After months of tinkering, troubleshooting, and sloth, I have finally upgraded the site. And while it may not look fancy and sparkly, this was a very major overhaul, and I’m glad to have it somewhat finished.
But first let me give you some highlights on what’s new, improved, different, and missing…
Faster — First off, the site should be much faster. This is mostly due to database changes, but also in some part due to a change of venue. Before this, the site was always hosted on my own server, which of course is now horribly out of date, coughing and wheezing, begging for death. The server ran out of my basement for the first four years when I lived in town, but for the past year has been running out of Josh’s house since I’m still waiting on that rural broadband initiative to come my way. But between the paid hosting and improved backend, hopefully you’ll notice faster load times.
Avatars — Changing your avatars is simpler. Directions are on the FAQ page, but essentially if you edit your profile the spot for uploading and applying your own avatar is more obvious. As always though, please keep your avatars at a reasonable image size, like 110px square. If you don’t know how to crop and resize an image get an 8 year old to help you.
Images in comments — Comments have always been able to handle images, but you are now being entrusted with the ability to add pictures to your comments yourself instead of having to get me to do it for you. Again, please use common sense and don’t go adding murals to your comments. If you have a large picture and don’t know how to resize it or don’t have time, just paste a link to it in your comment like you used to do and I’ll take care of it.
Comment cross-referencing — In my opinion, the biggest piece of new functionality is the comment cross-reference feature. At the top of each comment, beside the user’s name, is a link to view that user’s other comments. If you click on that link you’ll see a list of comments made by that user, sorted by thread. You can then choose to view the other comments in context if you wish. This feature is also available from the new Users page, which lists users who have contributed to the site and links to their content.
Edit comments — You can now edit your own comments. You have a specific window of time to do so, and this is due to the fact that someone else may quickly reference your comment and I’m sure they’d like their words to remain relevant. But you should have plenty of time to fix little things like spelling mistakes and to add links you forgot, etc.
As with most things on the Internet, Flickr can be very fun, provided that you have a fast enough connection and stay out of the seedier nooks and crannies. Randomly browsing strangers’ photos may sound creepy, but we’re all a little creepy. And besides, that’s why they’re available. If people didn’t want us looking at pictures of their travels, birthdays, and family reunions, they wouldn’t put them online, or they would at least have a 14-year old teach them basic access control.
I’m not starting a new thread to encourage your voyeuristic tendencies though, but to house links to interesting pictures found on photo-sharing sites (although I suppose this could also become a catch-all for all discovered images in general).
To get you started, try searching Flickr for your birth year. My search turned up this beauty shown here.
Anyway, go ahead and let yourself randomly flip through strangers’ online photo albums, tinker with searches, and post any interesting finds here.
And also, if any of you have legitimate albums of your own (on Flickr or elsewhere), feel free to share those too.
Male, 33 years old
Mood: breezy (insert smilie)
They say we are social creatures, that social interaction is vital to healthy development, both emotionally and even cognitively. Some of us may instinctively be wallflowers or loners who crave space; some are “cat people.” But regardless of personality, despite the fact that some are satisfied in their state of seeming social ineptitude, beyond preference and comfort, somewhere Rick Springfield calls from 1983, reminding us that we all need the human touch. This is ingrained, we interact with others of our kind, it’s our nature.
The problem is this: the real world provides me with no convenient and accurate way to tally my total friend count for self-validation; when I interact with a person in real life, I’m required to interpret their current disposition; it is literally impossible for me to carry on a conversation in full view and within earshot of every person I know and countless people I don’t know, completely ignoring their disinterest in the dialogue; in real life sharing my every move — regardless of how minute and mundane — and assuming it is of interest to people comes off a little arrogant. (And this is coming from a guy with his own website.)
This is where online social networking comes in. Sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow you to do all of the above, and all from the comfort of your couch or toilet. And not only that, due to your peers’ desire to increase their popularity through total number of displayed friends, these sites can allow you to “be friends” with people who would never speak to you in real life (hence my online relationship with Ms. Pam Beesly). So it’s no wonder so many of us are glued to our screens and exchanging LOLs instead of meeting in person and laughing and clapping each other on the back. Online you can be seemingly popular but without spending the time, money and energy required by a real social life.
As I approach my *cough*33rd*cough* birthday, I’m reminded of how old you’re all getting. And with age comes the crotchety, “back in my day” attitude, a longing for the way things used to be, and bull-headed resistance to the new-and-improved. But I think discussing such things is good for the humors, and I’d like to use the outdated technology that’s running my site to give you the opportunity to do just that.
So this can be a thread for “boy, am I getting old” ponderings, but I specifically wanted to keep track of things that just aren’t the same anymore. So changes in technology, trends, outdated versus new ways of doing things, etc. This is as broad as it sounds, so feel free to toss in anything that seems like it might fit.
