What my blog is

I want my blog to be the hub of my online life. I’ve come back to using WordPress because I want to be able to show other people how easy it is to avoid the walled-gardens of Facebook, Twitter, et al. So I need to explain what I want my blog to be.

  1. A place to post reports, thoughts, photos, observations, etc. about what’s been going on in my life (i.e. what a blog usually is);
  2. A means of providing a feed of the posts;
  3. Somewhere to consume feeds from elsewhere (see my news page for how this is shaping up so far; it leaves a fair bit to be desired, but I’m working on that);
  4. In its capacity of a record of things, I want to be able to print yearly compendiums of all contents (might seem strange in this age of digitisation, but I do rather like a good solid shelf full of records — even if I never use them);
  5. Be my OpenID provider (this is working perfectly);
  6. I have a couple of other sites around, and I would ideally have their functionality within WordPress itself… this is probably the biggest problem I have at the moment.

Basically, I like Dave Winer’s idea of everyone having their own place to call home on the web, that doesn’t involve giving all their content to Facebook or whoever.

How far I am from doing all this: really, it’s the crappy photo management of WordPress that’s holding me back. I’ve got a couple of draft plugins that should fix this up (be able to change the date of uploads, for one thing!). The other thing I’d like — even though I realise that it’s acutally nothing to do with blogging and so doesn’t really belong in WordPress, but I would like it — is to be able to check my email from within this site (one of my other little hand-coded sites that I’ve got elsewhere is an email archiving thing that ends up producing a yearly LaTeX-formatted tome of all my emails).

(Anyway, I’m really only posting this to get things straight in my head, and there’s more to be said — where Wikimedia, OSM, etc. fit in, in this scheme, for instance — but it’s time to go. I have at least kept my one-post-per-day thing going for the third day in a row!)

Paper Blog2010-11-05 16:42:00

I am posting my entry today from paper, from a corner table in the window of Gino’s. I’ve a coffee, and a proper custart tart, and all the time in the world. Until I have to be at Kulcha… but yes, all the time in the world! It’s a laborious process, you see, posting to WordPress from paper and ink. One has a wide gap to bridge, between here and the internet.

On the internet, there is no time. That’s not true! Well, no, but it is easy to feel an odd sense of hurry on the net, of having — or just being able — to do things *right away*. On paper there is no such thing. Especially on paper in a café, with ink and a custart tart.

I love it here! In Freo, I mean. And Gino’s seems to just keep on going, far more depandably than anywhere else. And the tables are the right height — that matters. Hush, down the road, never thought about that.

But I should explain myself, and why I’m writing this.

I’m rambling on, filling your screen with ink, and for no apparent purpose. But I do have a purpose! I have the most random arbitrary pointless purpose there is in November: it’s National Blog-Posting Month. I am writing something — anything! — every day for the duration of November. I don’t know why.

The problem is that one can not possibly have sensible interesting things to say, once every twenty-four hours. It just doesn’t work. As I was cycling to work this morning, I remember having some idea of writing about how to increase the incidence of iCalendar-formatted event feeds amongst Freo websites… but now that’s all been replaced by a soft smiling sort of a feeling at the smells and textures of Freo, and the optimism that’s increasing as we head on into summer! Not a mood to be making sense from (or of, really).

NaBloPoMo day II, and already nothing to say.

Roger's bottle topIt’s hot! The first sight of the firey face of summer? Perhaps so. I’ve not been in this house for a summer yet, but I think it’s going to be okay. I’m even rather looking forward to it. Getting home from work, cracking open a beer, sitting down to… well, fiddle with Semantic Mediawiki as I am this afternoon, or so some other geeky, all-too-much-like-work sort of thing…

Anyway, my mind is full of ideas of how to effectively be an ‘e-volunteer’ for the Local History Collection (or something along those lines), and I’ve got a bunch of things that I want to do on the FS sites, so I’m going to ignore my blog for today.

Sorry for a pointless post (although, I don’t suppose anyone’s actually reading this, for me to be appologising to).

