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Your Blog is Not a Community

Most blogs consist of one person commenting on the world, and a whole bunch of people passing by, spending five minutes to skim several posts, and perhaps making a comment or two. These people move on to never return, and they are replaced by more people who in turn do the same.

While blogs are typically considered more communal than typical websites, they may in fact be less so. Other websites have forums which receive hundreds of posts per day from established and respected members. That is a community. Blogs have comments. If you’re lucky (like with this blog), they are threaded with email notifications. This has the potential for community building, as people may make comments, reply to other comments, and return to reply again. However, it generally does not create community. Most people still visit once and only once.

Some bloggers try adding a forum. I did this, and the sad reality is that you will get no participation. For every 100 people that visit your website, one person will make a comment. And for every 100 people who comment on your blog, one person will sign up and post on your forum. Even if you put a widget in your sidebar with the latest forum topics, you’ll still get little to no participation. The forum is basically a separate website, one that will receive no benefit from the fame of your blog. Unless your blog is so popular that you’ve turned off comments, forums are a waste of time. You must chose: forums or comments. One or the other. Not both. On a popular blog, you may be better off disabling comments and creating a forum requiring registration. It cuts out the noise.

Bloggers used to require registration to comment, but fortunately no one does this anymore. It is so stupid and pointless now that spam filtering is so good. There are only three purposes for registration: to track people for marketing, to allow for user profiles that other members can read, and to track comments. WordPress allows none of these. BuddyPress does, and there are plugins, but no one is using those. Registration doesn’t create a feeling of community. It creates a feeling of annoyance.

RSS feeds get people to come back for more, but most people who use RSS feeds are lurkers. You won’t get a comment from them. You may get thousands of pageviews over a period of months, but you won’t get comments and you won’t get community participants.

Responding to comments helps build community, but don’t respond to everything. Simple comments like “your work is great” do not deserve a thank you. That is boring and unneeded. I no longer reply to such comments. My time is better spent writing new blog posts.

Most comments will be people looking for help, and they will be in response to problem-solving posts that didn’t solve their problems. A third of the comments on this blog have been on my Tweet This plugin (most are archived), and they have not been thank-yous so much as requests for help. These are not people wanting to participate in a blog community: these are people who want their problems solved so they can move on with their lives. No community content there.

WordPress MU does not build communities. Many people try and many people fail. All the blogs are separate—all the blog posts are stored in separate database tables. There’s no way to even aggregate them effectively without creating a mirror of them in a unified table, and this is complicated to set up. It is also unwieldy and wasteful. There is no linking blogs together in WordPress MU. They are islands. When you host a WordPress MU site, you are not a community leader. You are a web host.

As a blogger, you are a publisher, not a community leader. Don’t think of your blog as a round-table. Think of it as a newspaper. Yes you may feature letters to the editor, but remember who is in control and who leads the discussion. If you aren’t producing new blog posts every week, whatever “community” you have (which is really just visitors) will disappear immediately. It did when I left this blog for six months. It will for you too. No big deal. It can be quickly rebuilt. Communities take a long time to build, and if you alienate your loyal readers your site goes down the tubes. Blogs aren’t communities, so if you alienate some people (and you will), new people will replace them. Don’t expect anyone to write your posts for you or come up with ideas for you. It’s all on YOU. YOU must do it all YOURSELF. No one will help you. When you accept that you have no community to back you, you accept complete responsibility for the success of your blog. That is power.

Putting Users First

In the United Kingdom, some six million domain names are registered under the .co.uk suffix. While yourname.uk would be preferable to yourname.co.uk, such registrations are banned.

This adds up to thousands of lost hours among computer users and much more wasted space. UK residents have to type the extra “.co” for every domain they visit, communicate, or advertise. Clearly, the UK does not put its users first, or the lengthy subdomain would not exist.

One practice common among universities is to give students second-rate email and blog addresses. My email address at Daytona State College is the ridiculous richard_thripp@falconmail.daytonastate.edu. Blogs take on unwieldy addresses like agessaman.blogs.gfalls.wednet.edu. Giving students first-class registrations at the second level, like richard_thripp@daytonastate.edu or richardxthripp.wednet.edu, is out of the question. Usually, administrators will have their reasons such as firewalling users, keeping the namespace open, simplifying management, or departmentalization. None of these are valid and they all put the user last, when in fact the user should be the #1 priority.

