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jjohn (22)

jjohn
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http://taskboy.com/
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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Wednesday December 10, 2003
07:23 AM

MarkovBlogger schedule change

[ #16266 ]

After some complaints and deep soul searching, I've decided to back down Markov Blogger to publishing only on Fridays. This way, MB is a nice end of the week treat!

UPDATE:

My goodness, this topic has garnered more interest than I expected (and probably far more it deserves ;-). As much as I enjoy having Zorknapp, pudge, hfb, and Mary P. arguing the case for MarkovBlogger, I suspose I ought to weigh in on this most sententious issue. After all, I've have gotten MB hate mail for it's entries clogging Meerkat (although not from Rael Dornfest).

There appear to be two schools of thought on old MB: those that find MarkovBlogger a tired, worn out joke that merely wastes time and space like spam and those that find MarkovBlogger a tired, worn out joke that wastes space but isn't like spam. Let me be clear in casting my lot in with the later group. I've put together this MarkovBlogger Controversy FAQ to clear the air on any misunderstandings that might be lingering on this issue.

1. Isn't MarkovBlogger generating spam?

Spam is unsolicited email shoved into your mailbox without your consent or prompting. Blogs are entirely a pull-technology: you, or your software aggregators, have to seek out my insipid ramblings to be bothered by them. Also note that you are not required to read blogs. On the other hand, you are not required to read blogs. And lastly, you are not required to read blogs. If you feel that MB has somehow wasted your time, please acknowledge your complicity in searching out my blog to read in the first place.

I never promised you decent content. Nor did use.perl.org (at least as far as journals go).

2. Doesn't MarkovBlogger "spam" RSS aggregators like Meerkat, or use.perl's own most recent blogs?

If you consider three entries per week excessive, then it is indeed a deleterious agent. However, spam is the eye of the beholder. Unlike real spam, Markov entries are labelled. If your aggregriator can't filter on subject lines, you'll need to pull my blog's feed out of the harvest. I'm not trying to sell you anything with MB. No one pays (well, perhaps they do emotionally) for access to my blog and I have no mandate for its content. There are several use.perl bloggers who average more than one entry per day. Are they spamming the aggregators?

3. Shouldn't MarkovBlogger really be on another account away from the real content?

This is a popular suggestion. After all, MB is a lot like the fortune cookie program on unix that some admins have run when users log into the system. Even use.perl has the Alex Chui quotes on the front page. Although I'm happy give a cleaned-up version MarkovBlogger to slashcode should they want it, the truth is that this MB isn't quite like fortune. It is a personal statement. It belongs under my account.

4. Personal statement? I thought MarkovBlogger was just meaningless, recycled sledge?

Indeed, the actual content of MarkovBlogger isn't guided by consciousness. However, MB is meaningful and its message is this: that blogging, fundamentally, is stupid. By collecting the natterings of most garrulous use.perl journals (including my own without MB), the reader is reminded of the colossal wastes of time possible in the western world in these modern times.

But, of course, we all knew that.

5. You're a pompous dink. Just shut off the stupid bot already. It's annoying.

MB is my statement, even if it isn't entirely clever. If there is one guiding principal to my journal it is this: don't talk about computers, that's what paid articles are for. Journals ought to be a thing of love, not work. When I do apply myself, I try to create little essays that I hope will amuse and entertain. When I don't have time for that, I just assume have a MarkovBlogger re-run in place rather than a minimal "ugh! Busy!" entry or nothing at all. This is a preference that cannot be justified rationally. Too many MB entries in a row reminds me to put something together, even if hastily. I expect that consumers of blogs would read them in the search for entertainment rather than duty. But if they don't, that's ok too, I guess.

Seriously, I've made a reasonable effort to advertise MB entries as such. Now, you can excerise your right to not read them or any other piece of writing on the Internet. Don't let the Terrorists win! If you are too lazy to do this, then perhaps the raison d'etre of MarkovBlogger is more justified than I thought.

Ok, kids! Let's get bloginating!

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  • awwww (Score:2, Interesting)

    MB is wonderful.

    I would love to see a web page that generates MB entries.
  • What?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zorknapp (3598) on 2003.12.10 14:42 (#26428) Homepage Journal
    Who the hell complained about something as silly as a random blog generator? It's not like anyone is forced to read this stuff.
    • I told him he couldn't do it anymore.

      Then he beat me with a hammer, and I recanted.

      Maybe he had a bout with his conscience, however.
    • Who the hell complained about something as silly as a random blog generator?
      Well, I did [perl.org].

      You see, I'm interested in jjohn's normal stuff, but not this junk. So if I want to see if he writes anything in his journal, the MarkovBlogger stuff is there, too.

      Perhaps it'd be possible (and allowable?) to make MarkovBlogger a separate user in this site.

      • But the Markov Blogger writing is all clearly labeled as such. It's easy enough to skim down until there's a subject heading without "Markov" in the heading.

        I can see that it may be a slight annoyance having to skip some entries to find one that actually makes grammatical sense, but really, should we put our slight annoyances ahead of someone's ability to do what they want with their own journal/blog?

        • But the Markov Blogger writing is all clearly labeled as such.

          It's not labelled in recent journals [perl.org] - you have to go to jjohn's journal [perl.org]. The upshot is that I don't always follow the link, and will go to other journals first, because I don't want the disappointment of finding that the only new stuff is Markov Blogger.

          I don't want to read Markov Blogger, but that doesn't mean that I want it to stop. I don't want to listen to the Archers on radio 4, but I'm quite happy for it to keep on broadcasting. Just as

          • Re:What?! (Score:2, Interesting)

            Quote: "It's not labelled in recent journals - you have to go to jjohn's journal. The upshot is that I don't always follow the link, and will go to other journals first, because I don't want the disappointment of finding that the only new stuff is Markov Blogger." Okay, so it's not listed in recent journals. So, if you punch the link for jjohn's journal, and it's a Markov, you can hit the back button and be right back where you started.

            Maybe it's just me, but I would think that it would take a mighty l

            • Re:What?! (Score:3, Insightful)

              Well, I was only describing what I do :-)

              The first time I saw a Markov Blogger entry I thought "Hey, what's this shit? I think he shouldn't be doing this" but then I realised that

              1. it's his journal
              2. there are other journals with even less meaningful content than Markov Blogger
              3. no-one is forcing me to read it
              4. Laziness is a virtue, and mine cut in (so I did nothing)

              so please keep going.

              Anyway, I think realising point 2 made me like the whole idea much better.

              • It was and continues to be a delightful use.perl satire of blogging here. Perhaps if he was a from London.pm or an Acme module it would help make it funny for you? :)

                • Doubt it. (That it would make it funny). I can appreciate it as effective satire even though I don't want to read it. But I laughed out loud at the nice new FAQ about it.

                  Why is eveyone taking this so seriously? Most blogs don't take the care to mak the entries that are full of crap. MarkovBlogger should be an example to us all :-)