Category Archives: Site News

Blogging again

So 2014 was a slow year for me in terms of blogging. I’m not making any sort of New Year’s resolution, because I don’t believe in them and gave them up years ago as my last New Year’s resolution, BUT I am resolved to return to blogging and be more vocal here than I have been going forward.

Because, lately, I haven’t felt as myself as I used to feel. I am a blogger, after all, and a good one. Time to re-embrace that destiny, and give up on things like being a writer, which isn’t the same thing, and which I’m not as good at. So there.

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Once upon a Facebook…

I finally shut down my Facebook account. For years, I’ve said, “I hate Facebook. I love Twitter. I only use Facebook because I have to because I work on the Internet and it’s one of those things that you just have to do.” Well, you know what: No, you don’t. If I have a client who needs to know something about Facebook, or needs to set up a Facebook page, or needs me to set up an app for them on Facebook, I can easily set up a temporary account that has absolutely nothing to do with me to do so. If people want to find me and connect with me online, they can still do it through this site, my Twitter, my Flickr, and my Google+. Or they can always shoot me an email at ck at sampletheweb dot com or call me on my cell. All this information is public for a reason. I’m reachable.

Facebook was something that was getting between me and my effectiveness. It was a full on distraction. Every time I looked at my phone, there was another Facebook notification that I had no interest in seeing, but which I needed to go see in order to get it to go away. I changed my settings multiple times and this kept happening. Not only that, but the same messages were waiting for me on Facebook in the browser and Facebook on my iPad mini the next time I went to those devices.

The one thing that I ever enjoyed on Facebook were the pictures that my brother and his wife post of my nephew Emmett, but Kristin can show me those whenever I want to see them.

So after a multitude of years being enslaved to Facebook, I’m free. I was able to download all my data before killing my account and it all now lives here:

http://media.sampletheweb.com/facebook/html/profile.html

It’s much cleaner than actual Facebook for anyone interested in taking a walk down memory lane.

For my part, I’m more interested in the now and the future than the past. Facebook is the past. Onward.

No More Comments

I‘ve just turned off all comments on this site. I’ve been loosely following the comment wars of 2010 (see here, here, here, and here) and while to a certain degree it’s all a very yawnable pissing match between Gruber* and the people who give a shit about whether or not they can comment on his blog, it does bring up some interesting points about comments.

As someone who has been the editorial lead for The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Netscape, Mahalo, and Obsessable, I’m pretty certain that 90% of comments are entirely and totally useless. 10% are pure gold (Weblogs, Inc often hired people who wrote the gold comments as bloggers), but only if you have a participant audience and an actual culture surrounding your site. Also, you can’t really define that culture without destroying whatever culture organically grows on the site.

On this site, there is no real strong culture of commenters. Most people who want to converse with me do so via Twitter. The vast majority of comments I get here day to day are from people ranting about similar things to what I’ve ranted about in the past. For example, my most commented on post which receives comments nearly daily is this one, titled UPS Sucks from 2006. It has 148 comments which are mostly of the caliber of “F*CK UPS” which I have now turned off. Why? Because I’m tired of moderating them. They are trollish ranting comments. They have absolutely nothing to do with me, my site, or what Sample The Web is about. They are people who haven’t yet made their own space online for talking about what bugs them, coming into my front yard, standing up on a little soapbox and shouting, hoping someone will hear them.

Get your own yard.

Anyone who wants to talk to me can do so via Twitter. #kthnxbai

*note: I agree that Gruber is way too biased and full of himself to tolerate at times. Although he’s right quite a lot, he’s also wrong quite a lot and you never hear that side of it from his blog. Why? It’s not because of comments or no comments. It’s because he’s an arrogant dick. Move along. Many people who have the guts to write their own words on their own sites are opinionated, arrogant assholes (I totally acknowledge that I am one of them). Deal with it.

Sample the Web is now hosted on Media Temple

Media TempleThis is just an FYI. I’ve left Steadfast Networks. Here’s why. Based on my experiences, I would recommend that you avoid ever using them. I could be the rare case of poor customer handling, though. It seems like every host has it’s fair share of “avoid HOSTNAME” blog posts floating around, probably because they all have problems.

I’ve nearly finished migrating all my sites. Hopefully this will be the last WordPress migration I have to go through. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to do, thanks to WP-DBManager plugin. Here’s a write up I did a while back on how to easily move your WordPress blog to a new host. There’s still a few kinks I have to work out (like a p.i.t.a. Thesis image bug that is occurring site wide), so sorry for any hiccups. I hope to have the bugs squashed soonish.

Also, as part of the move, I changed the Lifestream of this site from the bulky Sweetcron-based lifestream that I set up back in September of last year to this new cleaner lifestream powered by the WP-Lifestream plugin that I discovered via Jenny (aka The Shifted Librarian). Now I just have to figure out how to convert the MySQL dump of the Sweetcron version to a web-readable file hosted somewhere on this site. Not a high priority right now, but something I’d like to do. I’d love any suggestions here.

One really cool thing about this Lifestream plugin is that I can drop the Lifestream in anywhere just by inserting the word lifestream within [brackets]. You can even dictate a limited number of items. You can see this in action the continued portion of this post, if you like, where I’ve included my Lifestream limited to the 10 most recent items.
Continue reading Sample the Web is now hosted on Media Temple

Moving this site this weekend – UPDATE (Nevermind)

Just a note to let readers of this blog know that I’m moving this site this weekend from shared hosting (where it currently is) to a dedicated IP virtual server. This should all happen seamlessly for all of you, but just in case the site goes down for a while, you’ll know why.

Also, big post coming after the move is complete. I discovered something very interesting this week that I’ll probably be sharing tomorrow.

*Note: the picture accompanying this post is my new Marc Ecko Stormtrooper hoodie that arrived this week. Can’t wait until it gets cold and I can wear this sucker!

IF THIS DISAPPEARS THEN IT WORKED!

UPDATE: So I managed to transfer everything over to the dedicated IP virtual server with little problems, but once it was all there, the site kept running out of memory and shutting down the web services, resulting in this site being down. Not good. So, I’m canceling it and back to where I’ve been.