Last week I finally decided to jump in and do what I’ve been thinking about for years and rekindle my online writing presence. I looked into a system called MovableType, a content management system (CMS) for running websites. I was attracted to it because it’s open source, which appeals to me since I’m an anarchist and want a system where I know if I see something I don’t like, I can dig into the actual code and change it, like I did for my Android phone when I discovered none of the music players could display my music files the way I wanted them to. Plus open-source is almost always free, which certainly doesn’t hurt.
After a failed installation of Movable Type I discovered that WordPress is also open-source. For some reason I thought it was a hosted solution with a programming interface (API) that you had to plug into. Instead it’s just a big package of files that you put on your server and then do whatever you want with.
I must say, I’ve been quite impressed with WordPress, especially the plugins and their ease of installation. The interface, while a little laggy (probably result of my host), is very straight-forward and easy to use compared to many systems, such as my host, GoDaddy which has the most convoluted website I know of.
I can’t get WordPress to do exactly what I want it to, but it seems I can always find a plugin to get it pretty darn close, and I know that if I have the time, I can improve my CSS and PHP skills and actually dig in and personalize it.
I spent all last weekend playing with WordPress and nearly falling in love with it. Web technology has certainly advanced quite a ways since my old successful days of isellpot.ws, and even though I build internet applications for a living, I’ve never actually worked with this kind of thing before.
Then Monday night I played with Facebook and was not nearly as impressed. I don’t really get Facebook… like what does it actually do? I’m gonna keep at it though.
Tuesday night I explored some website promotions options, specifically automated link submission tools. On their promotion page, Social Bookmarks Demon kept saying how it’s not a spam tool, but then went on and on with all this advice about how to avoid being marked as spam. Haha. I need to be really careful about how I use that kind of software, but if done reasonably and sparingly, I think it could work for me. I guess we’ll see.
Then Wednesday evening I went out around downtown Seattle and looked at Condos… “Gonna buy me a condo… gonna buy me a Cuisinart… get de wall-to-wall carpeting, and de wallet full of credit cards…”
But the night before I started working on this, I got an email from someone on the other side of the planet who remembered my website from years ago and decided to look me up. He said, “your former website, isellpot.ws, was a cornerstone of my teenage-hood.” He’s a professional writer now, which makes it even more flattering.
At the height of that website’s popularity, I had 10,000 visitors per week, until it was ripped out from under me by a domain-name stealing spam-bot. But maybe it was for the best. I just hadn’t been happy with it.
So tonight I read a wonderful story he wrote, then got into reading some of my stuff from my old anarchism/marijuana legalization website. I was surprised at how quickly I could move from a brilliant and moving paragraph into something completely ridiculous and off-putting. I still think there’s some salvageable stuff there and intend to cut it apart, do a little editing and post it in future blog posts, or, if it’s lucky, on a page in the sidebar 🙂
Oh, Lord it’s late… I need to get up for work in five hours. Then this weekend I’m back up to my eyeballs in website.