The Story Is Key

Years ago, I started blogging because I had moved away from home and wanted those I knew and loved to know what I was up to, things I’d done, and that I was, in fact, okay. (The grand irony in that belief is that I wasn’t, in fact, okay, and that this blog made that pretty clear to everyone but me.)

In the years that followed, these stories started to give way to my “professional” life, and the need to publicize my own wisdom and knowledge and bla bla bla. Yeah, I soapboxed a lot. Most of it, when I read it now, makes me feel ill. Because that’s not what I really wanted to do — I did it because I felt I had to.

It’s high time to get back to story-telling.

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Things I learned by leaving social media

On 8 November 2016, Americans elected their new president, whom I hope to never have to publicly acknowledge. That night, I came to a rather painful conclusion: I needed to abandon social media for a while.
In this particular election, the media had (unwittingly, foolishly, stupidly, or all of the above) enabled a level of insipid, unchecked banter that intelligence and logic were utterly cast aside in favour of whomever had the best catchphrase. Basically, a Hollywood political satire come to life. Very real, very painful life.
It hurt so bad that I had to turn it off.
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2011, A Year In Review

I like long years. Really. Yes, I complain about when things seem to drag out far longer than they should, or if I’m busting my arse far harder than I think I should. That’s part of being human, no? In the end, though, I like long years because I get to look back and not worry about how quickly time has flown by. Time should never fly by quickly — it means I’ve missed something, and … well, darn it, I just hate missing things!
This last year was a big one for me in one major way: it was a redefinition of my professional existence. Since the end of 2009, I’ve transformed from a professional manager to a … hmm … well, my title (however formal it needs to be) is “Solutions Lead”, but that belies a lot of what I do every day, and just using “web developer” or “programmer” — even with a “Senior” prefix — completely understates the reality. This year was really about taking all the skills and knowledge I’d acquired as a leader, and merging that back into my day-to-day development practices.
And that, as the saying goes, was only the tip of the iceberg…
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True story

As you know, I’m going to be moving back to Calgary in December. The exact timing for that is still being determined, but let’s just go with the broad stroke: we have a lot of stuff that needs to be done as part of moving back.
One of those things — rather obvious to anyone who’s ever been responsible for their own utilities — is making sure that the electricity, gas, and water are put back in our names. And there’s no time like the present to do the research about services, plans, companies, and so forth.
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20 years of blogging (and Post #1,000)

Well, okay, not so much “blogging” as journaling, but most of them are now online for everyone to ignore.
Twenty years ago, I got to do something that (comparatively) very few westerners got to do, and will never get to do again: I went behind the Iron Curtain. I visited the (former) Soviet Union. Believe it or not, the journey was a field trip, organised by one of the teachers in my school board. We had to do prerequisite classwork and had to write two length reports, all of which added up to academic credits.
And we had to write a journal.
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Blog or Die

There’s been a lot of talk lately about people saying you shouldn’t blog anymore. The arguments seem to break into two categories:

The problem with these arguments is that they’re missing the big picture, and that’s presence. Namely, your presence (either your company or yourself) on the internet.
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Web Analytics Porn

So this morning, I’m scanning through my Twitter feeds on Twhirl, and I came across a rather interesting note by Dave Fleet, which said:

@cspenn planning to install it tonight. Waiting for the confirmation email. Long-winded installation process!

Things like that tend to pique my curiousity. I’m a curious person. So I decided to see what Christopher Penn had wrote about it. I quote:

OMFG. Just installed Woopra and it really is web analytics porn.

That just sooooo necessitated a look-see.
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ScribbleLive: Live Blogging Done Right!

Late last month, I had the chance to go to the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. On behalf of my co-workers, I blogged notes from the event to make sure that they had the benefit of getting the information in as much detail as could be effectively provided. (Of course, Scott Schiller out-did me on the day he was there, and recorded the audio on his MiniDisc system. But I digress.)
My major issue was the blogging. It’s tough to write down the notes, and ensure that they all get posted properly. WordPress lost connection at one point and I lost my notes. I was peeved, to say the least. Ideally, it would be blog each point as it came up. But that looks dumb in WordPress. And I knew of no other tool that did it well.
Until now…
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