On Thripp.com, it would be tempting for me to place users in some God-forsaken subdirectory like users.thripp.com/richardx, but instead I put them right up front like richardx.thripp.com. Sure, I might run into problems later. Sure, there might be unforseen consequences. Perhaps someone will register shout.thripp.com and then later I’ll decide I want it for a site feature? While the cautious person may say, “so that all my options are open, I should not allow direct registration of subdomains in case I want to use them later,” this is folly and treats the user as a second-rate citizen. Users make up the bulk of your community and are the only important part. This means you should give them important space. Damn the torpedoes. Whatever namespaces you are reserving are less important than you think. In fact, if they are so valuable, they will be much more valuable and attractive in the hands of the community rather than on a blacklist that goes nowhere. example.com has so much potential.

At most businesses, employees park far away from the building to give parking spaces to the customers. Since employees are there all day, it’s no problem for them to walk a little ways. Contrastingly, customers may only be there for several minutes. However, when it comes to the public library, city hall, the DMV, or the post office, who do you see closest to the building? The employees themselves. Often a whole section right near the back door is reserved for them. Because the government has no competition, they have no reason to put their users first. Often, the users wind up dead-last. As corporations grow more bureaucratic and government-like, the same may happen to them. As soon as the user is put second, the business is one step closer to death.

Many websites you see start out with a splash page where you have to click “Enter.” This is a dumb waste of time. No one wants to “enter” your site. The very act of typing the URL into the web browser is entrance enough. Avoid time-wasters if you value your visitors.

Forums and other websites require you to register before you can read certain material or download certain files. Theoretically this will encourage you to come back later and build a spamming mailing list for the webmaster, but in fact 75% of people just stop right there and never register. Whatever they were going to download wasn’t important enough to be hassled anyway. Most people that do register never return and are actually useless users. They just clog up the database and do nothing. Furthermore, registration forms are often notoriously unintuitive and complex. What will often happen is a user will mistype a hard-to-read CAPTCHA, then return to type it again, then fail because their password was erased upon failing the initial CAPTCHA, and then have to do both over again. Many websites forget the email address too upon a reload. It can take the inexperienced web user a dozen tries to get through. Definitely not user friendly. Mandatory registration simply does not put users first.

Using target=”_blank” on links is bad bad bad. If the user wants to open the link in a new window, he’ll middle-click it. Otherwise, a left-click means he wants to open it in the same window. Don’t force preferences on your users. Your site should look good at least at 1024×768, preferably scaling to any size as web layouts are supposed to be fluid, not fixed. Many websites are entirely Adobe Flash, put mid-gray text on a light-gray background, disable right-clicking, or interfere with the browsing experience through other methods. If you think this “protects” your content or expresses your artistry, you’re completely deluded. It patronizes your users.

Microsoft Windows sucks for users. In Vista, whenever you execute a program or change a setting, you get at least three pop-up windows asking “are you sure?” Instead of blocking viruses and pop-up windows pro-actively, they’re allowed free reign on your system. You can only combat them by using kludges like anti-virus software and pop-up blockers, which only remove the material once it has already appeared on your computer. When Windows wants to install a “critical” update, it asks permission to restart. If you say no, it comes back a few minutes later. Say no again, and it starts a count-down timer. Heaven forbid you’ve left the room to burn a DVD or download a large file, because Windows will forcibly close all your programs and restart for your “protection.” So much for user friendliness. When you install or uninstall a software program, you are often stuck with a window that says “click OK to restart now.” If you don’t want to restart, you have to ignore it or drag the window to the corner of the screen. All these hurdles beg the question: who is the master of your computer? You or Microsoft? If Microsoft indeed put users first, the answer would be you and the question wouldn’t need to be asked.

When you call a support line, you’re left waiting for ten or fifteen minutes while a message repeats saying “your call is very important to us.” If your benevolent overlords had some respect for you, they’d stop insulting your intelligence.

Users don’t like being called idiots, being bamboozled, jerked around, put off, or made fools of. In fact, they may become violent and vindictive when patronized. Show some respect, give them the best namespaces, put them first on the list, and don’t boast about how much you value them.

The New Thripp.com

I’ve been absent from blogging lately, but the past two days I’ve been working on programming the new Thripp.com, a photography community. You can sign up there and upload your best photos to a gallery so other members can comment on them. The new Thripp.com replaces the old WordPress MU blogging service, and I deleted all the blogs and accounts I deemed as spam. The old Thripp.com (this) is closed to new registrations, and the 80 blogs it has will remain in place.

