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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Happy birthday to me

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/03/31 10:02

The English Cemetery is one year old. The celebration was last week.

I am pretty happy with my trilingual experiment. My broken english has not been subject to harsh critic. But I have attracted too much trackback spam lately. I will probably surrender to that attack and eliminate trackbacks.

Last year when the Cemetery was created, there were perhaps about half a dozen basque personal blogs. Now they might be around 100. Last year, in March, this was the only Basque Coreblog. Now there are about 30, and mine is the ugliest (but I am particularly fond of the layout).

Happy birthday to me.

Sociolinguistics at the Long Tail

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/03/31 09:40

I wrote an article some days ago about The Long Tail and the blogosphere. I think it's the first introduction to the long tail concept or meme written in Basque...

It's been republished by a website dedicated to the Basque language. That led me to think again about the position of languages in relation to the Long Tail issue. Given that the Long Tail is an actual fact in the realm of blogs, I have a personal suspicion (and some hope): The sociolinguistics of blogs is different from the other sociolinguistic facts that happen at other media.

In mass media, a minority language has terrible disadvantages. But in the blogosphere's long tail, in that flat region consisting of a myriad blogs, each one with its own micro-audience, the average blog has the same potential, be it in English or in Basque. In the future, everyone will have 15 subscribers. I read somewhere that version of the famous Warhol phrase (cannot find the quote's origin now). That will be true for English bloggers as well as for Basque bloggers. An English blog has, obviously, opportunities to become much more read or subscribed that anything a Basque may conceive. But that's only for those that are located on the left side of the Long Tail curve. But the average blog, most blogs, are not there, but on the flat side, on the l-o-o-o-o-ong tail. There, they are undistinguishable from the average Basque blog.

The cost for personal media, blogs, is zero. No disadvantage there either. In mass media, that's radically different. Costs are much bigger, because market laws work powerfully against the income possibilities of the minority language media. And when media are born in a minority language, they can only cover a part of the interests of users. Only the dark side of the Long Tail (see image above) can be covered by Basque language TV or papers: For instance, in Sports, there is information about soccer or cycling in Basque media, but not a single line about chess. However, we just need an chess-fan with a blog to post things in Basque, and there it is, it will have its microaudience...

However, this optimistic viewpoint of mine is not proven by anything. Just a thought. Maybe studies will come.

Moreover, I think that what I say applies only to individual blogs. On the blogosphere level, the community or communal voice that creates new info, opinions or memes that expand from one blog to another, or from blogosphere into non-virtual society, there, it's different: the size of blogosphere in a given language has true importance, I guess. Not only by the numbers of bloggers than can unite to create a collective voice. Also because aggregation tools work much more smoothly in those languages, and contribute to expand ideas fastly in English than in Basque.

The most elegant Coreblog in the world

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/03/02 14:19

Not very humble from my part, but I will say it anyway: This is the most elegant Coreblog in the world, Faroa , the Lighthouse in Basque.

The merit in its conception goes to Mikel Larreategi (the coder) and Maite Rementeria (the designer), both Corebloggers, co-workers of mine at Codesyntax:

Those two follow a Movabe-Type-like template, based on the MT 2.6x template, and adapted for Coreblog based in a template published last year by Jeff Hicks. The new Faroa follows a newer template, MT 3.0. Besides that, this new blog has interesting features:

  • Editing and managing interfaces taken out of ZMI
  • Date is editable. You can change date & time of posting, whenever you want.
  • Image addition and management.
  • Comment and trackback control interfaces integrated into the general entry management view
  • A micro-CMS so the user can manage fixed content, upload files and
  • Template changes only through the CSS, but the CSS can be directly accessed and edited by the user.
  • All that is localised in Basque, using Localizer

I have planted an image with some of these features at this entry. There you have my the new /edit interface, you write that after the article-ID and the user can edit the content, view information about the feedback, upload and manage images...

These features of Faroa will be shared by a whole communuty of Coreblogs. New blogs will follow there, at This site is a community-based local newssite. Goiena is a cooperative enterprise: it manages a magazine with a tabloid format (twice a week), two local radios, a local TV station, and several web projects, directly run, or for customers that hire Goiena to manage them. They have advertising and design spin-offs working in their network as well. They produce communication in Basque, but for customers, they are multilingual in their scope. They are based in the 10 or so towns around Mondragon, in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa.

Now Goiena is entering into community blogging: this is truly a multimedia local ortganization that can be an example for others working with minority languages. An example in the usage of software, as well: their web operations are based on Zope, nicely localised (we want to believe) by our company, CodeSyntax,

The author of Faroa is also a noticeable Basque journalist, and someone I can be proud of knowing personally: Joxe Aranzabal. I wrote about him in English briefly at my site recently


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

Ingelesen hilerria

El cementerio de los ingleses


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