Last refuge of the desparate, you know.
Oddly enough, all of my old "Fun with Webalizer" posts seem to have vanished during the site transition. I'm guessing that they got caught in a filter when I tried to exclude the site logs. So once again, here's the best single search phrases that brought people to the site this month.
Today and tomorrow, I'm going to be attending UX Week 2007 for a local trade publication. Feel free to take a look at the schedule and see if there's something you'd like me to check out while I'm here--I'm trying to record the sessions when possible so I can put together a report for one of the area radio stations. Suggestions for other places to file stories on UX Week would be appreciated.
Found a solution to the server move that nuked Mile Zero a few months back. Turns out that the tar command preserves filestamps, which makes sense, seeing as how it dates back to the days of tape backup. An archiver that actually archives file information! Who knew?
Of course, I wouldn't need to know this if the server admin had used a .tar to transfer the files to the new server in the first place. I really hope there was a good reason that they used the regular copy command, since almost every page I've read includes a note along the following lines:
Tar is a great way to copy directories recursively.
Because that might as well just continue:
Especially on Thomas's server, so he doesn't spend three weeks fixing the dates on something like 400 files.
Won't lie, it was nice to have a week away. Almost considered not coming back. When work is busy (I've been putting together the second set of Africa Good Governance on the Radio Waves programs, and that's never a smooth project), I don't find myself with much time to think about extracurricular writing, and at home it's too tempting to just relax and do something less challenging. Belle and I watched the first season of Heroes this week, for example. Good show.
Still, I'm kind of compulsive about writing. It's habit-forming, and it's therapeutic. But writing on a blog is also a dialog, as I said. It's like talking to yourself, except other people can read it. I think that puts it one step above crazy street person in terms of psychological profile, just because of the literacy requirement, although I've met some pretty literate crazy street people.
Anyway, the point is that blogging is like talking to yourself, but not entirely. There's comments, for one thing. For another, it's not completely isolated. That bothers me a little, as I go through the archives. There are topics I write about here, and I wonder if they would really be so important to me if events hadn't wandered their way.
For example: I turned MileZero.org into a blog in late April 2005, a little over two years ago. In early June, barely a month later, I managed to get myself into an argument with the editor of a gaming print magazine, and got linked by a number of the blogs on the right side of the page there. It felt like a big deal, and there are a lot of game-related posts after that. I don't know if it's because I was really so interested, or if it was the rush of joining a new community.
That's happened several times. For a while, I wrote a lot more music posts, especially after I got linked for coding the Excel drum machine. Some of this is just my changing moods--I have my obsessions, but I don't really consider myself single issue. I think I'm lucky, actually. Although I've had a number of people comment here or link to my posts, Mile Zero has never been a strict gaming or music or politics or culture blog.
On the other hand, I'd be lying if I don't sometimes wonder how long I can go without writing about a topic, because I know that's what some people probably come to read. I know I've written posts sometimes when my heart wasn't in it, just because I thought people might be getting bored. I have a love-hate relationship with my readership statistics.
Like a couple of weeks back, when Lance Mannion wrote a post saying that he'd added me and a few other people to his blogroll. That's an honor, and I was really proud. But at the same time, I also started thinking: "great, now what in the world should I write to keep people like him around?"
I kid, of course. No-one will ever de-link me. I have blackmail material on all of them.
We're social animals. We all react to the opinions and statements of people around us. That doesn't change just because our peers are online, instead of being neighbors and coworkers. Some people are wired to respond to that more than others--I think most writers online fit that profile. It makes me a little nervous to know that about myself, but it's probably best that I channel it into some kind of productive path.
Because if the blog thing doesn't work out, I've got these sandwich boards in the closet, and a spot all picked out in front of the White House. I think it could be a hit.
The past week has been a little crazy. B-SPAN is really starting to hit its peak season, combined with the stress of training my replacements. We've got some sessions coming up on the effects of mass media and leadership that look promising, though.
Take Your Kid to Work Day took place yesterday, and I was drafted to teach kids about radio and sound production. I'm personally convinced that the main purpose of Take Your Kid to Work Day is to convince childless coworkers that their loins should remain unfruited.
The job search continues, as I just finished an interview with a local progressive think tank and have an upcoming interview with an offshoot of one of the national news organizations. Let's hope one of them works out, since rummaging through trash bins in search of sustenance and commentary doesn't appeal much to me.
In musical news, attempts to form a band via Craigslist have yielded little, besides an increasing frustration with over-optimistic college students who post five or six times a week in need of a front man. Watching them humiliate themselves online has reminded me that the most reliable way to actually find other musicians is to go out and play. Accordingly, I'm going to start hitting open mikes again.
Conferred thanks to Making Light.
I'm going to be gone for a week, working on the Improving Governance and Fighting Corruption conference site for WBI. I'll be back in the USA starting March 16th.
Plans while in Belgium include waffles, chocolate, finding out if European Nutella is really better than the American stuff, and tracking down the Noisettes' What's the Time Mr Wolf.
Hold my calls.
Well, it's been ten days since Nadia started guarding the comments section, and I've had no spam during that time. I guess it's working.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the worst comment protection system ever, Nadia the hamster:
I'm just kind of curious whether spammers really have text recognition for nonsense words in faux-bold, real bold, italic Book Antigua. I guess we'll find out.