Friday, January 28, 2005

Me? Blogging?

(updated below)

Well, damn, I’ve finally done it. I’ve entered the blogging world.

I didn’t think I would, really. I mean, I had nothing especially against it; I had read several blogs and found them interesting. I just considered it kind of faddish and silly, for the most part; people making a big deal about bringing even more garbage to the ’net.

And then I found MacJournal PastedGraphic3-2005-01-28-01-10.png.

I had been looking for a good journaling program for the Mac for years, and never found one that I felt suited my needs. I’d even tried MacJournal a couple of versions back and, while good, it didn’t quite catch my imagination. This time, though, when I looked at it, it seemed to have the features I needed. I think it was the flexibility of nested journals that finally sold me.

What got me excited about this program was the prospect of typing up all my old journal entries. I have plenty of half-full journals laying around, filled with everything from useless whining (’though it’s good to look back at how you’ve felt sometimes) to some quite interesting (to me) philosophical dissertations and thoughts I didn’t want to lose. But they weren’t doing anybody, including me, any good sitting around gathering dust. Entered into a program, titled, indexed and searchable, I could finally make use of all those old thoughts and ideas. And then I noticed that MacJournal also supported auto-posting of journal entries to a blog.

And that was ruin.

You see, the main reason I had never really been interested in blogging was that I just didn’t think I had anything to say. I didn’t want the pressure of coming up with something pithy and important every day or so, and I refused to spew unmitigated stupid blather. (Occasional stupid blather, like this post, is okay) But my journals? Being able to post my journals where the world could see them, possibly learn from them, appreciate them, give interesting, constructive feedback on them, but more likely respond with rousing choruses of “you suck”?

That I couldn’t resist.

So I spent damn near all day fidgeting and fooling around with various blogging software and websites, and ended up with a ridiculous combination of programs, sites, hosts and computers to make this thing work. Those that know me will laugh when they hear the concatenation every post goes through.

Here it is:
  1. First, I type up the entry in MacJournal on my PowerBook PastedGraphic14-2005-01-28-01-10.png.
  2. Next, I click the button that sends the post to one of my subordinate (category) blogs on Blogger.com 1__%252524%252521%252540%252521__PastedGraphic14-2005-01-28-01-10.png.
  3. Then, Blogger logs into the iMac in the other room (yes, back in the same house the post originated from) and posts it to my iDisk (yes, this was the only way to do that PastedGraphic14-2005-01-28-01-10.png).
  4. This uploads the post to Apple’s PastedGraphic14-2005-01-28-01-10.png servers, where it is hosted on the appropriate category page for nice people like you to look at it.
  5. At the same time, Blogger emails me a copy of the post I just sent to the category blog.
  6. An email client that I have open for this express purpose (my usual client can’t handle the task) auto-emails the post back to Blogger.com.
  7. Blogger repeats the process above, logging into my iMac and posting to my iDisk, except this time to my main blog page, so the post will not only show up in its category, but also on the main page PastedGraphic3-2005-01-28-01-10.png.
So let’s be clear here: I send my post across the country so it can be sent back to my house to be sent back out to another part of the country, simultaneously sent back to my house by another route then back out across the country, to get sent back to my house again, and again sent to the other part of the country, to be downloaded and read by people who are probably across town.

Wild, huh? But it works. Oh, I know I could get around all of this, and get more functionality besides, by using a dedicated client like Blogwave Studio PastedGraphic14-2005-01-28-01-10.png, but then I’d have to copy and paste each entry manually. This way, all I do is click a button, and computers do the rest of the work. Just like I like it.

Maybe I’ll get fed up with doing it this way sometime; I really am missing out on a lot of cool features...but I’m just getting started. We’ll see.

Well, it’s 2:00 in the morning; I should probably wrap this up. A few parting notes:

  • I’ve set this blog up in categories. The main page will always show the latest posts, regardless of which category they’re from (kind of like memepool PastedGraphic3-2005-01-28-01-10.png, but not remotely as cool).
  • The categories are listed in the Links section of each page. Tacky, but it will do for now.
  • Because of the rigamarole each post has to go through, some of the text on the main page may not look quite as nice as it does in the same post on the category page. Live with it.
  • Also, comments are disabled on the main page. To comment, you have to click on the category link at the bottom of each main-page post. If anyone has ideas on how to make this fact more clear, please let me know.
  • This one’s important, so listen up: I don’t necessarily intend to post every day. If you want to be notified when I do post, click on the nice little Monitor Changes button near the top of the page. Give it a try if you’re interested in my (possibly insane) ramblings. Note that for now at least, that little button will only track the main page; there’s not much point in tracking the category pages unless that one category’s all you’re interested in. Every new post will appear on the main page at http://blog.syleria.net.
  • I’ll try to restrict my posts to about one a day, but I may get carried away and do several journal entries at once.
  • Leave comments! Please! Just so I know somebody’s reading this!
For those not so technically inclined (read: non-nerds): What is a blog? Blog is short for Weblog. Web log-->weblog-->’blog-->blog. Check out the Wikipedia article if you want to know (lots and lots) more.

Well, I guess that’s all for tonight. Toodles!


Update: June 17, 2013

Historical Note
I’ve updated several of the links above that had broken, particularly to the main page of this blog. At the time this post was written it was hosted at http://homepage.mac.com/calion/blog/ on my .Mac iDisk, with four (and later five) subsidiary “category” blogs.