A Quick Review of My Web 2.0 Life

Aviary web-archive-org Picture 4

July 2004 – First blog set up – awrush.com (now a legal search consultant website) at bloghosts.com (no longer hosting blogs).

August 2, 2004 – First official post. I mention that our new hosting service is like being a kid in the candy room at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The rest of August I’m learning new terms like wiki and RSS and getting addicted to learning it all.

October 2004 – The name is official And He Blogs.

December 2004 – Goodbye Bloghosts. Hello Bluehost.

March 2005 – Very much in the Windows world, I rig up a podcast-catching machine by using a Dell Axim X5 Pocket PC combined with the Doppler software and inspired by this article. (Now, in July of 2009, I discover that Doppler is an RSS reader for the iPhone and it might well be my go-to program).

Late March 2005 – The MediaBlog begins its experiment.

Memorial Day 2005My first MoBlog (mobile blog) post, and then my first post about my first MoBlog post.

June 21, 2005 – The And He Blogs WordPress era begins.


January 29, 2006ELI Conference in San Diego. Lots of Web 2.0’wy stuff there.

April 2006Easy, Free, Videoblogging.


December 2006Udell. Microsoft. Bwah???

February 2007 was a good month, including YouTube in MediaWiki. Also, discovered one of the most important thinkers of web 2.0 academia – Michael Wesch.

And He Blogs circa Feb. 2007

April 2007 – The Bliki – AKA Play Misty For Me.

May 2007 – Somewhere around here I entered the Twitter era.

September 2007Microsoft Live Writer makes blogging easy, but ultimately just creates ugly code for blogs – think Microsoft Word web pages.

June 2008Edupunk? Seriously???

This is what Web 2.0 looks like!

July 2008TweetDeck. Yeah, it was important!

December 2008 – What’s better than YouTube? YouTube in HD!

March 2009 – Mobile Computing. Demonstrating educational uses of the iPhone.

June 2009 – The New Media presentation of my lifetime, and instant mobile podcasting.

July 2009 – Is technology so ubiquitous that we’re bored with it?

Contemplating how green the grass is with TweetDeck

Bluehost vs. MediaTemple

This tale is brought to you by Bluehost, or rather the lack thereof. My account was down yesterday for about 12 hours. I have no illusions that anybody even noticed, but for me it was frustrating because I had a post brewing and I couldn’t write it. Now why couldn’t I write it and post it later? I’m using Windows Live Writer right? Well no because I’m using the Mac side of my MacBook Pro much more lately and there’s no WLW on this side of the grass. I’ll have a post about the Mac vs. PC thing soon I’m sure. (Yes, I know there is a thing called a text editor, but I’m spoiled you know).

Now it may have been a good thing I didn’t post yesterday because it was going to be a rant about how some people are essentially blaming the less well off for the current economic crisis. I’m talking about, among others, that horse’s ass Rick Santelli and Phil “nation of whiners” Gramm. Again, maybe it’s just as well because I can move on now and still get to call Rick Santelli a horse’s ass. Twice!

So just to prove John Lennon’s posit that life is what’s happening when you’re making other plans, I was off doing something completely different than writing a political rant. I was seeing what people were saying about web hosting companies. I was able to listen in on other conversations (and rants) about their web host. Wondering whether the grass was greener, I was seeing that it wasn’t necessarily. How was I listening in on all this? With TweetDeck. If you don’t know what TweetDeck is, it is an Adobe Air application that gives a different view of the Twitter conversation. As I’ve mentioned before, TweetDeck allows you to track multiple conversation with its built in search feature and view it in a separate column that you can track, just like you track what your friends are saying.

As the screenshot above illustrates, I am able to see anyone on Twitter talk about either Bluehost, or another company I am considering, MediaTemple. I have seen both kinds of comments from “I love Bluehost” and “I love MediaTemple” to the more likely “Bluehost/MediaTemple is teh suck” – knowing full well that negative comments will more likely appear on Twitter. Mine did.

What did I learn from the TweetDeck comparison? Ok, so go figure, the grass isn’t always greener. Mentioned also in these conversations was a service called Mosso, that had largely positive reviews. Also, it comes as no surprise that Mosso is more expensive than either Bluehost or MediaTemple. So here’s a summary of what I learned:

  • Inexpensive web hosting companies have down-time
  • You (for the most part) get what you pay for
  • People like to vent/complain/rant
  • It’s good to know other people (even those I don’t know) are having similar issues

Thanks TweetDeck, I sure do love you. I think I’ll go tweet that. There.

On Making Me Feel Valuable

Value Meal

Photo by Fastfoodweblog.nl

Sometimes it’s a string of things that I see posted on the web over time that coalesces into a darn good feeling. The first is a quote from Alan Levine’s blog about his current state of mind before a big conference.

Oh well, the brain cells are headed towards oatmeal, and I am looking forward to the conference kicking into gear tomorrow.

That was me about a month ago, feeling like my feet were moving but I wasn’t going anywhere. Despite that, Faculty Academy 2006 was a great success. The point of value came as I realize that the “brain like mush” feeling is natural before a big event. I’m glad Alan shared this thought, and I’m very thankful that there is a technology in existence that allows this sharing. I’ve only met Alan once, but I feel like I know him a lot better than one face-to-face meeting could supply.

The second thing is a two-fer. A post by my boss (who often reminds me of my value…thanks), and a post by Brian Lamb, on using online video, something near and dear. The common theme of both posts was the value of sharing these web resources with a wider audience, and thankfully it has been made very easy. I’m happy to see something that I’ve been thinking about for so long, take flight.

The final nugget of value comes from the man whose name is still echoing around the Mary Washington campus, Jon Udell. Jon’s post dealt with us computer types and our humanity, and he also explained a little bit better what we IT people do, and enjoy. We are problem solvers, and in DTLT’s case, instructional technology problem solvers. When asked what we do on a daily basis, sometimes it is difficult to give a coherent answer. Jon helps explain in his column (and the other where he heaps praise directly on us) that we add value to the educational process by sharing our knowledge. The key quote from Jon’s piece:

When I read that the outcome was six lines of code, I recalled the old saw about the tradesman whose customer gripes about being billed a one-hour minimum for fixing a problem in five minutes. “Yeah,” he retorts, “but it took me 20 years to learn how to fix it in five minutes.”

Thanks Jon for showing the value of our work, and we promise to remain open source!