New-Old Subscribers

It was brought to my attention that WordPress.com now has a tool to transfer subscribers from there to a self-hosted blog running Jetpack. So, I pooped on over and gave it a shot and it looks like it actually brought some folks over here from my (abandoned) account there. It’s not the several hundred or so that got lost in limbo when Support ran a similar tool last year, but hey, it’s not nothing!

So, welcome back new-old friends. It’s been awhile, no?

Goodbye, LJ

On the heels of my nattering on about blogging and my lack thereof, I received an email informing me that LiveJournal has deleted my account.1

It’s amusing to me that it took them some 7 years to finally get around to noticing the complete lack of activity I’ve had on my old blog there. But I guess the clincher was that I sort of locked myself out of my account about two years ago and never bothered to fix that. Oops. Still, it’s kind of bittersweet for me. LJ was my first blogging home and I have met some pretty awesome friends through the community there. Except, like me, they’ve all basically abandoned LJ for other haunts like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.2 Then again, I had one foot out the door of LJ long before they were bought and then later sold by Six Apart so I don’t know why the email was even a little jarring to me. I guess it’s just the finality of it. Like Geocities shutting down, this is yet another piece of my Internet beginnings that will no longer be a part of my life.

Anyway, if for some ridiculous reason you’ve been looking for me over there, this is just to say the obvious: I haven’t been around and I won’t be coming back. Sorry. Really though there’s just too many other places to be. Even sometimes places that have nothing to do with a keyboard and a monitor. I know, it’s crazy!

  1. There’s still a syndicated feed if you actually still use LJ and for some reason insist on reading my blog via them.
  2. And, of course, I barely use all of those.

WordCamp San Francisco

The WP Accessibility group had a metope at this year’s WordCamp San Francisco, which I sadly wasn’t able to attend. But I did find these videos from  a few short presentations they gave. You can check out more at WordPress.tv if you are so inclined — and of course, join us at the Make WordPress Accessible site.

The Problem with Blogging

Over the weekend I queried the Internet about how to make the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival1 a success and in doing so it brought to light my own personal issues with participating and blogging in general.

Let’s face it, the Internet is an entirely different beast than it was in 2000 when I first set up my little slice of the great WWW on LiveJournal. Blogs were basically personal journals that just happened to be public. And like the Internet itself, they were considered a fad. For me, and many others, they were exactly the thing we needed. A place to pour out our streams of consciousness and share life with family, friends, and/or any interested party behind a computer screen.

An aluminum keyboard with white chiclet style keysNowadays blogs are so many things: sources of news and entertainment, resources of information, etc. The average blog with any real presence has some focus to it and the personal journal has all but died out. Social media has a lot to do with this. It’s much easier to natter on about random daily life in short snippets than find the time to write an entire article. What seems to push this shift is that even commenting has moved over to social media. The back-and-forth is more convenient, but with the comment section’s where the interaction occurs and it’s also a large source of generating traffic to and from a blog.

So where do I fit in with all this? I’ve never really had a specific focus to my blog — and I have absolutely zero intention of turning it into one. I never set out to be the best or most popular blogger, especially since I’m forever amazed that anyone finds me interesting enough to read. It’s probably why I’ve never particularly minded that more often than not I feel like I’m blogging in the void. And yet even though I’m admittedly a rather lazy social media user, even I have slowly gravitated towards using it.

The big roadblock for me has been an almost oppressive lack of desire to blog. At first it was just that I lacked anything inspiring to share.2 It didn’t alarm me since I’d gone through it a fair few times before. Eventually, it became clear to me this wasn’t a typical dry spell because when I did have something I felt like sharing I still wasn’t writing. Sometimes I’d try and it just felt stale and ludicrously pointless. This was partly because writing about the frustration and stress in my life was only heightening those issues for me, but I also know now these things were were some of the first clues I was slipping into major depression.

I’ve been out of that black cloud for several months now and so the question remains why the lack of blogging? Honestly, I don’t have the answer to that. I do know that my time on the Internet has largely been spent searching for a new job. It’s time-consuming in a way that you only understand if you’re in the same situation. It also makes me want to spend any moment not engaged in job-searching away from the computer. There’s also the intermittent issues I’ve had with pain and stiffness that make it difficult at times to be at my keyboard.

Mostly, I think it’s just that I simply got out of the habit, which you would might think would be easily rectified. I’m finding, however, that is far from the case and quite honestly I’m not sure why.

  1. Presently, the Internet has responded with only silence.
  2. Champion rambler that I am, even I can only prattle on about nothing for so long.

Vale Cemetery and Park

Yesterday Uschi and I took advantage of the utterly glorious weather and walked around Vale Cemetery and Park.

Paved walkway in Vale Park covered with fallen leaves

Unlike a lot of the other parks around the Capital District, Vale is incredibly peaceful. Aside from an ambulance siren I heard somewhere off in the distance it was easy to forget we were in downtown Schenectady. Actually pretty much the only sounds I heard were the various critters in the brush, presumably running away from Uschi. And except for one rather daring squirrel, my sometimes very animal-distracted guide dog was completely focused on her job.

Along the path to the main cemetery we passed by one of the more rural burial sites, which caught Uschi’s attention only because a couple were walking around down there.

Uschi looking through a wooden fence at a set of graves in Vale Park

We continued on and walked through the main cemetery before the sun started to set and the air got just a bit too chilly to be comfortable. It was a shame since Uschi was being so cooperative I thought I might finally get a chance to check out some of the graves.

Maybe next year I’ll go on one of the walking tours.