, obviously, I don’t have any to speak of, just a handful of extremely discerning and very welcome visitors, but it is a start so I will try it out. It doesn’t involve the scary Technorati which all the tecchy people swear by, so maybe I will be able to do it without a computer science degree. (I was nearly born on a computer but that is another story and does not help much in present circumstances.)

Blog stats is not anywhere near as interesting (to me) as subject-tagging, but it is a start. I will leave ChickYog a comment and beg him to explain to an idiot how to do tagging.


Making a novelty of youth

spiked-culture Article Making a novelty of youth

Here’s an article from Spiked online about young novelists which makes essentially the following point:

"The novel has not yet followed the pop song into the Fame Academy or Pop Idol reality TV cringe-arena (admittedly, shoving wannabe storytellers in front of computer screens and having them read chapters out weekly to a panellist of judges before being voted off by text-message may not make such enticing viewing). Nevertheless, we are starting to see a rise in the celebrity author, with Zadie Smith gracing the pages of OK and Vogue, and a press that is thrilled to announce an 18-year-old as a shining new hope for British literature but distinctly less enthusiastic about bringing the pensioner’s 30-years worth slog of a book to public attention."

The article goes on to describe a fairly well-known practice (I first heard of it in connection with Doris Lessing):

"Andrew Nurnberg, a leading literary agent, offers an anecdote as proof of this practice. Last week, he presented a book for one of his clients to various top publishers, but presented it under a pseudonym, as (for undisclosed reasons) he wanted to safeguard the author’s identity. One of the leading houses said that they were unable to make an offer on the book without knowing the author’s real identity – ‘because of promotional necessitude’. "

Don’t you just love that phrase, "promotional necessitude"? One to remember and bring out for special occasions.