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Thank you to all the people who have sent me their Movable Type blog files so far. I have received a lot of data, exactly what I asked for, and as soon as I have something useful to share, I will make sure to let you know. Like always in these kinds of projects, eighty percent of the work is hacking out a workable installer and update script. Luckily the twenty percent that is the hard part (the search engine) seems to be working well.
I got many wonderful letters in connection with the MT project, one of which came from an Italian journalist in Milan, Stefano Porro, who wrote to tell me he'd given me a link on Quintostato, which he described as "one of the most famous Italian blogs".
The letter made me happy in several ways. For one, I found the idea of a 'famous Italian blog' pretty damned exciting. Sure, there is microfame to be had online, that momentary thrill when you get added to a blogroll, or mentioned in print somewhere, but can bloggers actually get legitimately famous in this world? Is this page eventually going to get me into limousines and Armani? "Why... You're the guy with the green page, Idle Words, right? The guy who writes about plastic asses in Shanghai? Could you sign my breasts?"
I like it. I hope that's how it is in Milan.
The letter also made me happy because it reminded me that New York, California and the vast, arid dialup tundra are not all there is to the Internet. In fact, if you go visit quintostato, you'll see that they have a hell of a conversation going on about weblogs, open source, wireless, and all of the usual hot topics. Sure, it's in Italian, but with the help of Babelfish and lots of techspeak, it's not hard to suss things out. It's also extremely fun to read it straight up, and see phrases like "separazione tra contenuti e presentazione". Even I know that that is bene.
The conversations you can find on quintostato and other non-English tech blogs draw on many of the well-known discussion sites on our side of the ocean, but I never really see the converse taking place. I for one have kept myself pretty painfully ignorant of what's going on outside the English-speaking Internet.
So one of my resolutions for the New Year is to try and remember that it's a world-wide web, and get to know some weblogs in other countries. Quintostato is just the most recent of several curious non-English sites I've come across over the past few days. You might find some of these others interesting, if you speak the language â€” and if you know of good foreign weblogs to check out, please send me a note. I'm going to try and create a catchall non-English blogroll to add to the list, in the spirit of our beloved local restaurant in Rutland, which specializes in "international cuisine".
Here is our menu so far:
- Oink! looks like a Spanish-language Boing Boing, except with a better logo.
- Bluephod is a curious looking German tech blog. My favorite part is the Amazon affiliate banner on the left, which reads "Preishits & Bestseller"
- Käytöskukka is a Finnish blog with a great look and some nice images; my guess is the focus tends towards design. You will never want for umlauts at Käytöskukka. If I can ever find an online Finnish translation service, I want to read this site.
- And finally, one I can actually read: Wycinki Rzeczywistosci [Clippings from Reality] is a smart Polish blog with a heartwarming fondness for web standards. SQL speakers may get a kick out of this snippet of code from their site: SELECT substring(czas for 16) AS kiedy FROM statystyki WHERE adres = 'bestia.chlip.pl' AND uri LIKE '%wycinki/' ORDER BY kiedy DESC;
That snippet of SQL is kind of the whole point. English is the language of computing, and for better or worse is going to stay that way. On the one hand, that's a big advantage for those of us who are native speakers; on the other, it holds us back. Bloggers from abroad participate in our sites and know a lot about what's happening on the English Internet - they don't have much of a choice, since so much of what's online is in English. We don't get that same kind of kick in the pants to broaden our horizons. In fact, because so many foreigners online do speak English, we can stay complacent and never really notice that we're missing out on something.
But we are. For one thing, fame in Italy! And damn, does it feel good to see yourself called "Il Programmatore".
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brevity is for the weak
Greatest HitsThe Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.
Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world
Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?
No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.
Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina
Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting
Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks
Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews
A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant
Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future
100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law
Every Damn Thing
maciej @ ceglowski.com
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