A Brief History Of My Blogging

 (as requested by one of my students)

I have been "blogging" in some way since sometime in the nineties. I had a few personal webpages from around 1996 to 1999 on various platforms like Angelfire and and others like it. I had a Livejournal blog from 2001-2002, but I made it private and then deleted it after some very personal posts about mental illness and sexuality got posted to some forums I read and posted on.

In 2004, I began blogging again. A few of my classmates in Scott Rettberg's senior seminar on postmodernism and I decided to begin blogging and encouraged each other to really work on our craft as time went on. One of them stopped that summer, another kept at it for a few years, and mine really took off. I loved over to Typepad sometime in August of 2004 and stayed there for a few years until Moveable Type annoyed me enough to want to try something else.

A big influence on my early blogging was Boing Boing. I spent a lot of the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005 trying to blog at least four times a day with links to interesting stories and commentary. Of course, this did not last very long. After the rise of social media, my blogging slowed down and evolved to be focused on posting about projects I am working on and less about the kind of linking and short discussion that, which I have written about before, has moved to places like Twitter.

I had owned my own web domain since 2002, but beyond a basic homepage I had not done much with it. In late 2005 and early 2006, I installed WordPress on that domain and moved over my posts from Typepad during that winter break. My time on Wordpress was pretty quiet for many years. I taught myself CSS by messing around with a install on a sub domain and actively blogged through 2007 and then slowed down a bit in graduate school and then once I began working until last year.

In the fall of 2012, I went to update my blog one day. I left Wordpress open for a little bit while doing something else, but came back, finished typing the post, and hit submit. I got a blank white screen. After many calls to my fairly unhelpful hosting provider, searches on web forums, and the realization that what could have fixed it wasn't properly being backup in my hosting provider’s backups, which they had just a shrug for me about that, I realized it was time to move. I put this off until the summer of 2013 when I would have time to work on a new domain.

So now this domain is hosted via Squarespace. I really like Squarespace and love the new design I came up with off of this template. Hopefully, this domain is a one stop venue for all of the things I am working on.

Weekly Reader


Second Life Open Source

I am really excited about Second Life becoming open sourceBoing Boing puts it best:

Second Life is distinct because it allows in-game creators of objects to “own” them, sell copies of them, give them away, and license them under Creative Commons. Most other worlds require that you assign all your copyright to the game’s corporate owners — and prevent you from doing some kinds of creative stuff to avoid copyright hassles (musicians in Star Wars Galaxies could only perform compositions provided by Sony, for example).

But there’s a fly in the ointment — it’s not very meaningful to amass in-game wealth if your ability to use it is contingent on your ongoing good relations with a single company. What good is your wonderful Second Life real-estate, architecture, gadgets and wardrobe if Linden Labs can throw you out at any time? It’s like amassing Soviet-era rubles — you could only spend them in Russia.

But by opening up the source code for Second Life, Linden is inviting a competitive marketplace for Second Life hosters. Indeed, they describe a “Second Life grid” of multiple Second Life hosters who interconnect — the way that today’s Web consists of a single Web with millions of servers that are all linked together by their users.

O’Reilly Radar has more information about the actual source code.

Bettie Page

Via Boing Boing, the Los Angeles Times has an article up about the life of Bettie Page.  I love Bettie Page, despite the excess of hipster's grabbing hold of her, and found out something new about her:  I had no idea she was in a mental institution for ten years!

I need to pick up a biography of her...anyone out there in the blogosphere have a recommendation?

By now you've seen the horror that has ravaged through parts of Asia this week.  As I type this over 78,000 have been confirmed dead.  The Boston Globe has a good article up about where you can donate money to help with the effort to non profits.  ZDNET has an article up about blogs in the affected region and how they are assisting relief efforts.  A blog has been set up to try to coordinate efforts out there.  Amazon has a page up where you can donate to the Red Cross

Bloggied via Conversational Reading, Political Physics, Boing Boing