Brand Democrat

Oliver Willis engages on a one-man branding campaign for the Democratic Party. I think he’s really onto something here. The Dems have tried to be so many things to so many people for so long, the core message has gotten diluted. This is a good way to bring it back—combinations of evocation of famous Democrats past with enunciation of core values. I think, along those lines, that this might be my favorite one:

equal pay. equal rights. 40 hour work week. social security. medicare. clean water. clean air. safe food. freedom of speech. voting rights. we're just getting warmed up.

Though this one is also good for a laugh:

brand democrat: our congressional leadership isn't under any sort of criminal investigation. that would just be bad form.

Another nice touch, the images are explicitly Creative Commons licensed (By-NC-SA). And Oliver has put the template up for reuse..

Driving on old pavement being ripped up

Lockergnome’s RSS Resource: If RSS is broken, why does PodCasting work?. A very good question, in my opinion, and one I’ve been asking ever since the RSS-is-broken meme crescendoed into the Atom (née Echo, née PIE) movement.

The answer: RSS isn’t broken. It may be clumsy for stating certain kinds of relationships, but it’s not broken. The guys doing Atom are spending time ripping up pavement that, in many cases, hasn’t even fully been driven on yet. I love what’s happened with enclosures and Podcasting. That’s the sort of innovation that XML syndication needs, user experience and business models; not “innovation” in how the underlying content is expressed. Where RSS is broken, in terms of how users experience it, it’s not something that can be fixed by changing the tagset, but must be addressed at the application level and the paradigm level. (For an example of the latter, look at the drag and drop subscription innovations showcased by NetNewsWire, or the built-in RSS reader in Firefox.)

Virginia Recognized for RSS Services

RSS in Government: Virginia Recognized for RSS Services. My home state won an award for its embrace of RSS on the Commonwealth’s official web site, with about 34 feeds (plus more on the way). The RSS 0.91 feeds appear to be auto-generated by the CMS system behind the site and have a few quirks—for one, the XML button on each page isn’t linked to the feed, so dragging it into an aggregator doesn’t work. But they’re making the effort, and in the spirit of truly locally useful content, there isn’t a single feed I’ve found yet that I would want to subscribe to from my current position out of state. 🙂

Turkey Day approacheth

Lisa’s folks are joining us at our house for Thanksgiving this year, and as the one with nothing else to do but a job search, I’m planning the menu. So far it’s pretty straightforward:

  1. Appetizers:
    • Mixed nuts
    • Assorted cheeses
    • Cocktails
  2. First course: light risotto
  3. Main course:
  4. Dessert…

Ah, and that’s where my imagination fails me. What kind of dessert? Continuing the apple theme, I’m considering broiled apples with maple Calvados sauce, but I think we’d all explode. I also have to figure out what kind of bread, and which light risotto recipe.

Rolling into a conference tie

I feel bad about not posting anything after Virginia’s loss last week to Miami—after all, it was one of the few games all season that I watched from beginning to end. But this week’s win over Georgia Tech, which carries the Hoos into a three-way tie for ACC conference champion, lifted my spirits considerably. Makes me actually want to watch the Virginia Tech game, where we’ll be a five-place underdog (we’re at #16 according to USA Today and the AP).