Thripp 2010 Postmortem

When I launched my 20-week Thripp 2010 project on 2010-08-15, I set goals that were way too lofty and I didn’t reach many of them. I did post 80 new photos on this site, 40 on, a few new piano compositions, and 55 comics, but my original goals were much higher. Also, my Alexa rank plummeted from 60K to 90K when I wanted to increase it to 40K. I don’t know why my traffic is declining so much, but I must assume it is because I haven’t been writing any hard-hitting articles. Also, I haven’t released a new version of Tweet This in over 2 months, though I am keeping up with all support requests. Next time, I will set my sights lower.

My three goals were:

1. Get 50,000 absolute unique visitors in total for the three sites (track with Google Analytics).
2. Earn $2000 in Google AdSense revenues (including other sites such as
3. Increase the Alexa ranking of to 40,000.

I met only the first two, and #2 won’t even be confirmed until Google pays me my final payment after having my original account banned for undisclosed policy violations. Fortunately, it wasn’t click fraud, so they let me make a new account, but the $570 Google owes me won’t be paid out until Feb. 10, if at all. Google is very good at holding grudges and cutting off communications. No one will answer my phone calls or emails. owes me about $720 in affiliate commissions for Nov. and Dec. 2010, but they use a net-60 payment schedule so I won’t be paid for those months until Jan. 30 and Feb. 28, 2011, approximately. Provided the $1290 comes in, I beat $2000 easily, thanks to other advertising and some generous donations.

For #1, Google Analytics reports 77,613 “Absolute Unique Visitors” for the period from Aug. 16 – Dec. 31, 2010 on the domain ONLY. Counting my other domains and web properties, I got 100K visitors easily. This goal was a breeze.

For #3, my Alexa rank and traffic is way down now. Normally, I get 20K visitors a month, but in the past month I have only gotten 15K. I am going to work on Tweet This and get a new version out this month, which should prevent’s Alexa rank from falling above 100K. As I wrote in Consolidation, and are going to be consolidated under the domain, though I have now decided they will be separate sites. My current plan is to move them to and sometime in February. My URL shortener actually has a higher Alexa rank at 82K now, but I will not be moving it under the umbrella because the whole point of a URL shortener is to have a very short domain. is 10 characters — is only 6. I do feel quite lucky to have a one-syllable pronounceable root domain that is as short as and shorter than by 2 characters, and it has the added benefit of being my legal last name and the last name of at least 200 people in the U.K. and Australia.

On a personal note, my life has been very busy lately. I’ve had my driver’s license for 6 weeks now and have been going out at least 4 days a week, either to college, grocery shopping, the bank, running errands, and even a night club. I have been hired by Daytona State College to be a math, science, and English tutor at the Academic Support Center at building 500 for 11 hours a week starting Thursday, Jan. 20, so I am getting ready for that. I won a generous scholarship from the Dana Rodman Tiffany Scholarship Fund, and I am graduating with my A.A. in Elementary Education this semester and am laying the groundwork to go into Daytona State’s B.S. program in the same major, having fully committed to not pursuing a degree in Computer Science. I still love PHP, MySQL, HTML, and CSS, but I don’t have the patience for C++, Java, algorithms, theories, and all that jazz.

I have founded my own micronation called the Thripp Republic, and though it has no officers or citizens yet, I have my own currency of which I have given away 1385 one dollar bills so far, and I am fully capable of running this entire operation myself. The Thripp Dollar is worth only 1/5000 troy oz. silver, so $1385 THR is only $7.95 USD, seeing that the spot price of silver closed at $28.69 an ounce on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011. I think it will go up next week. I’m proud of my work on the Thripp Constitution and Thripp Bank.

While I spent the first half of 2010 depressed and not accomplishing anything, 2011 is going to be completely different. I’m not going to be working at a blazing pace, but I will be persistent and will likely achieve world fame by the end of the year. I am going to be leaving for China and California all summer (May – Aug.) and may go to Puerto Rico for spring break, so I’m not going to launch more projects until the fall. However, I will be working on photography and writing, and I will probably produce more output in the first four months of 2011 than I did in all of 2010.

