I finally had time to set up Disqus comments here, so you can comment on things without needing an account on my site. I'm hoping the spam moderation provided by Disqus will be sufficient to avoid problems. For content that had comments using the older (built-in) system, those comments are still visible but no more can be added in the old comment threads.
Other site updates are still in progress (e.g., the new theme).
There is a lot to explore here, including original writings and photos, software, and more. Some things here allow comments if you have an account, and you're always welcome to contact me directly in response to what you find here.
If you don't want to browse anonymously and would like an account, let me know. Thanks to site spammers, it's no longer possible to create your own account directly.
This past week was far more chaotic than I could have anticipated, and it all started with a wire. When I first set up my home office, over five years ago, I arranged the desks in the one arrangement that seemed to make sense. Over the years I tried to find alternatives but never could find something that worked. Then, this week, I needed to plug something in and realized I couldn't. I was aware that I needed to distribute my electricity-gobblers better, but didn't run out of electrical access until this week. (Better to be pushed into it this way than by an electrical fire, of course!)
Not being able to put it off any longer, I measured my office space and all of the furniture in it, created a 2D paper model, and started pushing things around the easy way before doing it the hard way. I finally came up with an "OK" layout – not great, but still functional. Yet... despite being motivated to rearrange things based on electrical supply, what was the one thing I didn't put on my diagram? Yeah... that's when the "fun" started.
Last week I talked about patronage as a viable alternative to the per-unit model of paying writers and other artists for their works. While writing that post I was mostly focused on recurring payments through a mechanism like Patreon, but that's not the only way to approach patronage. It's not uncommon in life to pay a one-time arbitrary amount in gratitude for something, i.e., to tip someone.
Just like restaurant wait staff and other service providers, creative people can be tipped for their creative efforts too. If you've ever dropped a coin in the hat (or violin case?) of a talented street musician, you've tipped an artist. In the past it has not been very convenient to tip small amounts online, but one of my readers pointed me toward ChangeTip, which makes one-time online tips very easy. Read on for more details about how you can use ChangeTip, whichever side of the tip transaction you're on, and why their approach is more workable (and fun) than other methods.
As is still very common, they all focused on a pay-per-unit model of paying for creative work and the publishing business built around that model. I've commented before (elsewhere) about the possibility of that model becoming obsolete, or at least no longer dominant, and those three pieces seemed to underscore how we are heading down that road. Patreon is just one example of an alternative model, and in this blog post I will delve into what I see happening in the not-so-distant future.