Maturité d'un journal intime [fr]

Une citation de Jennifer, dont l’anonymat s’est petit à  petit effrité, et qui vit un mélange grandissant entre “le monde de son journal” et “le monde qu’elle raconte dans son journal”.

[en] Jennifer has been keeping an intimate diary online since she was 15. Her online and offline worlds have increasingly collided, and she is now facing the fact that she does not feel free to write on the internet as she used to be. It's really fascinating to read her going through this.

Jennifer a commencé à  écrire son journal intime sur internet lorsqu’elle avait 15 ans. Elle nous a tout livré, sans retenue. Maintenant, entre les années qui passent pour elle et la quantité d’écrits qui s’accumule, son rapport à  son journal change. Je dis depuis longtemps à  qui veut l’entendre qu’un journal intime sur internet n’est pas une entreprise viable, à  terme. Tôt ou tard, les cloisons que l’on a érigées entre son “soi en-ligne” et son “soi hors-ligne” deviennent poreuses. D’inconnus, les lecteurs deviennent connus, et on peut se retrouver à  vouloir parler d’eux.

Lire les réflexions de Jennifer à  ce sujet, et suivre son évolution, c’est assez passionnant.

[…] la principale raison à  ce «bloquage» est surtout que j’ai de plus en plus de mal à  m’«étaler», intimement et émotionnellement parlant, sur internet. Même si je recommencais un blog un jour, sans donner l’adresse à  personne, je crois que je pourrais plus me livrer complètement. Je trouve ça assez malsain pour être honnête. Presque sale. Je préfère garder l’intimité de notre couple. Si je veux lui dire des mots doux, je préfère les lui dire rien qu’à  lui. Quand on dévoile son cÅ“ur, on met à  disposition notre partie la plus sensible. Faire ça sur internet, à  l’accès de tous, et donner donc par la même occasion à  tous ces inconnus (ou pas… Facile d’être découvert) le moyen frapper où ça fait le plus mal, je crois ne plus en être capable.

Jennifer, 11 février 2005

Lire la suite du billet de Jennifer.

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German Article in Migros Magazin [en]

Material from my interview with Migros Magazine was re-used for an other article in the German-language counterpart, Migros Magazin. Should I be unhappy about how it was done?

[fr] Un morceau d'interview et la photo prise pour mon interview dans Migros Magazine ont été réutilisés dans la version allemande, pour un article assez différent sur les blogs. Devrais-je m'offusquer qu'on ne m'ait pas demandé mon autorisation?

Last month, an interview of me was published in the French-speaking Migros Magazine, under the title Born to Blog. It was a pretty good article, and I was happy with the photograph.

This morning, I noticed an incoming referer from the German edition of the same magazine: Wie Blogger den Tsunami-Opfern Halfen, with my photograph. If my German isn’t too rusty, this means “How Bloggers Helped Tsunami OrphansVictims“.

Well, at first, I bypassed the title and started reading the text, assuming it must be a translation of my initial interview. Not so. The first and last paragraph have something to do with me, but the middle of this small article is about something I don’t even know about.

Exploring a little more by looking at the PDF version of the article, I understood that it was in fact part of a larger enquiry on blogs.

Right, so they re-used part of the interview I did in December, and the photograph to illustrate it. It’s nice to be in the German-language press, of course, but I can’t help thinking they should at least have asked me before re-using the interview and the photograph.

I was in for a bit more surprise when I tried to see where the article was linked from on the main page of the site. Here is what I saw. (Screenshots coming later.)

Now, I’ll agree that my photo is a good one (my thanks to the photographer for her patience, by the way), and that I have a slight tendancy to think others try to take advantage of me all the time, but it does strike me as a little strange that my photograph is used to illustrate the link to the other article in the enquiry. Try clicking around, you’ll see what I mean.

Should I be unhappy about this, or do you just give up any hope of what your words or image are used for once you start dealing with the press?

As an aside, a three-part interview of me will be aired on the RSR1 radio next week. More details about that in a later post.

Update 11.02.2005: after writing this post, I also sent an e-mail to the journalist who interviewed me. He called me straight away to apologize. Neither he nor his boss knew about the German article, so they were also a little annoyed. This was clearly an internal communication problem, and from what I understand it wasn’t the first time.

He assured me that even though the photo could in theory be re-used, it shouldn’t be taken out of its context. The present case was a bit on the limit, he admitted — the article was about blogging, but from a whole other angle. I suggested they get the web people to put in links between the two parts of the enquiry on weblogs.

