Category: Writing

Poem: In the end, it didn’t matter

In the end
It didn’t matter
That their kids got many other required vaccines for school

It didn’t matter
That their jobs required annual flu shots

It didn’t matter
That unvaxxed people they knew died

It didn’t matter,
Their lords said this vaccine was bad

Nothing else mattered
In the end

Finding the Toolchain to Consistently Create Content

tools on a pegboard

If one of my aspirations for this year is to consistently create content, one of my personal challenges is to figure out HOW to easily do that.

Ideally, creating content on my own sites should be as easy as sending out a tweet, posting a message to Facebook or Mastodon, or posting an image to Instagram.

And therein lies my challenge.

I’d like to make it so that I could just post from my mobile phone or iPad, so that whenever I have a story idea I want to write I can just post something easily. And, I can also post from my laptop or desktop. I want to be able to post content from anywhere, just as I can with Twitter, Mastodon, and Facebook.

I want to remove any friction from creating content.

However, the main personal sites I write on - this DanYork.com site, Disruptive Telephony, and Disruptive Conversations - are all still hosted on TypePad, because that is where I created them 15 years ago! 😀 And, alas, there is no mobile app or easy way to create content. There IS a mobile web interface, but it doesn’t provide me with a way to create drafts and have a queue.

Now, if the sites were on WordPress, the WordPress mobile apps provide a great experience, but they aren’t… and the switching costs are large. There’s a great amount of work to move thousands of posts and images, including substantial URL rewriting/redirecting. It’s not an easy task.

I’d like to move the sites to WordPress eventually, but not this year.

For the moment, I’m using MarsEdit on my Macs, as I’ve done for many years. For the mobile side, I’m still exploring options. One thought is to use the DayOne journaling app that is now part of my daily workflow. Write the posts there and then copy/paste to the mobile TypePad interface. But I don’t know… I’m looking at other IOS editors, too, and so far not  yet finding the toolchain I need.

The search continues!  The goal is to remove friction from the creation process.

My Themes for 2022

3 Words 2022

Following my pattern of the past 13 years (see list), my first post of 2022 across all my sites is of three words that are my aspirations or “themes” for the year ahead. They are not “resolutions” so much as guiding thoughts or principles.

In so many ways 2021 was a good bit of a “dumpster fire” of a year. We started off with such great hope that the pandemic would be under control … and ended with even higher case counts and more deaths that we’d had the previous year. It often does truly feel like the 672nd day of March 2020. So many of us struggled in so many ways. Yet amidst all that chaos, there were positive signs - and I remain grateful that I reached the end of the year with all my family in decent health (at least physically).

Looking on toward 2022...

HOPE

Last year brought me great clarity around what I see as my own my personal mission to help people understand our choice of futures - for the Internet, but also for ourselves and for our society. 

But 2021 also brought clarity that it is so easy to fall into despair. It does seem like we’re stuck in a perpetual Groundhog Day. The state of the pandemic is so frustrating, particularly for those of us who have done everything we can to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. The breakdown in civility and discourse that we are seeing across the USA and across the world is extremely saddening. The polarization and politicization of even trivial issues is tragic. And our governments and leaders often seem incapable of doing anything helpful - and in fact sometimes seem to be doing the exact opposite of what makes sense - or are so mired in disagreement that nothing happens at all. And… weather events around the world seem to indicate that climate change is happening quicker than many forecast. There are so many tragic events happening to so many people, and even for those not directly affected, there is so much to fear that it can be paralyzing.

It often feels like we are on the edge of living in any of the zillion dystopian, post-apocalyptic movies or TV series that are out there.

It’s easy to despair. 

And yet… we can’t. For if we fall into the depths of despair, what is the point of being here? And who will pull us out?

We must hold on to the possibility of hope

We must.

And so what I want to do this year is to do whatever I can to help shine the light on and amplify the good work going on. (And there definitely IS - read "99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2021”)

Not with “rose-colored glasses” or with naive, excessive optimism that just ignores everything else to hope things get better.. but rather with an action of seeking out the hopeful, positive, and optimistic in the midst of the chaos and despair. As I said in a tweet:

The challenge that lies before us is more than choosing hope over fear.
It is choosing hope *amidst* the overwhelming narratives of fear and doom.
It is choosing hope and optimism *despite* those fears.
It is choosing hope as a daily, gritty act of resistance and resilience.

