Sharing Policy

It recently occurred to me that I’ve never given a clear, plain explanation of my feelings about sharing or copying the content on this blog. I’ve been remiss. So today I’ll explain the policy I’ll generally hold to. (This will also go up on a Page on the blog soon, so anyone can find it easily without having to dig through the archives.)

First of all, if in doubt, or if you think I might wish to make an exception in your case, ask me.

Second, feel free to link to posts on this blog, share them on social networks, etc. This is highly encouraged, though if you link to me on your blog or elsewhere I’d appreciate a trackback or other notification of the link. I’ll try to avoid breaking any of your links. And please don’t claim any of it as your work; when you link or share please give proper attribution.

Third, I do not object to personal archival copies or to the incidental electronic copies that are necessarily created by reading this blog on its web-page or on Facebook or by receiving it by email or in your blog reader, or in other similar cases that arise in the normal course of reading this blog. However, if you make personal archival copies, please do not distribute those.

But fourth, beyond such cases as those I outline above, please do not copy my work without my prior explicit permission.

If you think any of this is unreasonable, or have any other thoughts, please comment.

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Mathoms and Games

When I was growing up, before we got Internet access (i.e. before my junior year of high school or so), my family and I spent a lot of time on Grex, an Ann Arbor-based BBS and free shell provider. At the time, one of the games (written by a founding member of the system, but which has since vanished) was a “mathom” program. Continue reading

Writing and social media

It should be obvious by now from the content of this blog that I’m an aspiring author and more than occasional poet. I’m also a heavy user of social media to reconnect with friends and acquaintances and to find resources relevant to my interests (writing, game development, programming, politics, etc. …). So I’ve been thinking: what “social media” tools are there for writers? Continue reading

“I’m on WordPress, but all of my friends are on Blogspot! What do I do?”

I started this blog in the last days of December 2008. I began by (manually) mass-importing all my Facebook Notes, then blogged only intermittently until around October, 2009, when I started posting on the order of three poems a week. In late December of that year I began the schedule that I’ve more or less kept since.

But what I’d like to talk about today isn’t the blog itself, but rather its platform. After considering various such sites, for various reasons—now almost entirely vanished into the mists of oblivion, which is a fancy way of saying I’ve forgotten them—I picked WordPress. I think that one of my reasons was that I knew one person who I knew had a blog on WordPress, and I didn’t know anyone that I knew had a blog elsewhere. (Other possible reasons were its compatibility with offline blog editors, which I no longer use.)

But over the last few months, I’ve discovered that several of my friends have blogs, and most of them are on Blogspot rather than WordPress. Continue reading

On the 3K Limit

[Administrivia: This was originally posted on Monday, February 12, 2008 as a Note on Facebook.]

I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the 3000-character limit on Profile sections — that’s nowhere near enough to bring to my readers half the quotations that define me perfectly, let alone all that have any relevance. It can’t be hardware limitations, since they allow unlimited photos, and no photo is under a K in size. (For the argument from economics, I’m sure that you can find just as big a market for quotes — often inside jokes — on T-shirts as you can for posters and T-shirts from photos which people already had, and had more convenient ways of converting to tactile form if desired.) The only reason I can think of is to try to prevent copyright infringement. While I have some things to say on that subject too, the status-quo-ante solution to that is the same as with photos and profile photos — make a mandatory checkbox saying “I certify that this material is either owned by me or reproduced here by me under the Fair Use Exception to the copyright laws” RIAA, MPAA, and DMCA notwithstanding, posting quotations is most certainly within fair use (though I am no lawyer), and were my work published I would be much more gratified than angry at such use. (C.f. Eric Fint’s ramblings on the subjject — anything that will get a book READ is more likely to get it BOUGHT.)