Friday, April 11, 2008


is underway. To catch anyone reading this up, Ender here. I'm giving WikiFray a makeover as making Blogger blogs over is one of the things I do these days. I'm not back except in the aforementioned capacity. This would be the place for any likes, dislikes and wishes.


Dawn Coyote said...

Huh. I was looking for a b&w image sort of like that one. I can't decide on an image or a pattern in the banner.

I'll have a good look at all of this today/tomorrow and get back to you.

What are the limits of the feed - if we add more to it, will there be a perpetual problem with defunct blogs republishing automatically, or somesuch?

august said...

I like the picture, the profiles and the feed.

I like it better whenp top of the page just has the picture and the wikifray without the blue box pattern (or other patterns). I'm anti-pattern. No good reason for it.

I guess I am around, although I'm not acting like it. Will try to do more.

Dawn Coyote said...

Hi august.

It's always good to see you around. I'm really glad to hear your wife is okay. I know it's not a serious risk, but it's a lot to deal with with a baby on the way. I just wanted to say that I'm thinking about you, though usually quiet about it.

Ender had another template, which he'll plug back in soon, I imagine.

Thoughts on the redesign:

With regard to the network feed: we could put in every blog belonging to a former BOTF frayster, but some of them have been defunct for a year. My thinking is the inactive ones won’t show up unless a new post appears. If we pare down the fray-blog feed to take out inactive blogs, we can still keep them in the link list.

I'm not sure how often blogger refreshes the feeds, but the BOTF post showing now is from yesterday afternoon, I think.

What about a second network feed for links to other (non-fray) blogs? John had that going with the google reader before. I don't want to clutter the page up, though.

FAVICON! Can we have one?

I'm working on the "about" page, and a fray post to invite people to put there blogs in the feed, join as contributors, etc.

I think I'll put some of my posts here that I had on my other blogs. I'll back-date them so they don't show up in the feed (hopefully).

august said...

Looks great. I had one more request, if you are up for it, which is to return the old "expand" post feature so that when I drone on about nothing only the very dedicated (Hi Keifus!) need to know.

Thanks Dawn, I appreciate it.


Dawn Coyote said...

Coupla things: 1. Labels. Since we're not using tabs, we could change the labels back to our full names (I don't mind doing it for everyone), but what about other category labels, for navigation? Do we care? Maybe those only matter to search engines.

2. Search function. I thought we had a search box. Perhaps with the template changes it got lost.

3. If no one has any objections, I'm going to add more blogs to the network feed. If it doesn't work well after that, I'll pare it down.

4. I'd like to link back to Wag the Slate.

5. Where should I put the "About" page?

It really does look great.

august: See up in the title bar? That grey square with the WF in it? THAT is a favicon.

august said...

Hey dawn, this seems like as good a thread as any to talk about content as well. One thing that I thought was working reasonably well were the wikifray symposia (we don't have to call it that). But you know, some theme that we could use to have a discussion. A lot of us seem to be interested in arts (and aesthetics in general), in inequality and its cures, and in books. So book club is an obvious choice.

I had another idea. Anybody else interested in chatting about the Sartorialist?

Dawn Coyote said...

At the moment, I'm cleaning up the labels. I'll plug a bunch of new blogs into the network feed widget later on. Any preferences for labels? I can't find a search engine widget anymore. Did we insult it? Has it left for good?

I liked the symposia a lot, and would be glad to do more. And I would love to discuss The Sartorialist, particularly if I can find a way to reference sumptuary law.

As for the book club, I figure I'll just keep suggesting titles until we get a hit. I invite you to do the same.

I'm going to edit some of the original wikifray FAQ stuff. It's now inaccurate.

Dawn Coyote said...

That picture in the blog you linked could easily be me and my boyfriend, circa 1988. It looked bad then, and it looks bad now. All that's missing is the leg-warmers. Plus, I had better hair.

august said...

Nobody's going to vote on Book Club. I think you just have to do it. Make it Little Big (if it's still your first choice). You read it, I'll read it (I'll get it in from the library in two days). Somebody else will read it. As long as the readers are active and interesting, it doesn't really matter how many there are.

I'll top post some Sartorialist related thing later today.

Dawn Coyote said...

I'm currently reading No Country for Old Men. Very slowly. I'll poke around and see what appeals.

I need someone to do the next stage of the story I started (Whiteout, below). My tandem writing partner bailed.

Ted Burke said...

Sorry for the departure, D.The meds have been adjusted, which means more meetings. Might I be reinstated? Perhaps take a vote.

Dawn Coyote said...

