I grew up in one of the roughest sections of town, because my parents, wonderful people they are, did not make the best decisions in real estate... Or did they? Aside from the dangers and troubles of gangs and guns outside on our street, there was a perplexing situation downtown where it appeared as though a group of people transplanted part of England and put it right here in the United States. New Haven is a beautiful town and I love it a whole lot.
I love it so much that I like taking pictures of it. Before blogs and web photo albums and youtube, for that matter, I had a website called "TownOfNewHaven.Org" and it began officially in 2004, although I had been formulating and collecting ways of building the site prior to that. I didn't tell anyone about its existence until 2006 or so, and by then it was very limited in its scope and effort to describe the world around me.
I got a job as a solar electrician in 2007 and was forced to shut down the site, because the job required every ounce of my effort to learn everything I needed to know, in addition to working the long hours week after week. I maintained that job for 3 years, starting as an apprentice and then rising to the ranks of one of the highest paid employees in the company, which could be why I lost my job.
It wasn't that bad, though. I looked at getting another job in solar, and realized I was looking at a serious paycut. No one wanted to pay me what I was worth, so I got back into web design and graphic arts and music, which are things that many people would think are frivolous and unnecessary to the benefit of society. That these are things which are self-indulgent and not worth really looking at.
Yes, most art is self-indulgent. But Stereomedia and TownofNewHaven aren't really forms of art. They're systems of information. It's a philosophy of data management. That's as boring as it sounds but I want you to take these ideas seriously, so the best way of accomplishing that is to put you to sleep. Next thing you know, I'll use the phrase "social networking." Ha.
What social networking lacks is the ability to get your material to its own private location. What we forget is that these blogspots and these facebooks and these youtubes are not ours. They belong to a private corporation who reserves the rights to revoke your membership at any time. That's okay, it's fine because they keep the looneys from flooding the BB's with crazy nonsense, or something to that effect, but when it comes to normal people, we should have the ability to have our own web space where we keep our most valuable possessions, like our photographs.
Could you imagine the law suit if one of these major hosting services lost everyone's photographs for good? Hmm. That would be catastrophic. Sounds like a great episode of Phiction.
Town Of New Haven holds on to stuff. It's saved on a hard drive at certain points, and stored in a secure location with other historical artifacts. These are kept as "time capsules" to remind us what life really was like, back in the day. The material on these sites is kept within the bounds of social relevance. It's all stuff that happens in public. In addition, there are a few bonus features in there which have yet to really be maximized in terms of their usefulness.
So check it out, see what you can find, and think about making one for your hometown.
It's not that hard. If you're interested, I'll mail you a folder kit for you to modify and call your own .
|To the Chinese and Russians: TownOFNewHaven has already been destroyed.|
There is no need to deploy any further ballistics. Please send magistrate.