Threading aspirations


in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Writing

Warning: Blogging about Blogging

Recently, I have wished that it was possible to go beyond just having separate categories in the blog and actually have distinct streams. A bit like multiple overlaid Google Calendars, you could turn them on and off according to taste, seeing only the layers of interest to you. For starters, it would be worth having:

  1. academic / respectable
  2. personal / trivial (possibly by invitation)
  3. geeky and of limited interest (posts like this)

Of course, any such major site redesign is exactly what I should not be doing at such a busy juncture. I wonder why the idea of major site renovations always seems to strike me during periods where school and clubs are both making reasonably heavy demands…

PS. Since I am talking about blogs anyhow, let me direct you to It is a wiki that lists academic blogs; anyone who can contribute some new ones should feel free to go edit it.

[Update: 12:15am] Also on the wish list is a secondary system for browsing the photos in /uploaded_images/. Right now, it can only really be done through the posts to which they are linked. Better would be just a big grid of thumbnails with links. Better still, the ability to sort by date somehow.

[Update: 12:30am] I am in the process of upgrading to the next version of GoDaddy virtual linux hosting, primarily because I need support for PHP 5.0 for an project. As usual, please report and horrific consequences of the transition on the bug report thread. Part of the purpose of the upgrade is to replace that thread with something better.

[Update: 12:45am] Digging through log files (the nasty text ones with no pictures), I see that MySpace has logged some 24,614 server requests in the last few months. No other domain has generated nearly so many in the period observed; Google Images yielded just 4,547. This is especially odd, since MySpace doesn’t show up at all in either the Site Meter stats or Google Analytics. I found at least a couple that are hotlinking photos from my site as backgrounds. I don’t mind, though. I have only transferred about 20GB in total since I took on this domain. I am pretty sure my monthly bandwidth is several times that. The specific URL from which people come is:

[Update: 1:00am] It also seems that 480 people found my ever-popular photo of Tallinn at night through the forums of an Italian train company. It is also being hotlinked in the forum of a women’s tennis group. Odd. Also, people in a military forum have been hotlinking my photo of a Soviet car at the Tallinn Occupations Museum. (in context)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan October 7, 2006 at 12:26 am

I have considered that, but I don’t want to split things in such a way right now. In any case, major renovations must be put off for a calmer time.

Milan October 7, 2006 at 12:44 am

On the MySpace Mystery (12:45am update):

There is a MySpace template that uses an image of mine as a background.

The MySpace profile is apparently called ‘listless library’ and was created by a certain Hillary the Barbarian. I can’t seem to find any contact information for her.

If I were to change that photo to something else, it seems that a good number of MySpace pages would change as well. All manner of nefarious possibilities come to mind. I bear no real malice towards hotlinkers, unlike some bloggers, but I am not above playing tricks on them.

Matt October 7, 2006 at 1:11 am

Regarding the image stealers, here’s a website that deals with that very thing:

Many of you probably know of Rob Cockerham, he’s a creative genius. Anyway, his site makes for a good read.

Milan October 7, 2006 at 1:42 am

I have done something similar, but much more minor. Have a look.

R.K. October 6, 2006 at 11:32 pm

You could always move personal / trivial posts into something akin to a LiveJournal, and perhaps use some kind of forum for blog related items.

Ben October 7, 2006 at 9:15 am

Blogger’s just added the ability to tag posts. Too bad there seems no easy way to tag all my old ones…

Milan November 6, 2006 at 6:22 pm

Given that I am still getting thousands of hits a week from MySpace after my subtle change to the image file, I have done something much more dramatic. The earlier links will lead you there. Alternatively, just click here.

Nic November 6, 2006 at 8:02 pm

How about transferring your images to an image hosting service (e.g. flickr). One does not pay for traffic on those but for the uploads if above a certain threshold.

Milan November 6, 2006 at 8:11 pm


I really dislike the Flickr interface, as well as the lack of control embodied therein. I want to choose the quality and file sizes of my own images, what they are called, and other factors.

As I said above, low scale hotlinking does not bother me (it could be stopped easily enough, by htaccess).

Anon March 28, 2007 at 1:23 pm

John McCain seems to have been hit by a hotlinking prank:

Looks as though some staffer didn’t read the fine print of the “credit” clause when selecting a template for the page. The template author and CEO of Newsvine, Mike Davidson, noticed this and didn’t care too much. But the McCain page was pulling an image from Davidson’s site, costing him bandwidth every time someone visited the candidate’s MySpace page. So Davidson changed the image in question to read: “Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage… particularly marriage between two passionate females.” Here is Davidson’s account of the “immaculate hack”.


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