But for example, here are a few things that just aren’t the same anymore:
The memoir is dying. People don’t communicate via letters anymore. So who will compile my correspondence and publish my memoirs, thus thoroughly invading my privacy long after I’ve died? This is why I’ve saved all of my email since my very first account, and why I was very glad to see Google start the “near unlimited” space trend for mail users, hopefully encouraging people to hang on to their messages. Email will be the new memoir, folks, so don’t delete after you read. Some day you’ll enjoy rooting back through your correspondence and reading your old mail, even though you’ll be senile at that point and have no idea who any of these people are. And keeping your mail will also be very helpful to the authorities after you go berserk and murder all those shriners at the state fair. “The butter cow told me to do it,” you’ll say, but the messages you sent to your other personality will be vital in proving the innocence of that delicious, creamy heifer.
Have you all heard of the Craigslist? It’s a useful classifieds site if you wanna sell or buy something, are looking for a job or apartment, shopping for a mate, etc. Craigslist can also be very entertaining since it’s an open mic to everyday freaks. If you’ve ever browsed the Best Of or tried to sell something on CL and received replies, I’m sure you know what I mean.
So for a while I’ve had this idea in my head to submit fake personals to CL and post any humorous replies here. But then I started thinking that it might be more fun if it’s somehow interactive for you folks, and that’s when the Mad Libs part of the idea popped into my head. Here’s how I see the “project” working:
Each round you guys give me words that I have to use in my Craigslist ad. You’re allowed to contribute one word (please be good to me — I have to actually be able to construct an ad out of this) and you won’t know what kind of ad I’ll place or in what city. Once I’ve closed the round from further submissions from you, I’ll do my best to create an ad using your suggestions. After I’ve placed the ad I’ll post it here and also include a link to it on CL. I’ll then post any exceptional replies (removing any personal information, of course) for your viewing pleasure. Rinse, repeat.
You’re also welcome to share interesting CL posts, tell us about experiences you’ve had with personals yourself, or suggest general content or ad types for me to use, although I won’t promise I will. Of course most of the success of The CLML Project will rely on the responses of the public, so we’ll see how it goes…
Between work and friends, I have a ton of IM “buddies” — covering SameTime, AIM, and Yahoo! — so I see a lot of status messages. Most are practical, simply letting folks know what they’re doing at the moment, some are simply the default “Online” or “Away.” Many are clever though, and I wish I’d started keeping track of the good ones a long time ago.
So maybe it interests no one other than myself, but if you want to share any custom status msgs that you use frequently, or if you encounter any particularly good ones, post them here for all to enjoy. (Don’t post actual IM nicks though, just for privacy’s sake.)
I wanted to make a spot here to keep track of good online games. I know some of you just push papers around at work so you’d probably appreciate having a little collection of time killer links listed here.
I’ve had this queued up for a long time, thinking I’d go back and compile a nice list of all the online games I’ve ever been obsessed with, but I’m a slacker and it would probably be better to just start this thread so we can all pick at it little by little and add links here and there.
So if you’ve got a good online game link, let’s have it. We’ve posted links to sites/games in the past, so if it makes sense I’ll be moving any related comments here. (If you posted one before and I haven’t remembered and moved it over, please go ahead and repost the link in a new comment here.)
When man tried to build a tower to the heavens, God confused the world by introducing the language barrier. Of course this alone would never stifle man’s arrogance and prevent other unified attempts to spit in God’s eye, since eventually this barrier would be broken (exception: Wendy’s drive-thru). But God’s plan was complex and altogether perfect, as it introduced more than just different languages, but also silly accents.
Yes, eventually all nations would learn God’s favoured language (English), but along the way various comical accents would creep in as a result of these other tongues. Although man could eventually understand each other again, no further work could be accomplished on projects similar to the Tower of Babel because those involved just spent all of their time making fun of each other’s way of speaking. This is no surprise to you if you’ve ever met a Scotsman, walked in a 7-Eleven, seen a grown man wrestle a crocodile, heard the Bow Bells, or visited the Deep South. We are simply required to spend our time mocking some things.
So God did confuse the language of the world, but more importantly, He distracted man with something new and rich with which to make fun of each other.
And so I present to you, the accent thread…
This is another thread that I’ve been meaning to start for a long time, but the placeholder’s just sat here, waiting for some inspiration. Well I’ve received no inspiration, but it is time for a new post, even if it’s a half-hearted one. So this is what you get…
We all receive emails for stock tips, weight loss, online degrees, and penis pills and the like, but I worry that we don’t all get to enjoy the same ones. Al-Qaeda goes to great lengths to package their coded communique in the topics that interest us, the western recipient, so we should feel free to share some of the finer, more confusing examples.
No, don’t start forwarding me all of your spam. Just post excerpts of some of the funnier ones, or maybe examples of extreme language barrier. I’ve encountered some real works of art in the past and would like to keep track of them. So now your spam can do more than just sit in your junk mail folder.