Global Voices Does Miami

GV Logo on the beach in Miami

Photo taken by Amira

I’m about to leave Sunny Miami Florida to return to frigid Montreal and am feeling particularly blessed to get to work and sometimes hang out with such wonderful people.

The WeMedia conference invited us and kindly sponsored some of our costs, but the real treasure has been sharing a house, food, drinks and stories with my coworkers. I’ve gushed about it in the past but its worth repeating: I couldn’t possibly do better in life than to have these people around me. That I get paid to spend time with them is a little miracle.

Shout outs to Eddie, Lova, Georgia, Solana, Jillian, Lokman, Rebekah, Ivan, Amira and Leonard. I fuckin’ love you guys.

Global Voices does Valentines: Teach someone to blog!

Back when there weren’t a lot of easy ways to start blogging elegantly I’d give blogs to any of my friends who showed interest, setting up Movable Type/WordPress/Blogger for them and working out simple templates I thought they’d like. Some of them are still up and going ( Mira, Woo! Room206, Speaks the Gimp, Tom Makes Pictures, A Collection of Works, The Creative Act, St-Francis Jigger, ) while others were abandoned a long time ago in favor of social networking or other hobbies (Brian, Princess Camp and Poison Frogs, Girl Riot, No, You’re a Blogger Geek, Lyss). Just making that list took me so long, I don’t think I ever added it all up like that before.

Anyway, these days I usually just point people at, since they have great themes, the best software around and an easy way to take it to the next level.

So what’s left to do? The other half of giving someone a blog: Showing them how to use it!

Global Voices Valentines Teach someone to blog or microblog

Global Voices’ core mission, aside from reporting on what’s happening in blogs all over the world, is to get more blogs and bloggers going whenever possible. Writing is good for you, it helps you clarify your thoughts and hone your writing, and it also helps people find you and keep up with you online.

GV is having a drive to get people to teach someone else how much fun blogging can be, or alternately blogging’s little cousin, microblogging (which means services like Twitter or similar to “status” on facebook but with more power and more fun. btw I’m almost always @jeremyclarke).

I signed the pledge to write about it and teach someone, but as the above list implies, my life is already pretty saturated with people I’ve taught to blog, so if you live in Montreal and want to learn how to blog (or want some advice about it too I guess) drop me a line and I can help you out sometime.

If you have someone in your life with problems getting their message out (or a business to promote, or any other problem that could be solved if they had a TV channel) then consider taking some time to show them how blogging could improve their life <3 is a piece of shit website that is probably convincing people to buy cars.

UPDATE: Some commenters are reporting that the site works with Chrome despite still not working with Firefox, so maybe Chrome is the solution you are looking for. Read below for my take on how the site didn’t work in 2009, obnoxiously still relevant today.

From: Jeremy Clarke <jer @si…>
To: <webmaster>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 19:49:45 -0500
Subject: is completely broken if you haven’t noticed

Hi, I am a person who likes to use the bus as well as the internet.

Your site has been broken for years now and makes it harder to take busses. Lately it has become completely broken. You can’t search for any bus schedule without incurring an error.

Please try using your site and notice how broken it is, then fire whoever is in charge, hire someone who knows how to program a website, then make sure they fix the website. If you cannot handle this task please fire yourself, you do not deserve to be answering the ‘webmaster’ address at this domain.

error message from greyhound.caAnyone who rides the intercity busses in Canada has probably noticed that there is no way to get the Greyhound site to give you a proper quote on a bus fare, its been like that for years: they actually told me once at the terminal that I shouldn’t trust times and prices on the site because it is innacurate.

What’s new is that it now shows an error any time you even try to find the times that the busses leave. This means that the website is now 100% LESS USEFUL than the flyers they print out and offer a bus stations with departure times.

It’s pathetic and frustrating. They end up making you call them and waste human phone time instead of fixing their site. While getting angry I noticed a link on the site saying “have a problem? Email”, so I sent them the message above.

Their response?

From: <postmaster>
Date: Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 7:49 PM
Subject: Undeliverable: is completely broken if you haven’t noticed
To: jer@si…

Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:
The recipient’s e-mail address was not found in the recipient’s e-mail system. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please check the e-mail address and try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.
Sent by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

Thanks for the confirmation, assholes.

Lingua flexes its muscles.

On the site I work on, Global Voices we call our translation project Lingua. It is mostly composed of volunteers who love our mission so much they want to make sure people can read it in languages other than English (the default for Global Voices at this point, hopefully to change going forward).

Each translator chooses which posts they want to translate (we have too many in English for the other languages to translate everything) so usually we get 2 or 3 of the dozen or so active languages that translate any given post, and we show links at the top of the post to the translations (a mix of showing off and making it easy for people who’s first language isn’t English to find more convenient versions).

This is something wonderful for me to see: One post that the whole Lingua community got together and translated, resulting in a ridiculously long list that shows the truly amazing variety of letterforms, if nothing else, that Global Voices is printed in.

screenshot of language listing on a post that was translated into every lingua language

We use the ISO codes for languages (like wikipedia, i.e. but in case you’re curious, the post is available in: French, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Macedonian, German, Malagasy, Bangla, Swahili, Albanian, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Serbian, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Indonesian, Japanese and Farsi.

That’s a mouthfull. I love my job.