Friday, July 9, 2010

Rebirth

I have been asked by several people to resurrect the blog.  It seems that there actually has been some value to the information and commentary posted here.  Along with those requests, I have received numerous comments/suggestions:
  1. Aim to post something positive every day (or, post two positive comments for every one rant).  This is an ideal to shoot for, but I doubt that it will be this way.  That said, I will attempt to achieve a better balance.  I can't promise this, but the attempt will be there.
  2. Allow people without a Google login to comment on the blog.  Unfortunately, this isn't something that will work long-term because of the amount of spam.  See more on this below.
  3. Move blog to a different service, such as WordPress.
  4. Use Facebook or similar service instead of a blog.  I don't like Facebook much, and it is extremely difficult to restrict certain discussions to certain groups of people.  The good part of this blog is that the only people who know who I am are the people who I have told and can generally trust.
  5. Stop complaining about Flash.  Not gonna happen.  In fact, of all the rants I have had, it seems this is the one that is starting to catch-on.
  6. Comment more on various road trips.  Most of the trips I take are very uneventful by design.  I also need to be discreet about disclosing my identity to the entire world.  I am perfectly happy owning-up to what I say, but there are certain individuals who can use what I say out-of-context in a harmful way.  If you don't believe me, take a look at some people who have lost their jobs because of some pictures they posted or something they said on Facebook.
I am considering some changes here, but have not yet decided what to do.

One advantage of Blogger is that its integration with various Google services means that the content is quickly indexed for Google searches, and photos can be transparently stored in Picasa (which doesn't yet require Flash, and has a reasonably large storage space).  Blogger is also easy to use and customize without any additional fees.  The downside of Blogger is that it is not easy at all to create tabular formatted content necessary for some technical presentation.  People who are familiar with Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/) are familiar with the kind of format I am talking about.  Yes, I could move the tech talk elsewhere, but to me one of the advantages of a blog format is the ability for others to comment on the material and effectively extend it.  Blogger has no ads.  That all said, a change is in the works, but I'm not sure what it will be yet.  I'm not sure I want to move everything to WordPress right now.

 Some potential things I have been considering:
  1. Moving to WordPress.  The key reasons for doing this are that there are a number of plug-ins that allegedly can address the comment spam and allow some additional features that could be useful.
  2. Reformatting the Blogger layout used here so that the presentation is wider, and would be better suited to technical presentation as well as what you are reading now.
  3. Running my own site, so I can customize it down to the code level.  Each time I consider this option, the brakes are usually applied once I consider the numerous security issues I would have to deal with...
  4. Breaking the blog into multiple blogs.  I'm not a big fan of this because it requires people to need to check multiple blogs.
In any case, all this is in the works.

Note that one change that has taken place is that all comments here are currently being moderated.  This is strictly to eliminate spam.  I think everyone here knows by now that I will always allow a differing opinion to be presented in the comments as long the comments are constructive (and I have allowed a very wide latitude on that).  To date, the only comments I have removed or refused to post are clearly "comment spam."

I will also attempt to respond to a few comments made during my hiatus.

So, anyhow, I'm back.  Look out world.

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