I want to work on myself a lot this year, including my mind, body, and spirit. I have lost several key friends recently by violating their trust, and I must be careful and show more respect in the future. While I still consider myself a very public person, other people cherish a high degree of privacy and I must respect that. Similarly, large corporations such as Google, Facebook, and the U.S. government should do the same with their denizens, though they usually don’t care at all, unfortunately.

This week, my Dad turns 50. It’s quite a milestone, and I hope he doesn’t feel old. I have a nice card for him that my Grandma gave me to give him for his 49th birthday, but I forgot last year. The march of time never stops… sometimes I even feel old at 19.

I’m learning the viola. It’s not much different from the violin, but the finger spacing and strings are different, and the instrument is larger and deeper. I got a saxophone, but need to get someone to look at it because it sounds awful. I’ve had a cold for the past 10 days which is lingering in my chest, so wind instruments have been off-limits for over a week.

I am looking forward to what the universe brings me in 2011, though I know it won’t all be positive.

Thripp 2010: Results for August

It’s been three weeks since I started my Thripp 2010 project. I’ve posted one photo weekday from before 2010 here, one photo per weekday from 2010 on Thripp Photography 2010, and one comic per weekday on I See a Fish. I have only posted seven compositions on Composer’s Journey because of the difficulty of composing music. My plan is to only post three compositions per week, so at the end of 2010 I should have 59 compositions.

Though this was not part of my plans originally, I have released the first updates to Tweet This since September 2009. This plugin for WordPress integrates Twitter with your blog, allowing your readers to tweet your articles with a click and allowing you to automatically tweet new and scheduled posts. Version 1.7.1 has support for OAuth, a new options menu design, and many fixes. The Tweet This page gets 50% more visitors than my blog home page, has more back-links, and has a Google PageRank of 6/10 compared to the Thripp Photography home page’s rank of 5/10, so this should help me meet my revenue and traffic goals. I am planning to release three more major versions of Tweet This this year (1.8, 1.9, and 2.0).

On Sunday, August 15, I set three objectives for these 20 weeks:
1. Get 50,000 absolute unique visitors in total for the three sites (track with Google Analytics).
2. Earn $2000 in Google AdSense revenues (including other sites such as
3. Increase the Alexa ranking of to 40,000.

The first one is a cinch. Google Analytics logged 8139 absolute unique visitors on alone from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31, or 508 per day. If this keeps up, I will end 2010 with 70,000 unique visitors.

The second objective is not going well. I made $172.87 in AdSense revenues from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31, or $10.80 per day. To meet my goal of $2000, I have to make $14.49 every day. To get back on track, I have to make $16.46 per day in September, or $493.67 for the whole month. My best month for AdSense so far was March 2010, when I made $452.40. Unless people start donating, I will have a hard time reaching my goal. I added an ad unit at the top of the each page below the header, but it hasn’t increased my revenues much. I tried AdBrite for a day. I received 2000 impressions and ZERO clicks, making 12 cents. Unbelievable. They might just be cheating me, not counting any clicks. I won’t use them again. I’ve even added a donation widget to my sidebar, but no luck. Perhaps I’m not providing enough value?

The third objective also looks hopeless. My Alexa rank has only increased 5K to 65K, and my rank for the past week is way down at 73K. If you look at my one-week graph, my rank spikes to 35K on Aug. 28, and then drops like a rock. It’s around 100K these past few days. I have no idea what happened.

I must redouble my efforts these next four months if I want to succeed. It’s not enough just to produce photos, music, comics, plugins, and writing. I have to promote myself. I’m going to start commenting on other blogs, networking on Twitter and Facebook, and sending out emails. September will be better.

Thripp 2010

Thripp 2010

I’m launching two new websites today: Thripp Photography 2010 and Thripp 2010 reuses what used to be the development blog, and is an online comic about dating and relationships.

