Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Apr 16 2007

In the works

I’m coming up on the 6th anniversary of this website, which began in early 2001 as a way to show people my photography without kidnapping them, tossing them in the back of a large van and hauling them up to my apartment, possibly with construction equipment, and subjecting them to a stack of dusty albums with overly cute Engrish titles like “Happy Primate Want to Elegant Cornucopia.”

That was almost the site’s title, actually.

Anyway, I added a blog just for the hell of it, and before I knew it I’d written several novels’ worth of questionable prose in the thing. Then Flickr came along and eliminated any need for a Photos site of my own. Blogrolls and other sidebar elements surpassed the usefulness of the Links, Contact and About pages, and the Writing page was made obsolete simply by the pure volume of drivel I write here (and would be better used as a “favorite posts” option on the blog). The Films page became Renegade Province Productions when I got poagao.com. The only thing left is News From the Renegade Province, which I still have a soft spot for even though I haven’t updated it in a while.

Then my blogs began to multiply in a manner not unlike that of the Baldwin family, introducing a plethora of substandard, half-formed accounts on various aspects of my life that I felt would attract a different audience. I added a Chinese-language blog. A film production blog. A Tai-chi/Tuishou blog. I even have another blog where I write whatever the hell I like regardless of propriety (yes, I do hold some of my thoughts back, most notably the darker and scarier ones, from seeing the light of day on this, my public online presence). The other blog is not private and is protected by the simple anonymity of being one of several brazillion blogs out there. If you find it, good on you, but keep in mind that I have plausible deniability.

Time went on, and Blogger began to show its age. Other, more intuitive blogging options became available. On today’s popular resolutions, my icons, once disparaged as inordinately huge, seem tiny and lacking of any cohesive theme. I still like the black background and Liao Tianding running across the rooftops of this account, camera in hand, but I think the time has come for a major reworking of this site. I’m not the same monkey I was in 2001; I’m older, fatter and hairier. This site should reflect that somehow.

I’ve been encouraged by Mark and Prince Roy in this regard, both of whom would like to see me migrate to WordPress. My host Doteasy, however, reminded me that they would have to transfer me to their US$7.95″Ultra” package to enable PHP/MySQL options that WordPress requires. On another server. Which means re-uploading…everything.

Did I mention that my directories are a complete mess? Or that I actually don’t have any directories? Yeah.

But it’s that or continue on Blogger with limited options. In any case, I would like to do a re-design, not just of this account but of the entire site. And here’s where you come in: let me know what you like about the site, as well as what you find completely useless and depressing. I’m thinking of a new splash page featuring the blogs and not much else, but I haven’t really come up with a useful design, or indeed if I even want a splash page (actually, I probably do). But I have no clue as to what kind of accessibility people desire beyond this page. Do visitors here want to go read my other blogs? Look at thousands of my photos? Read fake news? I have no idea. Technorati indicates that you don’t, but I feel I should link to them anyway.

Anyway, Recent Internet Trends indicate that I should keep my posts short and sweet. Too late for that, but I’ll stop here anyway. Let me know what you think I should do with this place.

posted by Poagao at 7:15 am  


  1. …I’m older, fatter and hairier…

    you forgot: “and balder”.

    I like everything about your site, except what I’m reading here. Finding your site out of the blue while aimlessly surfing one day during a Madras monsoon was an epiphany of sorts.

    Don’t you dare do anything on account of what you think your readers want. Your individuality, snarkiness and all around Poagao-ness is enough for us.

    Do switch over to wordpress though. Mark and that shady PR character did get that one right.

    Comment by Prince Roy — April 17, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

  2. Actually I’m about as bald now as I was then, as I lost the queue well before I began the site. I am a bit greyer, however.

    I’m not expecting anyone to tell me what my site should look like; this is just fishing for ideas that I can accept or throw back in the water as I see fit.

    Comment by TC — April 17, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

  3. Sorry to jump out of nowhere… I’ve been a regular visitor of your blog for a while and though I agree that the layout looks a bit quaint, I really dig how everything is sort of cobbled together. It’s nice in a way like the familiar old neighborhood store that sells galvanized steel bolts next to the tung-i instant noodles. 🙂

    With all the sharp and stylish sites out there, I sure the internet can deal with a site with just slightly less swank.

    All that being said though, I have to agree that WP is a great idea in many ways. Still, see if you can recreate this feel in your new site if you decide to migrate. Good luck, have fun, and keep up the great writing!

    Comment by sjschen — April 18, 2007 @ 5:52 am

  4. vlog

    Comment by Anonymous — April 18, 2007 @ 6:20 am

  5. i’d appreciate it if the chinese font were bigger.

    Comment by v — April 25, 2007 @ 2:16 am

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