Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Don't follow me, everything will be all right

Ars Technica passes on word from CNet that various search engine vendors and blogging tool providers (including heavyweights SixApart) are implementing a new plan to limit comment spam by reducing the value of comment spam for search engine placement. Signifying Nothing has already followed suit, although since trackback spam has been less of a problem for us I’m only applying the “fix” (a simple attribute on HTML a tags) to user comments for now.

Tuesday, 21 December 2004


I’ve added Dean Edwards’ IE7 hack to the blog on a quasi-experimental basis; the good news is that it fixes a lot of Internet Explorer’s rendering bugs, while the bad news is that it seems to introduce some quirks of its own and exposes IE’s lousy fallback behavior for missing Unicode characters. My general advice for IE users is to download and use Mozilla Firefox instead.

Wednesday, 15 December 2004

A reader's guide to Signifying Nothing

It occurs to me that some of the ongoing conventions of our little weblog may be unfamiliar to new visitors… so here are a few peculiarities that may be helpful to know.

Monday, 22 November 2004

The only color that matters is maroon

I’m pleased to announce that Robert Prather, formerly blogging at Insults Unpunished, has agreed to join Signifying Nothing as a co-blogger; I’ll leave any further introductions to him. Robert’s posts will be this color. Welcome aboard!

Monday, 1 November 2004

I'd rather be in love

Apologies for the relative silence as of late; I am running a big project that comes to fruition tomorrow, and that has me rather busy (to say the least). I’ll have something more to say later today, probably.

In the meantime, scroll down and read Brock’s posts from the weekend, on such diverse topics as beer, bigots, and the Beatles.

Friday, 22 October 2004

Blast from the Past

If you dropped by in the past 30 minutes or so, you may have noticed a brief flashback to July. I just brought back up the old box that the blog was hosted on, and it decided to take over the IP address for the blog. Things should be back to (near) normal now…

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Ask and ye shall receive

Because we considered Signifying Nothing‘s pages insufficiently cluttered, we have added the manual trackback link to individual post and daymode pages, as requested by James Joyner.

And, before you ask, no, we wouldn’t jump off a cliff if he asked us to.

Sunday, 11 July 2004

Just a little downtime

Signifying Nothing will be offline this coming weekend (most likely, beginning sometime Friday); we should be back up and running sometime on Monday, July 19, depending on the vagaries of my new cable company and the general level of progress in moving into my new home—most specifically, whether or not I manage to reassemble my computer desk properly. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience.

Monday, 31 May 2004


Dislike comments? You can switch ’em off.

The stylesheet has been changed to allow you to choose your preferred font. So if you don’t like the typeface Signifying Nothing appears in on your browser, change your browser’s default “Sans Serif” font.

Apologies for the brief downtime earlier today… we’re experiencing what might be called “power difficulties” here in Oxvegas, magnified by the fact that the BIOS on the machine that currently hosts Signifying Nothing has no “power on automatically when AC comes back on” setting. Hopefully things are now back to normal.

Thursday, 27 May 2004

Just a little downtime

The cause of our 48-hour outage earlier this week: a borderline failing DSLAM card at the telephone exchange about a half-mile down the street. Just in case you were curious…

Sunday, 23 May 2004

This one's for my homies (particularly Will Baude)

Click here to make comments go away.

Thursday, 20 May 2004

Comments on comments

To answer Will Baude: My fundamental position on comments remains unchanged. However, the software that drives Signifying Nothing (and the neglected Bazaar), LSblog, needs a comments feature, and this is the only place I have to test it. So, you will be subjected to it during testing.

I don’t plan on opening comments on every single post during testing, mind you. That, of course, is also a test. And then we’ll go back to our old, comment-free existence and live happily ever after, unless Brock decides he likes comments.

BTW, I can add a cookie pref to not show comments to you, if you want it.

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

And $2 will buy you a cup of coffee

Well, we’ll try this whole “comments” thing for a day or two (against my better judgment, mind you) and see how it goes. If nothing else, it will give me a chance to play with the IP blacklist feature.

It’s actually a pretty slick setup under the hood… you can use HTML or Textile markup, or intermingle the two, and you’ve got a reasonably complete subset of HTML to work with (no DHTML or images, but pretty much all the text formatting stuff is there, with the exception of CSS). About the only thing missing is a preview function, and that’s just because I’m pretty much lazy.

So, here’s your topic to start with, a good British telly question: was/is Julia Sawalha hotter on Absolutely Fabulous or Jonathan Creek? (And no spoilers on Jonathan Creek, please, we’re hopelessly behind on this side of the pond.)

Friday, 14 May 2004

No comment

Will Baude continues to justify Crescat Sententia‘s “No Comments” policy, for essentially the same reason that SN doesn’t carry comments. Well, that and the fact I don’t have the Copious Free Time™ necessary to remove troll infestations from my comments.

