It’s hard not to be impressed with the way that Wesley Clark’s campaign for the 2004 Presidential campaign has embraced weblogs. Going way beyond the now-requisite candidate weblog, the campaign registered ForClark.com, and (under Cam Barrett’s guidance) is using it to create smaller communities of supporters that are able both to coordinate their efforts locally and share them globally. There’s a Massachusetts for Clark weblog, an environmentalists for Clark weblog, a Clark fundraising weblog, and as many other ones as you could imagine; they all feed into the same content management system, which allows for communication between communities. The Community Network also allows for a uniform user experience when poking around all of the individual communities, establishing a clear brand that’s even stronger than many corporate identities on the web today. It’s so far beyond what any other candidate has implemented, and I’d be surprised if it isn’t significantly simplifying the communication within Clark’s campaign in the run for the White House.
A few browser-related thoughts that have crossed through my mind over the past few days…
First, why did it take so long for someone to come up with a free pop-up blocking toolbar for Internet Explorer? It’s been a while since every other browser on the market incorporated the functionality into their respective cores; Microsoft has held off on adding it into IE, for whatever reason, so the logical next step has always been for an ambitious third party to whip up a barricade to the annoyance of pop-up, pop-under, and whole-computer-taking-over advertising. Before the Google Toolbar, I tended to use other browsers just to avoid ads; now that the Toolbar has blocking features, it’s a pleasure to be able to go back to the speed of IE.
That being said, though, I’m currently playing around with Mozilla Firebird, and I like what I see. (I know, most cool people started using Firebird months ago…) The interface is clean and less dissimilar from the general Windows UI as have been past Mozilla products (but not completely… for example, why can’t Firebird abide by my preference to hide underlined letters for keyboard navigation until I press the Alt key?), tabbed browsing works beautifully, and the rendering engine is darned fast. One of the things I love most about Mozilla, the DOM Inspector, doesn’t seem to be part of Firebird, but seeing as it’s supposed to be a lean user-level browser, that’s understandable. Likewise, there are a few options missing that should be in the core package, like an easy way to switch search engines. All that being said, Firebird is advertised as a technology preview, and if the final product builds upon what’s already available, it’ll be a pretty damn fine browser.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting a kick out of the “we can’t print anything at all about the allegation against the man in line to the British throne” thing going on right now. I’d imagine that news editors across Great Britain are getting sick of trying to figure out new ways to talk around the story, and getting sicker of reading the complete details in the print of their French and American counterparts. It’s interesting to me, though, that while it’s (apparently) against British law for newspapers to print the rumors that a former royal valet walked in on Prince Charles having sex with a male aide, it’s not against the law for those same papers to print the Prince’s retaliatory allegations that the valet was an alcoholic sufferer of PTSD. How very odd!
- Where was Scott Sforza, the exacting keeper of George Bush’s image, when this photo was taken? You’d think at least he’d have printed up a huge banner with a few pictures of women on it…
- And speaking of Presidents, reading this interview made me miss Bill Clinton in the biggest way. It also made me hope that the Democratic leadership is listening to the last man that carried its banner into the Oval Office; he’s remarkably insightful, and whoever makes it into the party nomination for the 2004 election better would be well-served by asking Clinton to join his campaign staff.
- As if the Google Toolbar wasn’t useful enough, there’s now the awesome Google Deskbar, and Evan has provided a few little tidbits that make the new tool even handier.
- Joe Maddalone figured out a way to install multiple versions of Internet Explorer onto a Windows machine, which makes designing and debugging web pages a hell of a lot easier. Ryan Parman is busily bundling all the files needed to install a few of the older versions.
- The Spammers’ Compendium is a legitimately awesome list of the ways that spammers try to evade mail filters.
Apparently, for today only, there’s a deal on online shopping through affiliates over at Dell (that link goes to Dell through their affiliate front-end); you can get $25 off of purchases of software or peripherals $350 or more by entering the coupon code “FCC8FD174C14” when checking out. Dunno if anyone’s looking for a reason to buy something today, but if so, maybe this is it…