From now on I will only post photos from 2009 or earlier on Thripp Photography and all photos from 2010 or later will go on

For the next 20 weeks I will post one pre-2010 photo per weekday on Thripp Photography, one 2010 photo per weekday on, one musical composition per weekday on, and one comic per day on I already have 8 weeks of photos prepared in advanced and 4 weeks of comics. Composing music will be the hardest part. It takes 10 times as long to write a piece of music as it does to prepare a photograph or write a comic. I have nothing planned for the weekends, but I may write something from time to time.

In all I will post 200 photos, 100 compositions, and 100 comics from 2010-08-16 through 2010-12-31. I’m calling this project “Thripp 2010.” I am also planning on releasing four albums on Today I released my first CD, Inferno.

The photo for Thripp 2010 is “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and the theme is “Inspired Creativity.” The photo “Bridge Over Troubled Water” will be posted to Thripp Photography 2010 on 2010-08-24. My objectives are:

1. Get 50,000 absolute unique visitors in total for the three sites (track with Google Analytics).
2. Earn $2000 in Google AdSense revenues (including other sites such as
3. Increase the Alexa ranking of to 40,000.

Getting 50,000 unique visitors will be about a 10% increase over what I get currently. In the past four and a half months, I’ve made $1570 from Google AdSense, so I will have to increase my income by 22%. My Alexa ranking is about 70,000 now, but for the past month only it is 54,000. I will have to increase traffic from visitors using the Alexa toolbar by 26% compared to the past month, and sustain it for the months of October, November, and December. Since Alexa only counts the past three months, whatever happens in September or the remainder of August doesn’t matter.

For the first time in three years of on-and-off blogging, I am going to play this game dead seriously. If I don’t commit myself fully, I will never be able to make enough money to live comfortable from only my websites. Starting tomorrow, you’re going to see some serious shit.

10 Reasons Why All Bloggers are Gay

1. Bloggers share their FEELINGS with the world. Who does this? Women and men pretending to be women (gays). MEN do not share their feelings because they do not want to appear gay. Women are already gay, so it doesn’t matter for them.

2. Blogs can be commented on because bloggers love feedback and discussion of their sad lives. REAL publishers don’t get a f*ck what anyone thinks of them (besides maybe the New York Times). They don’t need feedback because feedback is for wimps.

3. Bloggers are self-involved and like to talk about themselves. They derive their identities from their blogs, just like gays derive their identities from gay sex.

4. Bloggers install plugins because they enjoy have widgets inserted into their blogs… Just like gays enjoy having carrots inserted into their holes. Bloggers and gays both want to be penetrated.

5. A blog is a public diary. Bloggers, therefore, enjoy sharing intimacy with loads of strangers, without commitment. JUST LIKE FAGS. Normal people are private and open themselves up to only a few other people. Normal people guard themselves against rape. Bloggers and gays invite rape and dream about being raped because they all have rape fantasies and Daddy issues.

6. All blogs look and act the same, just like all fags and all women look and act the same. Normal people (straight men) are interesting, varied, deep, passionate, conscious humans. Gays and bloggers are dull, simplistic, shallow, apathetic drones. You’ll never see a blogger criticize another blogger, just like you’ll never see a gay criticize another gay. They stick up for each other like weak hive-minded ants. Real men are just that: real. Gays and bloggers are fake.

7. While real men value quality over quantity, gays and bloggers are the ultimate measurbators. Whether it’s pageviews, RSS subscribers, in-links, penis size, or Twitter followers, you can bet there is a metric and a community for it. “Sites” (or should I say, piles of crap) like Technorati are a blogger’s ultimate wet dream. Normal people look at Technorati and say “eww, gross,” just like normal people look at gay anal sex and say “eww, gross.” Blogging is so gay.

8. Gays have Gay Days, just like bloggers have Blog Carnivals. Both are sickening displays of peacocking and indiscretion.

