Welcome to the new and very different miqrogroove.com! Every five years or so, this website undergoes a major retooling to keep everything in line with my plans and expectations. Ten years ago, the transition was from GeoCities to a University of Michigan server, where the website experienced a period of rapid growth and change. That was the golden age of sharing files and sending e-mails through websites. Within five years after that, miqrogroove.com had moved to professional hosting and consisted of many thousands of pages in multiple natural languages. That period included the birth of social networking on the web, and common availability of megabit residential Internet service.
Today I am weighing three undeniable trends in the life cycle of miqrogroove.com. Most importantly is the fact that past phases of growth added some scrapbook-like features that were never updated. In a system of static files, it is very bad to do that because the addition of new content always increases the burden of management. Five years ago, the way to get around that problem on a budget was to design a custom web application from scratch, or even use a hideous pre-packaged web portal system. On the bright side, there are now mature, free, content management platforms spanning the skill range from sophomore webmaster all the way up to rocket-scientist information modeler. Setting up a weblog-style page is already second nature to the masses, so the weblog itself has become appropriately automated for adding and archiving pages of real content.
Secondly, the Internet and my website have both evolved to the point where I have a radically different audience here. In the past, most of the visitors to miqrogroove.com were friends, family, or web surfers who had a serious interest in me as a musician, scholar, or community member. But now I am forced to admit that most of the visitors are random people from around the world who are surfing from search engines to find computer software, technical support, research papers, images, and just about anything that will entertain a short attention span. This is great, of course! It just means that I’ve had a lot of junk laying around here that most people were no longer interested in. I also need to put my résumé back online, and that attracts a more professional audience than I sometimes cater to.
Last but not least is the fact that I have come to despise e-mail. From a technological perspective, it is a horrible, badly-designed, obsolete protocol that nobody would use if they truly understood how it worked. I will keep this rant to a minimum. I just needed to point out that I totally abandoned the idea of hosting a newsletter mailing list with e-mail delivery. The plan now is to add some newsletter-style content to this blog, where everyone can see it when they want it, when it happens.
It’s a great feeling to keep up with trends. I hope before the 2010s are over, we will have cross-domain social traffic figured out to the point where participation isn’t controlled by huge brand names. At that point we will either see very cool things happening with social technology, or the next paradigm of Internet technologies will already be upon us.