19….n n n n n n n n n 19

A poor title that both shows my and thus this blog’s age. As March the 10th is 19 NINETEEN years since I wrote my first post on this blog.

Obligatory link to said first post (I still don’t understand Pingbacks, never will). I like to think that the search function to retrieve that post had to work really hard to get it from such a long time ago. Like internet mining.

Talking about mining, this year I blogged 9, NINE times, and that’s nothing to do with Tw*tter Leeroy Jenkinsing into even more of a hellscape because some narcissist thought it would be lolz.

No, nothing to with that.

In unrelated news I stopped using Tw*tter. It wasn’t easy, the urge to reach for that sweet sweet hit of information was strong. Breaking news events left me waiting for traditional news orgs to catch up, I had no idea what was going on in Eurovision. It was hard.

I moved to Mastodon, started from almost scratch (I did initially set up my account in 2017, but had only posted once and only followed a handful of people). It’s different, I chose for it to be different also, I intentionally avoided politics / journalists accounts. I missed being hyper-informed but my mental health was the main beneficiary. The Daily Outrage ™ / Daily Pile-on ™ / Culture War Du Jour ™ was suddenly not there, I would still probably read about it in the Gruaniad but its power was sapped and I was not party to some client journalist / social media mob pouring petrol on a nuanced topic. I followed mostly tech accounts as well as some funny / interesting / good people. It’s more chill, I still get my fix of great tech articles and have seen a notable uptick in people blogging. This is all good.

I’ve continued to build WordPress websites professionally and found a new love for something that itself is due to be 20 this year, TWENTY! So this blog is not far behind. Crazy. I’ve embraced a lot of the new tech for WordPress this year and am eagerly building out sights using the block editor. I rebuilt this site as a Full Site Editing theme, however it wasn’t to my liking, great as it is, I am a developer I like a lot of the no-code tools but I also love coding, finely crafting something with HTML / CSS / JS / PHP so I’ve generally taken a hybrid approach, I still build out themes, but will leverage blocks and block patterns allowing more to be done in the editor.

I’ve also built a bunch of sites using Eleventy and also love using this. Version 2.0 came out and it’s ace, so much goodness and very much in the spirit of early web dev, it gets out the way to allow you to build websites but with superpowers.

I’ve kept a few side hustle projects going.

I’ve started to use AI in my workflow, it’s like magic. I am able to do much more around the edges of my abilities – I am no back-end developer so being able to explain what I want and the AI to present it on a silver platter with a little silver fork anagrammed with my initials is wonderful. I have more time to spend on the things I want like renaming class names, so win win.

Otherwise the earth still spins, I still stand on it spinning, many good and bad things happen whilst I stand on it spinning. And I continue to blog. Onwards.

AI generated image based, that says 'The The the 19'
The above image is generated from an AI based on the prompt ‘this blog is 19 years old’

Fairwell @twitter?

iOS app was first moved from the thumb spot on the home screen to the archive folder.

iOS app was then deleted.


What now. Well I keep trying to open the app, like a ghost of a habit….

I have a Mastodon account (which I set up in 2017 apparently – no memory) I am slowly building up a following. I accept I will not and *should not* aim to replicate my Twitter following (823 accounts). It’s different, and I want to embrace that.

I’ll maybe check out Tumblr again.

I’ll keep and eye on some interesting developments that are happening (WT.Social)

I’ll also hang out here again a bit more, typing into the void.

I’m getting hold of my Twitter archive and going to put it somewhere accessible.

Twitter dot com had already become a unhealthy space for both myself and many communities (doom scrolling, hyper focus on politics and bad faith arguments, and on and on and on). Musk’s acquisition merely allowed me to better see it for what it was, and also not agree with the proposed future direction (free speech is not something that can just be switched without consequence), likewise real name policy, treatment of staff, and turning it into an absolute monarchy at the behest of a single persons whim.

@dogwonder / ID: 1806491 / Member since Wed Mar 21 22:38:14

I’ll miss it. A lot. Since 2007 () Twitter was a great place to learn, share, laugh, be. But also a place with many many downsides. But also things change, sometimes for the better. Part of me also feels it’s no accident that Facebook and Twitter are tanking at the same time. Maybe this epoch of the internet is over (maybe has been for some time – there’s a good reason people under a certain age go nowhere near these platforms or indeed any mass social media).

Plus ça change.

Virtuality in 2022

The very first post on this blog back in 2004 was around the topic of Virtuality. Whilst reading the Atlantic recently I stumbled across this, which seemed to better encapsulate virtuality in 2022 more than it did then.

[This] is the real meaning of contemporary virtuality. In the virtual space, the technology combats and corrects our frustrations with reality itself – which defies expectation and understanding, by definition.
I seek. I find what I know.
I enjoy this recognition of
myself. I am trained over
time to trust in a path to
understanding that leads
through the familiar, that
leads through me. “I am the
arbiter of what is real. What
is more real than me?

In its basest form – and make no mistake, the baser the form, the stickier the engagement what we’re describing here is a profound technological support for primary narcissism.

The Singularity is Here‘ by Ayad Akhtar (The Atlantic, 2021)
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