Having sorted out my office, and fixed one of my broken NAS, I decided to to look at my website.
Moved it to a new theme, and started enabling it for IndieWeb yesterday.

Wow. Bit of a hill for an old retired guy!
Still, got some mentions working, started working on some syndications stuff, checked I have h-card enabled, and got IndieAuth working.
That got me onto the IndieWeb wiki, ooh, they use Slack, better get on that…

IndieAuth got me to github; yes, kept meaning to learn about that… which got me to GitHub Pages, to Jekyll via Ruby
Diverting via static pages to Hugo

Unfortunately, less than a day later I’m contemplating the old adage one bite at a time

So, any first pointers?
All suggestions gratefully received – I expect the occasional “Ooh, I wouldn’t start from there”!

After a four and a half-year hiatus…
[which isn’t rare nowadays, having looked through my blogroll and RSS feeds] I thought I ought to attempt to make some sort of update and tidy up here.

In my last posts I set out some aspirations

Blogging: I was going to share more content here – that failed abysmally, although I remained active on Twitter and Facebook

Coastguard: I was part of a Search and Rescue Team – after another bout of illness affecting my main work, I resigned, completing 9 years service.

Family & Friends: I intended to visit people more – and I did, although for differing reasons – including travelling in our motorhome, which I bought in advance of retirement – but as it turned out, not much in advance.

Work: after some more mental health issues, I returned to work, working in the DDoS space, which I was enjoying – but I got a generous severance offer; which I took, leaving work in July 2015. and taking my pension in 2016. When I reached 60 this year, I decided there was no way I’d look for further work, and I gave up my clearances, certifications, and memberships.

Personal Development:

  • I was going to work on my security knowledge, and I did – but my interest is now academic only!
  • I intended to improve my physical fitness – I walk daily and now row regularly in a Coastal Rowing Skiff
  • I intended to do more to keep abreast of technology – which I do – playing with Raspberry Pis and home automation
  • I intended more outdoor activity, I got that by taking up an allotment, growing fruit and veg for us – but still need to do some hammocking!

Photo Credit: StephenMitchell Flickr via Compfight cc

Oil Rigs
Oil Rigs at Rest

New Year, New opportunities

I’m not a great believer in New Year resolutions, often finding them a trite way of setting weak aspirations; however, the happenstance of calendar dates does give an opportunity to both look back, and look forward. So these are “sort of not-resolutions

My last year or two  have been challenging in family and health terms, and some sorting out at work has been testing.

I’m fortunate both with my family and my employer – and I have much to be grateful for, so I thought I’d set out some things I’d like to do.

Blogging: I have sadly neglected my blog, for Twitter, Facebook and occasional Tumblr forays. I am going to share more content here – although I may play a little with both Medium and ghost. Some of it will be technology related; some security; some knowledge management, and some more personal… I’ll try to keep my Scottish Independence thoughts elsewhere.

Coastguard: I’m part of a Search and Rescue Team locally – I intend to work more at this and step up to a more senior team role.

Family & Friends: I intend to make more effort to leave my lovely Scottish eyrie and actually see more of people this year

Personal Development:

  • I have achieved a couple of security qualifications last year, CISSP and SCF; I intend to further my security knowledge and my general architecture knowledge
  • I intend to improve my physical fitness
  • I intend to do more to keep abreast of technology – particularly Internet of Things type activity and cloud based work
  • I will do more outdoor activity, including regular sleeping outdoors – particularly in my hammock that I have used for 8 years on and off.

Work: I have said I’m lucky in my employer; I want to make sure I work with some wider teams in the company and build my contributions across our security and architecture team.

What about you?

Have you any aspirations/goals you’d like to share?

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Blue Glass on Sand

Someone was giving me their war stories about their personal email, and I wondered about mine. I have email coming in from 5 or 6 domains and a couple of gmail accounts. I handle it all through Google Apps For Your Domain, which does a very creditable job of icing SPAM for me. I did a quick check and in the last 30 day I received 1295 emails, no spam. Call it 40 a day.

The vast majority were notifications from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, or communications from suppliers I have a relationship with [usually tagged and filtered]. I got 16 from contacts in the Coastguard; 20 from a fraternal organisation; 25 as email output from a Yahoo Knowledge Management Group. The last three could all be handled via blogs/wiki/groups.

Personally addressed email to *me*? Only for me? I got… none.

My personal contacts come to me via Facebook; via Twitter; via Skype messaging, or by SMS. I guess in those terms I really am “Thinking Outside the Inbox” as Luis Suarez would say.

I only wish my work email was as simple 🙂 – about 20 a day, about half of which requires me to do something… and about 80% of that could be dealt with better. Will SharePoint 2010 help address that? I do hope so.

