The Personal Blog Sanctuary Doesn’t Exist

Some folks out there may be thinking that their personal blog is their sanctuary. I don’t think so. Once you’re employed, your personal blog becomes a weapon used for harm. Just as you can’t speak your mind in public for fear of being protested against, you can’t do the same on a digital medium.

Once folks find out who you work for, they’ll stop at nothing to get you unemployed. The easiest way to accomplish this is through protesting sponsors of the company the person works for. This is not happening to me but, I’ve seen it happen to a lot of other people.

Getting your thoughts from brain to digital paper is important but if you hit the publish button, make sure you have the toughest armor possible. It’s a rough world and it’s getting tougher every minute. I’m almost at the point of suggesting that personal blogging does more harm than good when you’re employed.

Hello? Can Anyone Hear Me?

Hey there. Long time no see! If you’re reading this post on the actual site, you’ll see I’ve gone through a bit of a redesign. Also check out the new domain name! Spiffy eh? I plan on getting back to my roots and publishing what I want to publish instead of obeying an audience. I’ve had alot of things on my chest but have had no where to publish them. built an audience expecting WordPress stuff, icons, news, with a mix of personal stuff. Now, will be all about me. No barriers, no constraints, just saying what I want, when I want.

So what I’m wondering is, can anyone hear me? Are you still around?

Why Am I So Passionate About A Piece Of Software

heartwpI’ve been sitting back in the chair today thinking about the events that have taken place within the past 48 hours. I really bit my tongue before I decided to go through with publishing the post regarding the removal of themes. I checked out the developers IRC channel, I checked out the forum, I looked high and low for an explanation as to what happened and I couldn’t find any. While Thord of the BlogHerald was successful in contacting Matt, I assumed sending an email asking for an explanation was fruitless because I assumed his inbox is swamped with mail, why bother. After confirming that the removal of themes did happen, the only thing I had to go on was Justin Tadlock’s post and David Coveney’s post. That isn’t a lot to go by but because I didn’t see an announcement published on the developers blog, I went with the story as factual after witnessing a number of others reporting that the theme removals did happen.

I don’t want to dwell on the event because it is now a wait and see game with a detailed post by Matt being the only thing that will straighten out this mess. However, I am beginning to wonder if I over reacted? It sounds corny, but I seemingly have a passion for WordPress. The software, the people, the community. Plugin authors, theme authors, those who create patches for bugs, core developers, everything that makes the entire system tick. I want to see everyone that is part of the equation win without any unfair treatment. Make no bones about it, I support Matt and the rest of the team to the fullest extent but if I come across something I disagree with, I’ll make it known.

I feel odd that I’ve entrenched myself in this situation. I believe emotions got the better part of me last night when I wrote the post. I’m not a theme author nor am I a plugin developer yet, I still find a way to get involved with the issues surrounding each topic. I try not to be the one to always bitch and moan. Instead, I try to lend constructive criticism when I can. I’ve always described myself as no expert but simply an end user.

The basis of this post was to try and get my thoughts down on paper to figure out why something that happened with a piece of software ignited an emotional trigger. I wonder if I am too involved with the project, with the people. Do I need to back away? Can one be too passionate about something that it causes one to act and think irrationally? What the hell is wrong with me?

What A Busy Week

I am pretty excited to know that I am almost finished with my 32 hour work weeks at the grocery store. At least, for the time being and everything continues to go well with freelancing. The grocery store will serve as a crutch in case things in the freelancing world cave in. This past week, I published an interview on with Steve Hodson, published a great post that was welcomely received by the Performancing community called 7 Tips On Building Relationships Through Blogging, produced a fun open mic edition of Perfcast and to top it all off, produced an hour and a half WordPress Weekly with Jane Wells were we covered a ton of ground related to WordPress 2.7.

WordPress 2.7 Beta 1 is out and ready for the publics consumption. November 10th looks like the date for a release candidate while the end of November is aimed for the actual release of 2.7. I am going to bite the bullet and work on getting my content from my domain and the content on Jeffro2pt0 back into one file and then import that into a new installation of WordPress, that being 2.7 beta 1. Then, I’m going to work on slimming down the theme and installing one plugin at a time and get back to the basics.

One of the subtle changes I am going to make is to remove the FeedBurner graphic. I was having a discussion with Andrew Rickmann on the WordPress Weekly after show and I was talking to him about going back to the basics and how I am getting to the point of doing things my way instead of the popular (what the rest of the blogosphere is doing) way.  So, I’ll remove the graphic because I don’t care to see it everyday. I’ll check in from time to time but it is not a priority for me anymore. My priority is to clean this place up, highlight my freelancing work and then publish content on a regular basis by treating this blog as if it was my Tumblr account. That means, publishing links to articles that interest me, sometimes I’ll write a long form article, opinionated pieces, bits of my personal life, random thoughts, etc.

