Halfway through the year, and where are we up to

Mosaics at the mosque

Well, it’s slightly more than halfway through the year, but part of me, deep down, still runs on a school calendar I think, and it’s the tail end of July, when all the exams are done and the holidays are up and running, that feels like the year’s mid-point. The Wired Jester has gotten a bit dusty – the last update was back in March (!!) – owing to a very busy first four months of the year at Custom PC. We’ve now finished hiring, and the team is up to six people in the office, which feels excellent. So now that I have a bit of time, where am I at, nearly seven months through 2008?

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Boom, WordPress

Christmas Lights Firework

After a week of tinkering, the Wired Jester is now up and running on WordPress. TWJ spent just over a year on TypePad, and while I certainly enjoyed using their blogging software, I’ve been looking to move to WordPress for a while. It’s what we use at work for our blogs and podcasts, and I’ve really come to love its simple and stylish approach – particularly the Gmail style auto-saving of draft posts. I’m also a big fan of the WordPress look; stylish and simple. And there’s the fact that WordPress is practically free – an important consideration now that I’ve got a house and a stupidly big mortgage to pay. The RSS feed is still powered by Feedburner, so subscribers – hey Lawrence! – shouldn’t notice any changes. Feel free to pop by the site and let me know what you think of the changes, though. Still undecided about the header graphic.

An online notebook


As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I stopped link-blogging on this site – as I was using Delicious, everything I ever saved was getting posted here, which was both ugly and lazy. Delicious certainly had its plus points though; regular blogging is good, and using it made me think about the links I was saving. Ultimately, though, the form and the function didn’t quite work.

I’ve been thinking about what to do with this site quite a bit, and one of the things which has occurred to me is how much I like keeping notebooks in the real world – you can see a big pile of the last few years’ worth above – and that if I could find a web app that was similar, I’d be very happy. As a result, I started experimenting with Tumblr. It’s yet another linguistic crime of a name, but the actual program is very nifty; a lightweight, easy to use, and simple blogging app made for handling links, videos and pictures.

Best of all however, is the way in which it handles quotes. Tumblr has a specific way of dealing with little pieces of text, which fits very well with my current thinking on what I’m going to use the main blog for next. There are a lot of design-influenced tech blogs, but far fewer that look at text, writing and reading and how they intersect with technology

But I’m getting ahead of myself… For the moment, behold The Wired Jester’s Jumps & Tumbles, a companion link-log / web scrapbook to this main blog.

There will be more, but before that, less

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was considering making some changes to this blog. I’ve begun the tinkering; a lot of it has, so far, been behind the scenes, and has mostly consisted of doodles on paper, but some of these ideas are now going from the real world to this digital one. Most noticeably, I’ve unhooked the Delicious feed so there won’t be any more daily link posts. Although it’s nice and convenient, I always thought they looked ugly and mundane posts such as this one illustrated the system’s lack of flexibility – you have no control over what gets posted, so anything saved to Delicious is publicised.

Delicious link posting is very easy, but doing something because it’s easy is not really what I’m interested in. It needs to be good, or it needs to disappear. So begone, idle links.

And in their place? Well, the site is going to have a tighter focus. So more photos, more writing, but perhaps less frequently than before. I’ve been out and about a lot this summer and bought a house, so there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes of the behind the scenes of this blog…

The Wired Jester 2.0

London Bridge

Picture caption: The road to the future, yesterday. Lots of concrete and white light. No robots in sight.

It’s been a while since there’s been a longer post on the Wired Jester, so I thought I’d drop one in, partly because I’m quite proud of the above shot at London Bridge and wanted to show it off, and partly because I have genuinely been thinking about what to do with this site going forward. At the moment, I’m enjoying the link blogging – it’s quick, light and easy, and it fits in well with all the DIY I’ve been doing in my spare time in new house, but I have got a new idea for the Jester that will hopefully see it getting a little more use than just as a link repository. As ever, it’s just a matter of finding the time and figuring out priorities…

Today is a proud day for the Wired Jester

For the Wired Jester is now, officially (thanks, Google), the web’s number 1 resource for FIGHTING OFF NINJAS!

Fighting off Ninjas

If you have reached this site because of a ninja-related emergency, I recommend calling your local emergency services as soon as possible. Aside from this, there is little I can say other than you should be comforted by the fact you will be a superb anecdote for your friends and aquaintances.

New Look

Just changed the Jester’s clothes, so to speak, and given this blog a new, simpler look. Let me know what you think – and if it causes any problems etc.

The evolution of blogs

What’s it all about, Alfie Alex? I’ve been using a lot of Twitter recently, and in the process have been thinking about what this blog is really for. Over the years, it’s consistently evolved – originally it was a place for storing and sharing my photos, but Flickr’s taken that over; I used to put interesting links up, but let’s be honest, there’s a million linkers out there, and Delicious is easier to use and more flexible when it comes to storing neat things. The Wired Jester’s not a bad place to keep links to my journalism, and the books I read, but it’s starting to look pretty barebones now that Twitter threatens to usurp this blog as a place to note down/communicate what I’m actually doing. Many of the blogs I still read tend to be morphing into online magazines – Engadget, Jean Snow etc – so I wonder, if I’m going to keep this place going, do I need to be writing  article style posts? I tried it last month, and have to say that despite the time it took, the response wasn’t overwhelming…  I guess we’ll see :S

Fun with feeds

The wildly, slightly implausibly successful Custom PC podcast (I say this because at one point, we were higher in the iTunes chart than Jamie Oliver) introduced me to the rather awesome Feedburner. It’s an absolutely excellent service, and TypePad, which hosts The Wired Jester, allows you to use Feedburner for your blog’s RSS feed. So that’s what I’m now doing, and I recommend having a look at it – as well as all the usual posts the Wired Jester feed now includes links, as I’m splicing them in from my Delicious profile.