Posts Categorized: writing + blogs

Has the Internet become too Slick?

Dooce writes today:

“During the panel I shared a sadness I’ve felt about the increasing lack of independent storytelling online, how so much of the content being produced now is all about images and beautifully styled vignettes. So much of the web has become a giant Pinterest board”

While I don’t read many lifestyle blogs, I have noticed that many of the food blogs I have read for years are now more like a slick food magazine than a blog. More and more of the bloggers I know have either gone professional or they have stopped blogging.

I enjoy the holdouts who are not sponsored and who are blogging/writing/sharing their passions for the joy of it, even if their passion is also their profession. A few of my current favorite blogs are:

Myth & Moor
Astro Bob
Box Elder
Poemas del rio Wang
A Totally Impractical Guide to…
Moby’s Los Angeles Architecture Blog
Leonid Tishkov: art in progress
Fixing the Hobo Suit
The Bitten Word

What are you reading these days that is good storytelling or blogging for the love of ideas, a subject, or just for sharing one’s life?

The Window Box

The Window Box

In less that two hours it will be my birthday, and, in less than 24 hours it will be this blog’s 11th birthday.

The last year plus was more than a bit crap, so here is to a much better next year.

The Move is Complete, Troubleshooting Begins

Tower 24, Dog Beach

Sat 02.22.14 – Yes, the move has been completed, excuse the construction dust as the troubleshooting and fixing of small details, esp for smaller mobile devices, starts now. All should be well by tomorrow. If it is not, I will re-install.

A New Black Phoebe starting in a few hours…

For a long time now I have been waiting for Movable Type to reach an iteration that works for my mobile blogging flow, but after many hacks and work-arounds it has not been working well or even barely for the last 3 years.

Since February 2011, I have made many attempts to kick-start, re-start, and jump start my blogging and moblogging practice to no avail. After Say Media sold Movable Type to SixApart Japan, I was hoping that the folks at SA Japan would make a kickass product.

And they have in MT 6, but it doesn’t work for me. I tried the beta trial and it was lovely, except that the mobile version works for iPhones and Androids and not other mobiles. As a dedicated other mobile human, I spent the last 6 months downloading and trying a variety of self-hosted modern blogging engines to see if they would work for me and my Nokia camera phone passion.

After much trial, error, and more trial, I have come upon a solution that includes a dedicated Windows Phone 8 mobile blogging app, a popular modern blogging engine, a plugin to make it static, another to have responsive lightbox image galleries, and a stripped down template based off of HTML5 boilerplate so that I could roll my (mostly) own code.

The feeds will all change. My current set up of a excerpted short feed for the public and then a private full feed for friends who email me will be changing for a bit until I can reset up the same after creating my own plugin to do so – please be patient as this may take a bit.

Please check your preferred feed as I will update it by hand when I have a new better solution. Or just resubscribe to the new feed starting tomorrow.

All of this to say, I have had a great time re-coding and mobile testing my blog. There will be a lot of new content, of which I will say more about as I have a series on Mobile Photo tips upcoming.

Thank you for your patience and sticking with me while I had a bit of a blogging block in the last 3 years. Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen is back – back with daily photos, a couple times a week humor and longer text pieces.

Starting in a couple of hours the new feed will be at

Also starting in a couple of hours, there will be broken links. It will be apart of the process, as this blog is nearly 11 years old with thousands of entries and while I am doing the best to bring legacy stuff forward, I did decide to change the URI path structure. Out with the old, in with the new.

Here’s to the new Black Phoebe!

Update @ 3:30pm – The old site has been deleted and am now building the new.

Well… That was nice… Not really.

Thurs 01.09.14 – Sorry about the radio silence from in the last 24+ hours, but I am trying to set up a separate portfolio site on a sub-domain and instead got a full meltdown of the whole domain.
And it took many hours to resolve. Gah.
But is now back! Updates and new stuffs coming very soon!
I know you are holding your breath in anticipation.

It is That Time Again: The Annual NaBloPoMo!!!

Yes folks, after you have said your “Rabbit Rabbit” and properly put on your All Saints Day / Día de Muertos attire*, it is time to start with the 9th annual November National Blog Posting Month!
If you need a few reasons to blog daily, Eden Kennedy is here to help.
I am going to do my very best to write out a text / typed post every day during November and a photo or photo/essay. I also have a backlog of photos** that need to be posted, including some awesome black and whites from the Nikon FM3a.
* What?!?!? You aren’t dressed up as your favorite Saint or Día de Muertos’ figure today?
** Can I say Helsinki and the visit to Nokia House in July? Ummm… Why yes, those photos did fall down into the black hole that is my computer’s ‘Pictures’ folder!

Connecting in July

Lisa and Ruthie

Photo of Lisa Chiu Horner and Ruth Hufbauer by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView

Mon 07.01.13 – Happy Monday. Happy July. And Happy Ms. Jen is Going to Start Blogging Again. Really. Truly.
July is a month with a lot going on. Family and friends in town. Fourth of July. The big Nokia July 11th Zoom Event in NYC. Speaking at Open Web Camp. Dogsitting Ms. Belle Pooh McBellersons for two weeks. More travel. Taking two CompSci/math MOOCs. etc. etc. etc.
Today, July 1st, is the start of NaBloPoMo July 2013’s Connect theme and since I have an already overly full plate I might as well commit to daily blogging. But more importantly July is going to be all about connecting with friends, family, cities, mobile/web and photography communities, so I should write about it.
Let’s start today. In high school, two of my favorite friends where Ruth and Lisa. They were one and two years ahead of me and Lisa had a car. They are the friends that I went to dancing and music gigs in LA with. The friends I went thrift shopping with. The friends, who even though we were into music & odd sub-cultures, we all knew that academics was important and that we would be going to college no matter what. In my crazy teen years, they were two friends I could count on for both fun and good advice.
Ruth is currently visiting from Colorado with her daughter and we all went to the Newport Dunes to hang out, let the kids swim & play, while we talked and caught up. It was so very good to see Ruth, Lisa, and Diane and catch up.
Sometimes life goes too fast and stopping to talk is good. Big thanks to Lisa for inviting me to the party. Happy July 1st Birthday to Ruth!