To me, that is the work we all must do.

CONTENT

As I wrote at some length last year, I’ve been struggling through this whole pandemic, but even before that, to consistently create content, be it blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, newsletters or more. I optimistically wrote:

A goal in 2021 is to break through those blockages. I want to get writing again. I want to more consistently create podcast episodes. I’d like to send out more than one email newsletter in an entire year!

That didn’t happen. In fact, I sent out zero issues of that particular email newsletter, although I did send out two issues of a new newsletter

I produced a whopping 8 podcast episodes in 2021 (7 for my The Dan York Report podcast, and one for my “FIR On Technology” podcast), although I did submit all 12 monthly reports into the FIR podcast.

And… I only wrote * 11 * posts across all my different blog sites, including my employer’s site, and almost all of those were “administrative” notices such as about upcoming deadlines for various awards or elections. A far cry from the days when would write hundreds of posts each year. 🙁

A sad state of affairs for someone who loves to create content.

Now, I do give myself a bit of a break. I mean… pandemic!  It’s been hard on all of us and quite honestly simply surviving 2021 is a beautiful thing!

On the positive side, I was live-streaming on Twitch most of the year, and in doing so continued to learn an amazing amount more about Wikipedia. And, I set up a TikTok account to actually start playing with that platform.

But my aspiration in 2022 is to get back in the game… to be back telling the stories I want to tell… and to be helping promote the hopeful aspects of the futures we need to choose. And… to do so on my OWN sites! Lately I’ve started to write very long threads on Twitter that then get lost in the noise. I really need to be taking those threads and writing them as posts for their longevity - and to have them on sites I control, rather than being lost in some proprietary platform.

We’ll see!

HEALTH

Finally, I’ve really got to focus on my health. Like many people, I’ve been a bit too sedentary during the pandemic and eaten a bit too much comfort food. My weight is almost the heaviest I’ve ever been and I seriously need to start making some better food choices. And, being in my mid-50s there’s a number of medical checks I need to have. 

need to focus on this!

Looking forward...

Overall I’m quite looking forward to 2022. I’m hopeful that maybe we can finally get the pandemic to a more reasonable state. I look forward to hopefully getting together with friends in our local area, and making new friends, too. I look forward to seeing family more frequently. I look forward to getting back to attending user group meetings and other professional events, and going to concerts and church services and so much more. I miss singing!

Hopefully we can get there… although admittedly 2022 isn’t starting off so great with the rising numbers.

I am also very excited about a new project I’m leading at the Internet Society about understanding Internet access via low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. It’s a hot topic with a lot of marketing hype right now - and we’ll be working to bring some clarity to that whole area. It should be both educational and fun!  

Let us hope this all continues to go well!

What about you? What are your aspirations for 2022?

My Themes for 2021

2021 3 Words

As I have for the past 12 years (see list), my first post of 2021 across all my sites is of three(-ish) words that are my aspirations or “themes” for the year ahead. As my 18yo daughter has reminded me, the beginning of a new calendar year is a completely arbitrary marker 🙂, but it does provide a moment to pause and reflect. Particularly THIS year with the pandemic, we’ve had a great amount of reflection time!

Note: while last year’s post was super short, this one is much longer...

CLARITY (MISSION)

Some of my colleagues at the Internet Society are undoubtedly tired of hearing me say that we must “Do Fewer Things Better”. That’s been my mantra for the past several years, particularly after I took on our website redesign four years ago at the beginning of 2017. As I looked at all the many amazing things we were doing, it was clear to me that we were doing far more than we really could with our small staff. It was hard to capture in our website what we did as an organization, because we were doing so many things! As our new-ish (2018) CEO is fond of saying “We aren’t the Everything Society!” We’ve worked hard over these years to be more focused and have more clarity of purpose.

In 2020, some internal organization changes and internal opportunities caused me to think deeply about exactly what it is I want to be doing - not only within the Internet Society, but also in my larger life. In the immortal words of the poet Mary Oliver:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I spent a great amount of time just… thinking. Reflecting. Writing. Mind-mapping. I re-read a book I’ve enjoyed - “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, which may actually be from where I started using “Do Fewer Things Better” (although he uses a slight variation “fewer, but better” following on from the German “weniger aber besser”).

