Avalantern.com:
Living Like Don Draper - Now that daisy and I have moved back to sweet home, Chicago, I'm realizing how many stark differences there are between my life ...

THE Lowly Peon


What's the Point 
18 June 2010, 11:12am

Well, I'm feeling a bit down about Avalantern today. For three reasons: conversations I've been having, a comic I read, and because there are so many small changes I want to make, just without enough time to change them.

So Avalantern is slow. This is nothing new. It's been too slow since like the third week it was up and running (I think it was okay for a while, though). It takes too long to view the recent activity, sometimes to the point where I get a server error when I load it. Yeah, it happens to me to.

Avalantern doesn't have top five lists yet, despite the fact that I promised they'd be back some time after Avalantern went live. I wanted to post a blog today with reference to my top five evils, but alas, there is no top five evils list in the public domain anymore.

Nor does it have photos, videos, FAQs, or even a decent RSS feed.

I've been working on another site, which I'm really trying to put a lot of effort and time into, that will serve as a sort of business card that I can give to people. A lot of the time I've been spending on it has been focused on making it not slow. And I'll tell you. That can be tough. Especially when there are all these other factors: the great firewall, the browser, the database, the fact that Dreamhost, my hosting service, sucks.

And in these talks, I've realized that Avalantern sucks. But the worst part? I don't really have time to fix it. I have to be realistic about the time I have, as I'm all too familiar with starting projects that are a little too ambitious, and never finishing them.

Meanwhile, I read a comic today at The Oatmeal, which is kind of a be-really-negative-and-random-so-it's-funny site. Sometimes it's funny. There's a comic called "8 Websites You Need to Stop Building" that I read this afternoon. It's spot on. And what killed me is that four of the websites he says the world doesn't need more of could be used to describe Avalantern.

So what's the point. I can't decide if I should just stop chopping off the half-baked aspects of Avalantern or just rewrite it (again) without those features. (Not to mention that not a whole lot of people seem to be visiting these days...)

We'll see. But really, I just wish I had more time, more energy, and not so many other projects!

update
[18 June 2010, 2:55pm]

Feeling much better! I made a small change which has had a drastic effect on the recent activity page. So yay!

And I talked with daisy for a while, which is always fun. She's coming home tomorrow night!

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comments

Benji!

[18 June 2010]

Wow. First off the "8 Websites You Need to Stop Building" is pretty obnoxious.

I see Avalantern overlapping with two of the eight. Numbers 1 and 2. And really those are the same things.

Does Twitter address those 2? Sort of. Twitter is frankly kind of a pain and leads to an inundation with crap. Yes, the majority of posts to Twitter aren't very interesting. That's also why Twitter is kind of fun. I'm not smacking Twitter here, I'm just saying it isn't the end all answer to being active online.

Does Facebook address those 2? Sort of. If you want every person you have ever met online to have the same level of participation. Well, sure you could fine tune your your privacy settings and create multiple "profiles" and then use Facebook just like you use Avalantern today.

Does website X address those 2? Probably. But then why should people in your life go to website X as opposed to avalantern? It is just another website...

But that really isn't the point is it? The point of Avalantern (just like the point of TSP) is not to just be online. It is like The Grubes has been saying about comments on his website. It is about having a curated place on the web that is yours.

But that really isn't the point is it? It is about having a place for your friends to come be online and participate in your life, without all the crap that comes from other websites.

But that really isn't the point, is it? It is about having a place to try out programming ideas and learn new web development techniques, and generally, just have fun programming.

But that really isn't the point is it? The point is, that avalantern exists for many different reasons, and those reasons are good and worthwhile.

Yes, Avalantern can be slow at times, but personally, it has never been unbearably slow. Not any slower than TSP has been. Plus, I do most of my avalantern participation through RSS feeds.

I've struggled with similar problems with TSP is the past. Why do I have TSP? Why don't more people particpate? Etc, etc, etc. And those are answers that you are going to have to work your self but here are my answers:

I started TSP because I learned that making websites was fun. If that weren't the case, TSP wouldn't exist. But TSP is also fun because it is a place for people to come to pay attention to ME. And we all know I like the be the center of attention. And it is also fun because it has an interesting history, and it is possible to go back through and read the archives and the old messages and the old captions and get glimpses into what my life has been like over the last 8 years. And what my friends were like.

As to participation on TSP, I quickly learned that the more I do on TSP, the less people participate. But then the less I do, the less people participate. So, there is a fine line between too much and too little. My goal these days is to post every 2 or 3 days (haven't been doing very well there) and to post a link every day. And I also have to remind myself that comments are not my goal. Yes, comments are fun, but sometimes people are busy, or sometimes I am boring, or sometimes the experience is just a reading one—there is nothing for them to say. I have to constantly remind myself that I am not writing for comments. I've also learned that some people in my life just aren't interested. Like my dad. He'll read my posts every now and then, and usually only when my mom or I tell him to. Or all of my childhood friends. They are just not interested. This is very frustrating for me, because I feel like TSP is a large part of my life. But that's just the way it goes.

Anyway, sorry for being so verbose. But you know how I am. :)

 

just1n

[04 July 2010]

Why do you think Dreamhost sucks? I have been really satisfied with their support, easy to navigate design, one-click installs, etc. Plus, they decided to give me unlimited hosting and bandwidth out of the blue. What gives?

 

just1n

[04 July 2010]

Why do you think Dreamhost sucks? I have been really satisfied with their support, easy to navigate design, one-click installs, etc. Plus, they decided to give me unlimited hosting and bandwidth out of the blue. What gives?

 

just1n

[04 July 2010]

Why do you think Dreamhost sucks? I have been really satisfied with their support, easy to navigate design, one-click installs, etc. Plus, they decided to give me unlimited hosting and bandwidth out of the blue. What gives?

 

THE Lowly Peon

[04 July 2010]

hulkamaniac: mostly their down time and the speed. even loading simple HTML sometimes takes a while. I've got the unlimited space too, and I suppose I'm mostly happy with them, but I wish it were easier to try my options.