Update 01.06.2005: photographer’s name removed at her request.

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Article dans La Liberté [fr]

Un article dans La Liberté, pour lequel j’ai été interviewée, parle de la diversité de la blogosphère.

[en] A brief interview of me appeared today in La Liberté, on a page about the diversity of the blogosphere (PDF).

Un article dans La Liberté, Puissance et extension de la blogosphère (PDF), parle de la diversité de la blogosphère. Il y a aussi un petit interview “questions-réponses” de moi en encadré.

Article intéressant, à  mon avis, qui présente bien les différentes tendances existant parmi les blogs. Dommage simplement (pour un article sur les blogs!) qu’il n’indique pas une seule URL!

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Thinking About Tags [en]

What if taggy applications like Technorati, Flickr and started allowing us to query multiple tags with “and” and “or” operators?

[fr] Une proposition pour pouvoir combiner les tags (comme "blogosphere ET blogosphère", "livres OU films") dans des services comme Flickr,, et maintenant Technorati.

Some quick thoughts about tags, following Technorati Tagified.

So, there is “blog“. And “weblog“. And “blogs“. And “weblogs“.

How about a way to get the posts/photos/links tagged with any of these tags? Maybe something like .../blog,blogs,weblog,weblogs/.

That would also solve some multilingual problems: get “blogosphere” and “blogosphère” together on the same page with .../blogosphère,blogosphere/.

At, I tag the books I’ve read with “books/read“, and films I’ve seen with either “films/seen/cinema” or “films/seen” (if I saw them on DVD). This used to work fine, because a bug (poor me thought it was a feature) would include links tagged as “films/seen/cinema” when one asked for “films/seen“. That doesn’t work anymore.

Say I avoid messing with tags-with-slashes, and tag films I saw at the cinema with “films seen cinema” and others with “films seen dvd”. I’ll probably also have links tagged “films” or “cinema” but which are not tagged “seen”. How could I pull out a list of links tagged “films” AND “seen”? Perhaps something like .../films+seen/.

Update, 10:00: Kevin tells me “+” signifies a space in a URL. Maybe “&” could do the job instead, then? And if “&” can’t because it’s supposed to separate parameters, any other suggestions?

Update, 11:40: holy cow, does this already! I’ve updated my tags and lists. See “books+read” for books I’ve read, and “films+seen” for films I’ve seen. I’m a happy bunny!

Let’s get wild, shall we? .../books-read/ could list things tagged as “books” but not “read”.

Now we only need a way to assign operation priority, to be able to start retrieving lists like “books I’ve read or films I’ve seen which are also tagged as india” — wouldn’t that be cool?

Taggy application developers, hear the call!

Thanks to rvr and GabeW for the little discussion on #joiito which prompted me to write this post.

P.S.: has anybody written that WordPress plugin yet? (You know the one I’m talking about: the one that lets you painlessly technorati-tag your posts.)

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Technorati Tagified [en]

Technorati collects links, photos and posts with tags/categories and displays them all on a nice page. Start tagging!

[fr] Technorati s'intéresse aux "tags". Les "tags", ce sont des étiquettes que l'on colle aux photos chez Flickr ou aux liens chez

Technorati collecte le tout sur une jolie page, avec les billets de weblogs, bien entendu -- classés soit par leurs catégories, soit par des tags ajoutés manuellement. C'est facile! Voyez la page pour le tag technorati, par exemple.

Qu'est-ce que vous attendez? Lâchez vos tags!

Lo and behold, Technorati goes tags!

Technorati collects weblog posts, Flickr images, and links and organises them by tag on a pretty page.

Tags on weblog posts? Easy. If you have categories, and your RSS/Atom feed is formatted correctly, Technorati will treat your categories as tags. In addition to that (or instead of that), you can also add tags manually to any blog post. Learn how to do it, and get tagging!

Some tag pages I’ve looked at: India, Switzerland, tools, StephanieBooth

I wonder. What are the implications for TopicExchange? Will Technorati tags make ITE obsolete?

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Blogsome: a WordPress Weblog Farm [en]

A hosted WordPress weblog provider just opened. I’m testing.

[fr] Blogsome est une solution hébergée fournissant à  qui le désire un weblog WordPress en deux clics (moins d'une minute).

Check out Blogsome. It looks exciting. I’ve set up a test blog: enter a username, an e-mail address, your blog title, and there you are. 1 minute.

I’m very curious to see how this will scale, especially given my experiences with my school blogs. I’m also curious to see if they will release the code used.

