Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to Blogger (or Blogger does DOS)

As much as wanted a self-hosted Blog solution, I decided that keeping all my older (possibly worthless) content in the same system was important. When you blog consistently from 2005 on it's a bit of street cred to keep all that in one place. Also, it's nice having RSS feeds, spam resistant comments and a generally nice look and feel on the site.

I know "real bloggers" don't like Blogger and particularly the BlogSpot hosting service. Believe me, I was as mad as anyone when they moved from their FTP publishing system which was nice for spinning up quick blogs and plugging into larger sites. I had more than one site that broke when that change happened.

But blogger has been a solid service for well over 10 years, and I think a lot of practical knowledge comes with that amount of time in a digital platform.

In fact, I opened my blogger account in 1999 when I was running a game development blog called turbo. The Wayback Machine has posts starting in 2000, but I remember pushing out well before that.

So, here is as close as I could get to a CSS based DOS-like design running in Blogger's blogspot system.


Monday, January 10, 2011

A DOS-like CMS is a Go!

Thanks to Kure I now have a very light weight CMS/Blog system that mimics the DOS side of my website. No comments, RSS feed or other fancy-pants stuff yet, but it's a start. The big deal is the PERMALINK to the main article everyone retweeted changed, but other than that we should be good to go.

No doubt I will upload my DOS template for the Kure CMS (nerd alert) once I work out all the bugs and implement the commenting system.

I’m looking forward to updating my DOS website from my iPhone on the train.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Day Aftermath

The party is officially over and now I'm stuck cleaning up this mess. Hundreds of red plastic cups are everywhere. I would like to say thanks again for all the Reddit readers that stopped by yesterday. I don't really believe that you're a poor man's Digg, it was just Internet fame getting the best of me.

Now for the numbers--what is a page one, top of fold spot on Reddit worth?

  • 138,224 unique visitors in about 18 hours
  • 196,390 page views (the site had only one page for the first 12 hours)
  • 8,297 views of my belated blog post
  • 100+ new Facebook friends
  • 70+ new Twitter followers to @stopwilson

    Enough with the quantitative, on to the qualitative.

    Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It was more fun than it should have been staying up late and watching the Internet swirl. As the day progressed, awesome people awesomely tweeted about both the site concept and my writing. Some internet ladies claimed to have crushes on my site design! My wife would claim that that site design is spoken for, but she's not reading this.

    I'm sure you are so bored that you want to read each and every one, don't you?

    What's next?

    The meat and potatoes of this site are these blog posts (like the one you are reading now) and are hastily hand coded HTML. So there are no comments, no blog archive, or anything we've come to expect from even the worst blog platform.

    I will be thinking over the next few day how to DOS-ify commenting most probably using the Twitter JSON API which powers the "tweets" command on the landing page. Any other ideas are welcome.
    Everyone keeps yammering for Easter Eggs and I think I have one good idea, so we'll see how long it takes to get that going.

    So for now, tweet your comments to @stopwilson.
  • Tuesday, January 04, 2011

    The Five Things I Learned about Being Internet Famous for a Day

    Just my luck that this first Blog post will go live after the largest single day of site traffic I will ever get. I guess I shouldn't complain, seeing how I don't know too many other bloggers who have graced the front page of For those of who don't know Reddit, it's a poor man's For those of you who don't know Digg, it's USA Today meets the National Enquirer if all the editors had Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Alas, I made it there with only the idea of how my content would be presented and a little help from my friend(s). So if you are one of the few people who will stumble upon this site after its 15 minutes of fame, I present to you the five things I learned about being Internet Famous for a day.

    ONE / Don't become famous on a day that you're super busy.

    It was our first day back in the office after the holiday break. Also it was a brand new office we had just moved into a few weeks before--crap everywhere. And my calendar was chocked full of stuff that didn't include surfing the internet or fixing spelling mistakes that were tweeted to me like a thousand times. Seriously, I was so busy that I tried to squeeze an extra day out of a deodorant that was two days past needing to be trashed. To my nearby co-workers, I apologize--to the spelling police on the interwebs, not so much.

    TWO / Why don't I have any cool pictures of myself?

    This was my chance to be discovered as the next big--something. I needed to have a cool picture of myself doing something cool. Both my Facebook and Twitter profile pictures are pretty lame, I've got some corporate photography that my work uses for speaking engagements and such, but that is somehow lamer. From now on, I will keep a picture of me alone, laughing and eating a salad.

    THREE / The internet is fickle.

    I like to think I know stuff. For example, I've been called out of important business meetings to setup a projector. Knowing this, it is logical for you to believe that I have a firm grasp of nerd irony. But what surprises me is that "comment people" could agree that I was smart enough to put together this web site, but not smart enough to know that "ls" was a UNIX command (not DOS) and therefore should be removed from my fake website and stricken from the public record before Google finds out.

    Also there was a guy that hit me right in my sweet spot by saying, "Your blog layout is genius. Literally. I mean, it takes a genius to design a genius layout, thus making you a genius. Or genie. Like the one in Aladdin. His name is Genie. But he's played by Robin Williams. Therefore, you are comparable to Robin Williams."

    Make up your mind, Internet.

    FOUR / Originality is for suckers.

    When I thought this idea up, I almost peed my pants I thought it was so original. Then I searched around the internet and saw 50 other nerdtastic guys in their 30s had thought it would be cool to retro up the web with a DOS-like look and feel. In fact, some of the code for this site was borrowed from various forum posts on the same subject. That's right I said borrowed, I plan on giving it back when I'm done with it.

    The really sad part is that these people have done it as good, if not better. But most a little suckier.

    FIVE / When your website has nothing on it traffic is not an issue.

    I really sweated having 30,000 people an hour visit my site since I have the crappiest server in the world. It is held together by Bubblelicious and dreams. But then I realized that my whole site is one page and that one page is 10 times smaller than an animated GIF of James Van Der Beek crying.

    So, I managed to keep the site content free enough to stave off the onslaught of new readers who came to read nothing. 129,345 page views never looked so wrong, but felt so right.

    Enjoy the blog, I hope there's more to come.