Perhaps most importantly, I went back and read my blog post about WHY I joined the Internet Society back in September 2011. A critical section stood out:


We have before us a choice of futures.

One choice leads to a future where innovative companies can emerge, thrive, disrupt and succeed.

Another choice leads to a future where what little "innovation" there is exists only at the will of the gatekeepers to the network after appropriate requirements and/or payments are met. Other choices lead to outcomes somewhere in between those polarities.

How will we choose?


I realized that something in my work that I had been missing from 2017-2019, with so much of my work focused on the organization’s websites, was being a stronger voice about this choice of futures we have. In 2020, I got a chance to speak and write more on this topic as I lead our Open Standards Everywhere project… and it left me wanting to do more.

The pandemic showed us how critical the Internet is. It is the lifeline that is connecting us in all we do. It is how we communicate, collaborate, create, connect…. It is how we work, how we go to school, how we buy things.

And yet… this “lifeline” of ours is not well understood by everyone using it. And in particular by so many of the people creating policies or making decisions around the Internet.

The “Internet” needs more voices explaining HOW it works… and WHY it works the way does… and why it is worth defending. (We see it right now with the “Section 230” debates happening where it’s clear that some people don’t understand what the actual topic is!)

This happens to be something I can do particularly well. And so out of all that thought and reflection emerged the clarity of a personal “mission”, not just for my work, but also for my larger life in general:

To help people understand our choice of futures in our ever-more connected society, and to be a voice for the open Internet.

There’s an amazing clarity that happens when you have that clear of a direction. It provides a lens through which to evaluate choices and opportunities. It provided guidance in those work changes and opportunities I mentioned above.

It also provided a lens through which to evaluate opportunities outside of work. As an example, over the past several months I’ve had people from two separate nonprofits that I greatly admire approach me about joining their Board of Directors. A few years ago I would have probably just said “yes” to both, because they are great organizations and I enjoy serving on boards and helping organizations move forward.

But this clarity of purpose, combined with “do fewer things better”, provided a lens through which I could evaluate the choices. With everything else going on right now, could I really give the time to help the organizations succeed?  And secondly, would joining that board help move this personal mission forward?

For one organization, the answer was a clear yes. For the other, it wasn’t.

In 2021, I want to continue to focus on being more clear on my priorities in life, more intentional, more focused. As part of that, too, I want to evaluate the things I am doing and decide whether I truly want to continue (and have the capacity to do so), or if it is time to end some of those activities.

CONTENT (WRITING)

As noted above, if I truly want to be “a voice for the open Internet” and “to help people understand our choice of futures”… well… I kind of have to DO THAT, eh?

When I looked back over these 12 years of writing these “3 words” posts, 10 of the posts have included a word about doing “more” with creating content!

3 words 2010 2021

And yet… here I am again.

I have stories I want to tell. I have things I want to say. I have information that I think would help other people.

And yet… I struggle to get those stories and words out.

The “tyranny of the blank page” wins. The articles aren’t written. The podcast episodes aren’t recorded. The videos aren’t made.

As part of that clarity of purposed mentioned above, I’ve been looking at what is it that stops me from getting those stories out. In some cases it has been the fear of getting started. In some cases it has just been… well… life in a pandemic. In other cases, it’s been… getting distracted by everything else on the Internet.

A goal in 2021 is to break through those blockages. I want to get writing again. I want to more consistently create podcast episodes. I’d like to send out more than one email newsletter in an entire year!

Or not! Another goal this year is also to re-evaluate… if I’m not realistically going to send out email newsletters, then just shut it down! If I’m not going to publish posts on one of my sites… archive it!  It’s time to do fewer content things better!

CONNECTIONS

Finally, the pandemic of 2020 has certainly shown the strength of - and need for - connections with other people. In some ways, the pandemic has been amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a stronger connection with my wife and daughters than I have this year! My wife and I have been able to carve out some “date time” on morning walks that has brought us even closer together. The sadness of our 18yo not being able to attend her first year of university on campus has provided an amazing opportunity to learn so much more about the incredible young adult she has become. (For her sake, we’re hoping she can move on campus in the fall of 2021!) It was strange for our 11yo to start a new school entirely online and from home, but we’ve also embraced our ability to see more of her than we would in a typical school day.

