Posts Categorized: writing + blogs

Where did Blackphoebe come from?

Michael asked that folks describe their website’s orgin.
Here it goes…
For my first two years of publishing on the ‘net (1995-1997), I used my staff 6 meg allowance on the BU ACS servers. For the next two years, I published to my 10 megs on Earthlink.
In Jan. of 1999, Alex West and I reserved and started publishing all things related to music, life, the world and the universe, as well as a contentious message board & mailing list.
In late 1999 or 2000, I decided to reserve a personal domain whose name derived from the name of my favorite Western bird – the Black Phoebe. During that time, a black phoebe nested in my brother’s backyard and we all discovered that not only was it a beautiful bird, but highly fierce belying its small size and cuteness factor. I decided that it was my totem bird.
When I reserved, I tried to convince contributors that it would be a great place for us to publish personal and memorior style writings / art that would not fit’s music and culture focus, to no avail. I had not yet heard of Blogs.
In Nov. of 2001, I finally posted a front page (a flash version of a Malevich piece) and some manifesto about what I wanted to do here. In 2001-2002, I used this space to publish websites for college art / art history classes I was teaching at the time.
March 2003, SXSWi… I caught Blog Fever, I came home and decided to set up Movable Type on my underused One year and eleven months later, this is my primary web publishing space. I love it.

Technoriati tag :

Update: Friends and Bloggers

And on other notes, Mahmood has completed an elegant re-design of his site that features his photo(s) more prominently. I first found Mahmood’s Den through the Photo Friday viewer when he posted a great photo of girls sliding down a sand dune and have stayed a faithful reader for his insights and antics in Bahrain.

On Comments and Community

Due to an overflow of comment spam that I have to delete daily, I have now switched over to Typekey registration to authenticate that commenters are real folk and are not spammers.
Sorry to have to do this and inhibit community, but please do keep commenting. I plan on installing the MT-Blacklist plugin to also help in this department.

Road Trip Time!

Thank God for the lovely folk at Movable Type / Sixapart… in the midst of SoCal summer heat and blues they have given a small cadre of us folk (Sandra, Tink, and I) a wonderful excuse for a spontaneous road trip to San Francisco on Thurs. Aug. 12!
Movable Type will be hosting a Sneak Peek party for MT 3.1 at Varnish Fine Art Gallery to roll out and show off the capabilities of MT 3.1.
I am excited to see the new features in 3.1 and the attendant plug-ins. As a recipient of too much comment spam here at Black Phoebe and at’s News and Tidbits, I am excited about Jay Allen’s upcoming MT Blacklist 2.0 for MT versions 3.x.
Most of all, I would like to meet up with other bloggers and geek out. Last Thursday, I took a few friends to see Virginia Postrel speak at the Art Center. Hugh Forrest sat two rows behind us. Hugh and I chatted briefly before Viriginia’s presentation and ever since I have yearned for the seven months until SXSW Interactive 2005 to go by quickly.
As a person whose professional life is immersed 2/3’s in the rock’n’roll world and 1/3 in the non-profit/higher education world, it is good and inspiring to talk to other computer folk and hear what is up and what people are currently into and excited about. Also, I love a good road trip, as well as having a huge stack of CDs to listen to all the way up and down the 5 freeway and then to review them.
SF, here we come!
(p.s. Alex West, come meet up with us in the City on Thursday night!)
(p.p.s. If we feel really adventurous, we will give Jimbo a call…)

What is Jen doing home blogging on a Saturday nightt?

heee heee heee… I am not at home. I am working the door taking $ from folks wanting to enter Alex’s Bar. The regular door/$ guy, Johnny, is on vacation, and I am standing in or sitting in his place.
Here’s the best part, after much talking about it, we have a wi-fi router. Alex has been vacilitating between making it a marketing point or just letting friends know about the Wi-Fi. I am voting that we give out the authenification code with a drink to get students and other folk in here rather than going to Portfolio. ;op

How I am using Movable Type

Here is my response to Mena’s “How are you using the tool?” post to the Six Apart Log:
I am currently using two installations of Movable Type and here is the breakdown, all blogs and installations are on my hosting account:
Installation #1: 2 blogs and 2 authors, both personal.
a) Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen – one personal blog for my interests in life, art/music/culture, nature, and the humor behind it all. One author: Ms. Jen.
b) Howdylicious! – DJ Wanda’s blog for her playlists for her volunteer college radio program at KUCI and other bits of personal miscellany. 2 authors: DJ Wanda & Ms. Jen.
Installation #2: 3 blogs, 13 authors (possibly 2 more soon), for one all volunteer, non-profit ezine –, whose google ad revenues go to partially pay for hosting fees. The 3 blogs on this website are used for the frequently updated parts so that authors don’t have to wait for me to find time to format and upload their pieces to the website. This installation participated in the MT 3.0beta testing.
a) News & Tidbits : The blog for news and other bits that the authors find interesting. 13 authors, although only about 5 of the authors are active in any given month. The 13 authors includes Ms. Jen and DJ Wanda from above.
b) Magazine & Special Features – This blog was set up during the MT 3.0 beta testing period to test how 3.0 would work as a magazine, I liked it so much I launched it. Authors: Ms. Jen, DJ Wanda, and 2 of the folk from the News & Tidbits. In the long run, I intend that all authors will post their own articles, thus the 13 – 15 authors will be using this blog.
c) Design Team Blog – This is a private blog for the design team, a sub-set 5 of the 13 authors, as we attempt to re-design the website. This may remain after the redesign is completed as a way to keep in contact with the writers and photographers.
d) Although we haven’t done it yet, once we purchase the 3.0 License, I plan to set up a photo blog. The photo blog will have a sub-set of the above authors.
Summary: 5 blogs (soon to be 6), 13 authors (plus 2 more in the future), 3 domains, 2 installations, and one hosting account. I plan, when I round up the $$, on purchasing the Movable Type 3.0 Personal Edition Volume License II plus purchasing 2 more authors.

Outing a Troll

troll.gifOn the Message Board, the Matt’s Script old school board, we used to get lots of trolls, until we took down the CGI message board and instituted a PHP log-in message board. Now that folks must use a real email adddress to authenticate their login, the trolls have wandered off to easier targets.
What is a troll? A troll is a bored, sad sub-human who has nothing better to do with his/her life than to bait, insult, argue with, be mean to, and otherwise screw with others on the internet. Somehow getting behind a keyboard and a monitor gives them the feeling of power that a jacked up PEV truck and a case of viagra would not otherwise give them.
Right now Black Phoeobe has its own personal Troll. This Troll’s IP address is, they live or work or have a friend/relative in Brooklyn, and have Verizon as an internet provider. This troll likes to use my contact form to mock me and tell me that I am a bad/terrible web designer, even with all of my “experience.” Actually, the troll is quite a bit less articulate about the whole thing.
So, I suck. Who cares. Mr./Ms. Troll, you don’t like my work? Well then, don’t look at it. Or is it, that you can’t stand that you used Google to seach for p0rn and somehow ended up here… angry. Well, search Google again and go feel better about your life.
Mr./Ms. Troll, would you like to really feel better about your life? Then go make beautiful, amazing, usable websites that make people happy and don’t even worry your lovely self about some gal in California who makes sucky websites because you will be too busy, too fulfilled, and too lauded to worry about little ‘ole me.
Smoochies, darling, Smoochies….