9., LiveJournal, and other blogging service providers give their members (yes, members) SUBdomains under the main DOMain, just like gay relationships involve and DOMinant partner and a SUBserviant slave. Compare this to a normal website, which is owned by one person with a TOP LEVEL DOMAIN. Normal people OWN their websites. They are not sharecroppers.

10. Bloggers and gays have no souls. A blogger or a gay’s entire life is a series of hedonistic debaucheries. They have no connection to God. They are proud “atheists” who believe in the magical tooth fairy known as “evolution.” All bloggers and all gays love feeling superior. They put on a mask of power to LOOK superior when in fact they want to be controlled like children. Bloggers and gays believe they were abused as children. They hate children while secretly coveting their freedom and power. BLOGGERS AND GAYS ACCOUNT FOR 99% OF THE WORLD’S PEDOPHILES. Michael Jackson wanted to start a blog but his attorneys said no. He was going to call it “Pikachu, I CHOOSE YOU.”

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.

Your Blog is a Marching Wiki

When I think of a wiki, I think of a collection of articles that can be edited by anyone. But wikis have another core trait. If you’ve ever looked up an article on Wikipedia, you’ve noticed that practically every other word is a link to related articles in the wiki.

There are no direct links to external sites. All those are footnotes or references, appearing at the bottom of the page. But within the text, there are internal links all over the place. It’s a self-contained Internet.

I think your blog should be the same way. This isn’t reasonable until you’ve built up a good collection of content—perhaps thirty articles at least. But once you’ve done that, you should start linking to them whenever relevant. When I talk about artistic photography, I’ll link to my gallery, and when I talk about happiness, I’ll probably link to How to Be Happy. And when I talk about linking, darn it, I’ll link to The Perils of Redundant Linking. These links are redundant to people who read my whole blog from start to finish, but those people can just ignore the links. The larger majority skims two or three of my articles to take in the essential points, and for them, the links are invaluable, because they connect them with other subjects of interest. Because the links are contextual and manually added by me and me alone, they’re better and more relevant than what any search engine or group of people can offer.

I believe in subjective reality / multiple truths. Wikis are disconcerting because they try in vain to represent an objective reality by synthesizing and representing the beliefs of hundreds of people. Sometimes, it works, but within the whole wiki you always see incongruity. Certain articles read like advertisements, others are comical, others are dead serious. Some use weak language and weasel words like “may have,” “possibly,” and “back in the day,” while others try to be overly-precise, to the point of being inaccurate. I could say John Lennon was killed at 1980-12-08T22:52:52-05, and it would be very precise, but it wouldn’t be accurate. Even if I am accurate, my accuracy is unprovable. The point is, no two people have the same perspective on wording or accuracy. When you merge too many perspectives, you end up with a muddled mess. Sure, like Wikipedia, you can still be informative, but it’s nonetheless a mess. There’s room for someone else to come along with a clear vision and really share expertise with others. Committees don’t do this. One person alone, having synthesized the perspectives of the world in a way more congruent than any collection of people, shares knowledge more compelling and evolved than all else.

Your blog should be a marching wiki, meaning it marches forward without looking back. Ordinary wikis do not march. Old articles are constantly being revised, updated, and perfected. Many bloggers and photographers refuse to let go. They spend so much time revamping old stuff, they never create anything new. If you’re drafting a book, this is fine. But like publishing a book, I consider posting an article to my blog a singular act representing your beliefs and knowledge at a fixed point in time. Unless I find a typo, or a broken link, or I write something new that expounds heavily upon the topic, I don’t update the old post. When I update the old post, it’s just to correct those errors or add a link to the new post.

Substantially changing the content of old articles can be a good thing for your readers, but that doesn’t make it worthwhile. Your time is much better spent putting what you’ve learned into a congruent, fine-tuned, new work of art, rather than adding bells to an old piece. Rewriting your archives can even be a disservice to your readers, because those articles show your history and your beliefs at a previous point in time. Do you dare erase your past? Would you rewrite and dress up an essay from middle school for a college assignment? No—you’d write something new entirely, and it would be much more evolved than your old work.

