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Thursday, August 13, 2009

204,361 Blog Views Later, Hannibal & MySpace Blogging? Done ...

I have to say "goodbye" to blogging on MySpace.


Well, despite the fact that I can track my traffic (sort of) and that I can post from the road (I've posted a blog while sitting on the toilet at Norm's in Lomita) and I enjoy the blogs of many people here ... it's just not working.

Most of my online interaction has been through my smartphone in the last year or so. Despite having a glorious, superbly powerful 15" Macbook Pro, I very rarely get time to work with it (and even less as the days go by). So, when I am online, I'm largely on a smartphone browser. MySpace's mobile site? Oy. My blog subscriptions don't work on the mobile site -- it can tell me when I have a new blog, but won't show me when other people do. On the phone or on a browser, the only way I can look at older blogs is to go back ... and keep going back ... clicking "older" over and over again in a disorganized fashion. So ... uncivilized. How inelegant!

For some time, I've been talking trash about web blogging engines. Blogger, Blogspot, Wordpress, Movable Type ... I've said they were for the weak and for pansies. I blogged the old fashioned way -- in HTML, making the files myself, coding my own bolds and what not. It was awesome.

When I had a lot more time in front of a computer.

In this day and age of RSS and WAP and unlimited data plans, I had to step up the game. I had to do more. So I used some clients and even a side project of my own as test cases and learned how to do something my good friend and Image high muckamuck Eric Stephenson has known how to do for almost a decade -- as of a few days ago, fit Blogger functionality into the look and feel of my own website. What's that look like?

It goes a little something like this, hit it! The Soapbox is back.

You can go back to previous months, you can leave comments, you can see titles, I can blog from the road, I can post photos from the road, my Twitter feed is right on the side there ... it is, in a word, awesome.

"Hannibal, why not just use 'notes' on Facebook?" Well, the same "go back" shtick is a problem, you have to be a Facebook member to see the dang things (or maybe not, given a Google search I did today), I don't like the formatting ... it's just a hassle. Moreover, Facebook's even more of a privacy invader than MySpace. I'm happy to syndicate there (and yes, Facebook has a number of more functional things going on -- when you watch somebody else screw up, you can normally do better) but it's not a solution.

Moreover, I've had to make things more clear. I'm putting my "chaos abroad, tranquility at home" motto to work, putting all "external" ideas -- blog fu, reviews, futurism and what not -- on The Hundred and Four (new and improved with 75 percent less failure) and things more specifically about me -- personal commentary, stuff about family and what's going on with me -- on the Soapbox. I'm *this* close to figuring out how to have both blogs show recent links from the other (it works on The Hundred and Four right now, but the code breaks the formatting), and that's about it.

Will I come back to MySpace? I'll keep posting things here as announcements: when I rock something on either site, I'll blurb it up here. But despite a lot of holdouts, many say the writing's on the wall.

Me? Man, I love MySpace. It's where I came to really enjoy social networking after the message boards at sfgate.com disappeared. I built a network of friends that -- by and large -- are people I know and like. But to be honest, I liked Friendster. I liked the message boards on sfgate.com. But when technology and people march along, you can be like the Los Angeles Sentinel and stay on Central Avenue years after your constituency couldn't even find your dilapidated offices? One has to do, et cetera, et cetera.

So don't call this "good bye." Facebook and Twitter have serious server problems. There's no telling where things will end up. But this is "thank you" to MySpace and a sign post to where things will have to go.

So long. Oh, and thanks for all the fish.

Playing (Music): "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" by Boyz 2 Men


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