However, there is some fiddling behind the scenes here to add a comments facility to everyone’s favorite blogging platform, LSblog, because other bloggers are not similarly enlightened. Once that’s done, probably this weekend, I’ll release a new tarball, as there appears to be renewed interest in alternatives to Movable Type. Once the rudiments of the comment code are finished, I may open comments on a couple of posts (including this one) for testing purposes.

Wednesday, 31 March 2004

Blogging etiquette question

Question for other bloggers out there: how do you prefer to be referred to in other blogs? First name and last name? First name only? Last name only? Title with name?

I’ve been using the following convention. I use first and last name the first time I refer to another blogger in a blog post. I use just the first name on subsequent references, unless the person has a high-status title, such as “Professor” or “Doctor,” in which case I use title and last name.

For some reason the blogosphere seems more familiar than the world of print. I’d never, for example, refer to David Brooks as “David,” but I find it difficult to refer to Will Baude as “Baude.”

Just for reference, I’m fine with being called “Brock.”

Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Comment policy

My interactions with Matt Stinson’s household troll “Billy” rated a mention at Prof. Bainbridge’s place. One more notch in my online tally against comments…

Monday, 23 February 2004

Trackbacks at Volokh

The Volokh Conspiracy has added trackback links, courtesy of Technorati.

It’s about time. No matter how much I dislike some of the individual conspirators (or guest conspirators), the Volokh Conspiracy remains one of my favorite blogs. And trackback links are to me the innovation that sets blogging apart from other media. I frequently find that following trackback links is more enlightening than the forward links that bloggers themselves provide, and it's a great way to find blogs that you didn't know about before. For some reason, I'm much more likely to enjoy a previously unknown Blog B that comments on Blog A, which I already read and enjoy, than I am to enjoy an unknown Blog C that Blog A comments on.

Friday, 13 February 2004

Perceptual screens

The folks at The Dead Parrot Society can now safely run their diff between the new and old versions of the blogroll. I’m not going to name names, but I purged a few people whose blogging had ceased to have any value to me. (I also purged a few blogs that have been dead for several months.) Once the Kerry zippergate and Bush AWOL stories go away, I will consider restoring the removed blogs, if it turns out I start visiting those sites again. Judging from visits today, however, I think I made the right decision.

Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Fun for the whole family

Apparently blogroll editing has become a spectator sport. Free hint: set your blogroll order preferences to “Alpha” so it’s easier to tell the differences.

Saturday, 7 February 2004


Since your DNS block doesn’t resolve back, and because you apparently have a Python bot that’s out of control downloading every page on this site, you’re now blocked at the IP level. Please email the management if you have a legitimate reason to be unblocked and/or you get your bot under control.

Tuesday, 13 January 2004

Movin' on up

Signifying Nothing has recently joined the prestigious neighborhood known as Conrad’s blogroll. In addition to leading the sort of swinging lifestyle that I can but hope to emulate, Conrad is a fellow alumnus of the University of Mississippi.

More coherent thought later today, perhaps…

Monday, 29 December 2003

Signifying Nothing goes mobile

Prompted in part by my new cell phone, which includes a built-in web browser, I’m pleased to announce the debut of Signifying Nothing Mobile. There isn’t a lot of support for navigating between posts yet, but hopefully I’ll be able to add that soon. Any reports of success or failure would be appreciated!

Tuesday, 16 December 2003

While We Were Sleeping II: The Two Towers

Amazing how all the news seems to happen while we’re down. (The appropriate parties have been executed for their roles in our period of downtime, in case you were wondering.)

To review:

  • I got rid of about half the beer in the house at a grad student party on Friday night. Less crap to move. Yipee! (Thanks to Brooke and Lindsey for organizing the gathering.)
  • I turned 28-going-on-60 on Sunday.
  • Someone actually wants to cite part of my dissertation in a book. I’m stunned.
  • Steven Taylor had the latest Toast-O-Meter update, with Howard Dean widening his lead over the pack despite increased attacks from the trailing candidates.
  • The presumptive Democratic nominee made a speech on foreign policy that somehow failed to mention North Korea.
  • Everyone’s favorite Dixiecrat apparently didn’t mind dipping his pen in different-colored ink, so to speak.
  • Signifying Nothing went down to ignominious defeat in the Wizbang 2003 Weblog Awards balloting. I blame the butterfly ballot and the use of a first-past-the-post system.
  • And, last but not least, coalition forces arrested a biker dude near Tikrit and gave him a lovely shave and a fight to Qatar at taxpayers’ expense.

This is today’s entry in the Beltway Traffic Jam, in case you were wondering about such things.

Saturday, 6 December 2003

It's an honor just to be nominated

For some reason (probably because Matt Stinson nominated us…), Signifying Nothing is nominated in the Wizbang! 2003 Weblog Awards. As the stereotypical “they” say, VEVO—although considering that we’re nominated in the same category as professional writer Roger L. Simon, I think we’re definitely in the #16 seed position at this point.

All the usual caveats about Internet polling apply. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself to try to block out the absolute drubbing we’re receiving…

IP address bans

The following IP addresses will no longer have access to Signifying Nothing; they almost certainly host spam crawlers:


The Management