I just feel that it is time for me to reclaim this blog as my own and no one else’s. While I enjoy writing content for people, I always enjoy writing content for myself and getting my thoughts from my head, out into the open. I want to get back to the point in time of where I can freely express myself without thinking about the boundaries I have placed on this blog by writing for others.

Will I still talk about WordPress and Web 2.0 and all that other stuff? Of course I will, as I see fit, but don’t expect this site to be an authoritative figure in any subject. I want to converse with people and discuss things, concepts, ideas, whatever. So, that will be the focus of the site after I have reformatted it. Along with the reformat, I plan on doing a redesign but it will not be anything drastic. I’m tired of spending 17 hours each time I redesign the site. I’ve always been a fan of forests and so, that is the theme I am going to head towards with the redesign.

For those that will continue to ride the train of life and blogging with me, its time to move on to the next stop. For everyone else, you can get off here. But don’t forget to send me a postcard :)

Time To Go Old School

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking about how great it was when this blog covered everything of interest to me. Sure, WordPress is fun to write about but when I considered the fact that I get paid to write about WordPress for and I have guest blog accounts on,, and on top of all that, I have tried to turn this blog into a WordPress only domain, I am starting to run out of steam.

I’m not running out of blogging steam, but I hate being in this blogging cycle where there is so much to write about yet, I’m not sure whether to publish the post on my own blog, one of the other blogs, or for WLTC. It’s become a constant battle within myself as to who to write for. I also hate the fact that as I monitor Twitter and the RSS feed, I constantly get this feeling of OMFG I have to write about that, I have to write about this, OMG I can’t miss any of this. At the end of the day, I end up not writing anything. The constant weight on my shoulders of trying to play catchup sucks! If you have no idea what I mean, please read this excellent post written by the NYTimes which goes into some detail as to what it’s like to be part of the blogging Elite. It’s become increasingly apparent that blogging is a game of FIRSTIES. As the NYTimes article points out:

Speed can be of the essence. If a blogger is beaten by a millisecond, someone else’s post on the subject will bring in the audience, the links and the bigger share of the ad revenue.

But before I go on any more of a rant considering the state of blogging for big bucks, I want to get back on topic. I have decided that I am no longer going to continue to make this blog a WordPress centric site. I will continue to write about WordPress on occasion. However, I plan on getting back to my roots where I published opinions, share things I discovered, shared my personal experiences, or write up reviews or articles of things that I find interesting. The writing, discovery and the entire aspect of blogging just seemed to be better for me when that was my method of getting through the day. So then, I’m going back to what made this blog successful.

If you enjoyed what I have written on this blog concerning WordPress, I highly suggest you subscribe to my WordPress tag feed so that if I post something about WordPress in the future, you’ll be notified in your favorite RSS reader.

Chat With Me Tonight

I wanted to extend an invitation to join me later tonight as I sit on my blog and do nothing. Ok, not exactly. I’ll be hanging around the blog from 8PM EST until 9 or 10PM. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to ask me a question or get to know me better. You’ll be able to ask questions and talk to whomever else decides to show up by using the ShoutBox located on the right most side bar of the blog. The shoutbox refreshes in real-time so it’s like a blog wide IM.

Hope to catch a few of you lurkers in their as well as the regulars.

Where The Hell Have I Been?

I’ll tell you where I’ve been, enjoying my vacation, that’s where. This was my final week of vacation this year from my normal 40 hour a week job and because the weather was as perfect as can be, I decided to spend a couple of days away from the computer to get some things cleaned, as well as to spend a day or two out in the wilderness.

If you combine a 40 hour work week, with the normalcies of life, then throw on a few hours each day of browsing through RSS feeds and blogging, sometimes you can get into a creative rut. It’s during those times when one has to take a step back, get away from the routine and reorganize. That’s what I did and now I have a ton of stuff to blog about. Before I begin writing my other posts, I wanted to share a couple of photos from my trip with you. Let me know what you think.

Click on any of the images to see a larger version.

100_1451 100_1447 100_1435

What Is Your Blogging WorkSpace?

Jeffro2pt0 Dark Banner

One thing I find interesting is that every bloggers workspace is different. Each blogger has his or her own method to their madness. The color of the room they blog in, the room asthetics, room lighting all seem to play a major role in a bloggers workspace. Using Probloggers, workspace post as evidence, sometimes, a house doesn’t make for the best environment for blogging. The first user on Darren’s post uses a boat for their blogging HQ.

So, I ask those of you who blog, to please leave a comment on this blog post with a link to a photo that shows off your blogging headquarters. To start things off, I’ll show you my own Blogging HQ.

Click on the photos to see a larger version.

