November 17th, 2004
When I first set this blog up, it was basically my training log for the 2004 Ride for the Roses. I’d done public training logs on charity rides before, but always hosted them elsewhere. Finally got around to using this domain for something useful since I was hosting it on a machine where I had Ruby installed and could try out Rublog. My theoretical plan was to turn it into a personal/professional blog that would include primarily the disparate topics of bike riding, and software development. I planned to include book reviews ranging from novels to technical books, articles on graph theory, bike riding logs, cancer awareness topics, music reviews, notes on software development, and the occasional entry on what’s up in my personal life. I planned to earn enough money from Google AdSense and affiliate programs on book and music items to cover hosting costs for the site. That plan fell by the wayside on October 22, 2004, when Spencer was diagnosed with leukemia. That diagnosis pretty much redirected my entire life for a while – 3 years and 2 months if all goes well. As a result, I pretty much immediately changed the concept of the blog to be a personal one, though I left in categories that I’d created for the professional stuff. I went ahead and converted to WordPress because it had a few features (postings in multiple categories, and comments) that I wanted and couldn’t find in a Ruby-based solution.
My original idea was to have all of the intertwingled things of my life all presented together. As a writing focus, I still like that. I find that letting seemingly unrelated topics into my brain at the same time helps me come up with new, sometimes good and sometimes really wacky, ideas. However, from a publishing perspective, it makes no sense. I have an audience of one (me) or several dissatisfied audiences (of perhaps several people each) who want to focus on one of the threads in my intertwingled mind and view the others as, at best, distractions. Recently, I signed up for BlogExplosion to drive some readership here. Primarily, I did it because I liked the idea of someone reading my brain dumps. It’s working – readership is up. However, it’s reinforced the problem with the notion of publishing everything together. I’m thinking I will switch soon to having the public interface separate the key categories (probably personal, technical, books, music) so people can pick which one(s) they like. That can happen now through the “categories” links already available, but it’s kind of clunky. First thing to do, is set up some aliasing so the URLs are nicer. I’ll work on that today and see where the category-based readership goes.
Please comment if you have ideas on ways to improve my blog(s). Right now, comments are manually approved by me to eliminate the (otherwise large – about 30 a day) blog spam. In fact, in general, please comment on any interesting entries. Feedback warms my heart and it will be nice to have more real comments among all of the attempted blog spam when I do comment moderation.