Tag Archives: blog

New Theme, Same Blog

I decided after seeing some work that a friend was doing on their blog to take a closer look at this old thing. I’ve been blogging in one form or another on Pattern Recognition for almost 12 years, since February of 2003. I started blogging using Blogger, just prior to their purchase by Google. At that time, you could use the web interface of Blogger, but have it publish your blog to your own hosting space as just HTML files, which is what I did, hosting the resulting HTML at Ibiblio at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The first blogging software that I fell in love with was Dave Winer’s Radio Userland, an old-school bit of software that did all it’s work client-side on your computer and then published to your webserver when you wrote a post. I tried it out and loved it…I bought a license and it was a revolution. I don’t know exactly how to explain to those of you that didn’t experience that early web blogging boom, but to be able to just write something without worrying about code and then to just click a button and have it live on the web without fiddling with FTP was just fantastical.

And then there was WordPress. I moved over to a pre-1.0 version of WordPress after testing its predecessor B2. For years and years my WP database prefix was still B2- because of this…and once I was in WordPress, I never looked back.

I’ve changed themes a few times over the years, but had really settled in to my old one, creating a child theme and just customizing the heck out of it. But I have been thinking for a long time that it needed more polish than it really made sense to do, as the old theme just wasn’t modern enough to take advantage of a lot of the new abilities that WordPress has added under the hood. So I’m switching up, and I’m going to see how this one feels. If I keep liking it, I’ll start iterating on it to make it more my own. But for now, let’s see what it feels like for a few months. I’d love to hear feedback if you have any on the look/feel.

More of me online

So for the last week or so I’ve been playing with feeding various content into this blog, testing some new tools, and trying to find a way to integrate a new Tumblr blog with Pattern Recognition in a way that I liked.

I’ve failed completely.

I’m just not happy with any of it, as non of the WordPress plugins that I’ve tried (FeedWordPress, Wp-o-matic) treat my Tumblr blog RSS properly, and after hacking away at custom post setups, I’ve just decided that I like the idea of having two “blogs” on the net for now.

And so, here’s my plan: PatRec is staying the same…I like it as my occasional posting ground, and it’s going to remain my main blog headquarters. But there’s a ton of other stuff (personal, funny, or other) that just doesn’t fit in here. So for now, that other content is going to live over at Tumblr: griffey.tumblr.com, RSS available here http://feeds.feedburner.com/Griffeylog. I wanted to call it Apophenia, but someone already has all the Google Juice for that. Pareidolia is close enough. If you have any interest in the minutia of my sense of humor or just want to see another side of me, that’s where you’ll see it. Expect lots of silly pictures, youtube videos, and short bits of personal reflection.

It may take me a few days to work out the information flow (what goes to Twitter, what goes to Friendfeed, etc). I’m still using Friendfeed as a “master feed” for my stuff online, so everything I do gets there eventually. One of these days I should post about my digital ecology….the flows and connections between all the stuff I have online. I’ll save that for my Top Secret new writing experiment, coming in January. 🙂

Success!

I’ve been trying to find ways to enliven PatRec for awhile now, as I don’t post as much as I used to, and some of my energy/content has drifted off to other shores (Audioboo, TechSource, etc). I think I finally found a solution that I can use: FeedWordpress.

It’s a plugin that pulls RSS, and throws it into my timeline here on the blog. While I’m not going to be feeding in everything (no Twitter or Friendfeed) I do want my audioboo feed, and my Tumblr feed, to repost here. I’ll probably set up a Posterous as well to feed in, and then, no matter what kind of access I have, I can get things posted easily and quickly. We’ll see how this goes.

TechSource Post: Saving Your Digital Life

Just put a new post up over at ALA TechSource: Saving Your Digital Life. Here’s a blurb:

I have, basically, three kinds of data that I’m worried about protecting in some way: working files, files that are important but replaceable, and files that I can’t afford to lose at all. Working files are just that: files that I’m currently working on for whatever reason. Might be a photo I’m editing, or a document, or an MP3 that I need to move to another computer…anything that requires action. Files that are important, but replaceable, are things that make my life easier if they are in digital form, mostly media. DVDs I’ve purchased and CDs I own have all been digitized, because I want to be able to watch them when I want and not when I remember to have a disk of plastic with me. I also want to be able to move them to my iPhone or other portable media player. If I lose the digital, it’s ok, because I can just re-digitize them, but I really, really don’t want to have to do that. And finally, there are the files that I just can’t lose for any reason. Things like tax returns, photos of my daughter, receipts, and other digital items that need to be safe even if there’s a natural disaster.

So how do I handle all of this? With one piece of hardware, a few pieces of software, and broadband.

Go read the whole thing if you’re interested in how I handle MY digital life.

