You know things are bad when you wake up not because you’ve had enough sleep, or the alarm clock went off, but because you’ve had a dream about your blog. It get’s worse when your partner complains that your virtual plot might be receiving more attention than them.
But such is the price for weekend geekdom. When the temperature with wind chill is not 11F, I’d happily be a “weekend warrior” and sprain some part of my body climbing, kayaking or cycling, but code jockeying seems like the perfect way to while away this weekend.
Plus it makes one appreciate just how far technology has come in empowering the publisher of one. Over the last decade I’ve wrestled with more than my share of content management systems (CMS). Plus in non-existent spare time, I’ve tinkered with having a web presence or running a website of my own. (Hence the new copyright note on the homepage plants my virtual stake in the ground at 1996, although I’ve only owned this domain since 2003.) It’s only since software facilitated the digital diary that we’ve witnessed the democratisation of content management for the masses and the dawn of the blog era.
For what are blogs but the exponential growth of the personal websites that used to be limited to those with an aptitude for HTML and access to a server.
That age-old saying about a “cobbler’s wife having no shoes” rings true for my virtual domain. I spend hours of my work week immersed in web-related issues, meaning the last thing I feel like doing is lavishing any care and feeding via yet more screen time. But this Saturday, some combination of inspiration and guilt struck, and so you see some changes.
There are the obvious ones — a new, somewhat liquid navigation, information architecture, the return of the calendar, a new Flash view of my Flickr photos, content categories (that need work) and Technorati tags. And there’s the rest of the iceberg, including a site meter and tweaks to the templates and stylesheets that are the personal content management system that manages most of the content on the site.
And there is the crazy experiment of it all: those five other, dare I attempt to call them language versions?, of the site, a Beta of Google’s Beta dynamic translation.
I should know better than to give this a whirl — after all, I once turned in a piece of hastily done French homework with the… aid?… of an online translator. What was a piece about watching a baseball game became inadvertently corrupted with the introduction of an air conditioner… instead of a sports enthusiast. Yes folks, the word “fan” will get you every time. (FYI, a sports fan is not a “ventilateur”.)
But seeing as Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean and Spanish are among Google’s versions, why not? (Take a look at the latest results of Google’s machine translation efforts.)At the very least it should provide some unintended amusement somewhere in the world. And yes, I’ll certainly be doing some back translations and post more about what i discover it was I never said.