I succumbed to twitter. If anybody here twitters, feel free to follow me at @jesseskinner or leave your id in the comments.
Three years ago today, I wrote my first post. I was just about to move to Berlin and was looking for a new job.
By the time this blog turns four, we should be living back in Canada, and I might set up a web development agency (in an office!)
That's enough about me! What're you guys up to these days?
I've just added a new page where you can see a listing of all the articles I've written (this article is my 181st). This might be an easier way to see older articles than going page by page or month by month. Check it out: All Articles
I discuss a lot of the core functionality and philosophy of jQuery, including an introduction to writing plugins. So if you've heard of jQuery but haven't really decided if you want to use it, or if you've started to use it and want to see what it's capable of, I think you might enjoy the article.
Joe tagged me. So now I have to tell you 5 things that the blogosphere doesn't know about me.
I know, these things are totally boring, and you didn't come here to learn about my pets, so I'll try to keep them slightly interesting and on topic:
I ran a number of BBSes from 1993-1995. They were called "The Dreaming" and "Pepperland", and my handles were "Morpheus", "Zippo" and "Fone Bone".
When the Internet came out, I thought it was just another crappy network for "lamers", something like AOL or CompuServe, and hoped it would go away. After a while I gave up and jumped on the bandwagon.
The first web page I made was in 1995 (Grade 10). It was a one-page psychedelic propaganda page for a hippie cult I was trying to start called "The Mellow Revolution". It was hosted on Tripod, but it doesn't exist anymore.
My mom has one of the most successful quilt web sites on the Internet called Victoriana Quilt Designs. When I tell people this, they assume I made it for her. In fact, I only taught her how to use FrontPage one day and she did all the rest by herself (okay, I helped her integrate PayPal and add login security, but that's about it).
Well, I hoped I didn't bore you to death. Now I'm supposed to tag 5 other bloggers and see if they actually find out, give a crap, and follow through with a list. Tag, Emil Stenström, Roger Johansson, Tara Hunt, Mike Papageorge, and Dan Webb, you're it.
Big news: I'm quitting my job, moving back to Canada (with Svea of course) and taking the plunge into fulltime web development freelancing. This is something I've wanted to do for a long, long time (like seriously 10 years).
I'll be available to do any sized projects, from debugging CSS to adding Ajax functionality to full-blown database-driven web applications in PHP or Ruby on Rails. I love doing it all, and I love the variety. I think that's why freelancing is going to be very fun for me. I also plan to have more time to work on my own projects and get some very interesting things started. Stay tuned for more on that.
You can probably expect the content of this blog will start to include stuff about freelancing and self-employment. Hopefully I can help someone out by passing along any painful lessons learned. I'd also love to hear your stories and advice about going it alone.
I hate to do posts like "Sorry I haven't posted in so long" or "I won't be posting for the next while" but... I won't be posting for the next while. I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go back to visit Canada for three weeks, and chances are I'll be pretty busy. But don't worry—I'll be back just in time to do Carnival of the Web #2. See ya!
If you want Ajax on your web site, I'm your man.
If you're not really sure what is possible, I can also offer suggestions on ways to improve the usability of your site while still following best practices, web standards and accessibility guidelines.
From Tuesday (May 9th) until Thursday (May 11th), I'll be attending JAX 2006, a Java conference in Wiesbaden, Germany. Not only will I learn all about what's new in the Java world, I'll be able to really test out my knowledge of German. (Eek!)
If any of you are going to be there by some freak chance, let me know so we can meet up. For the rest of you, I'll be sure to write about anything that relates to web development and the future of the web.
I just submitted my first article to EzineArticles.com. I just heard about this site a couple of days ago so I thought I'd try it out. Basically, it's a way to get articles read by a new audience. I won't get paid for it or anything, but ideally people will discover this blog and my writing if my articles get republished in various e-zines or newsletters, etc.
If you do some writing and want to try spreading your articles a bit further, it might be worth looking in to. I'll post again on here if anything incredible comes out of it (though I don't except much yet).
What's the point of this site? Well, the Big Picture is an outlet for me to write about my greatest passion: the Internet, the direction it's moving in, and the way it is changing the world. But at the same time, I work as a web developer, so this is also my forum for sharing different problems and tricks I come across, as well as touting the benefits of web standards and best practices.
Luckily, these both roughly fall under "The Future of the Web". If I started posting pictures of cats, or investing advice, or whatever, I might get more complaints. But even under the blanket of "The Future of the Web" I have some thinking to do about my target audience.
So how do I solve this apparent dilema? I could create multiple RSS feeds for categories. I could spin off a second blog. I could drop one of the topics altogether. Or, I could just ignore the problem and let people skim over the topics they have no interest in.
Well anyway, I haven't solved the problem yet. I've thought about these options, but I haven't decided what I'll do. But I'm aware there is an apparent identity crisis looming.
How do you deal with identity and branding, and evolution over time? Do you put much thought into this before creating a site or blog, or do you just let it evolve over time and define itself? Where would you like to see this blog go?
I didn't want to put my email address on the site, purely for spam reasons. I thought I could avoid spam by putting a contact form on the site instead. Now, I get more spam than I used to from comment spam bots using my contact form!
There is no escape, and I will have to accept this as a part of my destiny...
I finally got around to adding comments to the site. Feel free to test them out if you like. No html is supported..that is, everything will be converted to HTML entities. There is no preview or edit. It's pretty basic stuff. I guess that's the problem with writing my own blog code.. I never get around to adding the most basic of features. At least now you can comment on the lack of features :)
And on an unrelated note, I put the design back to the original one. The new one was a bit too boring I think. I'm not sure when I'll change it again...
So what do you think? I redesigned the web site, as I'm sure you'll notice. Unless it's your first time here, of course. It took me about 15 minutes to do the design. I was kind of bored of the other one so I thought I'd go for the terminal-window look. I should put some of my old ANSI art here next.. ha.
I just launched a real simple web site, Free Horoscope Daily with my father. It contains free, daily horoscopes, and nothing else. I was sick of all the clutter that ends up on horoscope web sites, and wanted to make one that was simple and good. It may grow in the future, but right now I like it how it is.
Please, I'd love to hear your feedback. Drop me an email if you have something to suggest or that you'd like to see.
Hello there. We are living in a very exciting time. For the first time in human history, the entire earth is connected. We have the ability to share anything with anyone at anytime, easily and inexpensively. We face enormous potential with this technology, and we haven't begun to realise the full implications.
There are some amazing applications of the Internet that are just starting to emerge, some that have become very widespread. In the first days of the Internet, web pages seemed to be the ultimate purpose. Next came peer-to-peer file sharing. Now, we are starting to see a new generation of web applications, more powerful than today's desktop applications. What comes next is anybody's guess.