Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Best Posts of the Year

Mister Snitch is just about ready to publish his 'Best Posts of the Year' project, which I noted a while back here and here.
I suggested a few posts from my Jersey blogging friends. I'm looking forward to seeing how they stack up against the other submissions.
It's become quite a project, and may even some day be published in dead tree form. Either way, expect the collection to be published some time this evening. Just click the 'Best Posts of 2005' button in the sidebar, but make sure you lay in supplies first.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Governor Corzine's Transition Team Advisory Reports

The New Jersey Review, hosted by Paul Madison, has a great little reference tool posted: links to Governor Corzine's Transition Team Advisory Reports.

While you're there, read Paul's other commentary as well. Good stuff, and a welcome addition to the New Jersey Blogosphere.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The State Budget "Gap"

Sent the following to my state Assemblymen (Jack Connors and Herb Conaway) and Senator (Dianne Allen). Doubtful it'll help, but we must endeavor to persevere:

I am extremely concerned about the alleged $6 billion "gap" in the not-yet-proposed budget. I find it difficult to understand how, year after year, projected spending can exceed projected revenues by upwards of 20%. Since the revenues have been steadily increasing each year, it seems to me that this is primarily a spending problem. I would urge you to take a leadership role in this year's legislative session, and ensure that the "gap" is resolved through the elimination of ridiculous spending measures, not by increasing taxes.

Carnival Blog Rankings

Updated 3:00 PM: 15th-20th places revealed!
Updated 8:00 PM: 3rd-14th places revealed. Stop by after 10:00 PM to see who was number one!
Updated 10:00 PM: And the most linked carnival blogger is... Gigglechick! In a world full of lefty and righty political bloggers, it's the person trying to make us laugh who gets the most linky love.

In Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers XXXVII, I may have opened a can of worms. My little exercise in link counting and ranking has raised questions about what the rankings mean. Here's what I did.

Step 1 - get a copy of all the previous carnival posts.
Step 2 - grab all of the hyperlinks embedded in each file. This is the painful and repetitive part, so I wrote a little 6-line script in Word to do the work for me.
Step 3 - read the resulting list and eliminate those links that are not part of the actual carnival post. This includes things like blogrolls, archives, comments, and the administrative links at the beginning and end of each post. Content varied widely depending on who was hosting each week, but the link to Enlighten's carnival page and the Technorati tags served as pretty good markers for the beginning and end of real content.
Step 4 - move the whole mess over to Excel for analysis. Clean up inconsistencies, such as links to both dynamobuzz.com and www.dynamobuzz.com.
Step 5 - manipulate the text of the links to separate out the server name, top level domain, etc.
Step 6 - use Excel's Pivot Table to count up the links by blog address.

From there, it was a simple matter to get rankings. The blog with the most Carnival links was number 1, and the 82 blogs with only one link each were tied for 121st place.

Here are the Top 20. For now, it's just those that submitted a link for this week. Later today, I'll update to fill in the blanks.

RankPosts LinkedBlog
20 20 SmadaNek
20 20 Tami, the One True
20 20 The Rix Mix
20 20 The Eternal Golden Braid
17 22 NJ Conservative
17 22 KateSpot
17 22 Armies of Liberation
16 23 The Art of Getting By
14 24 Poor Impulse Control
14 24 The Contrarian
12 26 Parkway Rest Stop
12 26 Shamrocketship
11 27 Sluggo Needs a Nap
9 28 DynamoBuzz
9 28 Suzette
8 29 The Opinion Mill
6 31 NJ.com
6 31 The Center of NJ Life
3 32 Media in Trouble
3 32 Mister Snitch
3 32 Enlighten New Jersey
2 39 Fausta's Blog
1 40 Gigglechick

This was fun! Thanks for stopping by.

Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers XXXVII

Welcome, my friends, to the 37th Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers. It's been twenty-six weeks since I last inflicted myself on you, and it has taken me this long to recover from the pain of writing so many haikus.
A lot has happened in the last six months, so I decided to take a look at all of the previous carnivals. What I found in the link data was pretty interesting. I had expected there to be a core group of pretty regular contributors, and a few not-so-regulars, but that turned out to be wrong. Our little network already follows a power law, just like the blogosphere at large! There are a few folks with a large number of posts, and a very large number (82) with only a single link in the mix.

