Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BlogRush removed; Rare Negative Review; Resources and thanks

For all: As regular readers will know, I rarely publish a negative review. I operate on the principle that there is enough negative "stuff" already. Nevertheless, sometimes I have to speak out. My review of "On, Off" by Colleen McCoullough was pretty negative and, for rather specific reasons, it is featured in the current blog carnival Against Child Abuse (thanks to annaleigh for this edition and to "Marj aka Thriver" for running the whole carnival).

Any comments on negative reviews?

Sites that have helped me and might help you: Although BlogRush is gone from this site (see below), BlogCarnival has just appeared in the right-hand sidebar. I wish I could list all of my favorite carnivals instead of featuring just one, but wait! (as the late-night TV advertisements say), I can do so in here. BlogCarnival is a valuable resource for bloggers and readers (thanks to Walter at HighLight Health for alerting me to the carnivals). If you don't know how these work, here is the rundown: the carnivals are collections of articles from blogs around the world, the "home site" can rotate from one blog to another or have a permanent location, authors submit articles for consideration, and the hosts pick the (sub)topics and which articles to include.

The Natural Sciences Carnival encompasses science broadly, as does Philisophia Naturalis. Oekologie is devoted to ecology and the environment, The Philosophers' Carnival is self-explanatory and kindly included my post on Denis Diderot a while back (this was an overt break with crime fiction, if not a lengthy one), the Carnival of Australia covers all topics connected with Australia (including great crime fiction), the Carnival of the Criminal Minds is a great place to lean about crime fiction, and, for readers of all kinds, we have Readers and Writers Carnival, Books Carnival, and A Carnival of Bookworms. Thanks to those who run these blog carnivals!

What to expect and what not ...: I finished my first foray in to the world of George Pelecanos two nights ago, and will review "Soul Circus" soon. I am currently reviewing "The Shadow of the Shadow" by Paco Ignacio Taibo II, or PAC II. The author is a very interesting fellow and I love his writing. I read this particular book a while back and am having to refresh my memory as I go along. This will not be an "impressionistic review." I finished "Sacred" by Dennis Lehane but may not review it (I think I've said enough about the fine work by Mr. Lehane). I started reading "Legends" by Robert Littell only to realize in the first paragraph that I had already read it. If I haven't already reviewed it, I might do so. I just started reading "A Corpse in the Koryo" about North Korea, by James Church. I will not be reviewing "You Don't Love Me Yet" by Jonathan Lethem.

For bloggers only: In this world, we mustn't believe everything we read, so you will need to judge this for yourself, but, after reading the following post (here), I removed the BlogRush widget from this site. If you aren't a blogger, this won't concern you, but if you blog, it is worth a look. Maybe it is disinformation, but I acted on it. Entrecard is also discussed.

Final update of the day: I installed a system called Intense Debate, which is supposed to be an enhanced commenting system. I have used it on other people's blogs with success (and you can read many of my comments in the side bar). However, it was quirky to install and has been quirky to use on this site; I will dump it soon if things don't right themselves, though I'm keeping the faith for the moment. Please let me know if you have problems. Tech service has been contacted.

Addendum: lost comments added back as text here:

James K. Bashkin

Thanks for the feedback, yellojkt. Your approach makes perfect sense. I guess I felt that there is so much negative stuff online that I didn't want to add to it unless I really felt strongly about something.

Maybe I should do more negative reviewing. At the moment, mentioning that I will not review a book is an indication that the review would be negative (unless I give some specific reason, like my over-saturation with Dennis Lehane reviews at the moment),

  • yellojkt
I do publish negative reviews because if I was disappointed by a book I feel its honest to say so.
Frank, this was a little odd for me but I deleted the code for the blogrush widget which shared a sidebar box with an advertisement. Then, there was a ghost of the blogrush page that I could not get rid of until I deleted the entire page element, even though no BlogRush code was visible anymore. I just copied and pasted the Amazon code into a new page element and BlogRush was finally gone for good. I definitely don't like code that tries to stay alive like HAL in 2001 A Space Odessy.
Frank, thanks for the response. I'll have to read up more on EntreCard. I like the blog carnivals a lot, but I wish I could control the widget better. Some carnivals I'm not too keen on advertising. Oh well, perfection is rare (present company excluded). Best wishes, Jim

  • Frank C
Thanks for the mention Jim. I'll give your new comment system a try.

BlogRush was a good idea that was implemented poorly by the people behind it. They failed to deliver on promises and made a lot of people mad with them.

EntreCard, while not for everybody, might work for you so you could give it a trial run and see. The blog carnival widget might be a better idea for your blog though.

Thanks Again

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