I’ve been blogging on my site for over 21 years. I feel really good about doing a project for that long and am going to continue doing it.
From the fall of 1998 it has been a stream of reverse-chronological posts and in general it has been expansive; bringing content I created elsewhere into the timestream of posts.
Today I am beginning something new, the slow shuttering of the earliest posts (which are retroblogging I added to represent my life before 1998) as I add new posts.
After months of confirming the content migration from my old host (Typepad) is complete, MetaGrrrl.com is now live on WordPress.com.
Hooray! also, phew.
Posts that aren’t about this massive infrastructure change can now begin, but first I need to go wander around a good art museum.
Okay! I’ve looked at every single post at least briefly in comparing my site on Typepad and here in its new home on WordPress.com. Things look a little different, but all the content is here.
Lots of work to be done making it look prettier—when and if I decide that’s the best use of my time—but it’s good enough to start posting here again.
It’s bloggin’ time.
Working on fixing some formatting issues as I proof my migrated data.
Finding a display issue with how the old !more tag is handled.
After more looking it seems like:
– you can’t search for HTMl like that tag in posts on wordpress.com, wait, no, I’m (delightfully) wrong and you can.
– I did a sneaky thing for a while in 2004 and on by styling the excerpt but not hiding it on a subpage to create a different look for my short linky blog posts (which look like nothing so much as tweets, a couple years before Twitter).
– debating how to deal with this now in the migrated content… and deciding to edit them all to remove the excerpt tag now that I’ve figured out how to find them all.
Rather than agonizing over reproducing exactly the look I have now, what if I just set up an adequate theme and import my thousands of posts to that? What if I switched to WordPress the easy way and focused on my words rather than the design of the page. I mean, I am a writer, not a designer, so yeah. This makes a lot more sense.
… which is how I'm getting my non-reply tweets logged here on MetaGrrrl.com.
Many annoyances—CSS being ignored, category showing as text not applied properly, URLs in shortened form, truncated message text, images not passed through—are making me think before long I will have to bite the bullet and completely rebuild the site in software that's better maintained. Maybe for its 20th birthday…
That said, we don’t trust systems to understand what “best” means.
Just like Tay can’t tell what not to model its responses upon, no algorithm I’ve seen could come close to the subtlety of actual human interactions.
As an example, sometimes there are friends or family who are fairly passive with a social network, but whose activity—which a bot would interpret as uninteresting—is our way of keeping tuned into their level of depression. Sometimes we act on their messages but often just seeing them is enough (particularly when our primary social activity with them happens outside the feed).
Often there are inside jokes a bot wouldn’t get.
Algorithmic feeds which use activity level on a post/tweet/image are inherently biased against quieter relationships and smaller networks.
I follow high-signal folks like Anil Dash and very low activity folks who are important to me in the same stream. Algorithmic feeds don’t get the subtle differences and fail to put those folks on an even footing.
So, no, no matter how nice the folks are and how best damn product what they’re making is supposed to be, I will continue to reject algorithmic feeds and instead tune my follow activity to just what I can handle.
[my comment on a comment by Ev Williams on “Instagram and the Cult of the Attention Web: How the Free Internet is Eating Itself” by Jesse Weaver on Medium]
Me rejecting algorithmic feeds again: “That said, we don’t trust systems to understand what ‘best’ means.” https://t.co/DxKYrkS9io
Nor do they need the “Title” field (Mr., Ms., etc.) in address information, which is also a gender identification request.
[my comment on a comment on the Medium post “Too sensitive” by Sara Wachter-Boettcher]
It's not a radical change, but my online self is now looking more put together thanks to the skilful minstrations of Mr. Lance Arthur.
Do let me know if you find anything amiss, but, frankly, after the work he did both for appearance and cleanliness of the underlying code, you're more likely to find something working that used to be broken (or at least kinda janky).
The biggest changes took place on Discardia.com, which is now not only prettier, but more functional and a far better reflection of Discardian principles.
Hiring someone who actually knows what they're doing is worth every penny.
As you can see, exciting changes are taking place around here.
It took me quite a long while, but I have—over a decade after it ceased being my day job—finally embraced the fact that since I'm not a web designer anymore, that means I can hire someone else to do it for me. Because the someone I have hired is also one of my most trusted friends, this revitalization of my sites will take place with the same devil may care attitude as changes I made myself in the past. You may see all sorts of crazy, halfway-to-their-final-state stages of the process. Pardon, as they say, our dust.
[animated gif of construction guy]