A side benefit of counting up these links as the ability to rank each blogs place in our little network. For example, my 20 previous links put Smadanek in a 4-way tie for 20th place of 202 linked blogs. Pretty cool, huh?
Now, Im sure youre all dying to see where your blogs placed in this little unannounced competition, but you will have to wait. We have company! Peter of Mano a Vino Montclair, where wine is the order of the day, joins us for the first time. Peter presents a wealth of useful information, and submitted his post on Favorite Wines Under $10. We'll have to hook Peter up with Mr. Bingley, who has also been known to enjoy a glass of wine or two.
Next up is Noreen Braman of Roderama, whose first carnival visit was just last week. Noreen's two links put her in a pack with 15 other blogs in 105th place, and this little story about a snake sleeping with a hamster will definitely move her up in the standings.
Jay Lassiter and Anonymous B. Nowhere, in the first of five ties this week, sit in 90th place. Jay tells us about his experiences with the military's social support network, and wants to ensure that the government continues to take care of veterans, while A.B.N. laments the loss of a friend.
El Zorro Viejo, coming in at 68, expounds on what he sees as the shortcomings of intelligent design. Meanwhile, MyManMisterC (63rd) comments on the whole Oprah-vs.-James-Frey-thing.
In 58th place, we have Virtual Memories with our first double entry of the week. On the political front, you can read about the Palestinian election; if that doesnt float your boat, then try this little piece about a trip to the movies. [VM was down at press time. Hopefully itll be back up by the time you all read this. Ed]
Our next guest is Tom Wright of the Wright Wing, holding down 53rd position, with his take on new-fangled school security measures.

Before getting into the top 50, Id like to share a little useless trivia with you. In my sick obsession with numbers, analysis, statistics, etc, I found it necessary to break down the links by top-level domain. No surprises here, but .com has everyone else beat by a wide margin: I think the three trailers here (.gov, .edu, and .us) slipped past my screening process.













Oooh! This one's cool. Check out Dmitri's photo selection for the week. (49th place, by the way).
Nordette Adams (44) shares her thoughts on bloggers getting paid, and why she wont use BlogIt to do so. And gumbo, too tell the Soup Lady.
Riss is in 41st place, and apparently likes big butts, but not the music on her iPod.
Dojo Mojo must have figured out I was doing a rankings thing. Currently ranked 36th, he would like to share three posts to move up ten spots.
1. Its Hudson Restaurant Week (sounds like a good deal).
2. Jersey City is broke, and increasing taxes (in Jersey? I cant believe that would happen).
3. There's a new novel out about a JC girl. Inspiration to start a book club.
Furey (26) deals with drunks. Lifes like that when you work in bars.

Our next contributor, Thurman Hart, is a little hard to rank. I started this out as ranking the blogs, and not the authors, but his record bears mention here. First 26thplace Tammany on the Hudson notes that Jersey City is trying to get tough on developers, then 24th place Xpatriated Texan gets on Ann Coulter's case for making a dumb remark that could be taken as a threat to a Supreme Court justice. I dont know how he keeps up his writing pace, but the combined ranking of these two blogs in the Carnivals would place Thurman in 3rd place overall.

And now, the top 20, starting with Bob at the Rix Mix, where the subject is art and what it means to be an artist.
Janet, at number 16, is getting by this week with celebrity reality shows. I watched the previews for one of these, and I just dont get it.

Ah, we have another tie, this time between the Contratian and Tata for 14th position. But not for long; we have Mormon baby names (who would name their girl Abcde?), farewell to Mario, and a way to turn any website into porn from the contrary one, while Tata isn't happy about rumors concerning medical care for veterans.

In 12th place, we find both Shamrocketship and Parkway Rest Stop. The latest from the ship: baby son turning 13! Meanwhile, operatives from the house by the parkway ran into Howard Dean at the Newark Airport.

More useless trivia: 71 sites linked in the Carnival were hosted by Blogger. Nine were hosted by TypePad, and the remaining 107 had their own domain names. And now that the trivia is over, here are the top 10.

