I am now upgraded to WordPress 3.5. The main improvement to this version is supposed to be the media handling, always one of WordPress’s weaknesses. This version is incrementally better. It used to be that groups of photos were only available as galleries in the posts you uploaded them to. Uploaded photos were dependent on the post to upload them too (they are considered “attachments”). The new version works the same way but I now have some more flexibility to choose which photos go into a gallery on each posts. It works nicely but that’s about it. There’s still no good way to embed uploaded videos within WordPress without using clumsy plugins. I’m thinking about opening up a YouTube channel and then embedding them in my posts.
On another front, I’d like to go back to designing my own website. As I’ve mentioned before, WordPress themes (the files that control how the website looks) are difficult to customize. However, there is a stripped down version of a theme that I can work with. To that end I’ve installed a mock server on my computer with a dummy version of WordPress. I’ll be experimenting with it this year and I hope the website will look a little more original, as it had in the past.
I like to engage in periodic navel-gazing about blogging and this seems like as good a time as any. Adam’s artificial habitat is well over 10 years old now. I first designed it on AOL when I was home from work with firefighting injury. I moved it to TerminalMoraine.com a year or two later. I started blogging on LiveJournal in 2004 and then migrated the posts here when I made WordPress my content management system. I have posted at least a couple of times a month since I started blogging (there are over 1,400 published posts here now).
I think nine years is a good run for a personal blog. A lot of them don’t last so long. While I was searching for design inspiration, I found some websites that rated, for example, the 50 best personal blog designs, but links to many of the examples were already dead after a year or two. In other words, they looked great but ran out of content or staying power. I’m not sure if it’s because of the changing nature of technology or simply because it’s human nature to try things and then move on.
I’ve never thought much about why I keep at it. I originally started blogging because I wanted to practice writing. I also thought it was a good way to add content to my website and to keep my family and friends up to date. It’s my main creative outlet and it’s easy. And I like it.