Finger on the Web, Vol. 4

Welcome to the fourth edition of FOTW, your weekly digest of what’s going on on the internet.

More thoughts on sponsored themes

Earlier this week, I wrote about the growing practice of WordPress designers offering advertising space on the free themes they distribute. Matt Mullenweg stopped by for a short minute to offer his opinion on it and when I visited his blog, I found that he had written a post further detailing his view on the subject. Even though I don’t agree, I, at least, have a better understanding of where he’s coming from.

They are calling all in the community to vote on whether or not to allow sponsored themes on the official WP websites such as the theme viewer and the Codex. I’m a little disturbed by this. On the one hand this is Matt’s baby and he can fully dictate what is and is not acceptable in regards to what people can do with it. On the other hand, it feels a little bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As I said before, anyone can create a WordPress theme, even spammers, and unless WP starts vetting all of the links on the templates there banning sponsored templates is probably not going to prevent them from showing up.

Update on the 2007 Blogger’s Tournament

Derrich over at has announced that Gizmodo is the winner of the 2007 Blogger’s tournament he was holding. Congratulations! Gizmodo is a blog that covers the various gadgets out there on the market.

The Hero’s Challenge

Surfing through the blogs on BlogExplosion, I came across a link to a blog called Project Hero. Project Hero is a very, very new site with a wonderful challenge for the blogosphere. The blog was created by Micheal Davis, who after being diagnosed with a rare incurable illness decided to make the world a little bit better for his having been here and he is encouraging others to do the same.

Called The Hero’s Challenge, the goal is help everyone you come in contact with everyday.

The most heroic things are the simple things. An unexpected smile to someone who is having a bad day. Picking a flower and giving it to your wife. Telling a friend how much they mean to you. In short, making it your mission to help every person that you cross paths with. To brighten their day. To help them, whether it’s in a huge way or a small way. (Read More)

The blog exists to document the everyday things people do with this challenge. Sort of like Heroic Stories where the unsung heroes finally get some press. If you have a minute or two, consider writing a blog post about this and encourage your readership to participate. The world can get better but it will take all of us working together to change it.

Update on Creating Passionate Users blog

Last month Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users announced that she was cancelling her speaking engagements due to a series of death threats she had received from an anonymous user/blogger/jacka**. Now we’ve had to deal with our share of trolls. Like spam, it’s just apart of life on the Webernet. Anonymity coupled with the lack of personal contact seems to bring out the psycho in people.

But there’s trolling and then there is unacceptable. Death threats against a blogger, whether you mean it or not, is just…wrong and absolutely should not be tolerated in any form or fashion. I sincerely hope that those involved out who is responsible so that they can be appropriately punished. She has posted a request for feedback on what she should do with her blog as she will not be posting to it for a long time and may even abandon it altogether. It’s sad to see such a wonderful blogger forced off of the internet because of the stupidity of others.

The Consequences of Undisciplined Children

Greywar posted an interesting article about the discipline (or lack thereof) of children which starts with

You don’t have to beat your kids, but you do have to do something

He then goes on to talk about his nephew, who because he was never disciplined as a child, ended up in prison. Children don’t raise themselves but I see more and more parents expecting them to do so. You can easily recognize undisciplined children because they are usually the ones in the middle of the store throwing the temper tantrum of the year because their mother or father will not buy them a candy bar.

If you are expecting your child to magically become a responsible citizen when they turn 18 and move out of your house, think again. Good citizens have a healthy respect for the law and other people and that respect is learned in the home. If you don’t teach them that when they are children you are only setting them up for failure when they become adults.

And that’s it for today. Surf safely.