If you strive for a faster pace of evolution in your persona and your writing, tending to your old work will seem as unusual as tracing your drawings from kindergarten. Sure, tracing your childhood sketches would garner you experience, but the experience of creating anew is far greater than dwelling in the past. Our time is limited in this life, so it is important to optimize our learning processes as far as possible.

Similarly, don’t go back to old articles to add links to new articles, unless it’s something really important. I’ve done it about ten times, and considering I’ve been blogging for eight months and have written hundreds of posts, that isn’t a lot. While I could go back to Investment and Efficiency and add a whole bunch of (relevant) links to newer work, including this article, it would actually distract my readers. Simply put, if I wanted to link to newer stuff in the older article, I would’ve written the newer stuff first. I didn’t, so the older stuff doesn’t need to reference the future.

When you establish yourself as a soldier on the march, you lift a great weight off your shoulders. No longer must you worry about maintaining continuity with the past. In fact, I encourage you to openly contradict your past—should it represent the evolution of your opinions, or a different perspective that is valuable to your readers. Don’t feel you have to explain yourself. Don’t write for the critics. Most people aren’t trying to shoot holes through your work; they want to share in the wealth of your knowledge. They’re just like you. It’s far more important to cater to the important people, rather than a vocal, critical minority.

Abandoning continuity is most important for beliefs, but also includes presentation. In some articles, I highlight key points in italics; in others I use bold. In my school essays, I underline. Sometimes I’ll use inline bold headings like this, while other times I’ll use large headings bounded by line breaks, which really draw the eye. In some articles, I highlight nothing, because everything is important. I don’t have to make a list of rules for myself to govern these processes. I do whatever feels right in the present context. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match up exactly with my history.

Let your beliefs and standards be fluid like water, changing to meet the demands of different terrain, rather than rigid and inflexible like ice. Your important beliefs may turn to ice, but even ice can melt or break. If this happens, don’t resist it—recognize it as inevitable change: the only way to transcend your current level.

Finally, don’t create lists of rules for yourself. There are plenty of other people who are happy to do this for you; you don’t need even more rules. You are your own boss, and you control your own destiny.

Subject vs. Persona in Blogging

I’m seeing bloggers in two categories:

1. Ones that stick to one subject so as not to alienate their readers. These bloggers always put their readers first, doing anything to make them happy. They keep everything short and pithy, and make five posts a day. If it’s a photography blog, three-quarters the post are about Canon and Nikon’s latest cameras and other industry news. These blogs are often have several writers, who follow rules like “use short paragraphs” and “capture the reader’s attention quickly because otherwise, it will go away.” These are clearly subject-oriented blogs. This category holds many popular and focused blogs. Check out Photolog for an example. A writer of this style would never dare to mix personal development in with photography, even if they can be bridged. If he wanted to write about growth, he’d start a separate blog and at best link it the footer from his photography blog. Because the footer link is so small, only 1% would come on over. The audience for the two blogs would be totally separate. The blogger may as well be a different person on each blog. Readers come to read about widgets, then leave.

2. The blog is not so much about the subject, but about the person or group writing it. It doesn’t even have to be personal. People come back because they like the subjects, but more importantly because they like the style they’re written in. They come back because the blog is about you, not widgets. Blogs like this are timeless and become insanely popular, but often less than 5% of their traffic is driven by search engines. A friendly email is always more attractive than an ad or a search result, because it’s unpaid, unfocused sponsorship. These are definitely persona-oriented blogs. Lifehacker definitely comes to mind. It’s all over the place, but people go there to feel a part of the life hacking scene, one of intelligence, versatility, and smart computing. There may be posts about widgets, but people don’t go there to read about one type of widget.

One of the things I found fascinating when I was part of the Animal Crossing Community (a site about a video game), is that the community that builds up around the game makes it so everyone wants to talk about all sorts of other stuff. There was one off-topic forum, but people loved to hang out there even though they had no idea what would turn up, just like people love to watch the Oprah show. You can’t keep people on one subject; they’re going to want to talk about anything and everything with their new friends. And you can’t expect them to know what they’re looking for. Often their waiting for you to surprise them, even if it’s a non-photography article on a “photography blog.”

