I lay awake a while back having returned recently from Paris by way of Dublin pondering why we sleep, a question I thought long ago routed by the much deeper why do we wake at all, when it came to me from that other brain: we sleep to digest.
This website apparatus also benefits from having content pushed through it from one end (the text box I’m typing in right now) to the other – the screen or notification or implant by which you are reading this now.
I’ve moved the blog-powered stuff to a dedicated hosting service (wpengine) and am hoping this tames some of the memory issues I’ve seen over the past few years. The monitor at the old location (rackspace) is still alarming me, but I don’t know if it is telling me the new site (this one) is having the same problems the old one was having and tripping the alarm by appearing at the same URL, or if it is telling me that thieves are once again burgling my basement.
As I brushed off the old ‘bblog a month or so back, I decided to go ahead and update to latest version of WordSquisher, the software I use to run this site these days.
I conveniently forgot that some of my plugins were obsolete and are starting to misbehave or had big labels on them saying things like “do not upgrade because new version breaks the site” or similar, and went ahead and blindly updated the site, immediately breaking it.
The random recent tweets in the top of the page disappeared. The whole “featured thingy” area on the home page (still flogging Desiging Social Interfaces) vanished. Even the cool painting of me done by the designers at the (now defunct) Arkik Studio on Lisbon went away. Not cool!
So, in my lazyweb way I put out a request on the tweeters for someone to help diagnose and fix my site. The lovely, the talented Aaron Silvers recommended fellow Up to All of Us alum Brian Dusablon who was unfortunately too successful and busy to lend a hand directly but whom referred me to the crackerjack team at SpectrOMtech, where David, David, and Jennifer just finished fixing things up around here for me.
I have a few incremental improvements in mind but for now I’m happy to have this design back to functioning the way it was intended.
How does it look?
UPDATE: Hmm, looks like the header on blog archive pages ain’t quite right!
UPDATED UPDATE: There we go. Looking good!
It’s been interesting to watch the evolutionary dance of spam and blogs. Comment spam. Trackback spam. Splogs. Now here’s a bit of email spam targetting the would-be pro blogger:
>I don’t like to waste valuable time of creative blogmasters.
>But I cann’t resist myself from this tempting offer too.
Hello, you may know me from such spam as “Nigerian dictator’s family” and “v!agra!”
>Here is the one time offer.
>6 great Components
>1) Blogging to the Bank + Update – $47
>2) Blogging Videos – $97
>3) Monetizing Your Blog Interview – $99.95
>4) The Underground Blogging Reports – $147.77
>5) Blog Announcer Pro – $97
>6) Article Assistance – $67
>Total Value $555.72
>Available today for $147.
>A must have tool for every blogmaster
>Here is the link http://redacted
>One Time Offer Marketing Team
>PS: 30 Day Zero Risk, No Hard Feelings 100% Money Back Guarantee
>PPS: (Sales Pitch)
>Blogging Super Affiliate Becomes A New Dad And Drops His Guard To Reveal The Hidden Secrets To Earning Up To $1860.11 Per Day From FREE Blogs And Even Hands You His Underground Software To Make It As Easy As 1-2-3…GUARANTEED
>Now You Can Use My Exact Blogging System To Drive Thousands Of Extra Visitors To Your Websites, Affiliate Promotions Or Adsense Pages And Explode Your Income In Under 30 Days…Even If You’ve Never Made A Single Cent Online
>Watch the Tricks I Used to Swap my 9-5 job…
>… for a part-time web business that pays full-time income.
If you can watch movies & click your mouse you can do this.
Weak *and* sad.
The whole idea of living your life partly on the web, partly in public brings to mind new subtleties to the boundary between public and private. There are all kinds of shades of gray, nuances between what’s utterly private and what we are comfortable sharing with everyone on the planet.
Meanwhile, the available tools are for the most part not yet sophisticated enough to allow us to safely dictate exactly what to reveal and to whom. We are stuck with much more blunt instruments: draft vs. publish and possibly password-protection options or the friends and family spheres available at sites like LiveJournal and Flickr.
At the recently revitalized Blogging Blog (it’s now a group weblog), Stephanie Brail examines this issue in
Fear of Exposure – How Much Disclosure is Too Much?:
> I’ve been blogging on and off for a few years, and also reading various blogs as well. In choosing how much to divulge, consider:
> 1. Will this hurt your family and friends?
> 2. Will this put your job in jeopardy?
> 3. Most importantly: Is such a disclosure really interesting anyway?
> I believe number three should be the first and foremost consideration when sharing personal information. Personal information done well can be the most engaging, intimate, and powerful form of writing. Personal information done in an indulgent, self-serving way is simply dull and pointless, and it’s that sort of writing that is damn embarrassing.
Catching up with Marc Canter I see that he and his cohorts have unveiled Structured Blogging. Looks interesting. I’ll need to try out the plugin(s) to see if the data-entry overhead makes sense for me.
Paul Kedrosky thinks I’m (well, all of us are) too lazy to make it work. He may be right. I may be lazy. But Marc just may be the lunatic we’re looking for.
David D. Perlmutter writes in his Policy by Blog weblog, in an entry called Blogs of War: Then and Now:
> In c. 1300 BCE, the pharaoh Rameses II and his army fought a battle against a Hittite army at Kadesh, in what is now Syria. The battle was a draw; in fact, the Egyptians ended up retreating. But Rameses’ memorial temple–an instance of massive communication–shows on its 100-foot walls pictures and hieroglyphics of the great ruler as victorious. As originally painted, Rameses is bronze skinned, broad shouldered, long armed, resolute of face, wearing the twin crowns of upper and lower Egypt, and many times larger than the Hittites and his own men–a superman in the anthropological as well as comic book sense. (Rameses became the “Ozymandias” who, in Shelley’s poem, demanded that all “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.”) In the written records accompanying the images, Rameses boasts that he personally routed “every warrior of the Hittite enemy, together with the many foreign countries which were with them.”
> In contrast, the pharaoh blames his own men for early problems in the battle: “You have done a cowardly deed, altogether. Not one man among you had stood up to assist me when I was fighting. . . not one among you shall talk about his service, after returning to the land of Egypt.” In other words, here was the mighty-thighed Pharaoh announcing that his own men were cowards and he won the battle single-handedly. I have often wondered whether some veteran of Kadesh, walking by the tableaus, did not squint up, shake his head, gnash his teeth, and growl to his wife, “The lying bastard, it was his bad generalship/leadership that lost the day, not our cowardice.” But of course we don’t know; foot soldiers in Pharaoh’s army didn’t carve or write their campaign memoirs; and no scribe or stonemason interviewed them.
By contrast today’s (real) war bloggers are the men and women in country, on bases and in forward positions.
The reference to Ozymandias reminds me of one of my first websites, which ain’t what it used to be.