This is not my beautiful house…

This site has undergone quite a change over the last couple of weeks, and for the purposes of me remembering and for the 2 people in the world who might be interested, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve done.

As part of moving servers, it became obvious that I needed to simplify my online structures fairly aggressively. Over the last decade or so, my personal web presence had expanded to include a personal homepage, a business page for my LLC, multiple project websites, a site for my daughter Eliza, and a handful of one-off landing pages for various short-lived things. 5 or so of these things lived in a WordPress Multiuser install, while another 2-3 were individual flat HTML sites. Moving that entire mess to a new server didn’t seem necessary nor wise, so I gave some thought to how best to move things without breaking old things.

What absolutely needed to be maintained was my main URL ( and the various subdirectories under it that had become meaningful over the years…primarily my main blog which has lived at for well over a decade now. The question then was, what to do with the other sites and posts that I’ve been maintaining for years? I briefly considered spinning up separate WordPress installs for each, and separating them out, but dismissed that for upkeep reasons. Too much work to keep it all secure. Moving everything over as a Multisite was a possibility, but that brought with it all the same complexity I wanted to try and get a bit away from, as well as being technically limiting on a few fronts because of the way I had routed the DNS for each site.

After some contemplation, I decided to export all of the posts from the variety of other blogs, and import them into my main blog, Pattern Recognition. I can import each blog with a different Author attached, and then use that to assign tags and categories that make it easy to create a link that filters to just that blog’s old entries, like so. This means there’s just the one “blog” and database structure behind it, and moving forward I can post just here…but the history of what I’ve written over the last 15 years or so is all saved and accessible.

While I’m certain there’s some things that are still broken (document links, etc) most everything seems to now be working ok. I’m solving problems under the hood with a combination of “put directories where old links expect them to be” and “abuse the hell out of .htaccess re-writing” so that hopefully lots of old links are terribly broken.

For a couple of the sites that really didn’t _need_ to be WordPress sites any longer, I just did a static export from WP and then uploaded them as flat HTML sites. Seems to be working. đŸ™‚

So this is my new home online! I am going to do my best to do a bit more writing here…I find myself wanting more of my effort to go to things I control, and not things I don’t like the broader social web.

For those of you who made it this far, here’s a fantastic performance by David Byrne. Thanks!

Digital Culture

What does a BoingBoing look like?

Just a few days ago, a post showed up on BoingBoing. For those of you who haven’t had this happen, it can be great (lots of people reading my stuff!) and terrible (the /. effect, aka: melty servers). I just looked back over my raw hits to see how much of a difference BoingBoing made. Here it is, in all its naked glory:


So I went from around 3000 hits a day to about 65,000 hits in a day. If your server isn’t ready for that, it can come as quite a shock. Luckily for me, Blake Carver and LISHost are amazing, and kept my blog up for the entire process.

Digital Culture

Reference as Help Desk

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few months as I worked through the website redesign at MPOW is how reference departments interact with patrons in the virtual world. In conjunction with the re-launch, we’re going live with our IM reference service, and re-visiting how we take virtual reference questions. As I think about how we do things, I realize I’m not happy with the overall way we’re dealing with email reference…it’s distributed, so there’s no single record that can be browsed for common questions. It’s not archived in a meaningfully searchable way. It’s not flexible. It requires us to manually forward emails and potentially miss a followup.

So in re-envisioning email reference in a new way, I realized that what I really wanted was a Help Desk/Trouble Ticket system. Is anyone out there using a formal Trouble Ticket system as a reference tool? Or, is anyone using one at all, in any capacity, and could recommend a good Open Source php/MySQL system?

I’m looking for something that presents a browser-based form for collection of issues, with a big plus if it also allows email reception into the system. Anyone got a favorite?

Digital Culture


The newest Web 2.0 tool in my expanding arsenal of webilicious goodness: CrazyEgg. With registration and a simple addition of a bit o’ code you get:

  • Individual click counts for every link on a page
  • A summary of a click data
  • And my personal favorite: an overlayed heat map

Pictures as soon as I get them. I’m using it for two sites, currently, and need to figure out where the code goes inside WordPress…not as easy to find the right place in the PHP. But I’ll get it working soon.

Library Issues

And yet more on the website redesign…

So, a bit of an update.

CMS? Check.
Install? Check.
Template? Check.

Got the rough template design done earlier this week, and while there will be lots of updates to it, the very rough structure is in place. Now it’s all about verifying the migration plan. We’ve got a test server that I’ve been doing all the experimenting on, and the question is now do we do content addition on the test server, or go ahead and move on the production server, with the risk that entails?

In the spirit of answering the question, I’m going to attempt to move my current Joomla installation to another spot on the server…fresh install, and then move the database over. We’ll see if that works, and that will answer the above question, I hope.

Next week? Actual, honest-to-god content migration begins! (I desperately hope…)

Library Issues

Website update #X

Well, we’ve decided to use Joomla in the library website redesign, and I’m in the process of messing with a raw template and pushing it into the direction we want to go. Found a really excellent template that is pure CSS…too many of the ones we looked at used Tables for structure. But I’ve got a pure CSS one that seems to render well in IE, and if I can just move it over to variable width rather than fixed, I’ll be set.

But the next week or two will be me = coding hell. Send cookies.

Digital Culture

Work work work

All work and no blog makes Jason a cranky boy.

I’ve been spending nearly all my available neurons on the website redesign and my upcoming ALA presentation. Doesn’t help that I have a trip right after ALA as well, so time is getting shorter on the website.

As an update for anyone interested: we’ve formally decided to go with Joomla as our CMS. The support seems good, the tool seems to do everything we need, and the final decision-maker was that it seems much more intuitive than Drupal. Also, the actual text-editing for adding content is far easier, richer, and more Word-like than Drupal, which is a big deal in a library where we are going to attempt to decentralize some of the content creation. Now we’re on to info-architecture and template design….wish me luck.

Master's Paper Personal

It’s you know where your sanity is?

Statistics for Master's paper - 3am, 03/29/04