Tag Archives: websites

Website Thrills

There is something sad, but ultimately satisfying about getting to grips with new software. I’ve been battling all week with with Joomla!, an online Content Management System, that has interesting ways of obfuscating the simplest of requirements, but I think I’m getting the hang of it and heck, it’s free, so who am I to grumble. The instructions are not that clear and you need to know quite a lot about databases and file structures to even start setting it up.

Added to that I’ve bought a plugin to show videos – it’s wonderful, but the manual is not very helpful. Learning how another piece of software works is doubling the load but learning how the two interact id=s a bit of a headache!

It’s a work in progress, but you are welcome to see what I’ve done so far at www.shoorayner.com/DrawingSchool. Click the menu item for animals and you will see some videos. The Puppy one is a full length drawing video the others are short clips for testing with. I can start filling up with videos now.

I’m hoping that this will be viewable in schools. If yo can get it showing on your whiteboard, without the blockers stopping it, I’d love to know – otherwise ask you it department to clear it.

Just the very start of what is going to be a pretty major project over the years, I think. I’m going to link it to my online shop, which I’m also working on at the moment, so you can buy the full HD video as a download if you want or buy a set on a pen drive.

Watch this space – or rather, go and watch the videos!

Maybe the internet is alive already?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the internet since about 1977, when I first realised what computers could do and that they could talk to each other. I used to tell people that one day that we would all have computers and that they would be connected by the phone and that one day the final connection would be made that would turn the mass of computers into one brain.

Of course everyone said I was mad! Many people, technologists mostly, believe that this is likely in some way.

Thinking about the idea of the Web, this morning, I wonder if it hasn’t come alive already. I always assumed it would be a thinking, reasoning brain. What if it is just plain stupid or just not very intelligent?

Like a spider… sitting in the middle of a web, catching anything it can, sucking the juice out and doing nothing other than surviving to do the same the next day.

Isn’t that what the web is doing – sucking the juice out of what it is that makes us humans? Anything original that is posted on the web is immediately homogenised, made to fit into standards, broken up into bits, re-mashed, churned up and made to look like something new, which it isn’t. We come to expect standards.

A couple of years ago it was fashionable to talk about nano technology leading us into a world of grey goo. Well, isn’t that where we are heading on the internet? A world of grey digital goo, where everything is so chopped up and interlinked that it becomes meaningless.

A couple of days ago I posted an article about eBooks and authors. This was then posted up on a meaningless site called astonmartinnews.com. This site seems to have no reason to exist, other than to post links to other sites in the hope you will be drawn to it and then click on the advertising.

The page says that my blog entry has been tweeted about three times from that page! There are three comments on the article each linking to adverts to sell you ebooks. The whole confection has been whipped up by computers and there has not been one human interchange in the whole affair. What the hell is it about? All that Human ingenuity put to work for absolutely nothing. And this is going on all over the web every single microsecond. As more and more spurious links are made by mindless machines, the whole net becomes a mess, the real stuff gets harder to find so we fall back on the homogenised wisdom of Wikipedia, a wonderful encyclopaedia of pop culture.

When did you last get a really useful result from Google on the front page? The rest of the net is obsessed with SEO, search engine optimisation, which basically means that you have to lie about the quality of your content to get to the front page so you can sell some ads. Real content is to be found on page 1245.

The net is a dead-eyed, care-less living monster that is slowly consuming our culture. Next it will begin sucking out the essence of our humanity.

The internet is probably the greatest tool we have ever invented – it may also be the worst.

British Library Web Archive

Hey, I’m in the British Library Web Archive! that must mean something, if only points, but then, what do points mean?

It’s made me think about the various stages my site has been through. Maybe I should put up my own archives up on my site. I think I still have my old HTML site from the 1990s lying around on a disk somewhere.