This weekend I’ve really begun to embark on a personal project that seeks to reclaim my digital content and presence in an attempt to establish an authentic “Digital Self”. I’ve spoken about this idea of the Digital Self a couple of times now but it’s something I believe in, and something I have to practice in order to preach. So why would you want to do this? Well I’m going to turn you over to Audrey Watters & Kin Lane to explain. They cover pretty much everything I would but in a way more interesting way (there’s even a few swears :-0 )and you get to look at that killer beard that Kin is sporting 🙂
So what does this whole process include? Well it’s pretty basic, but it is somewhat complex to lay the groundwork. The way I’ve approached it is:
- Getting some server space over at Reclaim Hosting.
- Getting your domain name sorted (you get a free one with your Reclaim plan but I had a couple of others floating around that needed consolidation).
- Mapping out the services and components that I currently use.
- Mapping out the services and components I want to use.
That’s what I’ve been worked on so far. Over the weekend, while battling with flu and toddler tantrums, I managed to start the next stage which is to begin to build and design my space to start migrating stuff to the server.
At the moment that looks like this:
- A HTML landing page at timklapdor.me where I’m putting links to all my current online spaces and places that I plan on keeping. Anything that needs migrating will go there once it’s done. Just modified one of the great templates from HTML5 Up
- I installed WordPress Multisite on timklapdor.me where I’ll be setting up a number of sites for different and specific purposes. This will give me some flexibility to change and migrate over time, and also not lump everything into a single mega site. I like the idea of this way of working and centrally managing WordPress means that plugin and theme deployment is simpler and easy. The great thing about cPanel and Installatron is that I can easily install a myriad of other software too – wikis etc – to suit whatever else I might need or want down the line.
- I’ve set up one such site to take over all my curated bits and pieces from the web – Miscellanea. It’s using the ExpressCurate WordPress Theme & Plugin to provide the functionality and it comes with a Chrome Plugin so that the process can be quick and painless.
- I have had a play with Digital Ocean as a cloud based server infrastructure for all this but to be honest it’s still a bit new for me. I can see a place for it, but am thinking I might use that as a Lab space – somewhere I can quickly spool up something to test on – anything running Node.js especially. At $5 a month it’s pretty good value.
The plan from here is to slowly work through developing solutions for:
– A Blog and moving from wordpress.com
– Quotes to collect all those wisdom – similar to this over on WorryDream.com
– MicroBlog that will be a I/O for twitter – so that I have my own copy of everything I tweet (good and bad)
– And a richer personal Profile that includes: Resume, Portfolio, Badges, Publications and Presentations.
To augment my domain I still plan on utilising online services such as:
– Dropbox – easy, interoperable and an offsite backup.
– iTunes Match – my music backup in the cloud.
– Evernote – I’m too far in at this point, and I still enjoy the experience – but I want Markdown support 😦
– iCloud Drive – I’m still looking for a good backup solution for my Aperture library, and integration in next iOS will be a good thing for simplicity.
And to round things off I’m hoping to shift my use of other services to function merely as external publishers. So it means keeping an active profile – but looking at POSSE as a model to remain connected to Twitter, Google+, Flickr and Facebook.
It will be a bit of an ongoing project, but one I’m actually looking forward to tackling. I have a lot of debris scattered around the web after more than a decade so it’s a good opportunity to clean it up and give what I want to keep a bit of polish. I’m also enjoying doing some of the simpler things – like designing a bit of a logo and visual conceptual for myself. The banner image from timklapdor.me is something I spent some time on over the weekend. I loved getting back into Illustrator and playing, creating and experimenting visually. I think I’ve got something I actually like – which for any designer is often the hardest thing! – and it will be able to work across pretty much every application I can think of. It also has flexibility built-in – meaning I can change colours and images to suit what I’m trying to do. Should be fun!