How much of your email is really personal to you?

Image Credit: Owen’s

sharing fruit

In a typically erudite post from David Cushman, he asks “What makes you share?”

While he discusses the virtues – or otherwise – of taking deliberately contrary positions, I think the highlight of the post for me is the following:

…the only way we can find others who care about the same things we do is through one or other party expressing that concern. Until you share your thoughts they have no value to you or your network. They contribute nothing to making your life better or the world a better place.
But the simple act of sharing what you care about can make change. When you share you allow others to access your thoughts and to discover you…

I mostly share to learn. The old saw is “the best way to learn something is to teach it”. I also think it’s better to make your views, interests and experience open to your peers – as it adds value to your interactions. I’m a remote homeworker, and reading my social media/shared stuff will give people a better idea of what I’m like – for good or ill…

To explicitly answer David’s questions

So what drives you to share?

The fascination of discovering what other brighter people have learned or thought – and how easy it is to learn these things.

What would make you share more?

The improving of the technology; for me it went something like delicious, blogs, my ongoing love – Twitter, and latterly posterous, bit.ly and Facebook with Selective Tweets.

So, what makes you share?

Image Credit: wlodi

Sad to say, a change in my work and a move in focus has meant that I’m blogging rather less now than I used to – with most activity coming via my Posterous mini-blog, or from my rather eclectic twitter stream. I regularly retweet interesting things, and using a combination of bit.ly and Selective Tweets, share links I’ve found with my Twitter and Facebook friends.

wpbeginner’s post on using Twitter Blackbird Pie shows an interesting plugin to allow the easy embedding of tweets into your actual blog, which adds nicely to your options.

How did I discover this?
[blackbirdpie id=”59428383074947072″] naturally enough.

I tried it and liked it.
[blackbirdpie id=”59893661156126720″]

How about you?

masked man

Who is this masked man?

According to a work colleague, it probably should be me.

Why should you hide your identity?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. One of my colleagues said they’d like to separate their updates depending on the audience, their facebook feed being different to linkedin for example.

I was fine with that – after all, I use hashtags in Twitter to decide whether I send an update to Facebook(#fb), LinkedIn (#in) or Yammer (#yam) or none of them. Where I was puzzled was when another senior colleague said he thought most folk would probably choose to maintain different identities and say different things to different audiences.

I said

I talk differently to my wife, and about different things; my persona is authentic, which is important so that people can build trust…I’m friends/contacts with differing groups of folk [on] Twitter, FB, LinkedIn. All bleed into each other, so I need to be “real”.

What do you share?

I’m a moderately open sharer, and you can find links to my Twitter, Posterous and Friendfeed on the blog. I’m also on LinkedIn, Flickr, and you can see loads more on flavors.me. You’ll see different things on each of them, but you’ll find the same tone. I’m me, wherever I am.

I don’t share all my KM stuff on Facebook; it would bore my Coastguard friends rigid. I don’t tell people on Yammer about a recent shout where we went to a casualty on a beach; it might not interest them. I don’t usually “friend” work colleagues on Facebook, because they are different audiences; but some I do, and I’d look pretty odd if my tone wasn’t authentic.

How many identities do *you* have?

Sorry guys, I just have this one. What about you?

Image Credit: P!XELTREE

Not only is the Guardian making a positive effort to attract readers barred by the Times/Murdoch paywall – they are inviting readers to redistribute Guardian content through their WordPress blogs – and it seems to work

I am indebted to @jennybee for this who retweeted

“RT @AndyBold: just as the Times paywall is fully raised, Guardian says “Please republish our articles on your blog!” http://bit.ly/9YFlHY”

So, as an initial trial, here’s an example.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by John Crace, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 2nd July 2010 12.53 UTC

And a very warm welcome to all our readers from The Times. We’re very sorry you awoke to find you could no longer read your newspaper online without a credit card and we feel your pain.

We couldn’t get into the Times site either last week when it was supposed to still be free as the registration system had crashed. But we can help you through this trauma. Call it a belief in an open internet or care in the community if you like, but here at the Guardian we can offer everything you ever wanted from the Times – and more – for nothing.

I suppose I ought to start by introducing myself. I write the weekly Digested Reads, among other things. As this is a sales pitch, I’ve been asked to mention that the new Oxford Book of Parodies says I’m one of Britain’s best parodists, dead or alive. You can work out which.

To many of you, much of our website may seem a bit unfamiliar. We’re not going to try to hide the fact that on certain – make that all – issues we tend to be the teensiest bit liberal.

