Happy Birthday Bonwag

Here it is, the yearly post celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the first post on Bonwag! As always, it’s been superseded by Facebook (and Day One – a personal diary) in recent times, so has been lightly tended, but one day, Facebook will die, taking my posting history with it, and Bonwag will still stand!

Here’s to having survived another year.

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Happy Birthday, BONWAG

Hey, it’s that time of year again, when we cut the virtual cake for BONWAG’s 18th birthday!I first started keeping tracks of Bits Of Net What Are Good back on November 5, 1994, and although Twitter and Facebook have taken the lion’s share of my attention in recent years, there’s still a place for opinionated rants and random thingery here.

Be sure that Facebook and Twitter will disappear, probably sooner than you’d think/like. I highly recommend establishing yourself with more open, more ownable properties like blogs, which were around before MySpace and Yahoo, and will be here long after the latest fad has passed.

And, as a special birthday treat, I’ve switched off the ads, permanently. How annoying were they?

BONWAG Turns 17

Another big BONWAG Birthday – it’s reached the age of consent for South Australia and Tasmania, but still has a year to go in Queensland.

To think that all those years ago there was no such thing as a ‘blogs’, ‘social networks’ or ‘web content management systems’ – BONWAG was ahead of its time as a web journal, lovingly crafted out of raw, grain-fed ASCII and free-range command line FTP and terminal sessions. It’s been many years since I needed to CHMOD 777 my CGI (as Geoff Petersen would say: is that code? Why, yes: yes it is.)

In the past year, I’ve probably shoveled more words into Twitter than this blog, but fear not – fairding.com will remain the one stop shop for all flavours of bonwaggery – from MySpace and Geocities to Unthink and Google Plus, and whatever comes next.

(BTW: why is is that even today, no-one ever gets the ‘fairding.com’ joke?)

For a dose of history; visit the first post, or visit the archive of the earliest known version of BONWAG.

Rebooting the Franchise

It’s BONWAG’s 15th Birthday. As good a time as any to execute a long-overdue Web2.0 makeover.

I’ve been threatening to make some changes for a while, but didn’t have the time to devote to learning all the new code I needed – BONWAG has always been hand-coded with love. This weekend, though, I’ve decided to stop tinkering and start prioritising form over function. To start writing for humans, not robots.

So I’ve moved everything over to WordPress – archives, mail, everything. It’s always been a close competitor to my first-love blogging tool Movable Type. Let’s see what colour the grass is on the Dark Side.

Sure, it means I won’t have the freedom to have things exactly the way I would like, but I’m happy to tinker within the restrictuions I have.

I’ve been impressed at the ease with which I’ve been able to bring all the BONWAG archives from the old site, and to add in many features that I used to spend evenings developing from scratch. I also like the way you’re able to post from almost anywhere.

A lot of the old content is missing, and I’ll be building it back in as I see it emerging in the search archives.

One big improvement I’ve been meaning to add is the iPhone version – it’s automatically served up if you’re using Safari On The Small Screen.

Also, for the geeks, I’ve moved the whole family over to Google Apps so we can all use our email and calendars together, and be freed up from the expensive and lacklustre domain management of our local ISP. Another smooth migration, even if it does require some significant DNS gymnastics.

And, in the upshot, a recommitment to keep posting. Sure, I (and the other family members) will be using our TwitFaceMySpace microblogging tools, but the web’s too transient at the moment. No, 140 characters is not enough for BONWAG.

Even if it is a teenager, now.