I posted 34 photos to Thripp.com. You can comment on them and other users’ profiles, there’s a page that shows all the comments you’ve received, and you can choose your own display name. Please sign up and post your best photos.

New Thripp.com

New Thripp.com

New Thripp.com

Digital Sharecropping

Before 1994, the Internet was basically unknown. It was just a tool for professors and researchers to connect with their peers. All websites had to be non-profit.

In 1994, the National Science Foundation took away these restrictions. Anyone could register a domain name and start a website, even to sell stuff. Pepsi.com was one of the first, but at the time it seemed a pointless gimmick.

Flash forward to 2008. In the past five years, power has become consolidated between a few major websites, despite the flat nature of the Internet. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, and eBay are the major players. These corporations control billions of dollars in capital, yet with the exception of eBay, provide free services. How does this happen?

MySpace

The way it happens is through advertising. Much like how newspapers make money from the classifieds or how the local Pennysaver is completely free despite rising print costs, websites make money from selling ad-space. With technology like HTTP cookies and click-counting, advertisers can pay only when viewers click their ads, or even only when they make a sale. If you think no one buys anything online, take a look at this.

2007 Christmas online sales

That’s a graph of how much stuff people bought in the 2007 Christmas season. At the peak, for the week ending 2007-12-16, sales totaled nearly 5 billion dollars. Thanks to comscore.com for the stats.

As you can see, people have no aversion to buying things on the web. And unlike with newspapers, websites have far lower overhead. Each visitor costs less than a hundreth of a cent each, while advertisers may be willing to pay in dollars for clicks or sales.

The reason social networks have become so large and wealthy is because most people contribute to them for social benefits, while all the economic benefits go to the operators of the network. Many people may only generate a few dollars in revenue, but with millions of people it adds up. Also, people will join even a hard to use and poorly designed website if all their friends are on it, so the rich get richer.

MySpace has ads all over the place; their home page is one big ad as you can see, and when you log in it gets even worse. People use it anyway because so many people are already using it, not because of it has intrinsic value.

When you’re contributing to MySpace or Facebook or any other network you don’t control, you’re a sharecropper. But what is a sharecropper? This is a good definition.

“A farmer who works a farm owned by someone else. The owner provides the land, seed, and tools exchange for part of the crops and goods produced on the farm.”

Sharecropping on the Internet is even worse, because you don’t even get a portion of the fruits of your labor. You give up not only the means of production, but also all revenue earned and the information itself.

My Dad was banned from YouTube because he’d get into all sorts of political arguments with people there. Not only do they delete all your videos, but every comment you’ve ever made disappears from the site upon your removal. That’s what happens when you’re a sharecropper, and the owners are free to do that because it’s their website. If my Dad didn’t keep backups of everything he writes and posts, he would’ve lost it all.

We’re all sharecroppers for Google. Here’s just a few things they own:

Google's stuff

It’s hard to keep track of all these services, so they have this nice umbrella called the Google Account:

The Google account

Everything runs nicely for a while. You have all your maps, your credit card data (Google Checkout), your calendars, your emails, your search history, your contacts, your pictures, your blog posts, and more on Google’s servers. Then they decide they don’t like you anymore:

No more Google for you

Thanks for being a good sharecropper, we know longer need you. Good-bye. This is the message my Dad got when you tried to log into his YouTube account. Now, YouTube uses Google Accounts, so if he was banned now, his emails might vanish too.

Obviously, Google can’t go around banning all it’s members if they want success, but we’ve given them a lot of power. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to give up my power, even in the name of convenience.

If you think it can’t happen, take a look at this: When Google Owns You. This guy was locked out of his email, documents, photos, and instant messaging, because Google shut down his entire account. He got it back eventually, but the real problem is that we’ve all given up our power.

Though our computers are more powerful than ever, we’ve become increasingly dependent on Other Peoples Computers. We let Google or Yahoo hold our email so we can get to it from anywhere. We put our pictures on Flickr or Snapfish or Picasa Web Albums so our family can see them from anywhere in the world. But they’re not on our computer, so Flickr or Snapfish or Google can take them down at any time.

