“The best laid schemes…

o’ mice an’ men, gang aft agley.”  Or, in slightly more modern parlance: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  Or, perhaps more succinctly, (and slightly less profane than I sometimes feel) “Stuff Happens.”*

What bring about this measure of speculative reflection on ancient Scottish poetry?  Quite simply, hosting woes.  It is these woes that have necessitated my break from blogging.  Although several co-workers and others have questioned whether I, as many, others committed blogocide. 

I am still alive and kicking…but there are several important lessons I have learned:

– Data isn’t data until it exists in at least 3 places –

You wouldn’t imagine that a simple issue with hosting would take weeks to recover.  Unfortunately, the blog template I utilize requires a strange combination of Blogger resources, imagery and links pointing to different servers, etc.  Take a wild guess as to how frequently I back up data?  Not frequently enough…

– Hosting has become an expectation…not a service –

In the past, I’ve discussed a concept I call “the assumption of connectivity.”  The idea is that internet connectivity has become so prevalent that it is no longer a nicety, but an expectation.  It is a powerful shift in the software space and is the reason that the concept of a Rich Internet Application exists.  The assumption of connectivity means that harnessing local processing power while simultaneously leveraging “cloud based”** storage is actually a possibility.

For me, hosting is a similar assumption.  I just assume that web-based storage is there and available.  It was an odd experience looking for a new hosting provider.  Not something I’ve done in a number of years and the options compared to several years ago have become quite extensive.

– The payment space is actually quite interesting –

I’ve had several calls, e-mails, etc from some folk who frequent the blog asking my opinion on topics that have cropped up over the past few weeks.  Typically it is the sort of information that I would cover when the news item hit.  This is a good indication that the information I discuss is of some value to a segment of the world.  This, mandated, break has renewed my interest and vigour in blogging.

In any case, and perhaps as a summary, the single most important part of a blog is the readership.  For those of you who have stuck around for the technology-imposed delay…many thanks!  Be assured I’ll be back on a regular content cadence and looking forward to our continued interaction.

What’s your perspective? Agree? Disagree? Anything to add? Critiques? The comment form is below. . .

*The original quote is from Robert Burns in “To a Mouse” which also uses a statement I love to break out in moments of frustration…“tim’rous beastie”***
**I’m not entirely certain I like the term “cloud based”  Does anyone have a better recommendation?

January 19, 2009

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