Win a copy of WordPress for Libraries


My book, WordPress for Libraries, is available now!

I’m giving away a copy to celebrate. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here or tweet me (@HiddenPeanuts) with #WPLib.

In your entry, tell me your email address (unless you enter on twitter – I’ll just message you there if you win) and one of three things:

  • Something you like about WordPress
  • Something you dislike about WordPress
  • Something you’d like to know about WordPress

Enter by 11:59PM EDT on Thursday, 9/3/15.
The contest is now over. Congrats to @verolynne!

Disclaimer: A couple of pages in your prize might be slightly creased by my assistant, pictured below.

10 Years Later: What 2004 Predicted For The Internet Of 2014

epic 2014

This blog turns 10 later this month. I’m no longer nearly as prolific a writer as I was back then, but I’m still kind of amazed that I’ve kept at it this long. Among other things since then: I got my master’s, moved cities/jobs twice, got married, and had a daughter. Wow.

While all 625 old posts are still available in the archives, I implore you to pretend most of them aren’t there. With the benefit of a decade’s hindsight I just see typos, odd sentence structures, weird choices in my URL structure that still haunt me today, and all-around questionable writing galore.

There’s one exception: I do want to point out the second post I ever wrote, way back on 12/26/04. I titled it simply “Googlezon”. While I was a bit late to the party at the time, I pointed out an interesting little movie called EPIC 2014. It forecasted the internet and society of 2014, from the perspective of 2004. It’s about 8 minutes long, and still exists on the web in flash format today (remember, this predates Youtube! Ancient history!).

EPIC posits a 2014 where Google and Amazon merged (after Google bought Tivo), Microsoft bought Friendster, the New York Times has gone print-only, and more.

But buried among these amusing predictions are grains of truth. EPIC’s forecasts of how we generate and consume news aren’t that far off from reality, and it seems to have pretty accurately predicted the rise of Big Data. EPIC is a fun look back at where the web was, and where it might still be going. I’ll check in with you again in 2024.

(side note: While researching this piece, I realized that the Robin Sloan who worked on this short film is the same Robin Sloan who wrote one of the best books I read last year.)


I’ve completed a long, LONG overdue WordPress upgrade. As a result, most of my customizations no longer work… I’ll get around to making the site pretty again someday soon, but for now it’ll be stuck on the default theme.

(But I’m guessing most people read via RSS anyway)


Something exploded in my site’s layout overnight… not really sure what happened, since I made no changes at all. But I’ve reverted to an old theme for now, hopefully I’ll have time to fix it up in the near future.

Update: and, the issue magically fixed itself! Please leave a comment if you see any irregularities. I suppose this is a sign that it’s time to do a WordPress upgrade.

Site redesign complete!

I finally had time recently to sit down and finish tweaking the site’s new theme.

Perhaps most notably, the category links in the sidebar work again! And my ‘now reading’ display plugin is back as well.

As far as I’ve tested, this setup looks ok in all browsers. Let me know if I missed one!

Of course, if you’re reading via RSS, you probably never even noticed 🙂

Temporary theme change

I’ve decided to give the site an overhaul, since fixing my current theme to work in IE7 would be more trouble than it’s worth. I’ll be playing with a few designs over the next few days. Comments/thoughts would be appreciated!

Still Alive

A couple of people have asked me where I disappeared to since I last posted, and this summer in general. Nowhere exciting this month I’m afraid – I’ve just been extremely busy. My job turned one year old a few days ago, and I’m in the midst of experiencing my first start of the fall semester there. I wasn’t quite ready for the rush of professors wanting to bring their classes in. But I’m not complaining, it is definitely good to be useful. Oh, and I’m also officially Faculty now! The title change doesn’t affect what I do from day to day, but the recognition is very nice.

I also did a lot of traveling this summer. I visited:

-New Orleans
-An unintended night in Atlanta
-Passed through Nashville

I feel like I’m leaving something off that list, hmm…

In what free time I’ve had, I’ve gotten a decent amount of reading done. I finally got to finishing the Chronicles of Narnia, I’m well into the Dresden Files series, and fit in a couple of random novels in between.

In gaming, I really didn’t get to it that much this summer. But I did play through Ultimate Spider-Man for the Xbox. It’s a very short game (I finished it in a total of about 6 hours), but also very well executed. The voice acting and plot are of a surprising caliber compared to most games, let alone comic book based ones. I paid $5 for it, which was more than fair. Oh, and of course my DS got a workout while traveling.

My Netflix subscription also atrophied a bit – just didn’t have time to watch much. But I’ve lately been catching up on HBO’s Entourage, and loving every episode. After I’m done with that, I plan on re-watching all the Star Trek movies. Today’s news that the original Kirk series will be re-released with updated special effects inspired me. It’s been years since I saw most of them. But my in-theater movie highlight of the summer? Snakes on a Plane. Great cheesy fun.

On the gadget front, I upgraded my phone to a Razr. The V3m specifically, and I absolutely love it. The 1.3 megapixel camera in it performs surprisingly well outside, although it has problems indoors.

One random highlight of the summer: A behind the scenes tour of the US Space & Rocket Center’s archives, as part of our work with them to digitize their collection. I’m more than a bit of a space geek at heart, so it was an especially amazing collection to me.

So yes, life is good. I’m mostly looking forward to this oppressive southern summer’s end. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I don’t know how anybody lived here before air conditioning arrived.

Next week my fall/winter travel set begins: Disney World (!), Buffalo for a wedding, Nashville for LITA Forum, various holiday travels, and who knows what else.

On a final technical note, I see that my category links aren’t working correctly. They miss all posts made since I switched from categories to tags. Whoops! I’ll try to get that fixed soon.

Still here

I’m finally back from a whirlwind two weeks of travel, during which I visited: New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Rochester, Pittsburgh, and the Thousand Islands area. Atlanta was not an intended destination, but thanks to Delta’s atrocious customer service I got to spend the night. That’s a horror story for another time. Needless to say I’m exhausted, but it was more than worth the craziness to see so many family members and friends.

I’m suffering from information overload now that I have time to sit down and see all that I missed. My list of RSS feeds has never been quite so intimidating.

I had an interesting experience at a gas station in rural Pennsylvania. There I got to use the RFID chip embedded in my new debit card for the first time. While seamless (just wave the card, no button pushing necessary at all), the process makes me a bit nervous. Something about removing the safeguard of a PIN feels wrong, and I’m placing a lot of faith in my bank’s ability to make my chip uncopyable. This wouldn’t bother me in, say, a library card. But in a card so closely tied to my financial identity, it’s another matter entirely.

An interesting note: The WordPress plugin I use to display what I’m currently reading on my site (Now Reading) can’t handle books that aren’t published yet, so I’ve disabled it for the moment. If anyone is interested, I’m currently in the middle of Stephen King’s upcoming Lisey’s Story, which I grabbed a preprint of at ALA.