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Techrights is Up, But Here’s What Else is Up

Posted in Site News at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights is up

Summary: A little bit of site news and an explanation about the long delay

PLEASE allow us to eliminate false rumours about Techrights being “dead” or “under attack” or “silenced”. The site is very much active in the IRC channels, but the editor (yours truly) is stuck with no wired connection because BT is slow to enable lines* when one relocates.

While I’m on mobile broadband (essentially a cellular network) I just spend more time coding, but I wanted to share some thoughts on the operation of this site and reach out for advice. Activities behind the scenes are all publicly logged and even when I’m offline, someone else logs them for publication at a later date (yes, all the IRC logs will be posted when I review and split the files next week). Components of Techrights are primarily the community which sustains it, including the kind host, Tracy, who has supported the site marvelously well since a major DDOS attack forced us offline for days. The site itself has several parts such as:

1. Blog (with translations)
2. Wiki
3. IRC
4. Audiocast
(5. Citations in press, forums)

Communication channels (real-time at FreeNode) are:

1. Techrights
2. BN
3. BN social
4. TechBytes

Syndication is done with:

1. Full RSS feeds
2. Identica
3. Twitter
4. Digg

Angles we can split the covered issues into:

1. TechRights
2. TechWrongs
3. TechChoices

Focus in negative context:

1. Novell
2. Microsoft
3. Apple

Focus in positive context

Freedom-respecting companies and some organisations such as the EFF, FSF, and Wikileaks.

Post types are:

1. Articles (including offbeat announcements like this one)
2. Daily links
3. IRC logs
4. Audiocast

Domain names (through which the server is accessible):

1. Techrights.org
2. Techrights.com
3. BoycottNovell.com

Since some time in October 2010 we’ve pondered the option of using IRC with identi.ca syndication as the main — is not only — source of site input. Prior to my departure our IRC logs weighed almost 1 MB per days, so they took a long time to pass through and they contained a lot of real-time information from many sources. Although the plan is to resume as usual when the wired connection is back, perhaps it is time to experiment with substitutes or surrogates for RSS feeds (E-mails are mostly slow to manage and sometimes unreliable). This might also enable us to compose more posts per day, maybe at the expense of the daily links (which many people still seem to find useful, despite the immense size/volume). Any thoughts on how Techrights can make the most of it all would be appreciated, so please leave a comment or join us to discuss this in IRC.
* And has bad service and is expensive… yes, thanks to ‘benevolent’ monopolies.

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  1. The Mad Hatter said,

    March 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm


    Hum. Well, you might want to consider increased use of Post Tags and Categories. Finding things in the shear volume of posts can often be a challenge.

    Or maybe it’s time for a complete site overhaul. I’ve started using Drupal on Web Lit Canada and it has some huge advantages over Word Press. But talk to Gordon about that, he knows a lot more about Drupal than I do, I’m still learning :)


    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I would rather stay with WordPress and use the Wiki for other bits.

    In IRC someone responded to a point I had not made, thinking (incorrectly) that I suggested dropping RSS feeds from this site; that’s not what I meant at all.

    twitter Reply:

    Thanks for soliciting feedback. It is difficult to think of how to make things better but easy to imagine how to make things worse. Isn’t that terrible?

    I was a little worried when you said, “perhaps it is time to experiment with substitutes or surrogates for RSS feeds.” Awful non free software in the late 90′s gave me a bad impression of feeds but now I see what a convenient and powerful tool they can be for getting news. I’d hate to see Techrights vanish from my reader.

    If anything, more feeds would be better. A comment feed, for example, would make it much easier to track comments on the site. Separate feeds for links and stories might make some readers happy. More interactivity within the feeds themselves might be nice, but any modern reader with an “open in new” tab and the site itself provide adequate ability to comment.

    Best of luck with BT. Perhaps someone will share their wifi while BT drags their feet. Coffee shops and other public wireless within walking distance helped me out in a similar move.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There is already a comments RSS feed and each Wiki page is also an RSS feed.

    The Mad Hatter Reply:

    Just mentioned it – different technologies have different uses. I like Word Press, I really do, but it has it’s limits. I looked closely at Geek Log for one site I’m building based on what I’ve seen PJ do with it, but I ended up deciding that Drupal had more promise, at least for that site.

    In some ways there’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to developing quality sites.


  2. KettleCooker said,

    March 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm


    What about Twitter? At least for links.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, definitely, but I can’t use it much at the moment because Choqok is a traffic hog, which has me throttled very quickly on mobile access.

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