I Wanna Be Popular

I began blogging back in 2002 using the site Xanga.  I thought it was the coolest thing in the world and the community behind it was pretty great.  I even paid the $25/yr to get Xanga Premium, and paid for a few friends just to keep them blogging.  It was a pretty sad state, in high school and into college and stuck on Xanga.

It wasn’t long into my college career that I decided to make the move to something a little more powerful.  MoveableType was the answer to my prayers.  For the first time, I was in control of what I wrote, how it was presented and I didn’t even have to pay for it.  I had tried LiveJournal (yuck) and Blogger (not bad but kinda boring) but there was something about another company potentially owning my material, or being able to shut me down, that bothered me.

As I began to grow my blog and needed more flexibility, and when TypePad started to want to charge me for features I used to get for free, I began another search for a great blogging platform.  That is when I was introduced to WordPress, which had only recently changed from b2.

Moving my site over from MoveableType was supposed to be really easy but I was new to the whole MySQL thing and, well I deleted most of my posts, possibly all of them.

Back when my blog first started, I was afraid of people reading it.  Now, my friends and dorm mates all knew the address and read the blog, but anyone outside of that; well that made me quite nervous.  My father had recently gotten a new job in a high position with a boss would was very much against homosexuality and if they found my blog, he could lose his job.  Or so my brother convinced me.

Heck, my family didn’t know I was gay, I wasn’t really out to them; and that’s even a little iffy these days.  But I was terrified that a professor or a family member would find the site and I’d be done with.  So I kept the blog as a subdomain of my main site, Soundwise.  I haven’t updated Soundwise since, oops.

It wasn’t until I moved to California that I felt comfortable with a blog that had its very own domain, and it even had my name in it.  But that was the trick, if someone asked me, “I hear you have a site/blog, what’s the address?”

I would simply respond, “Oh, yes!  The address is really simple, it’s just justin dot com.”

They would go, “awesome, I’ll have to check that out”

Clickity clackity, www.justin.com

Booyah, tricked.  Now, if I wanted them to make it to my site I’d just say, “Oh yeah! just go to www.itsjustjustin.com

Now-a-days I don’t worry so much.  I am more or less completely out to my family and no longer have skeletons in my closet to worry about.  I have made myself public and in many ways that is incredibly freeing.

Not only have I found a way to release stress and tell a story; I’ve found a new way to making friends.  In the past two months I have made so many incredible friends through blogging and through one guy in particular, Jester from Jestertunes.com.

Here’s a quick list of bloggers I have recently befriended or have been inspired by their site…

Winterheart/Sunlight Sucks
ToriBlaine
Jestertunes
UncleMonkeyBoy
Blogography
Down With Pants!
Socially Dead
Snackie’s World
SecondHand Tryptophan
Brainporn

I read these blogs regularly and so do a lot of other people it seems.  Snackiepoo seems to average 20-50+ comments on each of her blog posts, and that’s really nothing compared to some other bloggers who are getting hundreds of comments.

So what I’m here to find out is, how do they do this?  I don’t care about monetizing my blog, that would be awesome but I just like blogging.  I love to write and to post my photography out there and my thoughts on whatever comes to mind.  But it seems that my hiatus a while back where I stopped posting really hurt me, I’m down to 50-300 hits a day.  That’s too big of a range and only a comment or three per post?  How disappointing.

I get the most hits on nerd posts.  If I write about Apple or something totally nerdy, especially if I complain about something nerdy, hits galore.

Something personal, not terrible.

Photography… people love it but rarely comment (sad face)

Political (nothing, zero, zilch)

John Mayer Kissing Adam Levine CRAZINESS!  Tons of hits and comments

So what is the key?  What is it that makes people keep coming back and gets them to post comments?  I’d love some input, especially from the guys on my blogroll.

To me, blogging is like High School all over again, we are all battling to make it to the top and we don’t mind shitting on anyone in order to get there.  Well, I don’t care to be on the top, I just want to maybe make it up the bank of the mountain a bit; and I could use your help!

Much love,

Justin

My Massive iTunes Library

You might remember, since it was my last post, that when I updated my iTunes to 7.7.1, it crashed my iTunes Library.  I had to start from scratch.  One reader posted a question in my comments.  ZC asked, did I really have the music, why would I have that much media, is it all legal/illegal; etc etc.

ZC.

I most certainly do have that much music, or I did before the crash.  Some numbers have dropped but I retained about 95% of my media.

Why so much?  Well, I don’t pay for cable/satellite and I live in an area where picking up HD over the air is not very feasible.  I got tired of paying for HD-DVR Cable a few years ago and when the AppleTV came out, I was done with it.

Since I was in high school I had the habit of buying lots of CD‘s from Warehouse Music.  The store near my house was going out of business, for four years, and I took advantage of its slow, slow death.

I had a great job working in a chemical company’s laboratory and doing IT work, since I only had classes half of the day, I spent the last year of high school working and really racking up a large library of music.

