Today I'm announcing the reorganization of The Technical Geekery.
What does this mean? I'm going to be moving some things around and adding some things, but more importantly, I'm going to be clarifying my mission statement and the purpose of having my website. That has always been somewhat tenuous. The site has, to me, felt split between two personalities: the Computer Tips personality (in the blog) and the Random Crap personality (in many of the other pages). Not that I feel that the Random Crap is, well, crap—it's me, it's stuff I want to share and I think other people might appreciate, and it's stuff that belongs on my website, but the way it's done right now just doesn't *feel* right, at least to me.
I also want to add some entirely new stuff to the website. Lately I've stopped writing on the blog except on an irregular basis. I could try various means to try to make myself do it, but I realize that that's not the problem—there's a deeper one. That problem is, I think, that I'm feeling limited. I have all sorts of things that I could share with the world, some of which I'm guaranteed to be very interested in when it comes time to write an article—but I have to write something in a very specific area, about tips for using a computer.
As a reader, you will continue reading about computers. But you will also hear about other things related to technology, such as balancing the usage of paper and computers and storing information using various software and methods. I'm planning to set up some blog categories so that if you're only interested in some of the topics, you can read those and leave out the rest.
I'm keeping the name The Technical Geekery. The site still revolves around technology; I don't feel that much has changed. The way I see it, this is much more of an expansion than anything else. (By the way, for some time the site has also been accessible at http://sorenbjornstad.com. There's a chance I'll change that into a personal landing page at some point in the future, but The Technical Geekery will certainly be featured prominently on it if I do.)
If you're interested in seeing the new mission statement and more about the changes, read on. If not, I hope you enjoy the new Technical Geekery as it progresses in the next few weeks.
In reorganizing, I tried an experiment and wrote down all the pages on my site, then tried to group them into common topics. Here are the categories I came up with, along with what of my current website is in them:
EFFICIENCY - Anki, Dvorak, some blog posts
SECURITY / SAFETY - blog posts
COOL SOFTWARE / TECHNOLOGY - Anki, NetHack, Interesting and Useful Websites
MY CREATIONS - stuff under Miscellaneous
META - stuff under "About TTG and Me"
And then I wrote down some things that I'd like to add, and made categories for
RECORD / INFORMATION-KEEPING
I feel that everything fits together now, a feeling I'd been totally lacking before. I have yet to add any new content however, so there's always the chance it won't work—that will have to wait and see.
This is my working new mission statement: The Technical Geekery is a collection of ideas for improving life through technology. Those ideas fit into seven major categories:
EFFICIENCY has always been an interest of mine. I firmly believe that attempting to use all of one's time in the most "efficient" manner possible is not intelligent (for instance, there is real value in sitting on a bus "doing nothing": using the time for something else isn't always bad, but resting and thinking can be one of the best uses of your time). However, I also believe that one should not spend more time than necessary or useful on tasks. For instance, I'm a big stickler for using keyboard shortcuts: there is no value whatsoever in choosing "Edit -> Copy" from a menu every time you need to copy something rather than pressing Ctrl-C and losing yourself several seconds.
SECURITY / SAFETY while computing is something I've been interested in. When I was about four years old, I discovered the "set password" function in Microsoft Word and was unreasonably excited about it (I was protecting gibberish text that I typed by mashing the keyboard with those passwords). These days, I'm a big advocate for using good passwords, two-factor authentication, and being on the lookout for phishing attempts, even if I don't feel the need to encrypt everything I possibly can.
COOL SOFTWARE / TECHNOLOGY is what I live on on the computer, being the geek that I am. The stuff that I find the most useful or that has changed the way I work or my life the most (hopefully) makes its way onto this site.
CREATIONS / UNIQUELY ME covers things like board games, funky poems, and recordings and things I wrote when I was younger. This has only an indirect relationship to the rest of the website, but it's one way that I make my website, mine, and I post things that I hope other people will enjoy.
RECORD / INFORMATION-KEEPING is something I am somewhat obsessed with. I have tried all sorts of methods for wrangling my thoughts, ideas, to-do items, appointments, journal entries, and everything else you can think of. In the process, I've had some interesting revelations—and found some methods that work really, really well for me.
BALANCING TECHNOLOGY is about when you should not use high-tech methods. It's about when I shut down my computer and write in a notebook or stop using the fancy software I started using some time ago because it just wasn't useful enough. In a world increasingly dominated by technology, I feel thinking about this is just as important as thinking about the ways to use more technology to improve our lives.
CONTROLLING YOURSELF, while it may sound like it belongs on a therapy website, is about the ultimate in low-tech methods, using only your brain and body. In an odd way, however, this is also the ultimate in high technology: if you can calculate in your head, you've transcended the need for even the best calculator you can imagine. Of course, there are also times when the costs exceed the benefits, so it's about those times as well.
OTHER includes things that I wrote before having a clear purpose for my website (and don't want to delete), as well as anything else that I want to publish somewhere but doesn't really fit. Proceed into disorganization at your own risk.