Freo on the web

I am trying to get my head around all of the various places that Fremantle features (regularly, topically) on the Web. I want to figure out where the Fremantle Society’s website fits in, and what it might be used for (what might be missing from elsewhere).

So I started from the outside, yesterday, and moved inwards…

  1. Wikipedia, a first port of call for general info about anywhere, gives a reasonable overview to Freo from an outsider’s perspective. The Fremantle category has the subcategories show in the graph at right (which comes from the catgraph tool by User:Dapete). Obviously, this categorisation isn’t complete, and needs to be improved to reflect what’s actually important in Freo. (More on this later…)

  2. Next, there’s the Council’s website, fremantle.wa.gov.au, which has recently undergone a redesign, and is looking… umm… well, there’s lots of great information for residents and whatnot! There is a news feed, and a calendar of upcoming events (which I’d link to, but it’s a JS overlay thing that doesn’t seem to have it’s own URL). There are plans for new web-based methods of communication with constituents: firstly via a CRM for interacting with Council (for the general public? or just precinct committees?); and secondly (and I think this is going to be separate from the CRM) a network of community-group/precinct websites, called FREOSPACE. This is akin, perhaps, to the Cockburn Community Portal.

    I got my information about these plans from the presentation that Jen Valesini (Coordinator of the Fremantle Volunteer Service; is that right? perhaps not; anyway, she was part of the Precinct Review) gave to last week’s Freo Society meeting; and the Precinct Group Report.

  3. Then, there’s a host of topical and personal blogs: Adele Carles, State MP for Fremantle, Brad Pettitt, Fremantle’s Mayor, Cyclefreo, Dismantle, FERN, the Fremantle Environment Resource Centre, Freo Tribe, the blog of the Fremantle Society, Freo’s View, Tom M. Wilson, Love Freo, Melissa Parke, Federal MP for Fremantle, and The Painted Fish. There are more. I’ve started collecting a list of these as a ‘Freo Planet’ (to use that possibly-too-geeky term for an aggregation of news feeds); the planet itself has a news feed, the idea being that one could subscribe to just one source to get all Freo news.

There’s more to be looked at, but in a general sense I think there is room for a ‘reference’ website about Fremantle. An open site for the stories and detail of Freo, rather like Wikipedia but with ‘non-notable’ topics permitted (not notable in a global perspective, that is). Somewhere that will record, preserve, and make available the minutiae of what goes on here. Is the Freo Society the best organisation to provide this? I don’t know. I’m talking about something more than just the straight ‘history’ of the City (for that one might say that the Local History Centre would be the best coordinator). This would be a site that accepts photos of caravans on South Beach in the ’40s as well as contemporary cafe reviews. It would have a comprehensive calendar of events, and essays on life in Fremantle…

Perhaps I’m getting a bit carried away. Certainly it’s time to stop writing, and head down to Kulcha….

NaBloPoMo, and Don’t Read This.

Thanks to all the modern things I have just this morning become aware of NaBloPoMo, which seems to be the alternative, for those lacking in ambition (like myself), to NaNoWriMo.  The idea is to write one post per day for the whole month.  Why?  Well, I’m not quite sure, but it seems that lots of people think it’s a good idea — and I guess I do, too.  I used to enjoy blogging, but then got embarrased: why would anyone want to read anything that I have written?!

So please n.b. that I do not think that anyone out there should be reading this, and that I am writing it in public only because I don’t mind if anyone does read it, and so it’s easier than sorting out the security necessary to keep it private. If that makes sense? It is convenient for me to write online, where my words will reside somewhat safer than they would be in this little laptop in my leak-prone shed, and the fact that these words are available to you is really of little concern.

But back to the point (or not): NaBloPoMo, a term coined in 1984 for people who don’t like to have oral sex with post-modernists. Or so, I think, Mr. Tim Brook-Taylor may have said on ISIHAC. Or not.

* * *

On a more community-oriented note, I intend to get back to developing the Addressbook plugin, mainly because of all of the nice emails and comments I’ve had about it, and so … oh, but I think I ought to make up for my late start in Nablopomo (bugger the silly camel-capitalisation) by making this another post. Hang on.