But for all the strengthening of my immediate connections, I dearly miss seeing my parents and extended family. Video calls are great, but not the same. I miss seeing old friends … and making new friends. The pandemic has definitely highlighted to me that I while I’ve made some connections here in Vermont since we moved here in 2018, I do need to strengthen the ones I have and also expand a bit more.

As a strong extrovert, I enjoy the interactions with many people… and that’s so hard to do in this pandemic world. I’m hoping the combination of vaccines and behavior will help us put this virus behind us.

Two Other Themes

 While those are my main themes, there are certainly two other themes that are constant in my life:

  • HEALTH - I’m still working on this. (I say as I eat another chocolate chip cookie!) My wife and I both share a goal of eating better, exercising more, and just generally trying to be more healthy.
  • SERVICE - I’ve always tried to have part of my life involving service in helping others. Whether it has been working as part of local organizations, helping with community breakfasts, or doing other active roles, it’s always been part of what I’ve done. But it’s crazy hard in the midst of this pandemic to figure out how to help others while still being safe yourself. Sure, we donate to local organizations as we can. We help our local food shelf with supplies. But I want to do more to help in this time when so many people need help!

So these are all thoughts as we leave the craziness of 2020 and enter into 2021… we’ll see how the year shapes up - and how well I do!

How about you? What are things you want to accomplish or do differently in 2021?

"Hipster Ipsum" may be my new favorite Lorem Ipsum generator

Hipster ipsum

I may have just found my new favorite "Lorem ipsum" text generator - HIPSTER IPSUM!

https://hipsum.co/

For the longest time, my choice when I just needed some columns to fill in with filler text[1] was Bacon Ipsum, which is always fun. The companion to that is of course Veggie Ipsum

But now I think I may indeed use "hipster ipsum". I mean... I just smile when I read through the text. :-)

P.S. I noticed in searching today that there is a WordPress plugin (of course!) called "AnyIpsum" that lets you create your own lorem impsum generator.


[1] Why do I need filler text? When I'm working on a web design, it is often helpful to have some text in the columns and text blocks so that you can see what they look like with text in them. You can of course read more about the history of "Lorem ipsum" on Wikipedia.

Initial Thoughts on WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg

Wordpress 5 0

Yesterday (Dec 6, 2018) was TheBigDay when WordPress 5.0 with the Gutenberg block-based editor landed in all of our WordPress sites for upgrade. Some of the places to learn more about the launch include:

Changing the core editor over to Gutenberg was a massive effort over the past two years - and the launch this week was both an amazing accomplishment... and a very divisive event within the WordPress community.

I was very much hoping to be down in Nashville for WordCamp US this weekend, where parts of the community will be gathering. I expect it will be quite a passionate weekend! (Unfortunately some family medical issues kept me closer to home.)

I *really* like Gutenberg...

My initial reaction was... I really LIKE Gutenberg!

Now, I've been playing with it for much of the last year, and the more I work with it, the more I like it.

It really DOES enable more beautiful and powerful publishing with great ease.

I'm looking forward to doing even MORE with it and learning how far we can go with using Gutenberg.

... but it needs to work! :-(

However, after the upgrade to WordPress 5.0, the Gutenberg editor didn't work on all my sites. For several of my sites, I had NO PROBLEM after the update. It "just worked." I was immediately able to go in and start editing with Gutenberg.

But on a couple of other sites, when I went in to edit an existing page or post - or to create a new one - I made all my changes and pressed the "Update" or "Publish" button and...

Gutenberg updating failed

"Updating failed" in a big red bar across the top of the screen!

Amusingly to me, some searching on the web brought me back to a Github issue I had opened back in August 2017.

All I had to do to "fix" the issue was this:

  1. Go to Settings -> Permalinks, and change it from "Month and name" to "Day and name" and press "Save changes". I received the message "Permalink structure updated."
  2. Change it from "Day and name" back to "Month and name" and press "Save changes". I received the message "Permalink structure updated."
  3. Switch back to the tab where I was editing the post and had the error message. Pressed "Update" and.. ta da... the updating worked perfectly fine.

I had to do this on two different WordPress sites (both running on the same WordPress multisite server). Strangely, other sites on the multisite server were fine.

