First off, to anyone that sent me an e‑mail over the past month, it seems that a few were eaten by the server between maintenance cycles. Apparently there was a spooling error which has since been sorted out, so if you didn’t receive a response, please re-send as needed!
And now for something completely different … photos of the ongoing journey, and some thoughts on the future of this domain.
I’ve been considering the future direction and focus of this domain. There have been large gaps between updates over the last few years, particularly since 2010, and I feel I owe it to my readers that we stay on the same page as far as site operations are concerned.
I’ve owned crimsonhalo.com in one form or another since its launch in February 2003, and next year will be the ten-year anniversary. I’ve mostly been doing it as a pastime, and it still holds my interests to this day because of the manifold opportunities it presents for learning and forming connections. The same goes for my news media work and similar endeavours.
Why own a domain?
Having a personal space on the World Wide Web serves a lot of very useful purposes, with several important advantages. It makes the realities of distributing one’s own work several orders of magnitude easier, and when you sign up with the right host, it’s a great facilitator of free speech. With no middle man or ridiculous third party TOS agreements to worry about (other than your provider contract), creating a personal network becomes its own reward.
This is not the case with mainstream social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, where censorship and content rejection are a regularly occurring phenomenon. When using those sites, you’re expected to give up a certain amount of privacy and freedom to simply gain access to the service. Also, since those sites use large teams of helpdesk workers for their content and policy enforcement, consistency is often a problem and individual instances can vary widely from agent to agent.
At the end of the day, this place is still a personal site at its heart. While there will be some materials to aid an ongoing search for better work, most of what ends up here is original content and art I’ve created, along with news and blog posts.
When the site was revised in 2011 and given its the new layout, I decided to focus more on making it into a library of my own works, spanning more than a decade of my life.
Content selection standards
When it comes to what gets published, I’ve always believed there exists a fine line between tact and tacky. Something that periodically comes up is the question of how deep one may be willing to delve into their private life online.
While I’ve been online since 1996 and am part of the so-called Facebook generation, I don’t buy into the idea of telling all to random strangers because at its core, it eschews meaningful, constructive thought processes in favour of seeking cheap attention. That’s not my style.
Being introspective in ways that positively engages one’s readers is tactful. Making the Internet a soapbox for airing all of one’s dirty laundry isn’t. Some things are better handled in real life, in private, in a more direct and honest manner, because it’s simply the right thing to do.
It also bears remembering that dozens of automated archive bots exist on the Internet, every one of them constantly grabbing new screen shots of every site they can find in preparation for search indexing and data caching. Thus, with this power comes a huge level of responsibility: just because a person can say something in a public venue doesn’t mean they necessarily need to, or even that one should. Once something lives online, it lives nearly forever, and when it draws negative attention, the potential for damage runs high.
The right to freedom of speech is correctly counterbalanced by the interests of those so affected, and by the expectation that one must practice basic journalistic ethics and protocols in the course of carrying out their endeavours.
These are the guidelines I strive to uphold in my personal space online, particularly when it comes to engaging topics that fall in the public domain and interest. So, while most of the content that ends up here will simply be my own art, poetry, designs, or stories, it’s important for my readers to know that what sets this site apart from the rest is my awareness that the fun and benefits of blogging are only won by strong responsibility.