The Great Purging

Today, well, really it was yesterday but whatever. Today, I began the great purging of themes. Having already decided to let go of some domains that I had had for many years and had never done anything with them, I have now decided to get rid of the great many poorly written and coded themes that I have been using on my remaining sites.

Specifically, I’m getting rid of the StudioPress themes that I have been using. I mean, sure I should have gotten rid of them because they belong to what amounts to nothing more than an anal cyst, but when I acquired the themes, they were not owned by that person so I felt OK in continuing to use the themes.

I’m getting rid of the StudioPress themes because they are poorly written. The more I learn about coding and website hosting etc. the more I’ve come to realize just how poorly coded the themes actually are. Don’t get me wrong, they are nice looking themes, and they are getting better and better looking as time goes by, but behind the scenes, they are not Scottish, they are crap.

Specifically, I do not like that the theme hardcodes the hosting user name into the database every single chance it gets. Why is that a pain in the ass? Because should you change hosting, or should your hosting username change, you are left with an essentially useless installation that will take you hours upon hours to fix. All because the developer was lazy and hard coded the path to certain folders into the database instead of using variable links.

It’s stupid, and lazy and I’m done trying to fix their mistakes and their awful and lazy coding. Don’t fret, StudioPress is not the only company that does this, Thesis theme does this same crap too. I suggest avoiding them both.

The domain cut list

The beauty of my little self blogging challenge, is that it made me take a hard look at all of my domains and decide which ones I wanted to keep and which ones I wanted to get rid of. That was really the whole purpose behind the thing.

The more I read “Steal Like An Artist,” the more I realize how little I want to keep doing some of the things that I’ve been doing for a few years now.

For instance, I’m pretty much over Twitter now. I’m ready for the next thing. I’m also getting tired of Tumblr and Facebook too. I understand the necessity of those platforms, but as far as my love affair with them, it’s definitely over.

There’s another factor weighing in on the end of my love affair. I’ve been in training the last week and a half. I’ve been learning a lot about web hosting, SEO, Linux admin and other things. While in training, I’m not allowed to get online and use any social media for anything, except for a couple of 15 minute breaks.

During those breaks, my desire to “check in” has steadily declined. My desire to blog on some of my blogs, has also declined. My desire to keep certain properties around after the domain name registration expires, has also declined.

I just don’t have the time, nor do I have the desire to spend my time doing things that bring me no pleasure or joy. Specially if I’m doing those things for free and on my own time.

I have a great idea for a zombie book, and quite frankly, if I’m going to spend anytime working on something, I want to spend it doing something that brings me a modicum of pleasure or joy. Nodamene?

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest today, so I can get to sleep and get on with things.

I don’t know if I’ll be blogging less here or not, but I do know that I’ll be spending even less time on twitter, tumblr and facebook in the foreseeable future.

Amplify Shuts Down

My online buddy Navo tipped me off that Amplify had shutdown the other day. I went over there and sure enough, I was greeted by this:

I used to like Amplify, I liked them a lot. But then, they made some changes that I did not like, which made me stop using the site as much as I used to. Actually, I stopped using the site altogether.

It used to be a great place that you could find out about cool stuff to look at online, then you could comment on it and “amplify” the message to your own followers. I had over 1000 followers on there when I stopped using it, so I had invested a good amount of time and effort over there.

Ultimately, the changes Amplify made, made it too easy for spammers to automate their messaging and then it all pretty much went downhill from there.

I really enjoyed the early days of Amplify, but not so much the middle and end days.

I never did get much traffic from Amplify to here, but I did get some decent content from there. Now I need to decide how to find a way to find all of that content and change the dead links.

Here’s the bottom line with Amplify: They had it right at first, then they got it wrong and by the time they corrected course, it was too late.

They’d lost their early adopters to tumblr, which pretty much lets you do the same thing that Amplify used to let you do which is to find and share great content online.

The bottom line for you, is that whenever you have the option to create something that runs on someone else’s platform, you always run the risk of losing all of your work. You lose your work either when that other service goes belly up or when they decide to change policies and they end up leave you out in the cold.

Were you on Amplify? Did you lose a lot of content when they went belly up?

Weird Austin Blog

I had a weird dream last night. In the dream, I owned or ran a “weird Austin blog.” Basically, I would ride around Austin in a bike or in my car looking for weird “Austin” things to photograph and to write about.

I was going to photograph a guy that had a weird business that was able to exist because the City of Austin passed an ordinance that made it technically legal to piss in the street as long as you were being towed in a cage like structure. So this dude built a cage with hexagonal doors so that people could stand inside and pee while being driven around town.

This guy would drive around 6th street on the weekends or during festivals etc. and people would pay him a few bucks to get towed around so they could pee in the street.

I was there, not just to photograph the carrier, but also to talk about the controversy generated by it being a standing room only contraption. There were some women that were upset that they could not use the “porta-pisser” unless they could pee standing up.

Here’s a sketch of what the device looked like in my dream:

After much deliberation, it turns out that the city wrote the ordinance in such a way that having seating in the apparatus that was going to be towed would make the contraption illegal. There was no way around it. If a woman wanted to use the contraption, she had to pee standing up.

They compromised by making a Shewee type device available for women to use so they could use the porta pisser too. Everyone left the meeting happy, and I got my photograph and story for the blog.

Yeah, I have weird dreams from time to time.