Part II

Part II:
I won’t bore you with the unabridged version, but a long time ago, in a
galaxy far, far away, I launched and later shuttered a website called

While its life pre-dated the era of blogging, was
very blog-like, a participatory, conversational medium. Unfortunately,
for all involved, our timing sucked and we were seduced into believing we were building
an aircraft carrier. (That’s the gory part of the story I won’t bore
you with, however, the cool logo is left-over from the aircraft carrier project, as are some hats and T-shirts.)

Anyway, I’ve relaunched the website (Decision #1: This time, it’s not
a venture or a company or a subsidiary, it’s a web project of Hammock
Publishing that needs little financial overhead to maintain.)

What we’re doing is very simple to understand if you’re a blogger or
follow what’s going on in the world of participatory media (I call it
conversational media).

We’re starting out with (and will continue with) great simplicity:

1. At the URL,, we’ve launched,
an RSS-powered news aggregator using a hack (oh, that reminds me, I
launched a development blog to explain such things)
replaced a slightly more complex idea we’d been working on. It uses a bookmark page I set up

as a backend. (Lesson #1: RSS feeds, no matter where you find them, can
be your
friends, and do things way beyond showing up in your newsreader. Hint
#1: You can even direct our small business headline feeds (they’re available by category,,
for example) right into your own newsreader or your own small business
news aggregator site (it would be polite to credit us). Isn’t this fun?)

2. At the URLs, and, I’ve set up The Small Business Wiki.
It’s a wiki-powered resource for folks who work at small businesses. Not much there yet, but as
soon as my 14-year-old finishes exams this week, he’s going to start porting into the wiki the thousands of helpful articles (we
called it advice back then) that users of the original contributed to the site (again, it was like a
blogging platform with thousands of people adding “posts”).

3. And, coming in a few days, at the main URL,,
we’re cranking up a search engine that is indexing a narrow universe of
small business resource websites, weblogs, books and in the future, who
podcasts, videoblogs, whatever. I have determined that a narrowly
focused search of websites chosen by some trusted volunteers is fine
for now. Billions of sites and millions of weblogs are not
going to be our thing. A few thousand (hundreds?) helpful weblogs and
websites are what you can expect to be indexed during the first few
months — and perhaps longer. We’ll see.

Those of you who know me from this weblog may not know my day job
includes being the editor of a magazine that is received by 600,000
small business owners who are members of the National Federation of
Independent Business ( is not affiliated with the association or the website or with MyBusiness
magazine in any way. However, my passion for helping small business owners succeed
is affiliated with all the things I do in my day job and is driving my approach to

Other than the wiki and the development blog,
I don’t anticipate
writing or blogging at — it’s not about our voices,
but the voices of small businesses and the websites and bloggers who
are trying to help them find the information they need to survive and
succeed. And, I won’t be blogging
about here unless there is something significant to
report. (Come to think of it, I rarely blog here about Hammock Publishing, so I expect to follow that same pattern.)

Anyway, I thought announcing this news on the rexblog seemed
appropriate as my blogging here has helped me journey away from some
disappointment and despair I once associated with the URL and back to a
place of joy and passion I once enjoyed at the place and with the people of

Contageious media smackdown

Contageious media smackdown: If you’ve been tracking the “Contagious Media Showdown,” you”ll note the announcement of the fake magazine “” is currently ranked  #4 (although it is the third among those listed – ?). 

The current number one entrant is a site featuring QT videos submitted by people who are crying while eating, which I believe is just dumb enough to give it three weeks of memebrity. My personal favorite is (which is what I’ve switched to for maintaining the rexblog).

Update: I would like to officially change my opinion of the “fakeness” of — let’s cotagioius them
—  as I see they’ve included me on their blogroll. So what if I’m a B-Lister, at least they spelled my URL correctly.

Newsweek Chinese torture (continued):

Newsweek water torture (continued):

Quote from Newsweek’s “letter to our readers“:

the basis of what we know now, I’ve seen nothing to suggest that our
people acted unethically or unprofessionally.”

Translation: “On the basis of what we
know now” means it’s time for some folks to start dusting off their
resumes.  I try not to quote myself here, but as I blogged last week: “We know how this is all going to end for the
writers and editors involved. You just want to shout, please, go ahead.
Get it over with.
Forget the outside review committee. Forget the internal report. Let’s
just fast-forward and get it over with.”

Also, compare these headlines from the print issues of Time & Newsweeks that hit the stands today:


When a Story Goes Terribly Wrong
How Newsweek botched its report on prisoner abuse—and helped set off an anti-U.S. firestorm

Newsweek (turn off your audio)

A Big Source of Frustration
Confidential sources have been
essential in breaking many landmark stories. But there’s something
wrong when so much journalism is based on anonymous voices, and that’s
why the press is toughening its standards.

Terribly wrong or merely frustrating? Drip, drip, drip.