At the end of 2010, I had this brilliant idea. At least it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. I would create my own web site and begin writing again via a blog. How hard could it be, right? I mean, hundreds of dozens of people write blogs every day, and judging from the content, grammar, and spelling on some of those sites, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or an English major, apparently) to publish a blog. So, following hubby’s advice, I opened up iWeb on my MacBook, did a simple page layout, registered a domain name (Moms Into Adventure), and put myself out on the web in an official way. I had forgotten, though, what a headache web publishing can be.
Back in 1998, when I was a graduate student studying professional writing at Illinois State University, I took a class called Hypertext. The course objective was to gain an understanding of how writing for the Internet is different than writing for hard copy publication. Words on the Internet are mutable. With a mouse click, one word can springboard you into an entire new realm of thought or investigation. An Internet writer would be able to share multiple concepts succinctly simply by adding links within their work. One of our graded projects involved fabricating our very own web page that in some way defined our identity. It would be my first web page ever. To do this project, I purchased some 1998-simple, Adobe PageMill web software and learned (kid you not) some actual HTML. My identity project for this class is STILL on the Internet today, rife with dorky animated gifs and appallingly unfriendly web site mapping, which only proves how your current Internet activity, no matter how innocuous it seems, will haunt and embarrass you in the future. Wait and see.
At any rate, it had been a long time since I had designed information for the web. Because our web sites were created for a class and hosted by the university, we weren’t allowed to upload them directly. Instead, we saved our sites to floppy disks so our professor could review and upload our information to the web via FTP. It was all so late 1990s. So, you can imagine how I struggled trying to negotiate new Internet publishing programs after what I learned a million years ago when I was 30. The new web site I created last year came with an enormous learning curve, a lot of cursing, and much consternation and head scratching. Still, once I got the hang of it, I persevered and managed to publish nearly 100 posts last year, which was the most writing I had done in nearly a decade. I was proud of my small piece of the web.
Then, yesterday, I went to revisit something on my old site only to realize that, exactly as promised, Apple had eliminated MobileMe, the space where my blog had been peacefully residing. The entire blog was no longer on the Internet. Even though hubby had mentioned that MobileMe was going away, I don’t think it truly ever registered. Truth is that I only listen to him about half the time, so I must have missed the half where he mentioned I would have to put my information elsewhere or lose it forever. Oops.
Consequently, I have spent the better part of the afternoon creating a new site on which to house my 2011 blog articles. I’ve had to undo the previous forward so that it no longer sends users to the defunct MobileMe page. I’ve learned about Nameservers and spent more time with Go Daddy than Danica Patrick. I had to remember passwords I haven’t touched in 18 months, and you have to know the amount of effort that went into that because I can’t even remember what I had for lunch yesterday. At one point, I manually had to uncross my own eyes. It’s been a mind-numbing, excruciating process, and I’ve only managed to upload 5 of my 100 previous posts so far. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy. I really need to look into getting my tech support some tech support because I’m about ready to fire her…I mean, me.
The Internet in all its insanity, though, is merely a metaphor for life. The things you wish you could delete will stay with you a lifetime, while the things that mean something to you can be gone in an instant. The only constant is change. If you stop to blink, you will miss something vastly important. Some associations can be easily repaired while others can be lost forever. And, no matter how much you learn, there’s always more you will never know. As hard as it is to keep up with the way of the future, when you decide to quit adapting to the technology of the present you become a fossil. So, to avoid going the way of the dinosaurs I will keep up with this crazy Internet publishing nonsense…at least until the next better thing comes along.