Kiloblogging

Last year 30 new posts crept onto this site in spite of the majority of my time co-opted by writing the Hacking Web Apps book. I mostly avoided microblogging outlets like Twitter and Tumblr. Instead, I stuck with something a billion times better: kiloblogging at 1,000 words per post.

It’s not that microblogging isn’t unappealing (there’s a jumble of negations). When I was brainstorming Twitter handles I thought I’d try a name with 139 characters. It would have been the perfect Denial of Annoyance attack: tweet without care, but anyone responding directly would run out of characters once they added the @ sign. But Twitter’s a really useful communications medium, so I opted for CodexWebSecurum in acknowledgement of my Harry Potter-esque knowledge of Latin and affection for Roman history (as learned through role-playing games).

My microblogging output remains accordingly measured in the millionths, especially compared to international standards like the Wheaton (@wilw).

We’ve had “blogging” since the start of the web. Before “web log” became truncated to “blog” we had Geocities. (And those annoying ads that followed the page as you scrolled up and down.) It’s the term that’s stuck. We never descended to other types of “web” writing, like barticles or bentries. Contrary to truncation trends, “web books” are “e-books” instead of “books”. We have webcasts in place of broadcasts, but thankfully no one has tried webivision or the webephone.1

Kiloblog: Something with a thousand words. Like a picture. (Is that what an Instagram measures?) Since the content here mostly covers security and computing, I suppose the official word count for a kiloblog should be measured in a power of two, which would require 1,024 words. But I prefer Imperial measures such as the proper pint or (in the vein of Duke Leto) stockpiles of spice, so I’ll stick with 1,000 word units.

If those 30 posts were a kilo each (I haven’t counted), they’d equal about a third of Hacking Web Apps. WordPress keeps stats like that, just as it keeps a year-end summary of a site’s activity. In order to focus on attracting more readers, I reviewed the least visited posts of the year. The results weren’t too surprising. It makes sense that entries from 2008 (or reposted from even further back) would gather dust in the short-term memory of Internet history. But I’m still looking for copies of NCSA httpd’s earliest source code. And though you may not be interested in completely unrelated topics like my thoughts on John Wyndham’s novels, you might find the books themselves entertaining.

I’ve been giving those least popular articles plenty of thought. Some of them will be edited to fix egregious writing or make them more topical. Even so, I haven’t forsaken the topics that attracted the most attention. Here’s a self-imposed challenge of topics to hit for 2013. Make your bets now to see if next year’s WordPress summary reflects what’s (supposed to be) forthcoming.

  • More HTML Injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) examples, from the basics to advanced. (Of course, the book has this info, too…)
  • More posts about HTML5 features
  • Revisit my JavaScript-based parser for .NET’s ViewState
  • SQL injection tutorials
  • Expanded info for presentations to be given at security conferences this year
  • Web scanner concepts, evaluations, and expectations
  • Notes, examples, and code to keep in mind for a second edition

Or drop a note in the comments if there’s a topic you’d like to see.

This entry falls short of an official kiloblog measure, but that’s because I need to get back to yet another secret writing project. More on that soon.

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1 Dangling citation here. I’ve lost the reference to the linguist who inspired commentary on those words. I thought it was on Language Log, but can’t find the post.

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