Owning my own content

14 years ago, I started a blog (this one, in fact). At that time, it was kind of normal to blog about things. Life, opinions, whatever.

Nowadays, almost nobody does that anymore because social media. I left social media a few years ago, primarily because it’s a big waste of time. But also it started to occur to me that anything I say there can be used against me, and that if it’s unpopular enough or offends the wrong person, it’s even likely to be removed.

Outside of social media, there are hosted blogs, such as medium, but these suffer from the same issues — at the end of the day, your content can be censored because it displeases the platform’s moderators.

So now that I’m saying things again, it’s back to 14 years ago. That means my posts will not have access to social media network effect explosion potential. People will have to actually want to come here and read things. It also means I had to go through the work of getting this blog set up self-hosted, and I have to spend time and money to maintain that.

Yet, it also means that I get to say what I want. The content belongs to me. And readers know that I’m not censored.

In 2020, this is the right trade.

new email notification feature

I’ve replaced the wordpress email notification plugin with a feedburner subscription on the blog. If you had signed up for the email notifications, please do so again via the new box.

The old plugin didn’t notify on all posts (in particular, when they were scheduled for the future). Feedburner does.

I’m deactivating the old plugin just after this post.

Google feedback?

Google likes to talk about how they’re user-oriented, and this back-and-forth is how they make their software projects happen:

User feedback is always an important part of our product development process […]

(from http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/real-world-testing.html)

But what I want to know is, for general feedback, how do you give it to them? They certainly don’t make it easy to give feedback on their more established services. For example, here are two bits of feedback I would give:

  • In google groups, you can only create 5 groups, and then you get the following message:

    You may not create any more groups at this time. Please try again later.

    When should I try again? I have no idea. I did a google search and found a few other people who were saying they had waited 72+ hours and still unable to create more groups.

    The message is a dead-end, leaving you knowhere to go and no idea how long to wait.

    This is almost scary enough to get me to try a different groups service, as I need 15-odd groups.

  • iGoogle is google’s new name for their personalized home page. I think this name is too marketing-department-and-internet-bubble-esque.

Being the good web 2.0 citizen that I am, I’d like to tell google about these experiences but I don’t know (and can’t figure out) how to provide feedback. If google’s model is truly centered around the user experience, they are making a big mistake by not encouraging feedback flow more actively.

everydns getting pwnzd

everydns, our free DNS provider, seems to be getting pwnzd by a botnet. The attack started last Friday, and the guys at everydns thought they had it fixed by Sunday. They were down again this evening. It’s starting to look like maybe everydns is just flat going to lose, so I’m moving DNS to my server. I would expect some service outages due to this.

update 2006-12-06@11:00am: All domains have been switched over to ns1.phauna.org. We’re no longer affected by everydns’ problems.