Why is it so quiet here?

I thought I would start the New Year with an explanation of why I don’t post very much.

I like tinkering around with computers and software. There are worse hobbies, but over the years they been vast consumers of my time with very little to show for it. After messing around with a few servers I set myself the task of setting up a personal blogging platform, initially to share links to things I had found to useful, as well as for posting the occasional howto and random thoughts. I quickly settled on WordPress, and installed it on a VPS. All was fine, but I rarely found the inspiration to actually write anything.

As time passed I realised that other platforms were better for collecting links (e.g. Delicious) and social networks were better for sharing random thoughts. This was a long process but I realised that I need to pull these posts on the different networks back into a Lifestream. While other platforms exist for this too, a Lifestream could be retrofitted to WordPress , so that was the next step. This proved to be easier said than done though, because the social networks like to capture information and cherish it within their ad serving citadels walled gardens. I can just about prise my posts out of the hands of Twitter and Google+ and aggregate them in the Lifestream (though specially generated RSS feeds), but Facebook is a lost cause. This is no great hardship though, as I don’t think anyone would be interested in my Facebook posts other than the people I am friends with on Facebook. The generated RSS feeds for Google+ and Twitter could fail the next time they change their APIs. Again no great loss in the case of Google+ (my disenchantment with Google may form a future long post) but I would be more unhappy if the Twitter feed RSS failed – I do actually post to it from time to time.

Along the way I’ve switched from the VPS to shared hosting, and the composition of the Lifestream has evolved. I’ve also been tweaking things along the way and I’ve got to the stage where where I will be happy enough to start posting on a regular basis. So I suppose that’s my resolution for this year – post more. I’ll start by setting the objective of at least one post per week. Let’s see how far I get…

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