Academic Blogging

[Rohan Maitzen has both a nice response][rm] to the usual criticism of academic blogs (or blogs written by people who also happen to be academics), which is the misperception by many that they are intended to substitute for more traditional/conventional forms of writing/publishing. It’s not an *either/or* but *both/and*.

I also confess that I have always hated the verb form of blog. I don’t blog; I’m not a blogger. I have kept a collection of notes in reverse chronological order since 2005 ([see for yourself][see]). Mid-decade, that’s what a number of people were doing. As some people cultivated audiences, and thus ad revenue streams, it became blogging and they became bloggers.

At one point, I was on the verge of becoming one of those — I was up to several hundred readers a day — when I realized that was not what I wanted. I went silent for several months, changed what I was doing, lost those readers, and re-situated myself in a more firmly academic context. Now that I’ve done that, and I find myself more firmly in the intellectual/ideational context for which I think there is a better fit for myself as both a person and a creator, I’m ready to re-think the nature of the readership of this blog thing that is almost a decade old.

I think I’m ready to try to engage some kind of general audience on the nature of narrative, cognition, and computation.


Theme Trials

Yup. It’s summer. Time to play with themes. Ever in search of a theme with the smallest, fastest code base that also has much of the look I want as a base for any tweaking: the smallest CSS helps here. Some of the themes I have tried lately have had fairly large style sheets, which makes tweaking them extraordinarily difficult — and I have very particular ideas about how web pages should “respond” to various devices. (Hint: why call them smart phones if they can’t deal with a web page? Rebuttal to responses to this hint: responsive design is essential for complex websites, e.g. of the Washington Post, which have way too many verticals and horizontals. A smart phone should be able to deal with a two-column web page without the page having to make itself into a single column for the phone.)

That’s my argument, and I’m sticking with it.

That's a lot of themes.

That’s a lot of themes.

iOS Device Screen Resolutions

The screen resolutions for Apple’s various iOS devices are:

* new iPads and iPad Minis: 2048 x 1536
* old iPads and iPad Minis: 1024 x 768
* iPhone 5s and new iPod Touches: 1136 x 640
* iPhone 4s and old iPod Touches: 960 x 640

If I want a minimum size for their to be a sidebar, 1000 pixels looks like a good minimum.

2012 Annual Report for LogBook

[WordPress][] powers this blog. At some point in 2012, WordPress made its jetpack, which has been one of its secret sauces at [][], available to WordPress users. I just received notification that my [annual report for 2012][] was ready. (All the details are at the link: plus some cool HTML + CSS layouts.) Here are the highlights:

* This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012.
* In 2012, there were 329 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 699 posts. The busiest day of the year was December 3rd with 142 views. The most popular post that day was Word-wrap (filling) in Emacs. (This report only shows data since the blog was connected to Jetpack.)
* The all-time top posts for the blog were:

1. Word-wrap (filling) in Emacs (March 2008)
2. MacJournal versus Day One (February 2012)
3. Getting NLTK Up and Running on Mac OS X (January 2012)
4. German Expulsions after the Second World War (June 2012)
5. Moving Billings to DropBox (March 2011)

* The top referring sites in 2012 were:

3. Google Reader

* The blog was read in 112 countries. The majority of IPs were in the United States, with the United Kingdom and Canada very close for second and third place.

The Jetpack is a great feature in WordPress. It offers crazy beautiful things like this:

Map of readership for this website for February 13 as of 8:00AM. Welkom, Nederlandse lezers!

Map of readership for this website for February 13 as of 8:00AM. Welkom, Nederlandse lezers!

[annual report for 2012]:

Been wanting to play with how blockquotes are presented. [Some great css tricks here](

CSS for @font-face

Nice Web Type has the CSS for @font-face. Whenever I play with this, I always forget it, and so I’m simply pasting what I need to remember here:

@font-face {
font-family: “Your typeface”;
src: url(“type/filename.eot”);
src: local(“☺”),
url(“type/filename.woff”) format(“woff”),
url(“type/filename.otf”) format(“opentype”),
url(“type/filename.svg#filename”) format(“svg”);
@font-face {
font-family: “Your italic typeface”;
src: url(“type/filename-ital.eot”);
src: local(“☺”),
url(“type/filename-ital.woff”) format(“woff”),
url(“type/filename-ital.otf”) format(“opentype”),
url(“type/filename-ital.svg#filename-ital”) format(“svg”);
h2 { font-family: “Your typeface”, Georgia, serif; }
h2 em { font-family: “Your italic typeface”, Georgia, serif; }
em { font-style: italic; }