But don’t let that scare you. We don’t bite. Very hard. And we do have a few of our very own Tories writing for us, though apparently they don’t like being called Tories so I’m not allowed to say who they are as they have friends in very high places and could get me fired.

It’s possible you last read the Guardian when the sports coverage ran to a single line – “Last night England lost 4-1 to Germany in a game of Association Football”. Well just check it out now. We suspect you’ll find it rather more interesting and fun these days.

And the same goes for all the other subjects we cover – politics, comment, education, environment, books, film, music, TV and a whole load more.

There’s no need to miss your favourite columnists either. We know you like Caitlin Moran’s Celebrity Watch but excellent though Caitlin is, check out her inspiration: Marina Hyde’s Lost in Showbiz. (Sample quote: “Until Wednesday, Madonna had appeared to be dealing with the Guy-shaped hole in her existence the best way she knows how: by frotting a couple of nuns on stage every night in a crowd-thrilling tableau that hints at both the eternal fragility of the human heart and the recession-proof nature of amyl nitrate.”)

We’ve never quite understood your fascination with Giles Coren, especially as his much more talented sister Victoria writes for us twice (yes twice) a week, but each to their own.

And look, we’ve got loads of other great writers — Patrick Wintour, Gary Younge, Polly Toynbee, Amelia Gentleman, Zoe Williams, Simon Hattenstone, Michael Billington, Simon Jenkins, Alexis Petridis and dozens of others who will knife me in the front when I get back into the office for not giving them a namecheck.

We can also guarantee to be a 100% Melanie Phillips-free zone – although we are happy to count her as one of our most avid readers. She’s always moaning about us on her Spectator blog.

To make you feel right at home, we run a selection of interminably dull pieces by the great and the good that no one but the commissioning editor ever finishes, but I’m not allowed to mention who they are for much the same reason as I can’t name the Tories.

But if you stick with us, you’ll soon work out who they are and stop reading them for yourselves.

There will of course be a few very noticeable differences. We don’t always write about Rupert Murdoch in the way the North Korean media reports Kim Jong-il and we have occasionally made a critical remark about Sky and News International.

You may however find it refreshing that we do also criticise the Guardian Media Group when they step out of line.

We’re told that most of you read the Times online just for Jeremy Clarkson. But look, he’s here too! Or rather his avatar is. But we don’t think you will be able to tell the difference …

What’s the point of Norway? On the night I stood having a cigarette outside Lillehammer’s equivalent to Piccadilly Circus, I didn’t see a single car. I felt like a lonely fat poof hanging around outside a public lavatory, while my friends George and Michael were inside getting it on with an Eskimo in salmon-pink, reindeer-skin chaps. And talking of which, here’s the Mazda MX-5, the gayest car ever built.

Fighting my way past the scores of Hungarian paedophiles and Muslims wearing waistcoats packed with explosives whom Tony Bliar and his multicultural cronies have personally invited into this country brings me nicely on to the Lexus. Here’s another piece of foreign rubbish we could do without. If we filled every Lexus with Germaine Greer and her bunch of dungaree-wearing lesbians and sent them back to Japan, the country would be a far better place.

OK, so it was me who wrote that.

And if you get fed up with too many words – as I’m guessing you might well be by now – then catch up with all our podcasts and videos. So don’t be shy. Have a look around wherever you fancy. We can guarantee you’ll have fun and it won’t cost you a penny. Come on in. Thirty million online readers can’t all be wrong.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Two face
Two face

Having seen all the furore about Facebook names, I got mine.

Originally, it is http://facebook.com/steveellwood.

However, you can also find it – and me – at http://steveellwood.com/facebook.

Similarly, I’m http://twitter.com/steveellwood – but you can find me at http://steveellwood.com/twitter.

What’s interesting – to me in any case –  is how I ended up with my “branded” pages.

I’d seen Paul Downey, @psd, make a comment about facebook names. I’d a while ago added Anil Dash, @anildash to my friendfeed list – to my shame, I’ll admit I’m still learning what I might do with Friendfeed, so I spotted the Facebook names post I blogged about the other day.

In the comments about that, I saw the approach Ross Rader (@rossrader) took, using the link to his domain.

I twittered about this, and a friend and colleague Rob Collingridge, @robcollingridge, took this up, and implemented it on his domain. I’m like “Wow, was that easy to do?”

Rob sticks up some instructions on his Facebook wall. Drat, my domain is hosted on wordpress.com. Maybe I need to selfhost. I’ll ask.

Another twitter friend, @akaSteve, encourages me, and kindly offers assistance. I already have hosting though, so a day later, my domain is moved, my blog is moved and upgraded – and I can point to Twitter and Facebook from my domain.

All because I saw something on Twitter.
Image Credit: larry&flo

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