Interesting WP Spam Hack

A really interesting spam hack popped onto my radar today. Here’s the post from the LITABlog, as seen in browser:

LITABlog Spam Hack

Here’s the bottom of the post. Nothing unusual, right?

LITABlog Spam Hack

Here’s the same post in Google Reader:

LITABlog Spam Hack

Spamolicious! Where the hell did all that come from? From this little piece of code in the post:

LITABlog Spam Hack

A hidden bit of code in the bottom of the post. I hadn’t seen this before, but Joshua M. Neff told me it happened to him as well. In the comments there was a link to the wordpress developer’s blog about a similar issue…but not an identical issue. I don’t think this is necessarily a SQL injection issue.

So: anyone have any thoughts? How did that code get put into an existing post? LITABlog is running the latest version of WordPress, so it’s not that. I don’t see any more of them, but I won’t unless I look through the code manually or whip up some SQL-fu that greps for the hidden css string. Which I will do if I must, but I thought maybe someone out there had a better idea. 🙂

WordPress 2.5

For those that use WordPress, just a note about the upcoming 2.5 release: it rocks on toast. I’ve been using the Release Candidate 1 for WP2.5 for a week or so now, and the improvements in the admin interface are enormous. Better organization, more ajax interaction, just much, much smoother. Every time I’ve gone to do something in the last week I’ve been surprised at the ease.

This isn’t to say that you won’t have to update your plugins, as always…but WP2.5 finally has one-click automagic updating of plugins. This isn’t quite ready for primetime, but it’s very close.

I haven’t dug into the hardcore coding changes yet, but if the things I have noticed are indicative of the things I haven’t yet, I’m really looking forward to this release.

Library Blogging Tag Cloud

Library BloggingHere is a tag cloud for Library Blogging, the upcoming book from myself and Karen Coombs…this is the top 100 terms, ignoring common English words. If you’re wondering what the book is about, here’s a good sampling:

created at TagCrowd.com

Missed my Blogoversary

Given my infrequency of posting, its obvious that I’ve been a little busy lately. Mostly it’s been Eliza based, but work is also nuts. This time of year is crazy, and you pile working 3 days a week instead of 5 AND building a new library…well, its a little slice of insanity.

I’ve been so nuts that I completely missed my 5 year Blogoversary!

February 10th, 2003, after an inauspicious start, I started blogging. Five years, 1241 posts, and 1445 comments later, and it’s still going strong. Over the course of those years, I’ve been featured on BoingBoing four times, Digg once, highlighted by the ALA, and it’s led to an enormous amount of opportunity for me.

Pattern Recognition also led directly to being invited to write a book on Library Blogging, which will at long last be out this Spring. Another writing opportunity has presented itself as well, which will be announced in the next few weeks…I’m not at liberty to say quite yet, but if you want to read what I have to say, you’ll have at least one more place you can be sure to see me in 2008.

Most of the above isn’t thanks to anything special I’ve done, but instead thanks to the readers and comments on Pat Rec…thanks to everyone who takes time from their day to read me. I appreciate it more than I can adequately express, and hope that you’re getting some value for your time.

All in all, this crazy blog has done a lot for me. Here’s hoping the next 5 years are as auspicious as the last!

Collaboration and writing

So, Karen put up some of her thoughts on our collaborative adventure in writing a book over at LibraryWebChic, so I thought I’d follow up with my take on the ongoing quest to write.

We are a long way apart. Thankfully, we have leveraged online tools like nobody’s business. Here’s a short list of the whats and hows:

  • Google Docs: for initial writing, for sharing, for co-editing each others work. I’m quickly forgetting how I ever got things done without Google Docs.
  • Flickr: for the sharing of screenshots for insertion into our final documents. We’ve created a private group with only us as members, and that way either of us can just upload/download the pics we need. Flickr used to raise a stink about screenshots, but they actually have the option to label something a screenshot in the advance settings of their website upload tool now.
  • IM: for lots of communication, and logs that allow me to go back and check what I agreed to do. 🙂
  • del.icio.us: I’m using it for bookmarks to things I’m referencing, so that I can go back and build a more formal bibliography later. I’ve also thrown links at Karen that I think might be useful to her sections.

One of the more interesting things that I’ve found out has to do with personal communication style. I don’t like the phone, and prefer text-based communication (mainly because I can review it when I need to refresh my memory). Karen likes to talk on the phone, and hash things out that way. This far, we’ve done a combination of the two, and it’s worked well…I keep bugging her to upgrade her PowerBook to a MacBook so that we can iChat when we have questions, but so far, no go. 🙂

As Karen mentioned, the biggest problem we’ve had so far is the transporting of some of the “finished” chapters, with really large images inline and such. What I think we need is basically on online drop-box that we can both use, preferably with a fast pipe and a pretty ajaxy drag and drop interface.