Wednesday, May 01, 2013

May (Update)

So, here's what's happening with the blog.

1.  Google is getting more aggressive about compressing its various properties and mediating them all through google+ - a remarkably ugly and limited platform designed chiefly to compile information about its users and harvest as much free, user-generated content as possible.  Most of my pictures and many videos have disappeared from the blog because I've broken links in an effort to sort out privacy (and copyright) issues, and keep google+ from posting images and information willy-nilly.

2.  Over the past year, New Brunswick has discovered social media and - in our uniquely vindictive and small town way - begun punishing people who say or do things we don't agree with.

3.  My paid work has shifted greatly, in ways I need to think about.  I'd like to share some of the changes, but I need to think about that as well (see note 2).

4.  After 6 years of blogging, I really do need to re-arrange the furniture and re-purpose the conversation.  Don't worry: everything has been saved so that the interesting stuff can be re-visited.  But I can't promise that all the old content will always be online (see note 1).

5.  Just as kind of an aside, sometime over the next 6 to 12 months the carbon content of the atmosphere will top 400 ppm - something scientists told us must never happen. The last time this happened was about 3 million years ago. Humans were around then, but we weren't walking up-right, much less trying to grow our own food. Meanwhile, my mayor, my premier and my prime minister are all working hard to get more carbon out of the ground and into the atmosphere. After all those years avoiding nuclear winter and staving off various plagues, who'd have guessed that it would be Canadian ingenuity that set the species back 3 million years?

Shit... I hope nobody reads this....


Kate Nonesuch said...

Wendell, all this sounds ominous, from the truly ominous global warming to the less catastophic but still alarming disappearance of pictures and frills and sidebars etc. on your blog. I'll be following to see what happens.

Wendell Dryden said...

Hi Kate.

I might not have made it clear that it was me who caused the removal of the photos.

What happened was that a lot of photos - many not mine, but simply grabbed from a Google image search - suddenly ended up, out of context, as "Wendell's Photos" in my google+ profile. Not wanting to claim ownership of other people's photos, and not finding any pinterest-like way to credit them back to their origins, I removed them myself.

I can - and probably will - work back through my posts and fill them with photos I do own.

On the other hand, the growing conviction that employees' public posts and social networking profiles ought to conform to an employer's value systems and business plans is, um, problematic.

As for the Global Warming: Now that federal Liberal leader J. Trudeau has joined Prime Minister Harper in support of the tar sands and continued oil and gas production.... Well, I'm at a loss. (At a loss and working in an oil town in a field dependent on government goodwill.)

michael chalk said...

Hi Wendell.. it takes huge amounts of energy to keep a blog going. You're amazing for all the efforts you've put in so far.

I had the same thing with google+ photos on a blogspot.. except i had used creative commons images with attribution in the blog posts (and i haven't taken them out of that folder). But of course within the picasa/g?+ album there was no way of giving credit to photographers. Irritating i agree. I guess there's no way to make the folder private without taking them off your blog too. Boogle!

As for global warming.. i think Australia is still ahead of you in the hell-bent-on-destruction stakes. Our lot want to send a lot more coal ships straight through the Great Barrier Reef. Now that's world class lunacy.

All the best, michael

Wendell Dryden said...

Hi michael,

Yeah, I sorted it out, finally, by "privatizing" up my G+ account. I removed everyone from circles, etc., and then hid all my tabs from the public. I was disappointed to do that, because I had wanted to learn about and use google+, but it seems to be an either/or proposition between blogspot and google+ at this time.

I suspect this is only a temporary solution, and will be surprised if blogspot is still a viable product in two years' time. (Google seems to be following Yahoo's philiosophy of promoting one product by shutting down another.) But, maybe by that point there will be a comparable opensource platform that doesn't require me to purchase my own server space. Or, maybe I'll bite the bullet and learn how to run my own small server from home - that would be a grown-up sort of adventure!