Blogging

Gravatar

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Have you noticed that some people always have their own, personalized icon show up no matter what site or blog they comment on? How did they do that?

The answer is that they have a Gravatar. Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar, and the idea is that you set up your icon or avatar once and any site can use it. Here’s how it works: When you post on a site using your email address (even a site that keeps your email address a secret and only asks it to verify you), the blog site can ask Gravatar if an icon exists for your address. (It asks using a hash of your email, so your email stays secret, even from eavesdroppers.) If Gravatar knows your email, it shows the icon you set up for yourself. And so from the commenter’s perspective it just works on every site they use.

I know this probably sounds like a Gravatar commecial, but I basically I just want all of my friends to go sign up for accounts. I think it makes the comments more interesting when everyone has a personalized icon, and it makes it easier to read because it visually identifies the commenter (especially if you have a common first name). Plus I wouldn’t be the only weirdo with a personal icon anymore.

So go to Gravatar.com and sign up. It only takes a second, and you’ll be helping to make the Internet a prettier place.

New blog… again

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I know it’s starting to get ridiculous. I’m almost changing my blog address more often than I’m writing anything on it. Let’s get on with it…

My new blog address is bethings.postplatinum.com. I’m still using WordPress software, but I’m moving off WordPress.com so that I can customize my site a little more. I found out that they charge you for pretty much anything you want to do, including forwarding to a new domain, so I thought I’d better switch soon before I’m so invested in this domain that it costs me an arm and a leg to change it.

So, go see the new one, and if you have me bookmarked or subscribed or whatever, go ahead and change the address again. Sorry about that. And I’m also sorry for when I flooded your readers with new posts a few weeks ago. They weren’t really new posts, just all of my old posts come back to haunt you.

WordPress

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I’ve had my blog offline for a while, but I decided that I had some more things to say, so here is the latest incarnation of my site.

I’ve decided to start using WordPress instead of Blogger. This makes the third software platform that my blog has moved to, and at least the fourth URL that it has lived at. I chose WordPress simply because it has a lot more features and gives me finer control of what I do with my blog than Blogger did.

I don’t have my old blog posts in here yet, but they’re safely backed up and will be imported soon.

Worlds Collide

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Last week we had dinner with some newly-made friends and the subject of politics came up. We found out what each other’s viewpoint was, and then when we realized that they were opposite of each other, we simply moved on to other topics and we continued to have a good time hanging out and talking.

I have some other friends that I also disagree with on politics, but I still enjoy discussing the subject with them because we can see each other’s point of view and disagree without becoming disagreeable, and overall I think we both grow from discussing alternate view points.

I’m not bringing up this difference to say that one way is better than another. I don’t need to discuss every subject with every friend that I have. It doesn’t matter if it’s because we wouldn’t disagree in a friendly way or if it’s just because we have different passions and the same subjects don’t appeal to both my friend and me. My point in bringing this up is that I can choose what to talk about with my friends based on their interests, their passions, and the situation; not just based on my own passions and interests. I think that choice is a good thing.

That brings me to problem I’ve been feeling about my blog. My blog doesn’t give me that same choice as a regular conversation does. My blog isn’t individual. In my blog I don’t just write to one person and so it’s not custom-tailored to how I best communicate with anyone. My blog is written generally to everyone, whether I know them or not, whether they hate me or not. I’m writing simultaneously to my mom and my boss, to the kid that’s hated me since the 5th grade and to the friend that lives too far away to in person very often, to my best friend and to the stranger that doesn’t know me at all but hates me anyway. Not that those people necessarily read my blog, but they can read it just as easily as someone that I specifically target with any post that I write.

I realize that this is the nature of blogs and of the Internet in general, and for most of my blog’s lifespan there’s been no problem with that. The most that I’ve ever had to censor myself with it was to be sure that any references to my crushes were sufficiently disguised that I wouldn’t cause myself any public embarrassment. Most of my posts are just silly and stupid, and the worst thing that can happen about someone unexpected reading them is that they won’t think I’m as funny as I think I am.

Maybe my life is just different than it once was and that’s why my blog has become different, too. If nothing else, my current crush is well-known and she’s happy to have me publicly confess it. Maybe the only thing that’s really changed is the frequency and passion in recent political discussions. Or maybe nothing’s changed at all, and it’s just the fact that I’m a multi-faceted person, and that sometimes I want to write about something that I feel more deeply than a burrito. (I mean that metaphorically. I feel burritos all of the way down.)

I think that if I were to have my way then I’d just write about everything that I think and feel, regardless of how personal or controversial or humorous the subject is or isn’t. I’d just write open and honestly about myself and all of my facets and not worry about how my reader might judge me. Sometimes that’s been fine for me, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough to really open myself up to every person that might wander across my blog. I’m afraid of how I might limit my life by doing that. I’ve realized recently that I can’t be open about every facet of myself with every person that I’m friends with. Some people simply aren’t comfortable with all of my facets, and unfortunately relationships change or get ruined when they’re forced to see me from a point of view that they hadn’t previously.

So here I am, at the end of this post, not knowing what to do with my blog and my friends. It’d be nice if I could just separate my digital persona from my real-life image so that I could still use my blog as an outlet for all of my multi-faceted thoughts, or maybe I could separate all of my facets into separate identities and blogs that wouldn’t have to collide or interfere with each other. (I could keep just my food-related blogs tied to my real identity, since anyone that looks at me will know that I like food.) I’m afraid it’s probably too late for any kind of separation like that for the people that already know me and read my blog, and instead I just feel sad to feel that I’ve already ruined both my blog and some relationships.

Or maybe I should stop taking the oxycodone so that I can stop feeling so melodramatic about the whole stupid thing.

(I should probably point out that the oxycodone is a joke for the sake of anyone that might think that I’m addicted to painkillers, but the fact that I’d have to point that out just makes me feel like I’m talking in circles.)

150

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This is my 150th post. I thought I would waste it by simply announcing that.

New Category

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I think I’m going to have to make a new category on Provo Platinum for people who habitually post things that don’t make any sense.

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So, this is currently a Blogger-generated page, but I host it on my own server instead of on BlogSpot, right? Well, I checked the stats for my server and it thinks that this page has been getting an average of 30 hits a day from 12 visitors per day. I think it might be broken, because no way are there that many people that visit my site. I don’t even know 12 people. Anyway, just in case, if you’re one of those 12 people (or some other poor soul that got lost here), leave a comment so I know who you are. Besides, it looks funny to always have that “0 comments” sitting there. Well, actually, I just want to feel popular by having people comment, but play along, ok?

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I keep stealing ideas from Loyd’s blog to try and make mine cool, so the newest thing is the little add-your-comment-about-how-awesome-or-lame-I-am link at the bottom of each entry. So, add a comment. I don’t know who I’m telling to add comments because no one even knows this site exists, but if some hapless web-surfer ends up here, then this Blog’s for you.
Old Comments

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Ok, I just got this thing to see how Blogger works and if I could steal some of its ideas for my own website(s), but I kinda like it, so maybe I’ll hang onto it.

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Ok, bethings is dead. I’m sorry. It’s not my fault. No, really, it’s not. I think the hosting company died or something. If I had any money I’d get a new bethings, but I don’t so this is just going to have to do, ok?

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