Should the government force web corporations to share their profits or hand the means of production over to the people? I say no, because that is socialism and it would discourage new innovation. Like it or not, it’s hard to create infrastructures like Google or MySpace, which allow millions of people to share information for free.

you.com not myspace.com/you

The base-level infrastructure will always be the Internet and sites like you.com, not myspace.com/you. Don’t put much effort into your site on MySpace; start your own site.

Breaking the chains requires you to have a computer on all the time and a registered domain name. You also need software on the web server to manage your photos, text, video, or other content. These are good to start with:

Content management software

The best way to get a web server, when you’re starting out, is to rent one. You do this through what is called a web host, which costs about $10 a month. You also register your domain name through a registrar, just like MySpace and Facebook do. You have to pay $10 per year for that.

I use GoDaddy.com as my domain registrar and SYNhosting.com as my host. My whole blog and photo gallery is run by WordPress and other open-source modules, and it’s no more work than using MySpace, besides a large up-front investment of time and effort. I’m not sharecropping, because I can easily switch without losing my domain name if I get tired of either of these companies. If you’re a sharecropper and you switch landlords, forget about keeping the same URL.

Back up stuff

If you can’t do the above, there is an easy, immediate step you can safeguard yourself with. Back up your data. Whenever you write anything on a site you don’t own, copy it to a text or Microsoft Word file on your computer.

Thunderbird

If you use Gmail (owned by Google), use Mozilla Thunderbird to keep a duplicate copy of your email on your computer. Even if Google steals your emails, you’ll still have them on your machine. You can also use Microsoft Outlook Express with your Gmail account, and they even have tutorials on how to do it.

Flash drives

Instead of giving control of your documents over to Google, keep them on a flash drive. You can still get to them anywhere, because you can carry a flash drive with you all the time. Even better, you don’t need Internet access to get to your stuff. Your files are right here, not on some far-off server where they can be stolen or deleted on a whim. Make a backup copy on your computer at home whenever you change stuff, and you’ll be fine.

Moving away from your landlords is hard, but think of it this way: even if you get one-tenth the visitors to your new website and it looks like garbage, it’s still ten times better than continuing as a fruitless sharecropper. You can ever put ads on your site. I made $60 through Google’s AdSense program this month, and while you could say that I’m still sharecropping because I’m beholden to them, if they kick me out I can easily switch to Yahoo’s ad offering or I can sell ad space directly. If you’re on MySpace, you have no such options. There are plenty of ads, sure, but you get nothing for them, even if you become insanely famous.

You can’t be free as a sharecropper.

Money and Love

What I made online, 2008-08

Just wanted to give you a little hint for how my websites did last month. My goal is $1 per day, and while I didn’t hit that every day last month, the overall total was $56.41, or $1.80 per day.

I can see I’m making a bigger impact on the world. In July, I made $20, so my income basically tripled last month. You can’t get that kind of raise with a regular job.

$53.73 was from Google AdSense; $2.68 was from this blog’s Amazon Associates commissions.

Of the $53.73, $1.54 came from Brilliant Photography and Personal Development by Richard X. Thripp. Th8.us made $2.30, DaytonaState.org made $42.63, and the Thripp.com users made me $7.26. Our hosting / domains bill is $15 per month, so I’m more than covered.

DaytonaState.org is targeted. A lot of people come from Google looking for information on enrolling in colleges, so the information appeals to them. On the other hand, Thripp.com is black-listed by Google, so this blog and others appear low in the search results. I haven’t done much marketing either, instead focusing on writing and producing new works of art, so that explains the low turnout. But in the long run, the richardxthripp.thripp.com is where the action is going to be.

If I was still working at the library, I would have made ten times more. But last month, I did no work. Even though I exhausted far more time and energy here, the energy comes back twofold. This simply isn’t a job at all to me.

When you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t matter how much time you “spend” or how much money you make. (You’re not really spending time; you’re saving it.) You’ll do it anyway, because it’s what you do. If you’re looking for something to love, photography is a good place to start, even as a freelancer. I wouldn’t do it myself; I’d prefer writing articles for free and making money indirectly. But every person enjoys different methods.

Also: when you love playing with LEGOs or battling in World of Warcraft, it still doesn’t matter, but the problem is you’re not helping anyone else. You think you’re doing what you love, but you just haven’t found what you truly love. When you combine ambition with a purpose that really makes an impact on people around you, you’ll find something you love far more than child’s play. It’s still play, but it’s play taken to the next level. You character has just reached level 100. He’s replaced hit points with love points.