Persona-oriented bloggers usually have only one blog for everything. No partitioning. It might be messy, it might be all over the place, the blogger might share a lot of unreleated talents. But the truth is, our lives are messy. Placing ourselves so firmly in these little boxes is unique to blogging. It isn’t natural.

My challenge for you is to mix it up a bit. If you belong to category 2, try doing some really focused writing in category 1. And if your firmly in the subject category, try doing some engaging writing in the persona category. You don’t have to go off-topic. If it’s a photography blog, instead of writing about the latest press releases, take some time off and write a riveting account of how your camera was almost stolen, or how you grew up longing to start photography but couldn’t afford the equipment. The consummate of the two is rounded blogging, where you have a blog that people come to not to obtain a factoid and leave, but to challenge their minds and digest everything. If you follow this path for a few months, you’ll have people that literally spend hours at your blog, because you’ve written so much fascinating material. They love it, because when they click their bookmark they’re returning to wholeness rather than being bogged in fragmentation. They don’t even come for a reason or subject, because they know whatever there is going to be great. You have a captive audience. Use that greatness, leverage it to brighten their days and inspire them to action. the blogging network

I’ve slaved hours away on the blogging network, and it’s now open in a public beta. :grin: Sign up for your spot now. This is great step forward for social blogging, and you can take advantage of the same great scripts I use to multicast this blog to LiveJournal and Xanga. Read on . . .

I wrote this two days ago, but didn’t expect to get rolling so quickly:

People have been signing up for despite my lack of advertising. I’ll work on the layout and features in July. I can’t get virtual subdomains like I want without upgrading to a virtual private server, which I won’t yet pay for, so you just get a name like instead of (which I know you’d prefer). Sorry for that. If you start blogging for some reason, I added plugins you can activate to multicast to Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, and Xanga, like I do (see links in my footer). You’ll have to hand over your passwords, but they’re safe with me.

Today, 2008 May 24, it all starts. I’ve established a WordPress MU powered blogging network here at, complete with an integrated community forum (thanks to bbPress), log-in and blog management links right from the side-bar, the same clean design from Brilliant Photography by Richard X. Thripp, RSS links for each blog right in the footer, and PHP scripts that automatically aggregate the latest blogs, comments, and posts. I’ve gone ahead and done it with subdirectories instead of subdomains, but they are no less memorable, especially with the eye-catching name. 14 people have already gotten started, with fascinating blogs like OpinionSource and Wisconsin Mortgage. You can get started immediately, as this is a public beta. plugins

I’ve even added some great plugins to enrich your blogging experience, which you can activate under “Plugins” on your dashboard, after you sign up, of course. Advanced Category Excluder lets you leave out any categories you pick from the home page, RSS feeds, or archives, with handy check boxes. Top Level Categories cuts out the “/category” part of your category URIs, keeping your addresses short. WP Grins lets your commenters add emoticons with ease, while Wordbook, Twitter Tools, Xanga Cross Post, and LiveJournal Crossposter (under “Settings”) let you automatically and seamlessly broadcast your blogging to Facebook, Twitter, Xanga, and LiveJournal, complete with links back to your original entries at

Social commenting is actively encouraged. Gone are the Captchas, registration forms, and moderation queues you see on other networks; here anyone can contribute feedback to any post, immediately and with ease. And if you’re against unmoderated commenting, you can go to “Settings > Discussion” and suit your tastes. This is backed with the excellent spam filtering of Akismet, to stop the Viagra ads in their tracks.

This is beta because it hasn’t all been thoroughly tested, and I’m on shared hosting so I don’t know how far I can push the network. Feel free to make a donation to help keep me out of the red. I’m open to any suggestions or feedback; just add them to the comments on this post.

Cheers. Contribute, blog safely, and share alike. I’ll be reading.

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