WorkSpace Without FlashWorkSpace With Flash

Reader Feedback Answered

Your Feedback, My Answers

Mark, an email subscriber, emailed me some feedback in regards to this site. He also asked me a question which I decided I would answer in the form of a blog post.

Hi Jeff,

I’m very much enjoying your blog. Very educational and “present”. I’m curious how you got into this game and if this is a full time gig for you. Continued success to you :)

Cheers, Mark.

Well, to tell you the truth Mark, I’ve been blogging since 2004 but only recently have I decided to take things a bit more seriously. I use to post on a blog located on the network which I somewhat consider to be the WordPress before there was WordPress. Back in 2004, I used the blog to share things that were going on in my personal life such as photographs, news and events, recent trips I took and various other musings. I essentially used the blog as a diary for a long time.

In late 2006 into 2007, I decided to concentrate on sharing my thoughts on general news items I was discovering across the web. I would merely post a quote of the article, include my thoughts and then provide a link to the article in question. This formula worked rather well as there always seem to be a few comments left on every post. This eventually bored me. In early 2007, I decided that somehow, someway, I was going to break away from the self serviced blogging platform and do things on my own. I just didn’t know exactly what my niche blog was going to be about.

Then, one night in Talkshoe, I was participating in a LIVE podcast when I met Pete Balasch JR, otherwise known across the net as xyour925job. We started discussing various topics during the show such as SEO, blogging, web2.0, ect. Pete told me that there were quite a number of people who still didn’t understand what Web 2.0 is. He suggested that I start a blog around the topic of Web2.0 to see where it would take me. Up until this point, I watched the Web 2.0 space from the sidelines, never really caring about what was coming out of the gate next. I had a general idea as to what Web2.0 was all about, so after sharing a few of my ideas with the crowd, I ended up choosing the domain My actual name is Jeff, but I think Jeffro2pt0 just has a nice ring to it. I just hope web3.0 doesn’t arrive sooner than later, or else I’ll look really outdated.

I purchased everything I needed during the month of May. That included a domain, hosting, and a few other tidbits. I had a general idea as to what I wanted to accomplish with the site and the way I wanted it to look, but I had no idea on where to begin. WordPress was suggested to me numerous times and even Pete suggested that I use WordPress, so that’s what I did. Initially, I couldn’t for the life of me, figure out the templating system within WordPress. I gave up and decided to use Joomla, as I had a good amount of experience with the CMS. I quickly realized, Joomla was too much of what I needed. I ended up giving WordPress a second try and since then, I have never looked back.

The first post published on this site occurred on June 4th, 2007 New Fan Of Tumblr Since then, I have provided a number of reviews on different sites and services, offered tips on blogging, covered various news items and plan on doing even more. This particular site has been online now for only 3 months, yet I am achieving personal milestones that I didn’t think I would achieve until much further down the road.

Concerning the advertisements. My blog is relatively new and at this stage of the game, I am trying to establish a reader base, aka an audience. Once I feel I have accomplished this and after I do some research into the different methods of monetizing a site, I will begin to dabble with those different methods to try and turn blogging into my second job, which is one of my goals.

It’s nice to know that folks are actually reading what I write. Makes me feel like I’m not wasting my time. Other than turning the site into a second job, my other major goal is to create a community of like minded users around the site using forums and other methods. Once I accomplish these goals, I’ll be in blogger heaven.

Thus the short answer to your question Mark. This is a part time gig with full time possibilities.

Some Ideas I Had – Feedback Needed

Some Ideas I Had I just wanted to pass along some ideas I had concerning this site. Your feedback to these ideas or perhaps some of your own would be highly appreciated. The first idea is, creating a live chat area where visitors of this site can get together to chat about the various topics this site covers.

The chat room could be available 24/7 or I could schedule chats which would occur at a specific date and time. I was going to give this a try tonight using Meebo, but I experienced an enormous amount of problems.

The second idea is attaching a forum to the site. The forum would contain sections that would cover the various topics covered on this site. It would open up yet another, community avenue for this site where like minded individuals can get together and talk about what’s going on. I’m not sure if this site has enough traffic, or if the readers of this site would have any interest in becoming a participating member of the forum, so do me a favor and let me know if you like the idea.

If I decided to attach forum software to this site, I would us Vbulletin. Vbulletin is still the best forum software in my opinion and I have a few years of experience using it. I know of an Ajax powered shoutbox which could be used by the forum members as a chatroom, which would solve idea #1. The only problem with using Vbulletin is the price. It currently costs $85.00 for a lease of one year. I’d be willing to chip in $20.00 towards the price, would anyone else be willing to donate towards the forum? If so, let me know.

Those are the ideas I had floating around in my head and I figured I’d toss them out here to see if there were any takers.