Skip to main content

What Goes Online...

I have been on the Internet since the 1980s. I have located messages I posted in college via the USENET, now more than 25 years after I composed them. The various incarnations of my Web sites have also survived in various forms, for reasons I cannot explain.

From my main site, though, I have removed things over the years and hope they are generally "gone" from the massive electronic memory that is the Web.

I eschewed blogs for many years. I posted only a few badly written essays and ramblings on my Web site. My poetry was online, but I removed the works after someone told me there were things no one needed to read. I removed a few short stories, as well, realizing that I couldn't recall what was fictional and what was close to the realities of people I once knew.

When you write a lot, thousands of words some days and literally tens of thousands some weeks, you end up capturing bits of the people around you. But what if they don't want to be exposed, even anonymously? It seems right to respect the wishes of others, and I have tried to do so with the Web.

Of course, there are some instances when you cannot and should not defer to the emotional desires of others. When I work on issues of education and students with special needs, I am fairly certain my complaints and demands for better services supersede the emotions of some people. If you are a barrier to education or self-expression, I don't worry about your feelings.

But I do worry about people who were or are important to me.

This raises questions about what students do online. Do they realize a photo they find humorous could hurt a friend? Do they realize an angry rant posted online could damage a friendship? Do they understand that even fictional works, like those I write, can get too close to reality and need to be censored, at least for a time?

Do I feel the same about the printed word? I am not sure. I think some things might need to wait for print, too. Somehow, print seems safer for now, but it's also easy to scan, convert, and e-mail physical pages. I would publish some things I might not place online, for now, but I cannot explain or even anticipate what those barriers might be.

As it is, some of the few things I have published this year have been pseudonymous. They'll likely remain that way, which means they will not appear directly or indirectly on my Web site.

Because my memory is spotty, I write many things down and record various thoughts. That doesn't mean every thought should be online.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Slowly Rebooting in 286 Mode

The lumbar radiculopathy, which sounds too much like "ridiculously" for me, hasn't faded completely. My left leg still cramps, tingles, and hurts with sharp pains. My mind remains cloudy, too, even as I stop taking painkillers for the back pain and a recent surgery.

Efforts to reboot and get back on track intellectually, physically, and emotionally are off to a slow, grinding start. It reminds me of an old 80286 PC, the infamously confused Intel CPU that wasn't sure what it was meant to be. And this was before the "SX" fiascos, which wedded 32-bit CPU cores with 16-bit connections. The 80286 was supposed to be able to multitask, but design flaws resulted in a first-generation that was useless to operating system vendors.

My back, my knees, my ankles are each making noises like those old computers.

If I haven't already lost you as a reader, the basic problem is that my mind cannot focus on one task for long without exhaustion and multitasking seems…

MarsEdit and Blogging

MarsEdit (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mailing posts to blogs, a practice I adopted in 2005, allows a blogger like me to store copies of draft posts within email. If Blogger, WordPress, or the blogging platform of the moment crashes or for some other reason eats my posts, at least I have the original drafts of most entries. I find having such a nicely organized archive convenient — much easier than remembering to archive posts from Blogger or WordPress to my computer.

With this post, I am testing MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software based on recent reviews, including an overview on 9to5Mac.

Composing posts an email offers a fast way to prepare draft blogs, but the email does not always work well if you want to include basic formatting, images, and links to online resources. Submitting to Blogger via Apple Mail often produced complex HTML with unnecessary font and paragraph formatting styles. Problems with rich text led me to convert blog entries to plaintext in Apple Mail and then format th…

Screenwriting Applications

Screenplay sample, showing dialogue and action descriptions. "O.S."=off screen. Written in Final Draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A lot of students and aspiring writers ask me if you "must" use Final Draft or Screenwriter to write a screenplay. No. Absolutely not, unless you are working on a production. In which case, they own or your earn enough for Final Draft or Screenwriter and whatever budget/scheduling apps the production team uses.

I have to say, after trying WriterDuet I would use it in a heartbeat for a small production company and definitely for any non-profit, educational projects. No question. The only reason not to use it is that you must have the exclusive rights to a script... and I don't have those in my work.

WriterDuet is probably best free or low-cost option I have tested. It is very interesting. Blows away Celtx. The Pro version with off-line editing is cheaper than Final Draft or Screenwriter.

The Pro edition is a standalone, offline versio…