I’m a social media fan, which is odd, since I’m somewhat anti-social. I have plenty of friends with whom I socialize in the real world and a few online. I just don’t go out of my way to spend time with them. My wife is my social director. If it weren’t for her, I doubt I would spend a lot of time visiting anyone.
I love my computer, though. I love the online world. I’m not a gamer, mostly because I’m not very good at it. I have been known to go on the odd stretch of gaming for inordinate amounts of time, but those are short-lived. I think I have over 300 hours in Skyrim, but I haven’t picked up an XBox controller or logged into Steam, in almost a year. So, gaming is not really my thing.
What I do love is blogs. I read several, like ListVerse and a handful of the Gawker media sites. I love writing, but I can never find enough to write about, which is why I created my wiki. It allows me to create and organize my thoughts and several of my interests. I use it to keep track of my favourite websites, software, Android apps, television shows and related movies. I also write the occasional technical blog. For a time that was enough. It does certainly allow me an outlet for my OCD nature and provide me with a repository for all of my favourite online resources.
I’m exceptionally proud of that site. I’ve run several websites in the past. My first was a site that featured freeware reviews. Eventually, I ran a fairly popular NASCAR forum. They have all had their moments in the sun, but my wiki has provided me with the biggest sense of accomplishment. Even though my NASCAR site had over two million visits in it’s lifespan, my wiki provides me with greater personal enjoyment. I know that I even have a small collection of friends and visitors who use it to find links to sites and software and that’s good enough for me.
After spending years providing technical support, I use the blog at my wiki to provide step by step instructions for fixing various computer issues. I have used it to train employees the basics of Internet troubleshooting, helped people remove infections from their computers and more importantly, used it to avoid having to provide technical support for friends and family. Anyone out there who is technical knows exactly what I’m talking about.
I have had a few blogs in the past. When I spent four months overseas, I maintained a blog about my adventures in the Philippines, but once I got home, my ideas fizzled out, so I closed that account.
Recently, I felt the need to start blogging about life again. Obviously, I am more than just a collection of my knowledge, which is what my wiki has become. This desire was sparked by a project I started in order to protect my online identity. I reserved my username at almost every major web service, including all of the major blogging platforms. Maintaining six blogs though, was not only difficult, it’s ridiculous. Who could possibly have that many different topics they want write about, on even an infrequent basis?
So, I decided to simplify. I keep my wiki for technical blogs. I use my Tumblr as a photoblog. I have an Opera blog, because I am a huge fan of the browser and their online services. I use it to post jokes and the odd meme, but I admit that I’m not very funny.
I ran out of ideas for my LiveJournal and Blogger accounts. So, I redirect people from Blogger to this site and use LiveJournal to repost my tweets. Yes, that’s cheating, but it allows me to keep the accounts active and thereby protect my username.
I use WordPress for everything else. Just look at what I’ve posted, so far. You can’t get much more eclectic. I’ve posted about travel, food, gas stations, bikes, parenting, hair cuts, blogging, generational gaps, Internet privacy and security; and more.
I like the platform. I spent hours designing the site to look just the way I want. It has links to my other sites and I can therefore use it as a central hub for all of my social profiles. Once I had it satisfactorily setup, I just needed to populate it with meaningful content. I’m funny that way. I could have the most awesome ideas for content ever, but if I am not happy with the presentation, I won’t be able to start. I also find that a well designed site will inspire me to create better content.
That doesn’t mean that everything I create will be a gem. I expect that this particular post will get absolutely no hits or likes and I’m okay with that, because blogging isn’t always about everyone else. Sometimes, you just need to put your thoughts “to paper” as the old saying goes.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future. I’m middle-aged now and in lieu of a crisis, I have considered what will happen when I pass on. My son is my legacy and the Internet is an interesting construct. How long will the data that we’ve created last? Have we immortalized ourselves in our online content? Perhaps and that’s somewhat comforting. I keep imagining that even if nobody ever reads these posts, if data continues to carry forward indefinitely as it has these past few decades on the Internet, then I’ve left my descendants with a glimpse into my life. Someone, my son or grandchild perhaps, can stumble across the sites I’ve created, the posts I’ve written and get an idea about what kind of person I am, or rather, was. It’s like a time capsule, if you will. Maybe that won’t happen, but the possibility remains and partially for that reason, I keep writing, even when what I have to say isn’t interesting to anyone else. Someday, it may be.