8 things

ReadWriteWeb listed 8 Things Every Geek Needs to Do Before 2010. As if I didn’t already have enough things to do! Anyway, I’m giving myself a bit of a reprieve, and some of these will be done by February 1 instead of January 1.

1. Edit your privacy settings and friendships.

This one is easy for me. I practice radical transparency. If I don’t want the world to know about it, I don’t put it anywhere. So, yes, I’ve tracked on some of the Facebook concerns, but since my “friends” know little more about me than other publics do, I frankly am not concerned. If someone decides not to hire me because they’ve seen me being a bit nuts in a classroom, or a bit tipsy at a party, then I don’t want to work there.

(I won’t get into the larger argument. I think there are worthy reasons to pursue certain sorts of privacy, but I think a common understanding of the idea of “privacy” is part of the residue of mass society and now it’s, well… it’s complicated.)

Status: COMPLETE

2. Change your passwords.

This one is long in coming. I’ve had a poor password regimen, and someone has put in a malicious backdoor on my Dreamhost account somewhere that leads to access to this blog among other things. I don’t think that’s a password issue (more likely a poorly protected application), but the damage is done.

I don’t like password managers, but I do have a set of relatively default passwords that I reuse at various levels of security. I’ve started replacing those–even for the very basic ones–with a unique password arrived at algorithmically. Replacing all those passwords is going to take a while–and probably won’t be done by 2010. But I’ve gotten a good start on it.

Status: STARTED

3. Own your name.

I don’t think there’s much more I need to do with this. Nobody is likely to confuse this Alex Halavais with all the others out there.

Status: ONGOING

4. Prune your feeds.

Truth is, my feed reader has grown so out of control that I stopped using it this year. In large part, Twitter and popurls have taken its place.

Nonetheless, I want to be a little more ahead of the curve. I’ll go back to the system I had before, of organizing reads into first, second, and third tiers. I’ll update here as I decide what those waves are.

Status: STARTING SOON

5. Find a better mobile.

All the chatter about the new Google phone and iSlate isn’t compelling to me. I found the Droid I was looking for. I’m glad I waited. Though I hate being tied to the Verizon contract, and I’m a bit uncomfortable with how closely it clings to Google services, it’s very convenient, and it lets me run my own home-made apps. Even if I never have time to write them, I like the idea of having that option. Looking forward to more locative blogging.

Status: COMPLETE

6. Update copyright notices on your website.

RWW is mostly concerned with copyright year, which isn’t really a big deal, at least for me. But (see below), I will be updating the footer to more clearly indicate the Creative Commons License.

7. Revisit your blog.

This one is a big one. I’ve set up an action plan for this blog, which has mainly gone fallow, and will be starting a second site for a new project.

Over the coming weeks, I will:

1. Blog the creation of my new class, of the work I’m doing on a paper, and of my work with the DML Hub and a research network here in New York.

2. Create a research page outlining my scholarship and providing links to as many of my articles (in draft form) as I can.

3. Create a teaching page that does the same, and links to some of the class sites I’ve created.

4, Work through the categories and a tagging structure, as well as effective search.

5. Rethink the layout, and bring in better archives, searching, and my twitter feed.

8. Back up your data.

This has also been a long-time issue for me. I had a box that I was going to turn into a NAS using OpenFiler or FreeNAS, but because of a number of issues, I gave up on that plan, and realized that the (eminently hackable) DLink DNS-321 was on sale for < $100 after rebate. That’s been loaded with a pair of 2TB drives in RAID1. This is a backup system in addition to another server that’s simply set up with a bunch of old drives. Now that the hardware is sorted, need to get the actual backups going (including an offsite backup for the most vital chunks).

Status: UNDER WAY

As you can see: serious New Years Eve partying this year :). Hoping that “ten” is your best year so far.

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