While the fix was easy, it concerns me that I had to do this and that I didn't really do anything. But somehow my act of changing the Permalink Settings did SOMETHING internally to make things work.

That concerns me.

Now, someone in that ticket or elsewhere suggested that this particular issue was NOT a Gutenberg issue, but rather an issue with the REST API, which Gutenberg uses.

Regardless, my point was that I couldn't use the editor to make changes on my site.

And beyond my own issue, I see many other Gutenberg issues piling up on Github. Now, yes, these may be initial launch pains for launching such a massive change.

But I do hope the team of developers can fix these in the 5.0.1 release that I'm sure will come quickly.

I really DO like the Gutenberg editor - and I look forward to seeing all we collectively can do with it!


P.S. This post was NOT written using Gutenberg because this Disruptive Conversations site is sadly still over on TypePad. I look forward to migrating it some day so that I can use Gutenberg!

Have we given up on personal blogging? (In favor of social media)

Cemetary keene

Have we given up on personal blogging? Are we instead doing that all writing in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar services?

Is the personal blog dead? [1]

I had lunch this week with a friend who, like me, has been online since long before this thing we now call the “Internet” came into being. We were having one of those “back in the old days” conversations where we talking about the discipline that came from programming in assembly language, the challenges of early computing and networks, how the programmers these days no longer need to understand how things really work, how they write bloated code, etc., etc.

Along the way we talked about the changing nature of the Internet and the growing consolidation / centralization of so many key services. We talked about how so many people no longer host their own web servers (both she and I do (for some of my sites), but talked about the issues with that and how attractive it is to look at hosting options)… about how many people no longer run their own mail servers (I don’t, but she does)… and how people have just generally given up running their own services because the hosted services are just so incredibly convenient and useful. And somewhere in there she just tossed in a comment along the lines of:

“… and then we’ve given up on blogging in favor of Facebook…"

It was just a throwaway comment in the midst of a longer discussion that went on into the rise of CDNs, overlay caching networks, cloud computing and more. (It was a great conversation!)

But that comment stuck with me… and as it rolled around inside of my brain, I sadly had to conclude that for the most part[1]...

she’s right.

My Own Example

I look even at my own writing. Despite my post in September about “Returning to POSSE - Writing on my own site, THEN on Facebook, Twitter, etc.”, the truth of the matter is that I haven’t been writing on my own sites.

If you take a look at my danyork.me aggregator site, you’ll see that I’ve been writing for the past week, but if you go back beyond that, or use the little calendar on the right sidebar to look at past months, you’ll see there is very little activity.  And what there is of my writing is most often on the Internet Society websites, rather than my various personal blogs.

For example, when I wrote on my Disruptive Telephony site on Monday, it was my first post there since March 2017 - that is 21 MONTHS!

Some of my other sites are worse.

Now, you could argue in my case that this just a matter of changing priorities. I don’t work as much with voice-over-IP or messaging, and so NOT writing on Disruptive Telephony makes sense. The site chronicled by activities in the VoIP world when I was active there. Now maybe it’s time to just park it and leave it alone. I could make similar cases for why I haven’t written on other sites.

And this may just be the consequence of my choice many years ago to spread my writing across multiple topic-focused sites, instead of just writing about a wide variety of topics on a single site such as danyork.com.

And it may be that it’s just me with everything else going on in my life over the past year.

The Directory Dilemma, Again

Or maybe not.

My lunch companion mentioned the challenge of finding where companies have their main information. Are their hours of operation most accurate on their website? Or on their Facebook page? 

And the same is true of personal blogs and sites. 

How do I find where people are writing?

Back in the early days of blogging (mid-2000s), of course,  many of us used RSS readers and got our feeds from sites that way.  We found new feeds from references, from searches, from different directories. But while I’m still one of those dwindling number of people who use a RSS reader, the vast majority of people do not. 

How do you find writing?  Well, usually through mentions in social media. It’s the “syndication” part of POSSE.  

But if you are using social media to distribute and promote your writing… it’s not a huge step to simply just write in the social media platform because it’s so easy and distribution is automatic. I know people who have moved all their writing to LinkedIn, for instance. Or people who are writing long threads in Twitter now that the site supports longer tweets and threading.

