Gluing David Together Again
Help. My identity has been spread too thin.
While I’ve been surfing the Internet since before the web (archie, gopher, and ytalk were my friends in 1990) it wasn’t until 1996 that I created my first website at http://www.stanford.edu/~dewpoint/ (gone now) in anticipation of becoming a freshman at Stanford. On campus, I soon moved to hosting it on my own server in my dorm room, so “my URL” became http://barista.stanford.edu/ – that was my home for another year most notably featuring the first layman’s level description of MP3 and the MP3 Audio Consortium, home to a set of early-days MP3 webmasters who were intent on spreading the word about the power of MP3 to transform artist-listener relations. (We weren’t wrong.)
It wasn’t until 1998 that I realized I was going to need a permanent, personal URL to identify me and I set up David.Weekly.org. (A squatter has been sitting on Weekly.com for the last decade and refuses to sell the domain to me – also, David Weekley Homes owns DavidWeekly.com. Boo!) For the next seven years, I posted pretty regularly, adding poetry, pictures, links, posts, wine reviews, books I was planning on reading, a half-completed book on MP3 I wrote, and the first independent acoustic analysis of the Windows Media Audio format. I wrote my own scripts to handle the comments, the photo gallery, the books and wine applications, and the templating and navigation.
But then something kind of funny happened; around 2005 or so I found myself starting to contribute content to other sites than d.w.o. It felt good to add a photo to flickr and be participating in a conversation about pictures there, to be part of a shared dialogue instead of a monologue. I started adding profiles in different places, first Friendster, then Ryze, Tribe, MySpace, Orkut, OkCupid, LinkedIn, Facebook, TheFunded, ASmallWorld…my status updates went on AIM, into Facebook, and in my GMail — my identity has been getting spread thin. I stopped blogging, because who was going to see it if I just wrote it on d.w.o?
But in a certain sense, this was inevitable and a result of me eating my own philosophical dogfood. If I’m not the best picture gallery coder or host in the world, shouldn’t I let someone else do it? I even stopped hosting my own email in 2004 (I now use Gmail, which filters over 31,000 spam messages a month for me).
I’m now determined to attempt to see if I can cure my digital schizophrenia by
tying together these different communities and resources via a singular location. This is going to take a little fancy technology to bring in information from all these sources to reside in one place, but it should also encourage me to get back to writing (on a WordPress blog, naturally) again.
So here’s step one of gluing everything back together again.