Printing blogs?

by Eszter Hargittai on November 23, 2005

One of my students asked whether it would be possible to receive a hard copy of students’ blogs for the quarter. This is a nice idea. I don’t know how long the course blog will stay online (and some of it will probably start anew next time I teach the class) so such a solution could be nice for archiving the material. (The Web Archive hasn’t picked up their blogs yet.) I had created archives of the blogs from last year using HTTrack, which is a handy tool, but an additional hard copy would be nice.

I have been looking around and although I have found some options, I am interested in finding some more. I know that Qoop has a Blog Printing service in beta, but it doesn’t seem to be open to just anyone (plus it is not clear whether they are supporting all blogging software at this point). In any case, given my experiences with Qoop’s Flickr photobook printing, I would rather explore some alternatives first. (The result was okay. The cover was very nice, but the rest seemed more like a notebook than a book per se. For that, the price seemed a bit too high.)

It looks like LiveJournal users have a ready-made solution. But I need something for WordPress. This person seems to have done a nice job printing a book (or “blook”), but the process seems extremely tedious. Does anyone have experiences with BlogBinders? (I don’t like the idea that they strip out the images from the blog.)

Has anyone done this? Any recommendations? Any thoughts on what to avoid or what not to forget?

My preference would be for paying a bit more if it meant having to do less work on it.

Dear oh dear

by Chris Bertram on November 23, 2005

Norman Geras has a “little post on inequality today”: . I’m happy to report that Geras still believes that inequality is a bad thing. However, he can’t let the matter go without writing a few lines directed at those whom he sees as America’s detractors, who made a fuss about the inequality exposed by Hurricane Katrina despite the manifest inequalities of their own societies.

bq. As if the issue was somehow absent before Katrina, isn’t with us continuously. Or as if it was an issue specific to America, and not a general feature of capitalist societies – in which the circumstances of many people’s lives are permanently of a sort that it would horrify others luckier and more privileged to be plunged into.

Well, yes, all capitalist societies _are_ unequal societies. But they are not unequal to the same degree, and among advanced capitalist societies the United States happens to be a significant outlier. Taking the “Gini coefficient as an indicator”: , the US comes in with a score of 45 with other “anglosphere” countries being closest to it among developed countries. Moreover the US does very badly compared to those other countries on measures such as the UN’s Human Poverty Index (17th out of 18 selected OECD countries in in the “2005 report”: (pdf) , p. 231). So emphasising America’s peculiar position is not, contra Geras, an indication of irrational anti-Americanism but a reflection of the harsh facts.

Bombing journalists

by Chris Bertram on November 23, 2005

I see that the White House is calling the suggestion that George W. Bush suggested bombing the headquarters of “Aljazeera”: in Qatar (a friendly state) “outlandish”: . Anyone who watched BBC’s Newsnight last night will have seen Frank Gaffney defending (indeed advocating) attacking “Aljazeera”: as entirely legitimate on the grounds that the station is an arm of enemy propaganda. There is also the small matter of the fact that the civil servants who leaked the transcript of the Bush–Blair conversation are facing prosecution for doing so and that the “Daily Mirror has been subjected to pressure”: . It is hard to see how someone could “leak” or could be prosecuted for leaking a document if it was other than genuine. One of the neocon themes has been the need for free institutions in the Arab world. Such institutions presumably involve a free and independent media. And yet the closest thing to such a media in the region is discussed as a possible target of attack (and indeed there have been numerous “accidental” attacks on “Aljazeera”: staff).