Anything technological (soft or hardware). This includes all topics open source: Apache web-serving, Drupal, Ubuntu.

To blog or not to blog...

It's been all quiet on my blog for quite some time, so I thought I should make a post. I should blame school for this, but the fact of the matter is that I am just not so certain as to what direction to take this blog. I know I have the whole "technical progress" thing, which is fun, but doesn't fill what I am hungry for.

I do have my family, and ultra-personal things I could publish here, which I could do for hours, but I think I rather keep some things from the public arena. I also feel like I betray privacy when I get out to blog about my family. I suppose I am feeling out what I am comfortable publishing here on that level. I also feel there is only egotism involved in blogging about myself, and believe you me, my ego is pretty big as it is.
Socio-Political? This is easy. Almost toooooo easy. Seriously, who wants another rant-blog/opinion piece collection? I have some very strong opinions and ideas there, some bordering on the anarcho-communist, and some not quite so extreme. But I want to put out GOOD ideas, not just Angry ideas, and it seems that most political blogs are either angry or bereft with tunnel-vision. That is certainly not what I want to appear as. I think I might open up some forum space for that. I know there is ONE reader interested in that sort of EXCHANGE.

And here we have it, EXCHANGE. The platform I am using for this site is based off of communal exchange, community building, not just blogging or serving up the occasional media file. Exchange. This is what Drupal is good for. And I don't mean the blase` social networking sites like facebook or myspace. While they have their place, it seems that while they benefit from and, in a very nominal way enhance social bonds, they seem to me to be not much more than predatory spaces doing little more than exploiting existing social relationships and providing space for egocentrical expression without providing a means to, or encouraging the exchange of socially relevant content.

Let me explain that: social networking sites capitalize on pre-existing relationships and affiliations to build a user base. In essence they do nothing more than attempt to take the place of the "face" of the relationship, to become the channel in which the relationship is expressed without actually providing any new content. You see, it does nothing new and nothing more than attempt to exploit people's ego and egotism. While this is fine for them, and I am sure has its place...somewhere... What I would like to see, and would love to be a part of is something entirely different. Some thing which does not simply take advantage of existing networks, but promotes the formation of NEW networks based on the EXCHANGE of socially relevant, substance based CONTENT.

Another way to view these two differing ideas is to look at them as recipies which create similar dishes. In one, you start with pre-existing social networks, and you add an avenue of egocentric expression, and you get an online community. The other you start by promoting substance based content, provide an avenue of relating the content to other pieces of content, and you get a totally new community. Drupal is a brilliant platform for this. Community building based off of content, and the exchange of relevant content. Substance, not ego.

I think that is why it has been so quiet around here this month. I am looking to build a substance based site, with a focus on community and the exchange of relevant content. So I have been really muling over the direction I want. Really trying to keep things from being "all about me", and trying to brew up a good direction that still leaves the site open-ended enough to take on new avenues of thought and expression.

I want ideas to live and grow here, not just ego.

I could now go into a piece about how I think that the contrast between substance and ego is the very thing that is spurring degradation of our culture, our politics and our lives in general...but I will not. I will, perhaps, work on that as an opinion piece, and give it its own little place to live. I will leave it at that for now.

So, it seems as if the content here, is the concept of content itself. H'm. Content based content. Stop. In the end all things degrade down into nothingness. So, in the spirit of the totally confusing nature of thing/nothingness, I now have a blog/site which is content based in its intent, but has absolutely no direction for that content. In other words, it is a site for substantial ideas, not egos...but it is about nothing in particular and is totally fine with a purely egocentric expression, just so long as the egotism comes after the substance in the content, and doesn't try to create substance in order to validate the ego into content. Well, it makes sense to me...

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I've been hit!!!

LATVIA! Yes, you know who you are!

These guys keep hitting my guestbook with all sorts of spam, so I thought I would publish their Latvian ip addresses, and the fact that they use (check this out) windows 95!! Yeah...somehow being spammed from a Win95 box is sexy...and dirty...and...I think I need a shower.
That clinches it, I am now a REAL site, being discovered and hit by some spammer in Latvia...yes, this solidifies me, this makes me real.

UPDATE: I am now using the excellent troll and captcha modules to prevent spam and ban users i don't like :) too bad those fellows from Latvia won't be able to see the news!!!

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Blogging Visibility

Ok, so in an effort to improve my blog's visibility, and the site's visibility in general, I am using technorati. My profile being a typical Technorati Profile.
What else have I done? Well, there is a module called "XML sitemap" that allows you to submit the sitemap with google, microsoft, yahoo, and the like every time you run cron, and I registered the site with google. I've also been linking to this thing from everywhere I can (my Ubuntu and Launchpad profiles, different social networking profiles, etc) and if this is not enough, which it is not, I plan on registering the site with Drupal, just have to get a site slogan and mission statement down first.

And why do all of this? Easy, when my people google "clearvision" or "joshp's blog" i really would like this to be in the top 10. It sort of makes me feel special, and we all like to feel special.

if anyone out there reading this has any tricky ways to be more visible, share thine wealth of knowledge and use the comments!

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Panic Moment

What do you do when you try to access your drupal site from school and all you get are blank white pages with no source and the absence of any 404 error or whatever? You promptly go outside, and smoke a dozen cigarettes, unless you just quit, then you clench your teeth together and freak out as quietly as you can.

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Almost sold out...

Well, I almost did it. As a matter of fact, I did do it, for a little bit...I sold out.

One of the reasons I made this site was to stay away from using any 3rd party hosted services. I wanted to be able to host my own site, with my own blog, calendar, forums, picture gallery, and anything else (the promise of a podcast or webcast, a streaming radio station...all sorts of things sound like fun, right?).

Something nice about having it all right here, on my own server, my own connection, my own installation.

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Progress...for the record (or "what makes ClearVision Community posible")

Ok, so here is a list of all of the things I have up, in order:


Give credit where credit is due! Without the free services and packages provided by these guys and gals, I would not have my little corner on the net, not to mention the countless (and sometimes thankless) howto's, forum posts and irc chats that have been there to help me out along the way!

Long live open source!

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Brighter Light

Well, a few posts back there I had the pure pleasure of blogging about not being able to return to school next semester due to some clerical issue blah blah blah. Well, I am happy to say that I found a way around this little blunder, and what I took to be cause for major alarm turned out to be nothing but the equivalent of...say, a very minor alarm? Yes, a very minor alarm indeed. One simple form filled out and all wounds were instantly healed. Looks like I'll be back in there in a few weeks, but only 6 credit hours, time to make some money! Do read on...

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