Friday, February 5, 2010

Long overdue

When I started my Lowell site back in 2005, it was a carryover from a website I had developed in college at back in 2001. The Toronado page is a direct carryover from that. That space and the car stuff to an extent was a carryover from AOL space I had had since ... 1999 or earlier.

Well, that was over ten years ago, and the technology I was using, which was reasonable for a high school student at the time, is pretty obsolete by today's standards. And embarrassing for a technology professional. I had maintained my Lowell page where it is largely because I never expected it to get so large and difficult to write (in a fancy version of Notepad, by the way) and because of my understanding of Google PageRank and penalties for blogs. Those penalties may or may not have been real or continue to be real, but certainly, I was able to get crawled by search engines at first from the old RPI page. This blog is linked to from my current site, which won't go away.

As my Lowell stuff got less text-heavy and more photograph heavy, the technology I was using became totally wrong. I still maintain an image site is still wrong for me because most I've seen don't handle large volumes of text or narrative all that well, and Flash (which some are written in) doesn't always allow good linking to direct images - you'll notice this on many photographer's pages. Some go as far as to say Flash breaks the web. I also have never maintained I was a photographer by any means - I'm not. If the text and the images associated with it are not searchable, I feel the usefulness of my site falls dramatically.

So, with a blog, I can maintain a text-based, timestamped narrative. I also get free thumbnailing, a free comment section, and a much more friendly way of linking to other blogs.

So, as for the Lowell stuff, my goals here are:

  • Track the Hamilton Canal District progress. I've done a much better job of that on Facebook than on my website because it's just so much easier to upload images than the annoying batch-resize-and-code-html method I've been using for years.

  • Take advantage of how much space Picasa web gives you for image storage, and upload larger versions of some of my older photos.

As for anything else, I'm not really sure yet what I'm going to be doing, if anything. Like I said, we will see how this goes.

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