Category Archives: Discourse.net

Annals of Weird Marketing

Hello,

My name is Devin. I am an online website optimization consultant for small to medium size businesses. I came across your website www.discourse.net and have noticed that there are many things that can be improved on your website to help you rank better in the search engines and ultimately drive more traffic to your webpage. Currently you have a page rank of 2nd position of 5th page for the Keyword – Balance of Miami-Dade House Painter – this can be improved very quickly. I will be happy to review your site in more depth for and give you a free quote on how you can improve your traffic, which will ultimately give you more online visibility, increasing your revenue.

Balance of Miami-Dade House Painter? Really? Someone has written a program to send ads touting SEO services and that is the best they can come up with?

PS. After this post, I bet I make the 4th page for “Balance of Miami-Dade House Painter” at least! And without paying a penny!

Posted in Discourse.net | Leave a comment

What is Scorecardresearch Doing Here?

Excess of Democracy blog has a post about trackers on lawprof blogs. Coincidentally, I spent a couple of hours today trying to figure out why it is that gtmerix reports that discourse.net has this redirect, which both slows the site and amounts to a tracker on users:

I certainly didn’t put any of that in here on purpose. I have grepped all the code for this site and the words “scorecardresearch” and “specificclick” don’t appear anywhere in it. That means either something is inserting the code, or it is obfuscated in some way.

I can imagine three possibilities: (1) a plugin has some javascript; (2) something in the right margin; (3) a malicious code injection.

I tried disabling several of the plugins (but not all as some are essential), but nothing changed. I tried removing a couple of the most likely suspects from the right margin, but that wasn’t it. I don’t know how to look for the code injection.

Any thoughts on how best to track this down?

Posted in Discourse.net, Software | 5 Comments

What Gets Commentators Excited

I write a fair amount about politics here. And about the law. But what issue has the power to keep commentators excited ten years after I first posted about it? Knee Defender.

The fringes of the public sphere indeed.

Posted in Discourse.net | Leave a comment

Ten Years of Blogging

My first substantive post at discourse.net was ten years ago, and Rose Burawoy, Political Scientist, an even meatier post, was only a few days later. I was horrified by Guantanamo and by the Padilla case.

A great deal has changed since then, for me personally and for almost everyone else. Padilla is out of the Navy Brig and in a Miami jail — but Guantanamo is still there. It is hard not get used to it, but we need to make that effort.

Meanwhile, the blogging project has become somewhat more erratic as I have become deeply enmeshed in other projects, particularly Jotwell and We Robot. And I’m trying to keep up my scholarly writing productivity too; something has to go, and as I result I write fewer long pieces here. But not none!

If you haven’t been reading for ten years straight you might want to look at an arbitrary list of discourse.net’s greatest hits. It has what I think are the best posts — not the most popular. If I were listing the most popular it would be a very different list, probably headed by How Not To Pick Up Women Online, which for some years was on the first or second page of Google for people searching that phrase without the “not”.

More importantly, if you have not already done so, please would you take a minute and tell me a little something about yourself? One of the greatest rewards of shouting into the wind is to sometimes hear a voice answer back.

Posted in Discourse.net, Guantanamo | 1 Comment

Miami at Night

Here is a photo of Miami at night because it has pretty clouds, and because I needed a test photo to see if I’ve fixed various blog issues.

Miami-at-night

Photo by James Good on Flickr and licensed subject to Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works license.

Posted in Discourse.net, Miami | 2 Comments

Bots Love Me

No, this is isn’t a commercial for We Robot 2014 — that comes in a week or two when we issue the Call for Papers.

I was just looking at my Akismet Stats. Although blog readership is down (but Twitter followership — of a feed that is pretty much all auto-tweets from this blog — are way up), there is one category where numbers are booming: spam. The year isn’t over yet, and I’ve had twice as many as last year — more than 348,000 spam messages through the end of August.

Of those messages, just eleven got through my two-stage filters: Askimet plus the WordPress Hashcash Extended plugin.

Meanwhile there were an average of about a hundred real comments per month; I think a grand total of maybe one or two got wrongly held for one reason or another.

Posted in Discourse.net | Leave a comment

House Rules

Dear Candidates and Friends-of-Candidates,

Thank you for sending me your opposition research. While it is interesting to read the dirt you’ve dug up on your opponents and the harrowing accounts by anonymous witnesses to various things, I am not going to print anything for which I do not have a source I can link to, or a person who is willing to stand behind it. I am prepared to hold back the name of the witness if I can meet the person myself and reassure myself of their bona fides. (But keep in mind I’m going to be out of town Monday and Tuesday.)

This blog permits anonymous comments, and a portion of my scholarly work has been about the importance of protecting anonymous speech as a constitutional right, a human right, and an essential safeguard against various forms of repression. If you want to say stuff either anonymously or under your own name in the comments, attributing it to someone you know, I’m fine with that. Readers can make their own judgements. It does not follow, however, that I will lend whatever little credibility I have to publish something that you give me, under my own name, when I don’t know where it came from.

Just wanted to make sure we’re all clear on that.

Yours Sincerely,

A. Michael Froomkin

Posted in Coral Gables, Discourse.net | Leave a comment