Life Online, DIY or Not

January 26, 2008

I’ve started getting the “itch” again, to build something unique on the web. I put a lot of my life online and as I’ve said to a lot of people, my career *is* the web.

Putting my life online also involves getting away from desktops and laptops and running applications which require me to be at a physical machine. I originally started a lot of this with webmail; squirrelmail back in 2001 and various webmail setups were more in the mindset of preventing viri from infecting my machines, so ditching Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, etc from my computers and going all online for both me and my wife, kept our (then) Windows machines virus-free and even allowed us a smooth transition to Mac and Linux systems. We now have a Windows laptop and a Nintendo DSLite on our home network (casanet) and can check email on either one.

I also ditched some of my photo programs for Flickr and iPhoto when I was on the Mac. I stopped using either one,for something more self-managed and I’m still looking for a good method.

One of my meta changes was to change from self-hosting a couple of blogs and just using resources from Google or Tumblr. I really like not being responsible for hosting my main site or it’s email and putting it in the hands of Google (for email) or Tumblr for it’s stabibility. More so for GMail, I know I’ll have it hosted there for a while and do not have to worry about losing my archive should I change my site’s host. I can change back to self-hosting the www site, change to another host like WordPress.com or just not even host a page anymore and Google will still (thanks to DNS) have my email.

I’m now debating dropping my hosting account, for something like Typepad where I can use Movable Type, have a photo album, a few blogs, and have it on their server. But this is also at a cost of freedom. I feel good when I can setup a bookmark site in MT, like I have for years and years now.

Unfortunately not self-hosting, can easily prevent any updates from work or updates from school networks, if you’re behind the great proxy of “x”. It can also prevent the freedom of running ads if you decide to try to make any money from your sites.

This is more of a list of thought patterns to layout some options for people who want to have the full online experience but who could care less about hosting providers.