If you’re trying it, please let me know what you think!

[via Ollie]

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Scripts for a WordPress Weblog Farm [en]

A first step to WordPress-farming: a shell script and a PHP script which allow you to easily install a whole lot of WordPress weblogs in only a few minutes (I installed over 30 in less than 5 minutes). Scripts require adapting to your environment, of course.

Update 03.11.06: Batiste made me realise I should point the many people landing here in the search of multi-user WordPress to WordPress MU. All that I describe in this post is very pretty, but nowadays completely obsolete.

Here is the best solution I’ve managed to come up with in half a day to finally install over 30 WordPress weblogs in under 5 minutes (once the preparation work was done).

A shell script copies the image of a WordPress install to multiple directories and installs them. A PHP script then changes a certain number of options and settings in each weblog. It can be used later to run as a “patch” on all installed weblog if a setting needs modifying globally.

Here are the details of what I did.

I first downloaded and unzipped WordPress into a directory.

tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz
mv wordpress wp-farm-image

I cleaned up the install (removing wp-comments-popup.php and the import*.php files, for example), added a language directory (as I’m wp-farming in French) and modified index.php to my liking; in particular, I edited the import statement for the stylesheet so that it looked like this:

@import url( );

The styles directory is a directory in which I place a bunch of WordPress styles. I don’t need the style switcher capability, but I do need to styles. Later, users will be able to change styles simply by editing that line in their index.php (or I can do it for them).

Another very important thing I did was rename wp-config-sample.php to config-sample and fill in the database and language information. I replaced wp_ by xxx_ so that I had $table_prefix = 'xxx_';.

To make it easier to install plugins for everyone, correct the language files, and edit whatever may be in wp-images, I moved these three directories out of the image install and replaced them with symbolic links, taking inspiration from Shelley’s method for installing multiple WordPress weblogs.

mv image/wp-content common
mv image/wp-images common
mv image/wp-includes/languages common
ln -s common/wp-content image/wp-content
ln -s common/wp-images image/wp-images
ln -s common/languages image/wp-includes/languages

I also added an .htaccess file (after some painful tweaking on a test install).

Once my image was ready, I compiled a list of all the users I had to open weblogs for (one username per line) in a file named names.txt, which I placed in the root directory all the weblog subfolders were going to go in.

I then ran this shell script (many thanks to all those of you who helped me with it — you saved my life):

for x in `cat names.txt`
cp -rv /home/edublogs/wp-farm/image/ $x
cat $x/wp-config.php | sed "s/xxx/${x}/" > config.tmp
mv config.tmp $x/wp-config.php

This assumes that my WordPress install image was located in /home/edublogs/wp-farm/image/ and that the weblog addresses were of the form

This script copies the image to a directory named after the user, edits wp-config to set the table prefix to the username, and then successively wgets the install URLs to save me from loading them all in my browser.

After this step, I had a bunch of installed but badly configured weblogs (amongst other things, as I short-circuited the form before the third install step, they all think their siteurl is

Entered the PHP patch which tweaks settings directly in the database. I spent some time with a test install and PHPMyAdmin to figure out which fields I wanted to change and which values I wanted to give them, but overall it wasn’t too complicated to do. You’ll certainly need to heavily edit this file before using it if you try and duplicate what I did, but the basic structure and queries should remain the same.

I edited the user list at the top of the file, loaded it in my browser, and within less than a few seconds all my weblogs were correctly configured. I’ll use modified versions of this script later on when I need to change settings for all the weblogs in one go (for example, if I want to quickly install a plugin for everyone).

In summary:

  1. compile list of users
  2. prepare image install
  3. run shell script
  4. run PHP script

If you try to do this, I suggest you start by putting only two users in your user list, and checking thoroughly that everything installs and works correctly before doing it for 30 users. I had to tweak the PHP script quite a bit until I had all my settings correctly configured.

Hope this can be useful to some!

Update 29.09.2005: WARNING! Hacking WordPress installs to build a farm like this one is neat, but it gets much less neat when your weblog farm is spammed with animal porn comments. You then realise (oh, horror!) that none of the anti-spam plugins work on your beautiful construction, so you weed them out by hand as you can, armed with many a MySQL query. And then the journalist steps in — because, frankly, “sex with dogs” on a school website is just too good to be true. And then you can spend half a day writing an angry reaction to the shitty badly-researched article.

My apologies for the bad language. Think of how you’re going to deal with spam beforehand when you’re setting up a school blog project.

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