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Embrace your blog, you own it

There are a zillion blogs out there, and it may seem like your own, little independent blog will just get lost.

So, the allure of writing for another site, perhaps for someone else perhaps more established than you, may seem to be the best way to go.

It isn't. Unless they are paying you well for your work, don't, I repeat don't, write for someone else's site/blog. If you want to maintain your own voice, and have full control over your own content, create your own.

The worst thing any blogger can do is to go write for another site, for no/minimal pay, and with no clear agreement over who controls the blog.

Retrieve closed tabs in Firefox 2.0

This is as much a note to myself as anything else, but Firefox 2.0 has a great feature for people like me who tend to browse with ten gazillion tabs open. If you accidentally close one tab, or several, by mistake and you want to bring them back, you can do so by pressing Shift-Cmd-T on OS X or Shift-Ctrl-T on Windows. They'll reappear in the order you closed them.

If you close a whole window though, you can't retrieve the closed tabs in that window in another window with the key combination (though, as Riccardo points out in the comments you can reopen them from the History).

One of many little features of Firefox 2.0 that keeps it eons ahead of the annoying in so many ways IE 7.

Lots and lots of 404s for old content

If you have visited the old pages of this site following links, even links within the site, you would have noticed a ton of 404 (Page not found) errors.

As I've said previously, I did not switch over all the old pages to the new Drupal installation, so this has nothing to do with Drupal.

This is due to one really annoying 'feature' of Movable Type - URLs are not kept in the database. (Since it's not in the database, it doesn't make it to the text backup file either. Incidentally this also applies to Typepad.)

My food blog as a blog lab

This is part one of a possible series of posts where I ruminate on food blogs, mine in particular, and the food blogging world in general.

This here is a personal blog, and as such I never intend to have Adsense ads or similar on it. (I do use Amazon associate links to link to books and media.) My food blog, I was just really very hungry (or simply Just Hungry) on the other hand is monetized in several ways. It has Amazon associate links, an Amazon astore, Google Adsense ads, affiliate ads, and so on.

It's not that the objective of the site is to make money (it's more of a therapeutic thing, to get the obsession I have with food out of my system), but I monetize it in large part because I'm very interested in seeing how the various monetization schemes work, especially when it comes to blogs. And, I think a blog with a non-tech focus is the best place to see what's going on.

You probably think this blog is about you, don't you

The classic song by Carly Simon, "You're so vain", has this chorus:

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

It often comes to mind when I am trying to write things. I find that a surprising number of people in my life read my online writing, including clients. Once before, I ran into some trouble with one when I wrote something that the client took to be a dig at them (I won't specify which post that was). I assured them that it wasn't, but the whole incident did make me a bit wary about just writing what was on my mind without a lot of thought about it.

Voting in absentia

For the last major U.S. elections, in 2004, I made sure to be in my home state of New York to cast my vote, even though it was fairly sure that my one vote would not make a difference in the outcome. New York was never going to vote for George Bush.

Still, it felt good to go to the local fire station with my sister and do the deed.

This year, I knew I couldn't make it to the U.S. in November, and I didn't bother to make the effort to vote in absentia. I feel a bit guilty about this but I knew that again, my district on Long Island, The Senate seat was safe for Hillary, my Congresswoman won by a big margin, and I don't care much about state senate races beyond whether they are doing a good job. The problem with voting overseas is that your vote gets counted (or so they say) weeks after the election results have been declared. You sort of feel out of it by then. Of course, if any critical races had been in question or I'd been in a state or district with a swing vote, I would have made that effort.

Vox has opened up unlimited invites

(A post that's been sitting around here for a week due to site tinkering...)

I have been using Vox for some time now. It's a great low-pressure casual blogging platform. It's a lot like Live Journal, but much prettier, and with different features. It makes me wonder what SixApart intends to do with LiveJournal, but I'm sure a lot more qualified pundits can speculate in a more informed way about this.

Relinqishing control

There used to be a time when I would try to style every web page to within a pixel of its life.

Every list had to have custom bullets or different borders and rollover effects. Every widget had to stand out. I would spend long hours trying to force styling of form elements.

But now I want things to be simpler.

Still working on it....

I am still fiddling with backend stuff so some areas are not as they should be. But I've decided to bring the site live, otherwise I'd tinkering with it forever.

Woohoo, new site finally

After long weeks of creating and discarding several designs (mainly at the scribble stage), getting distracted with other things, and fiddling around with various blogging systems and CMSes and so on, the site is reborn.

some of my flickr photos


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