When iTunes was released for the PC, I went berzerk.  The first thing I purchased, sadly, was Mama Mia; I was hitting on someone who wanted a copy of the CD.

Anyways, the seed was born and I put about $100/month into my iTunes account though it wasn’t uncommon for me to buy 10 CD’s from a new/used music store in a day.

I did this not only to fulfill my love of music, I did it also because I lived with four to six other people who also loved music; I had money, they did not.  I would buy music and let them stream it onto their iTunes in our home.  We had large parties at least once a week, it was college after all, and those parties required vast quantities of high quality, popular music.

Later, I would tire of paying for cable and DVR.  The whole idea of paying to watch something once was stupid to me.  Almost worse was paying to record something only to have to delete it sometime later.

Remember that episode of The OC when what’s-her-face gets drunk and makes out with who’s-that-ho?

I decided I wanted to start buying my television shows and watching them on my schedule.  Going to school, working full time, watching tv, doesn’t work.

I got the AppleTV the day it came out.  I got an iPod video, the day it came out.  I watched my television at the gym, I listened to my music and podcasts in the car.

When the AppleTV finally arrived, I was able to put these movies onto our 46″ plasma screen and off of my tiny iPod screen or my 24″ iMac screen.  That was amazing to me.

I bought more and more television this week.  I considered my cable tv bill of $70/month to be my allowance for buying television shows on iTunes/AppleTV.

Eventually I filled up the 500gb hard drive of my iMac and bought two 1TB externals, one for Time Machine and one for iTunes.

Now I have a 55″ HDTV in my apartment and a 42″ HDTV at our condo.  The 55″ HDTV is powered by my AppleTV, the 42″ is done so by my MacBook Pro through DVI/HDMI.

I am never stranded without some form of entertainment from my iPod, my iPhones (Edge and 3G versions), my iMac, my MacBook Pro or my AppleTV.  It allows me to workout longer and harder.  It keeps plane rides and bus trips barable and to me is a worthy investment.

Friends come over all the time to watch old seasons of Weeds or Damages, just like you would if you had the series on DVD.  Only now we can just click through the AppleTV and don’t have to deal with CD’s and DVD’s all over the place.

Some might think I’m crazy and some people have hundreds and thousands of more titles than I do.  It is not a bragging thing, it is just me loving media and entertainment and consuming it on my time, on my rules when I want to do it.

I hope that explains it.

Zemanta Pixie

Shaun Chapman at MobLogic.TV

Not only is this guy incrediby sexy (physically and intellectually), he has a great mission.  Check him out on Moblogic.tv

Seriously, he is gorgeous and I smell at least a little bit of homo in him hehe.  But for reals, visit his initiative, VoteSolar and let’s make some change.

The current state of energy in America and the world is just terrible.  There are really easy ways that we can do this and there is really no reason we haven’t already.  What happened to Americans leading the way through innovation and showing the rest of the world what we are made of.

Look what is happening with China, yeah, besides the Olympics.

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Stop the iPhone Backup Madness

Thanks to Gizmodo for this one, here’s how you stop the backup process on your iPhone from ever happening.  Chances are you only will need to back up once-in-a-while.  I didn’t know I needed a backup for my phone in the first place!  Here are the steps to take.

1. – Quit iTunes.
2. – Open Terminal.app
3. – Copy and paste this in, then hit return:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
4. – Open iTunes
5. – Plug in your iPhone (2.0 or 3G) and sync.

It will take a few seconds, assuming you don’t have a ton of music or podcasts.

Changing the ‘true’ in step 3 to ‘false’ will re-enable the backup feature.

I’d probably recommend backing up once a week or each night while you sleep. With the new 2.0.1 firmware these problems are supposed to be fixed. Just switch False/True as needed and you can backup on your schedule.

It’s that easy.  Now you can sync and go!  No more watching the entire Dr. Horrible Sing-Along while you wait.

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AT&T iPhone Wifi – Still Not Working

Not only does it not recognize that I’m on an iPhone and thus entitled to use their AT&T WiFi on my device, it won’t even let me log in with my AT&T Uverse credentials or my Starbucks Rewards username/password.  Grrr…

No iPhone Login? AT&T or T-Mobile?

Funny how when the signin fails for AT&T, it goes to T-Mobile Wireless.  Kind of funny but mostly annoying.  Oh well, at least Kaldi‘s internet works, goodbye Starbucks until you get your Internet woes figured out.

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WordPress iPhone Native App Released

The new WordPress app for the iPhone was just released, and blogged about right here! Check it out at:

http://www.snurl.com/32wnl/

It’s awesome. This is the first time I’ve used it and had it installed and to writing this post in under two minutes.

Let me know how it works out for you!  Even the picture was embedded through the WordPress application.  I guess you can’t do inline formatted pictures, but meh, it can’t do everything I guess.

photo

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