Th8.us: URL trimming service

I created a URL trimming service at Th8.us. The URLs are shorter than Tinyurl: 19 characters instead of 25, in the format http://xxxxx.th8.us. I put it together using Hidayet Dogan’s Phurl for my Twitter account, but then thought it should be released to the world. I made modifications to the code so the random part is a virtual subdomain, is five characters instead of six (it’ll be a while before the 24 million combinations are used up), it respects trailing slashes, it links to the new address instead of just showing it in plain text, and it tells you the number of characters you’ve saved (it’ll even be negative if the original address was shorter). Also, hard-to-read characters are excluded (0, 1, j, l, u, and v). The service is simple, fast, and clean, unlike Thripp.com, which is heavy and feature-laden (flexible) and thus more prone to outages. th8.us shares no code and uses a separate database from Thripp.com, so you can count on the URLs working forever (barring problems with my host, SYN Hosting).

Here’s the first trimmed URL as an example: http://oorph.th8.us/. :cool:

Drag the one-click Twitter bookmarklet from the home page to your bookmarks toolbar. It’ll take you to Twitter and type in the shortened URL of the page you were visiting into the post box.

The Big Switch

I’ve been away for two days working on technical issues instead of photography. The big one is that I’ve changed from richardxthripp.com to Thripp.com for myself and my users. A lot of work, but worth it because it’s so short. Read more about it here. I’d been posting to Twitter about it, right after I discovered that Thripp.com had become available, yesterday.

Expect some more photography tomorrow. The new address is richardxthripp.thripp.com, but richardxthripp.com/richardxthripp, richardxthripp.richardxthripp.com, and rxthripp.com, and subdirectories of them will continue to work forever. My email is now richardxthripp@thripp.com, but richardxthripp@gmail.com and richardxthripp@richardxthripp.com will also continue forwarding. Since the RSS feed address changed, Feedburner sent old posts to all my email subscribers. Sorry about that! It only happens once.

I updated the banner at the top so it says Thripp.com now. I’m here to stay! :cool:

WordPress Plugins I’m Using

I wrote this for a fellow photographer and photo-blogger named Nokao, since he asked what plugins I’m using for this site. As you may know, Brilliant Photography is powered by WordPress: WordPress MU to be specific, since I’m in the same database as the Thripp.com network with many other bloggers. I’ve been able to leverage all the great plugins people have created; I haven’t had to do any original coding yet.

You can look up any of these plugins in the WordPress repository:

Alakhnor’s Post Thumb Revisited creates the thumbnails for all the images, the JavaScript pop-up effects (Highslide), and the gallery pages (PHP code calling the plugin). I just post photos as normal WordPress posts (just an img src HTML code), and it does the rest. I use it for the random photos in the header and the random stock photo in the sidebar. You can have it just show thumbnails from a particular category, which is what I do.

The category feeds are included in WordPress, but not linked anywhere. You can see them on your site; just add “/feed” to the end of a category’s URI. You can link to these in your template if you want. For the RSS feeds and email newsletters, I outsource to FeedBurner.com, but there are WordPress plugins too (I’d prefer to keep the load off my server).

I use Exec-PHP to put Post Thumb’s PHP code in pages and posts, and Text Control to keep WordPress’ filtering from putting line breaks between thumbnails on gallery pages, by setting it to “No Formatting.” On those posts and pages, I just add HTML myself (paragraph and line break tags).

I use WP-Sticky to keep an introductory post at the top of the home page.

Related Posts, SCF2 Contact Form, SEO Title Tag, Top Level Categories, Ad Rotator (Amazon ads), Post Template, WP-Print, and Simple Tags add good features and help me out.

WP Thread Comment powers the threaded comments system. ShareThis adds social bookmarking. Sem Dofollow removes WordPress’ “nofollow” tags from commenters’ websites. Live Comment Preview does what it says. WP Grins adds clickable smilies to the comment box. Wordbook and LJ Crosspost let me multicast to Facebook and LiveJournal.

And finally, WP Super Cache gzips every page and does static HTML caching, making the site fast and allowing me to hobble by on shared hosting.

Keep in mind that I’m running WordPress MU, and there are many other blogs on Thripp.com. Many of these plugins (such as post thumb) are just for me, and I have a special template for my sidebar, header, and footer. I might add the features for my users, but it will be some work.