It’s another version of the Directory Dilemma - it’s easy to find content within those nice hosted walled gardens.

Running Servers Takes Work

And let’s be honest - running your own personal website can be a bit of a pain. If you use a self-hosted content management system (CMS) such as WordPress (as I do), you find yourself pretty much constantly needing to apply updates. Updates to the core… updates to the plugins… updates to the theme.  And then of course possibly updates to the underlying operating system if you are running the CMS in a virtual machine.

And then if you want to set up TLS certificates to support HTTPS, that can be a whole adventure! And if you mess it up, your sites are offline.

It’s enough to make you say… "<expletive> it, I’ll just go write on Medium!” … or hosted WordPress.com … or… to just write inside of Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn.

After all... I just want to write! 

Every minute I spend doing system admin or applying plugin updates is a minute I could be doing more writing.

Add in that all of those social sites have very easy-to-use mobile applications. It makes it so easy to just start writing inside those pretty walled gardens.

In contrast, many of the blogging and website hosting services have a less-than-stellar mobile UX. WordPress does a nice job with its mobile apps... but others? Not so much.

So is personal blogging dead?

Wellllll... no. There will always be some of will write on their own sites.

And I'd like to hope not for the larger independence of the Web. I'd like to hope many people will continue to embrace the “POSSE“ content publishing model from the “IndieWeb” movement:

Publish on your
Own
Site,
Syndicate
Elsewhere

I am going to continue to try.

But I also understand why some give up on it. The sweet convenience, ease-of-use and simplicity of the social networking platforms is extremely seductive. And they encourage consumption of content (because that helps get them the ad eyeballs they need to get paid) - and finding the balance of consumption and creation is hard!

What about you, dear reader? Have you given up


[1] Realizing that there will always be outliers in terms of very active personal blogs - and people who just choose to write on their own - but are personal blogs no longer of interest for the vast majority of people?

Photo: an image I took in the Woodlawn Cemetary in Keene, NH

How to Run WordPress in a Docker Container, Part 1

Wordpress docker installation

Here is a quick 3-step process for launching WordPress in a Docker container. You can use this to easily launch a new WordPress instance on your local system to test out new versions, new plugins or anything else.

First, though, you need to have Docker installed on your system. The simplest way for Mac and Windows users is to install Docker Desktop. This desktop download also gives you Docker Compose, which you will need. If you are running Docker on a Linux system, you will need to manually install Docker and Docker Compose.

To run WordPress, you also need a database running. The steps here use Docker Compose to launch TWO containers: one for WordPress and one for MySQL.

Three steps

Step 1 - Create a directory (a.k.a. "folder") and install the docker-compose.yaml file found in this Github repository. You can get the file three ways:

The key is to have this all in a separate directory because your WordPress installation will store some plugins there (see the notes below).

Step 2 - In a terminal window[1] type 'docker-compose up

This will launch the two containers and link them together. You will see logging to your terminal window. You can press Ctrl+C to stop the containers and get your command prompt back. To launch the containers in the background add a "-d" option:

docker-compose up -d

Step 3 - Connect to your new WordPress server at http://localhost:8080/

That's it!

Wordpress installation 660px

Now you simply go through the normal WordPress installation process and within a few screens your new site will be fully active.

Next you can update WordPress to the latest version, install whatever plugins you want, etc.

For example, I installed the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, went into its settings and turned on "Bleeding edge nightlies", performed an upgrade... and now I'm running the very latest WordPress 5.0 build. Perfect for the testing I want to do.

Credit for the simplicity of this approach is due to Github user "wglambert" who answered a request I made about help using the WordPress Docker container. Thank you!

Notes

  • Stopping the containers - do 'docker-compose stop'. This will stop the containers from running. Doing 'docker-compose start' will start them up again.
  • A 'wp-content' directory is created is created inside the directory in which you put the docker-compose.yaml file. Any plugins or themes you add will be stored here. This allows you to do a reinstallation and have all the plugins and themes available.
  • WHEN YOU ARE DONE and want all this to go away, just type 'docker-compose down' and the services will be stopped and the containers removed.

There are many more things you can do with docker-compose. The command-line documentation can help you learn more.

