How Web 2.0 is making things confusing…

In 1997, all my opinions were FTP’d to the very first websites I created, The Otaku Fridge and Turbulence (A SailorUranus site). I covered things beyond topic like homosexuality (since I got a lot of flak for being a fan of the lesbian Sailor Senshi), elitism, web design, community leadership and even my visitors’ relationships. These sites were then hosted by GeoCities and because I wanted to have more features and get some perks, I became a GeoCities Community Co-Liaison. Then Yahoo! bought GeoCities, and community leaders like me were given Yahoo! shares…which I can’t even access because I’m a dodo who lost her password just when Rocketmail and GeoCities mail were being merged with Yahoo… I just get snail mail, telling me that I’m getting dividends (what good are they if I can’t access them??) or that Google just kicked Yahoo’s ass again. (No, they didn’t say the latter in the mail, but judging from the decline of the stocks, you can pretty well tell.)

Anyhoo, back then, GeoCities only gave about 2MB of space and then it increased to 5MB, then 10MB, then 15MB. A community leader got as much as 25MB.

LiveJournal happened (to me) in 2001 and it became my repository for personal rants and raves. No web skills necessary, just post and click. I still owe a lot to LJ because accounts of the incidents from 2001 up to the present had been able to help me clear my memory in court. It feels good to write about something because your brain can only store so much information. With LJ, you rely on gigabytes of virtual memory to remember for you. Thing is, you don’t feel like you have space usage to keep track of. Only that if you don’t have a paid account, you use less resources. If you want to use those nice fancy layouts and more avatars, you either pay or let advertisers rape your LJ. Diwa was able to override the default layout by using CSS, which I’m too lazy to do because I do not make money from LJ. Hehe.

I joined Friendster in 2005, after years of staying away from it. There I found high school batchmates (“Ooh, the women are hotter and the men are fatter!”), college friends, old orgmates and even long lost cousins. Thing is, Friendster is TEH UGLY. It has the limitations of Web 1.0 and the developments of a stunted Web 2.0 site. Like it attempted to crossover to Web 2.0 but didn’t make the cut. Low res photos, ugly blog layouts, vulgarity everywhere. The only reason I’m keeping my account there is the fact that my past is tied to it. I lose it, I lose all the contacts I thought I’d never find again. On the bright side, whenever I’m teaching interfaces, I always use Friendster as an example for things that webmasters shouldn’t do.

Multiply in early 2006 was a great relief. At first I kind of got incensed that it required me to sign up just so I could comment on my sister’s photos, but when I saw how powerful it was… Gadzooks! You can upload unlimited hi-res photos directly without having to shrink them with Photoshop. You can rank, rate and rant all you want. You can connect to the most talented people in the universe. The best part of it is that it shows promising results as an educational medium. It also amazes me that it uses AJAX and that it’s one of the few engines, apart from Google and Amazon, that did it first. The only thing that keeps me from transferring everything from LJ to Multiply is the fact that its privacy settings are wonky.

Then yesterday, I saw that Diwa announced that she wanted to delete her Friendster account because she was using Vox. Curious as to what it was, I went over to her new blog and saw…egad! It looks to be as powerful as Multiply, except it has better templates and layouts. The uploaded pictures are immediately wrapped in pretty borders and had captions in them. Vox confused and excited me, though. Discovering it told me that there are many excellent options out there and that I’d start drowning in geekery if I gave in to my habit of experimenting with everything geek. (The last time I had this urge, it was when I joined WebHostingTalk and experimented with every new hosting company I find promising. Check out my sig there. It says: “Frequent WHT shopper.”)

