New Year, 2008

Once upon a time, when I wrote a story or a tutorial and published it online, it had a beginning, a middle, and an end. It wasn’t driven by artificial deadlines, or created from pieces scattered about in weblogs and in Twitter, and the occasional IRC or email. It certainly wasn’t dependent on whether I would be acknowledged by some ‘leader’ so that I would actually be included in an all important, and soon over, discussion. Now, my writing is becoming less a story and more like that half heard cellphone call of the guy sitting next to us on the train–the only difference being with the phone call, at least there was someone on the other end of the line, listening to what the guy said.

I’ve been lucky at this site for the people I have met over the years. I’ve also been lucky for the excellent discussions that have occurred in my comments, whether inspired by my writing or by the quality of the other commentary. The times, though, are changing.

I’ve turned comments off of Burningbird and am re-fashioning it back to the type of writing I used to do before I got caught up in the ‘social network’ this has all become. I don’t want to come across as I’m taking my social graph and heading home. It’s more that I find myself resistant to becoming yet another data node.

I have found that turning off comments on older posts does not impact on hearing new stories and new views. Some of the most charming and treasured email I get has come from those who have discovered an older story of mine, and sent me an email with a story of their own. I hope the same will continue with the new stories I write, and, perhaps, form the basis for new stories.

Comments are still very welcome at Burningbird’s RealTech, which will become the focus of most of my tech writing. However, rather than focusing on new events, RealTech is going to be focused on real technology–technology I’ll have tried, or technology I’m currently using. As such, I’ll most likely miss the ebb and flow of this minute in tech history that has been the basis of so much of my writing in the past. One other change is, since RealTech is focused on my ongoing experiments, the technology used to build the site is based on specification and not browser. My current list of supported technologies is XHTML 1.1, SVG 1.1, CSS 2.1, and JavaScript. I’ll leave it to your imagination to determine which browser will drop by the wayside.

I’ll still link other posts in some of my writings, but most outside linking will come through the use of my account. We can add commentary using this site’s services, and I plan on using the API to list my most recent entries in the sidebar. I’ll also be linking less to the stories of the moment and more to stories that are fresh, new, and perhaps not given the audience they deserve.

I’m not sure what I want to do on the tech at this site yet. I may not continue using WordPress for this main site, or if I do, use my own customized version since it’s now so easy to keep up with changes and bug fixes in the underlying code. If I do create a universal feed, it will take the place of the existing Burningbird feed. I plan on longer, and less frequent writings, so the main feed will be an excerpt only. RealTech still uses full feeds: got to leave some door open for IE users.

I wouldn’t trade the people I’ve met through my comments here and elsewhere for all of the DRM-free MP3s at Amazon. I’ve known many of you longer than most marriages last. You are my friends, and as such, will always be cherished. If we don’t meet up in comments at my place, I hope we do at yours, or at RealTech, or in emails. As friends, I also know you’ll understand that I need a change.

Thank you for your time you’ve gifted me. Thank you, also, for your patience and support in the past and hopefully in the future.

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