10 years of blogging

10 year badge

Time sure flies.

I started this blog when I had just started off my first job in IBM and while the viewership has never really taken off, there have been posts that have received decent number of hits over the course of time.

Most of my posts have been of the geeky kind centred around technology. I have also posted on movies over the last few years. I had also connected my online bookmarking services at different points in time for daily and weekly posts, but it just seemed to clutter up the site.

Here’s hoping to a few more decades of posting.

Return of the daily links from delicious

By now you have probably noticed that I’ve reverted to posting daily links from delicious to my blog (this time with more description hopefully) even though I had thought at one point in time that they were cluttering up my blog. One of the main reasons I did this was to keep the blog active as I seem to be bookmarking & twittering a lot more nowadays, and don’t make the time to come up with lengthier blog post.

Quite a lot of water has flowed under the bridge during this period, of which the most notable change is the new delicious interface going live. The other handy feature is the ability to post to twitter and email contacts while bookmarking through the firefox extension. I also refreshed my memory for posting from delicious through this blog post on posting to wordpress from delicious and also noticed that Steve Rubel had recommended daily links post as an essential blogging hack (too bad I gave it up for over a year and a half). So, now the daily links posts are here to stay.

delicious blog posting settings

Another thing I noticed while setting up the delicious service was that they’ve tweaked the interface slightly. Now the password field is no longer plain text (whatever made them do that in the initial phase is a mystery to me), and there is a way to effectively utilize the category field to keep the bookmark posts organized. All you need to do is figure out the category id by going to the wordpress blog dashboard –> Posts –> Categories to view the list of categories in the blog. Each category is hyperlinked (something like ….wordpress.com/wp-admin/categories.php?action=edit&cat_ID=4360) and the last portion of the URL gives the category id (out_cat_id in delicious). In my case, 4360 is the id for the “bookmarks” category that I had created for such posts. The setup is pretty convenient & should help keep the blog active in some way till I finish my Management course next year.

Some origami video to start with

Over the last week, I have been thinking about doing some video content creation, specifically some kinds of do it yourself videos. I have a liking for origami, and thought this should be a good starting point. I did have a youtube account, but there were also numerous other similar services.

I was wondering which service would be a good choice, and this is when I came across Andy’s post on his choices of online video services. He has given a nice comparison of some of the services like youtube, viddler and seesmic, finally favouring viddler:

Viddler is just so easy to use. It accepts a whole range of common video formats and will transcode them for you. You can tag your videos – and even better than that, you can add comments and tags at particular points in the video. I can embed the videos on my WP.com blog (which is not possible with Seesmic). It’s easy to find and connect with friends. There are groups. There are excellent stats which show where hits on your videos are coming from, including when a video is played through an embed on your site or another one…

The viddler features seemed quite attractive. So, I signed up for it and uploaded my first video (a flapping bird origami). I also did some digging to see how the Viddler videos could be embedded into a WordPress.com blog, and it seems there is a tag to do this:

At the Viddler site, if you click on Menu in the lower right of a video screen, a row of menu selections appear at the top of the video screen. Select “embed” and then click on the “wordpress.com” button and it will give you the code that will work with [WordPress].com.

Here’s the embedded form of the bird origami video (there’s also a flickr photo set for the step by step photos):

I’ll be creating more origami videos along with corresponding flickr sets (also an origami collection for the sets). The only problem for me right now is the slow upload speed (64 kbps), due to which I am uploading low resolution videos (320×240) without audio. As for the video creation, I used my digicam, a Canon Powershot A630 mounted on a Gorillapod to shoot the video, and VirtualDub to re-edit the video (re-encoding to DivX and removing audio).

Some spring cleaning for my blog

Once I settled on del.icio.us as my online bookmarking service of choice, and set it up for daily link posts to the blog along with the easy to use Firefox extension, I have posted very little content of my own. However, now that I have my own domain, it is time to take another look at this situation. The link posts do serve as a daily browsing round up for me, but may not have much utility for others. However, it is probably better to separate the publishing medium for this, and there are quite a few available.

To this end, I have decided to stop daily link posts to this blog. In case you want to check out my del.icio.us links, you can either use the del.icio.us widget on the blog sidebar, visit my tumblog, check out my friendfeed or just go to my profile on del.icio.us directly. This should help in keeping my blog somewhat cleaner. Of course if there are interesting links, I’ll post on them right here.

In addition to this, I have also updated the "About me" section with links to my various profiles on different social networks and online services, so that you know where to find me on which service. If you are a Google Reader user, I share a fair number of articles on Google Reader from a wide variety of sites, including web comics, technology, software, trivia etc. You can also find me on twitter.

Now to start posting some new content. Firefox 3 beta 3 is out, and should make for a nice follow up to my Firefox 3 beta extension compatibility workaround post (which is incidentally the most popular post for my blog by a long margin, thanks to Google).

My own domain

I finally got my own domain – http://abaditya.com. Getting the domain upgrade is a pretty simple process on wordpress.com. There are quite a few people who have shared their domain upgrade/mapping experiences, including the impact on the additional URL. I also checked out the Technorati FAQs, and found some information regarding possible steps after the blog URL change.

Coming back to the domain mapping procedure, I did have a slight confusion with the domain upgrade interface, but managed to get it done after a false start. I followed the instructions in the FAQs for the domain mapping and checked for my domain of choice. It was available, and I chose to purchase the upgrade, which took me to the PayPal page. I made the payment, and landed back on the domain upgrade page thinking that the process was complete, and waited happily for a couple of days for the domain to be operational.

However, the domain list did not have any additions, and I started to wonder what the matter was. I also noticed that I had 15 credits available. So, I tried another domain check and it said that the same domain that I had applied for earlier, was available. So, I opted for the upgrade once again, and this time got a sign up form which I filled up and had my domain up and running in a short while. I also got a customer number for the domain registrar. As the domain registration is handled automatically, but by a different site, the login information is not directly available. Instead I had to use the customer number and reset the password on the domain registration site, and set up a new password through the usual email process. The instructions are provided after registration in the domain upgrade page itself along with a link to manage domains.

I also set up a Google Apps account so that I could enable email for the new domain. This process has also been simplified by the wordpress folks with clear instructions in the FAQs, and setting it up is just a few clicks away. The other thing to do was to set up the new domain as the default, with the older (xxx.wordpress.com) set up to redirect to the new domain.

Apart from the impact of the domain change on Technorati and search engines, there were quite a lot of sites where I had to update my blog URL – social networks like Linkedin and facebook along with update to the feedburner feed I had set up. There are still some sites remaining to be updated, and I hope to get them in order as and when I recall them (one of the problems with having too many accounts).

Than vs then usage

This has been one question that has been striking my mind in recent times while going through various blogs and comments. The usage of “then” instead of “than” in many articles used to strike me as odd, but doing Google searches to clear up the grammatically correct usage didn’t turn up any results. However, I finally found an answer through a Lifehacker post which directs to a wikiHow page that clears up the issue. To put it simply, than is used to indicate comparison while then is to indicate time.