The thing with Web 2.0 is that everything becomes so easy for the user, that I completely understand why many of my students dislike the Web Track (eCommerce, in particular). They could just effortlessly post their experiences, opinions and thoughts on the web, without having to know the technical aspects of what makes a website. Many couldn’t see that CSS, server-side includes and Dreamweaver’s templates make your life easier, not harder. They didn’t have to go through the journey that most of my colleagues had to go through, having to learn hardcoded HTML, PHP/MySQL and hosting requirements without the benefit of formal education (or Dreamweaver, we only had plain old Notepad then). There were no Multimedia Arts courses during my time. Everything was self-study, which makes us appreciate the knowledge we’ve acquired throughout the years.

Whew. Next week, I’ll be experimenting with another engine, but only to make my life a little less complicated when it comes to updating my babies. Ugh! Too many choices, too little time! Wish me luck!

Other options:
Blogger – I use this engine to update my portfolio site
RODiary – A blogging community for Ragnarok gamers. I moved out of it in 2004 because every time they updated their database, they required users to sign up again. The last time they did, I refused to re-apply. It was a good venue for roleplayers, though.
WordPress – Going to experiment with this in a few days…
Tabulas – My sister uses this, among others…
MySpace – Never used this, but I find it a bit too J. Bad experience with its users. Hehe.

COMMENTS from the old blog:

kurayami wrote on Dec 31, ’06
I taught myself HTML when I was in high school and owned a bunch of fansites and character shrines as well (which I will not mention because their layouts are just fugly beyond redemption nor will I say which of Kenshin Himura’s love interests I was a “miko” of).

Oh the good ol’ MS Notepad days~ xDDD

Unfortunately, I share the same “dislike” most MMA students have for the webtrack. I think the reason isn’t only because of the laxness to learn programming but because it wasn’t part of the package they enrolled for. I think most people who enter MMA go for the photography or video tracks, which most of my fellow batchmates excel in. The only people I know who are interested in web have either (a) left school, (b) found other more “exciting” tracks to focus to and (c) were traumatised by ECOMERS. I used to urge my web-savvy online friends to enter MMA (I was like, ZOMG MY COURSE IS TEH BEST THING EVAR~~ ♥ ) but they opted to take up Computer Science or something similar. I guess the hardcore web programmers don’t really enroll in MMA.

But that’s for my age group, I’m not so sure about the younger batch ^_^

skysenshi wrote on Dec 31, ’06
my sis is just like you…a child of Notepad when she was 13. hahaha. she enrolled in MMA because of the web and she discovered a lot more than she bargained for. but i think MMA students should learn web because it’s the first thing employers ask for when you’re a multimedia artist applying for a job.

photography, 3D and the other tracks now have their own degrees now, so it’ll probably be back to basics for us MMA peeps.

skysenshi wrote on Jan 1, ’07, edited on Jan 1, ’07
I wish Multiply had templates like Vox’s. Again, I’m too lazy to tinker with the CSS because my Multiply site isn’t for profit. Haha.

drewbocz wrote on Jan 1, ’07
Is it just me? Or is everyone having a hard time reading the text through the blue background? parang may screen over the text…

drewbocz wrote on Jan 1, ’07
then it decides to clear up…may white box pala around the text which wasn’t there a while ago…it was just waiting for me to complain before showing up. :-p

Is this part of web 2.0? Hehehe.

skysenshi wrote on Jan 1, ’07

Is this part of web 2.0? Hehehe.

yep! lock, stock and barrel. 😀
(customizability of the web interface at the user’s end is part of it…although CSS is not really web 2.0)

kurayami wrote on Jan 2, ’07

but i think MMA students should learn web because it’s the first thing employers ask for when you’re a multimedia artist applying for a job.

That and online portfolios are purdy~ ^_^;

One of the reasons I enrolled in MMA was because I wanted to learn PHP (I was bugging Ms. Cha about it during INTERDES class almost constantly) but I learned to loathe web due to, ahem, personal reasons =P

ajespinosa wrote on Jan 2, ’07
hail user-generated content and particpative media

skysenshi wrote on Jan 3, ’07

but I learned to loathe web due to, ahem, personal reasons =P

aw. i’m actually dying to ask why…>:) wahahahaha!

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