Posted on July 18, 2006 Posted by John Scalzi 9 Comments
You know, yesterday the latest editions of Official US PlayStation Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Popular Science and PC Week came to my door, and I thought, look at all this nerdishness! I am a geek god! And then I tried to install Movable Type 3.3 and failed utterly. I am a geek loser, and just think about what it means when you can’t even be a geek. I might as well hide in a hole. But at least I didn’t destroy my existing install in the process. I’ll try again at some other point.
I did, however, do at least one other geek-related thing, which is that I got an invite to join Vox, which is SixApart’s new do-everything social network site, which is still in beta. I whomped up a page there, which you can see here. As far as generic blog-hosting goes, it’s fairly attractive, with all sorts of various Web 2.0 bells and whistles, like the ability to host and stream mp3s, take photos from Flickr and so on and so forth. It’s got so many nice bells and whistles, in fact, that I wonder why the blank-blankety-blank Six Apart offers them for free on Vox while my Movable Type install, which I paid for, thank you very much, has almost none of them. Perhaps they’re all in the 3.3 upgrade. Man, I hate being a geek loser.
This also means that I have yet another blog-like extension online. Aside from here and my AOL Journal, both of which I actively update, I’ve got outposts on LiveJournal, MySpace, Blogger, Flickr and all manner of social and professional network sites which I’ve not visited in what seems like eternity (alas, poor Friendster. You were so 2003). Because I have life (and I am not a college student), I can’t really maintain them all, nor do I really want to; I have the LiveJournal and Blogger accounts so I can use the comment functions, and the rest I have largely out of curiosity. Also, of course, if I do destroy Scalzi.com doing an upgrade, at least I’ll have somewhere else to go, already set up. Even so.
All I really want is to set this place up exactly the way I want it. But then we’re back to the geek loser thing again. Sigh.
After getting my invite, I found myself logging into Vox about once in a blue moon (usually whenever someone else mentioned getting an account), but I find some of the features a little bit self defeating (“hey, you can show what books you’re reading — and you’ll send a referral fee to SixApart!”), which is why I suspect that they’ll still offer plenty of appeal to folks using MT or even LJ.
Because Vox is advert supported and MT is Scalzi supported.
>> I wonder why the blank-blankety-blank Six Apart
>> offers them for free on Vox while my Movable Type
>> install, which I paid for, thank you very much,
>> has almost none of them”
I’ve been feeling like a geek failure today, too. Nothing in the world has made me feel as stupid as trying to set up my own website. :-)
Here’s my favorite quote from your new Vox site:
“View more of my audio”
Rather existential of you…
No, no, John–you’re just an old-school geek. In the old days, when we chipped our ones and zeroes out of flint, technology was supposed to fail. The mark of a geek was not that you installed DOS correctly or hooked up your printer right the first time. If you did that, clearly it was a lucky fluke, and if something went wrong, you’d be at a loss to fix it. No, it’s the people who could brag about how they finally figured out the right dipswitch settings or the right string of -r -ewp /noprint commands to get the damn thing working who were REAL geeks.
Have you checked this post out :
Tripp: Go here. Be aware I reversed the colors.
You are not alone. The MT upgrade process is… wait a minute? You mean there’s an MT upgrade process?
No. No, there is not.
I’ve also been playing around with a Vox account, and the one thing that’s been frustrating me so far is its lack of customizability. There are simple things, like the inability to set a link to open in a new window, and then there are integration things.
It’s great to be able to select a photo from my Flickr account, but I can only choose from the most recent 20, even though I have a pro Flickr account (my upload batches frequently exceed 20 or even 30 photos). There is no gadget to display the most recent photos in the sidebar, even though Flickr provides the code to do this which you can drop into a custom site.
Vox will pull book refences from and link them to Amazon, but you can’t search or link by ASIN ID or ISBN number. If the book you are searching for doesn’t appear in the first 10 seemingly random search results for an exact title match, you will be stuck trying different title-author combined search terms until it displays the correct edition.
Anyway, it’s a huge step up from the crap that is MySpace, but still seems a little too beta/juvenile/dumbed-down for a blogger. I suspect that Six Apart’s responses to my comments will be that I should use MovableType to be able to fully customize my site. But, hey, Vox is still beta and most of it is good, so we’ll see where it goes.