Monday, December 31, 2007

Rocky me gently

Rocky columnist (and Independence Institute research director) Dave Kopel on Google's good idea to feature comments by people quoted in the stories it carries:
Here's how the feature works: Let's say that you're the head of a local environmental group in Akron, Ohio, and you're quoted in a story in the Akron Beacon Journal. The reporter talked with you for 15 minutes and you had a lot to say. But, due to space considerations, the paper only printed two sentences of your quotes. You then contact Google News, and verify your identity, proving that you are indeed the person who was quoted in the Akron Beacon Journal. Google will then allow you to write an unedited comment, in which you can amplify or elaborate your ideas related to the published story.
The feature didn't garner much attention when it was introduced last spring, but a story in the New York Times last week (which Kopel mentions but the Rocky doesn't link to) got it some.

Speaking of the Rocky, they have a strange problem with their website--at least I think it's their problem. Every time I try to copy a story (er, part of a story) to quote here, it makes me highlight the whole page, sidebars, ads and all, or nothing. Quite annoying. Any of you other plagiar, er, serious bloggers noticed this?

Update: By the way, Recently, Kopel started a blog for the Colorado Union of Taxpayers called, strikingly, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Weblog. For some reason (since I've never written a single post on tax issues) I was asked to contribute. Replying, I pointed out that this wasn't exactly a tax-type blog, but agreed, thinking, What the hell, if I ever come across a funny tax story, I'll post it.

Well, apparently there's no such thing as a funny tax story. Worse, a few days ago I got a note from Kopel saying, in a polite way, to post in the next week, or else.

Actually the note wasn't only to me, but to every blogger who'd signed up for posting privileges except Kopel himself and somebody going under the nom de blog "awatcher." That's right: in the month since the blog's start, only two out of the 12 people who accepted invites to post (all listed in the blog's sidebar) have done so.

We are, in short, pathetic. I blame everyone else, naturally, but somehow still feel guilty. My little waterboarding joke (see above) probably won't help, huh? Dave, it's actually an ironic comment on what lefties think of the Independence Institute, I swear.

Anybody got a funny tax story? Like, now?

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