Next parts

I labeled this as "Part 1" because I'm planning to write about my own ongoing testing with Docker and WordPress. In future parts of this series, I intend to cover:

  • How to load in an existing site for testing
  • How to save your changes in a Dockerfile (so you don't have to start at the very basic installation each time)
  • ... and other things I learn along the way.

I also expect I may update THIS article over time as I do more with using WordPress and Docker.

I hope you found this helpful. Please feel free to leave comments here (unfortunately I have to moderate due to spam, and so comments will not appear immediately).

I also welcome pointers to other "WordPress and Docker" tutorials that people have found helpful. If you want to follow along with some of my other experiments with Docker and containers in general, I'll be writing about that over on Code.DanYork.com.


[1] or "command shell" or "powershell" or whatever you call it...

Returning to POSSE – Writing on my own site, THEN on Facebook, Twitter, etc

Sheriff posse flickr tom kelly

Over the past few weeks as I’ve been grappling with colon cancer, it has been soooooooooo tempting to just pop open the Facebook app, write a story in the box and press “Share”.

Simple. Easy. Done!

Or inside the Twitter app… or LinkedIn… or… or...

But here’s the problem with that...

All the stories get LOCKED INSIDE A PLATFORM!

They are there living on the platform’s servers, inside the platform’s systems.  Maybe they are visible publicly, maybe they aren’t.  Maybe they will be around in two years, maybe they won’t.  Maybe people will find them, maybe they won’t.

The future of your stories is entirely at the whim of the platform.

As I wrote about on the Internet Society’s blog earlier this year, one of my own guiding principles is “POSSE“, a content publishing model from the “IndieWeb” movement:

Publish on your
Own
Site,
Syndicate
Elsewhere

And so over these past few weeks, I tried really hard to do that with my journey through cancer: the diagnosis, followed by the recovery, followed by the results.

But it’s HARD. It was so insanely tempting yesterday when I got the great news just to pop open Facebook and share it with everyone.

But when I do that… it’s shared ONLY within Facebook’s shiny “walled garden”. It’s not shared with people I know who choose NOT to use Facebook. It’s not shared with the communities I’m in on other social networks.

The “open Web” on top of the “open Internet” is really the only way to do that. But it’s hard. There’s extra steps involved for me right now with the way my various blogs are set up.  I want to work to make that easier and simpler… but doing so will take time… which is challenging to find.

But if we don’t find ways to OWN OUR OWN STORIES then they will stay locked away in closed, proprietary walled gardens.  And maybe that’s fine for some of those stories. Maybe they are small and mundane… “in the moment” stories that we don’t really care about. But even so, we feed the platforms. We help them to grow.

 I’ll keep trying to follow the POSSE rule… and I’ll be writing more here about that.


Image credit: Tom Kelly on Flickr CC BY NC ND

Revisiting a Not-So-New Rule – No Social Media Usage Until I Have Created Something New

Being a writer not being distracted

I woke up this morning frustrated that I simply haven’t been writing across my various sites. In theory I am a “writer”, but I haven’t been writing! And as I wrote in My 3 Words for 2018: “because if I don't write... the stories build up inside of me until they want to explode like a pressure cooker without a relief valve. Writing is my relief valve. I need to do it.

So I said to myself- I know, I will impose a new rule on myself... no social media usage until I publish something new! A blog post, a podcast episode (such as my The Dan York Report short audio segments), an article on some site (ex CircleID), a longer update on a social site... something.... anything.... BEFORE I get sucked into the vortex of social media updates. 

And I will start with a blog post like this one...

Except... I discovered I WROTE THE EXACT SAME POST TWO YEARS AGO! July 24, 2016, to be precise.

And... I noted that on day #2, July 25, 2016, I had already failed. ☹️

So this morning’s great idea turns out to be nothing new. 

In fact, I can go back 10 years ago, to a post in September 2008, where I wrote about Jeremiah Owyang’s “Pay yourself first” philosophy. Or may many other posts about struggling with consistent writing.

Now, maybe this rule is like the “no sweets today” diet rule that turns out to be an aspiration that just doesn’t happen. And maybe EVERY day is too high a goal. Maybe every other day. But I have to do something, or consumption will win over creation. 

Unless, of course, I want to reframe my own perspective and think of myself as an “occasional writer”... and just accept only writing now and then  

I am not quite ready for that. Let’s see how I do this year!