Friday, July 18, 2008

the unexamined navel yields nothing but lint

My web presence is too scattered, and lacks focus.

Besides this weblog, I have two others on Blogspot - Harmonic Ratio and Cultibotics - both of which suffer from neglect.

I also have accounts on The WELL and MobileMe (formerly .Mac), both of which come with the option of publishing a collection of web pages.

I cut my web-authoring teeth on The WELL, under a previous login, and have long considered my WELL homepage to be my primary foothold on the web, if only because it's been there, at the same address, for about ten years now, and despite that I no longer put the effort into it I once did.

When Apple opened it's iTools online service, I signed up. Then, when Apple transformed iTools into the .Mac paid service, I chose to give it a try and stayed with it for the first year, only later deciding it wasn't worth $99/year to me as it existed at that time. In 2005 I signed up again, and have kept a .Mac account continuously since on the theory that it wouldn't be long before it was worth that $99/year, and the desire to have an established presence when that happened. If .Mac was arguably still not worth the price last month, it's hard to argue that its replacement, MobileMe hasn't crossed that threshold, or at least that it won't have once the dust settles. On the other hand, at least for the moment, there continues to be some ambiguity whether transformed .Mac accounts are in fact accounts hosted on, or whether they are accounts which retain addresses as aliases. This might seem a trivial point, but I'm finding it unsettling.

I did, briefly have a few simple web pages on my .Mac account, and had pointed the domain to it, with the intention of dedicating it to that purpose, but I've since both removed the files and canceled the domain name association. I will probably, eventually, make use of MobileMe's web publishing services, but for more personal use, in keeping with the design of the system. The domain is simply parked for now; it both needs and deserves a more ambitious implementation than I've thus far found the enthusiasm to create. The Cultibotics blog is a poor stand-in for what that project should really be, but it allows me the opportunity to blow off steam in that direction when I need to.

The Harmonic Ratio blog, on the other hand, is appropriate to both the scale and significance of the project it represents.

I could go on, by identifying other systems on which I have accounts, but doing so seems pointless.

The point here is that I'd really rather be involved with fewer different systems, rather than more. That's not likely to actually happen, as each of the systems I've identified above (including the still-to-be-determined host of contributes something valuable, but it rankles to be as spread out as I have become and, short of having acquired a personal domain and server years ago, could hardly have avoided becoming.

There's probably some personality type which this flags me as being. I like to keep my involvements manageably few in number and the quality of my participation relatively high. This doesn't strike me as a problem, except as it can be difficult to pull off.

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