From The Erbo Files
Monday, February 13, 2012

I've tweaked the stylesheet for the blog a bit; the default Bootstrap styles for paragraph tags and the like were leaving a tad bit too much whitespace between my paragraphs.  There's still a bit too much, especially within list tags, but at this point, if it ain't too broke, don't worry too much about fixin' it, is what I say.

I also revamped the meta description in the "permalink" pages to "excerpt" the blog post by clipping the initial substring of it.  All the SEO pages I've seen tell me that you should use no more than 160 characters in this tag, as search engines discount anything beyond that length.  I set the length to 140; if it's good enough for Twitter, it's good enough for me. :-D Fortunately, I have quite a bit of experience editing Velocity templates; Aspen's ABC software used them for page formatting, for instance.  Mainly because I wrote that...

This should also mean I start seeing better post descriptions when I post links on Facebook.  I'll be checking that out soon. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'll bet a lot of people who are reading this right now will be going, "What? A blog? Dude, 2004 called, they want their publishing medium back. Don't you know all the cool kids are Facebooking and Tweeting and Youtubing and Tumblring and Instagramming and Pinteresting and all those other cool things that seem to get cranked out of little startups in the Valley at about one per day?"

Well, yeah. So?

The thing that's wrong with all those sites is that none of them are really conducive to saying what you want, in thestyle you want to say it. You have to live with the style the engineers at Facebook or Google or whatever imposed on their site, or, at the very least, pick one from a range of strictly limited choices of styles. Great for promoting their services; not so great for promoting you. (The original MySpace let you customize all you liked; however, this took it to the opposite extreme, in that you had to live with the poor taste--and poor Web-design skills--of thousands of hyped-up Twilight-fan teenage girls. And the emos. Oh, God, the emos...)

No, if you've got something to say, and you want to say it in your own, inimitable style, the best way to go is with the old-fashioned blog. And lately, I've realized that I've got a few things to say, that don't quite deserve to be lost in the shuffle on Facebook, and can't be shoehorned into a 140-character Tweet.

So why go this route, rather than just opening up yet another blog? Because this site--by which I mean as a whole--is intended for more than just a blog. Since this site actually runs Java, it can be a place for me to host other projects and other bits of code. (And gain some experience with blogging software other than WordPress, for that matter...) There's lots of room for expansion, even if it says "under construction" up at the top levels at the moment. But the other blogs I have up at the moment--Evans Avenue Exit for Second Life and the Ralpha Dogs' corporate blog for EVE Online--won't go away; in fact, they will get a slight makeover, and be rebranded as part of the "Erbosoft Blog Network." And, if I have something to say about SL or EVE, it'll go there--with pointers leading there from here.

This is the main one, though, the high-level site where I can stick all the rants about politics, technology, or just plain life in general. Facebook will still be a good place to post all the random YouTube videos I scrounge up, and the short notes that don't really require this format. And it will also point here. So will Twitter, which I've been promising myself to make more use of. But this place...this is mine. You're not seeing the designs of Silicon Valley engineers on this screen (well, a bit...more on that later); you're seeing me, fresh, hot, piped out at fifty thousand watts from the Rocky Mountain High.

It's already February, but my major New Year's resolution--that I've told no one about up till now, not even my fiancee Sabrina--was to take the domain and make some good use of it. This is the first. I hope it's the first of many.

I've got somethin' to say,
It's better to burn out
Than fade away....
Def Leppard, "Rock of Ages"

Copyright © 2012 Eric J. Bowersox, All Rights Reserved.
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