Hmm, sounds like you’re saying my photos aren’t artistic because I said that about photography. The article is tongue-in-cheek, but I do feel people give too much credit to photography at times. Like it’s something sacred. My photos have meaning to me, and photography is my life and blood.

The last bit is about my latest writing, 10 Reasons Why Photography Sucks and Isn’t an Art Form. I’m glad to be able to get people thinking about photography in different ways, even if by being derogatory and sarcastic. :sunglasses:

Thanks for reading, guys.

Switched to SYN Hosting, Outage is Over

Hi everyone. The website’s been down for the last 18 hours, since 7:30 A.M. (EDT) this morning, but I’m back now. I discovered it when I awoke at 2 P.M. (I’m happily unemployed), and immediately began trouble-shooting. It wasn’t on my end at all; it had to be Netfirms’ fault (they’ve given me trouble before). Netfirms wasn’t serving up anything from the MySQL database, which cripples me, because this blog is all dynamic.

Netfirms has been growing progressively worse in the past two weeks… FTP has been terribly slow, the website is slow, it’s gone down a couple of times because of them, etc. I called them… and after 30 minutes on hold, hearing only an automated message telling me how “extremely important” I am, I just hung up. By then, it was 3:30, and I decided to give up and switch web hosts. Even though I have Netfirms’ first-year $10 special ending on August 2, I can’t stand it anymore. I did an hour of research, and picked SYN Hosting because they sound good and honest. I sent in the request for an account, and then headed for school (my night class was from 5:30 to 9 P.M.), not being able to do anything more for the time. I had a test in precalculus algebra, and I did poorly on it (will find out Monday). If I do well on Wednesday’s final (2008-06-25), the grade is dropped, so that’s what I need to do now. I should be fine with 85% on the final.

So when I got back home, I got my email from SYN Hosting. I’d already started downloading the files from Netfirms before leaving, and it was done. I promptly switched DNS servers in my triple.com control panel and began uploading files to SYN Hosting. Still haven’t done everything (the stock photos are ~160MB and will take hours). But the site’s back.

It takes a long time on my slow ADSL connection with just 128kb upstream bandwidth. Especially when you have 3000 small files, like with my WordPress MU installation and army of plugins. And I had some trouble importing the MySQL database, since it is so large (23MB). I got it all worked out finally. I’m glad to be back, and sorry for the trouble.

All of the thripp.com network was down. I’m posting this here, because I get 60% of the community’s traffic.

SYN charges $8.34 a month for their basic plan, billed every six months. I searched first, and found the SAVEME offer. Basically, if you’ve had your domain for over six months and are hosted elsewhere, you get three months free. I sent this emphatic message in the notes field when I registered:

Save me! I’m using Netfirms now, and after four outages in the past two days (one right now), and no one to answer their phones, I’ve had it, even though I have a over a month left on my contract. SYN Hosting is a lot better, I can tell.

Boy, was I surprised to log on and see that I’d been given six months free. Here’s what my invoice looks like:

SYN hosting paid

Mind you, I haven’t actually paid them anything. I was expecting to get an email to do so, or at least provide credit card or PayPal billing information for their security, but no. You don’t often see this kind of commitment from hosting companies.

What I’m really enjoying, is the fast loading times. Checking on this website speed test, I see my page takes under a second to be compiled:

thripp.com loads quickly

In my last days with Netfirms, it was often over 4 seconds. Waiting isn’t fun.

Netfirms claims to give me something ridiculous like 2TB of disk space and 2000TB of bandwidth. SYN Hosting keeps it real: 6GB disk space and 120GB bandwidth each month. And their interface and control panels are better. You can even see how much CPU and RAM resources you’re using. That’s far more important than bandwidth, because with a dynamic, database-powered site, bandwidth isn’t what drags you down.

Managing your own website is hard work. I’m glad now I can stop worrying about it disappearing. Go ahead and try out SYN Hosting; they’re a real gem. Make sure to enter the coupon “saveme” and tell them who you’re transferring from in the notes, if you want a few months free. I’m looking forward to much more enjoyable days here, for my readers/viewers and me.

Usernames vs. Passwords

I just had a great idea. How about a website where your username is your password and your password is your username, and your password is public but your username is private? That would probably be more secure than the traditional hidden-password approach, because no one would be able to log in to your account, because no one would know your username but you!

I’m so brilliant…

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