Hi, Ted. Well, we all have our days. I admit that I was a little worried, so I'm glad to hear that things are returning to equilibrium, and that you'll come back. I'll send you an invite.

Ted Burke said...

Thanks, Dawn. I saw the email and then it was bumped from the server and it is now lost in the ether. Could you send it again to That way I'm sure to get it. Thanks again and sorry for the trouble.

Dawn Coyote said...

Perhaps it's the beta widget stuff, but wikifray is now consistently crashing Safari. No biggie. I'm sure they'll fix it eventually. In the meantime, there's Firefox.

Dawn Coyote said...

You know, august, I read this:

"Radical Hope" is about a Crow chief, Plenty Coups, who faces the situation in which his people can no longer act in the way they are used to acting. The seeming paradox:

Among the Crow warriors, are there any Crow warriors?"

and I thought of a book I read in a Can Lit class called A Dream Like Mine by M.T. Kelly, which won the Governor General's Award for fiction in 1987.

It's one of those books that stays with you. I still think about it often, a decade after reading it, because it challenged my assumptions in much the way that The Echo Maker did, only Kelly did it better and with admirable brevity (157 pgs). Like The Echo Maker, the book has an
unreliable narrator with whom the reader will identify, and toward whom the reader's sympathies will wither as the novel progresses. The fact that the reader shares many of the narrator's (bigoted) assumptions is a source of some discomfort by the end of the novel.

I think we should read it, but I can only find 3 copies on Amazon, all used. It seems more easily acquired in Canada, but I recall that Chapters mislead me about The Mystery Guest, and I don't really trust them. Of course, there's always the library.

Dawn Coyote said...

On second thought, I'm misremembering about the narrator's bigotry and the ease with which the reader identifies. Are there several narrators? It's fuzzy.

The complexities of the cultural interactions and tensions as played out by the three or four main characters are difficult to capture. I've never read a good review of that book, because it defies easy analysis.

Keifus said...

Dedicated post-comber? I don't know if that's an impression I want to cultivate.

Site looks really nice. As far as favicons go, it's too bad that there's no T in teh middle of "Wikifray," but then the name's always been sort of an awkward point.

Plenty Coup sounds like the name of a bond girl.

Dawn Coyote said...

What about adding a widget with the category labels?

Bite oftheweek said...

I am astounded by the amount of work you are putting in.

august said...

Hi Dawn,

Dream Like Mine is available in my library -- I could get it as early as Tuesday.

I've been thinking of other contexts where that kind of paradox might apply. The marriage of a friend of mine is falling apart, and I wonder if he doesn't feel that he is a husband who isn't a husband (a person in the legal category of "husband" who is not sure how to enact that role). It's amazing how many pieces of everyday experience can cease to make sense (although the tricky part is that of course people are making things make some kind of sense even when they don't). Another example -- the experiences of the people of Hiroshima prior to 1945 gave them no tools to understand what happened to them in the A-Bomb blast. And yet, they of course had nothing but prior experience to use when reacting to the bomb.

I'm often incoherent. I feel like the fray is for me a constant stream of rough drafts for something I'm not writing

Dawn Coyote said...

I can pick up the book tomorrow. When shall we discuss it? Next Sunday, or maybe two weeks from now?

Humans seem predisposed to identify with their roles and it seems to bring us no small degree of psychological distress when we're prematurely discharged from them (and even when we discharge ourselves). I had a hard time adjusting after I separated from my husband. In our 12 years together, I'd become a wife. It was hard to figure out how to be after that.

Like post-bomb Hiroshima residents, or post-Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo Americans, external factors force us to adapt and redefine ourselves. In the latter case, I think Americans have to some extent redefined themselves as torturers, as evidenced by the prevalence of films and porn that trend that way. It's remarkable to note the extent to which the commission of human rights abuses can penetrate the collective conscience of the nation that is "responsible" for them, trickling through national and individual identity in a variety of ways.

Speaking of bombs - there was a lightning strike just outside the living room window last evening. It was exactly like a camera flash at close range. The thunder shook the house. I thought for a moment it was a bomb. My internet connection hasn't worked since. I'm poaching off a neighbour's wireless at the moment, but it's spotty.

I'm tangential. Writing here or on the fray is somewhat like dreaming. I often wonder if I should have set the alarm, but as soon as the thought occurs to me, I'm off after some white rabbit or other.

august said...

I got Dream Like Mine. Will read as soon as I finish Kafka At the Shore, which is genius. I'm on p. 100 and I think it's one of the most brilliant things I've ever read.

Dawn Coyote said...

august, I have the book, too. And a new ISP, too, so my internet access is restored.