Tied for 9th, Suzette (now back at Bob the Corgi!) and Roberto (of DynamoBuzz). Bob's not doing too well, and needs to wear a silly hat to get better. According to Roberto, Jon's not doing too well either, and NJ bloggers need to make sure he feels their love to get things right.

Steven Hart at The Opinion Mill has a lock on 8th place, and reviews Orson Scott Card's essay in support of Intelligent Design.

Sharon's not in the center; she's nearly at the top of New Jersey life in 6th place. She wants us to drop Tom Kean, Jr's name, and just call him Junior.

Media in Trouble sees a bizarro world in which Matt and Katie go out of their way to make Republicans look good and Democrats look bad, then adds some thoughts on spying. His prolific posting ties him for 3rdplace with our founder, Enlighten New Jersey. The gang at Enlighten notes that New Jersey is a Financial Basket Case.

Our number two is a lady who writes prolifically, intelligently, and beautifully: Fausta. In the first 35 Carnivals, she's been linked 39 times! In her latest, she abandons the usual deep analysis of foreign affairs in the Spanish-language press to give us a boy in a skirt.

So who is number one? Post your guesses in the comments. I will reveal the complete top-20 list sometime late tonight.

Thats all folks. Next week, the Carnival will be hosted by Philomathean.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Carnival Number Thirty-Seven

Is not ready yet. But I do have 25 links now. Keep 'em coming!

Carnival Tomorrow

Folks, looks like the Carnival is going to be a bit thin this week -- only 16 links submitted so far. I'll be out beating the bushes today, in between working on the honeydew list and helping son #1 with Cub Scout stuff.

If any of you have links to submit, send them to njcarnival@gmail.com. I expect to post late tonight / early tomorrow morning, so get your links in before midnight!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hosting New Jersey Carnival Thirty Seven


I am hosting the Carnival of the NJ Bloggers this week, and I can't do it all by myself. I NEED YOUR HELP! All you have to do is to send an email to njcarnival@gmail.com containing a link to one of your posts that you would like included in the Carnival post.1 It would also be really cool if you could send me a link to a post from a New Jersey blog that hasn't been in one of our little carnivals. We can always use a little new blood to strengthen the gene pool.
If I do not hear from you by sometime Saturday night, I will assume that you hate me for my good looks and wonderful writing do not wish to be included this week. However, the Carnival's mail box address remains the same and you can always submit a post any week to be part of that week's Carnival.
More information about the Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers may be read at the Carnival Home Page.

1 Editorial policy. If you send a link to an actual NJ blog post from the past week, I will include it. I will also attempt to respond to your submission within 24 hours. If you don't hear back from me, assume your mail was lost and resubmit.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers XXXVI


Sharon of The Center of NJ Life hosts a very nice Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers XXXVI. I enjoyed every bit, except the piece about Suzette hanging up her keyboard.

I'll be hosting the next edition of the Carnival, twenty-six weeks after my last go-round. Post your links to the usual email address, njcarnival@gmail.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Must be quite a list

Mister Snitch has been hard at work for almost three weeks now, trying to compile 2005's best posts. I don't envy the task he's set himself, as it's got to be quite difficult to decide what is "best" out of hundreds of submissions.
Along the way, Snitch has provided a little sample of his own best posts of the year. I like the layout - simply a list of links in categories like humor and politics. Bad news for him is, if everyone had that many links to submit, he may not finish the bests posts of 2005 until 2007!

Good luck, Mister Snitch! Let us know if we can help.

Benjamin Franklin at 300

Fausta's Blog pays tribute to Benjamin Franklin in honor of the great man's 300th birthday. For those of you interested in Franklin, you need to visit the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Their current exhibit, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, includes many unique and valuable artifacts from Franklin's life. For example, his personal copy of the Constitution and an original copy of the Declaration of Independence are on display.
Our extended family (4 adults, 6 kids) visited the center over the Christmas break, and really enjoyed the exhibit and the show. Even our 3-year-old found some things to interest him.
The Franklin exhibit runs until April 30th.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Absence ...

... has been regrettable, but necessary. I'm currently stuck in DC for the Surface Navy Association Symposium, where my sole purpose in life is to talk to customers. Non-stop. Our company's booth spans the entire entry area to the symposium, so they cannot avoid us.

I hope to be able to get back to blogging on a regular basis sometime soon. Thanks for stopping by!