Tag: tdh.me

  • Welcome to TDH Thirteen

    Welcome to TDH Thirteen

    This is, according to my limited mathematical skills, the thirteenth iteration of my site. That’s obviously not entirely true, I am a liar by trade after all, but it serves my purpose for this piece.

    The previous version of my site, by which I mean TDH.me (I’ll get to that) was the twelfth. I never liked it. It looked all right but it didn’t fit my plans for my content. Wait, let me rephrase that: It didn’t fit my plans for my content that I could and would actually produce. You see, I designed and built that particular iteration with an idea in mind, a certain frequency to my updates and quote and commentary. Alas, reality intervened and thus all my ideas and schemes were for naught.

    Well, it really wasn’t that dramatic, but I did feel as if I took a wrong turn somewhere.

    Enter TDH the Thirteenth.

    Let’s tell a story

    I like to say that I write for a living. This is true, I do – fiction and columns mostly – but it’s not the whole truth. Running Odd Alice certainly takes its time, as do my duties at BlankPage, Tech Troopers, Cylinder Labs, Pale Publishing and Monograph Books, not to mention the soon to be released Damn Fine Novels. They’re all parts of my (professional) life.

    You don’t know much about those, do you? I’ve never really told you.

    Telling a story is what I do. I try to do it even when I write technical literature, something that I’ll get back to soon, now that I’ve reacquired the rights to the Smashing WordPress books (and Tackling Tumblr, I believe, but who cares?). Writing those books about WordPress were all about teaching the basics and inspiring the reader to build something. I see it as a sort of storytelling, albeit without dragons or lasers.

    Looking at the site I had, I wanted some of that, in an overarching manner. So the new front page is a brief introduction to who I am and what I do, with links digging deeper. Said links will take you to some of the major topics I tend to cover, like tech or writing, as well as the books I’ve written, the latest posts on this very site, or just more about yours truly. This, told in a conversational manner, felt more natural than a set of links, at least to me.

    I intend to take the same manner of speaking, or introducing, as it were, to other parts of the site. If you visit the tools category you’ll get an introduction as to why I write about these things. It needs work, they all do, because I’m new at this and have a lot of content to look over, but it’s a start. I want visitors popping over to know what they read, and why I wrote it.

    This was the design principle I worked from when building the new site. The words and sentences serving as an introduction to the visitor, that was the idea and concept, so to speak. Moving on from that was pretty easy.

    The design

    I’m sure you’ve all seen how much I love typography and abhor unnecessary imagery. Well, that’s what you got this time around as well. I wanted the site to read well on all screens, because the primary content is text, plain and simple. Imagery is important but only when I deem it necessary to use it, so while I did want the site to look nice, all types of graphics came in second. In no way could any images or embeds infer with the written content. That further underlined my need to keep things simple.

    One column, almost all across the board, was obviously the way to go. Text flow better if you don’t have a side column posing as a menu or – gasp! – drawer of widgety things. None of that here, just one column and the occasional area where content gets split in two. Settling on that style made it easy to design for mobile first, something I do even for more complicated projects, but here it was essential. My readership has been mostly mobile-based for years, which also counts tablets and the odd sizes in-between. I read a lot on my iPhone, and I want you to be able to do the same while reading this. Hell, I want you to prefer this to your instapaper’d or pocket’d version of this page. Not all of you will, but it’s a nice point to start from, as a designer and developer.

    Now, with typography in place, and focus on text-based content primarily, makes the rest of the design sort of fall in place on its own. In this case it was particularly easy, because the previous two iterations were fairly close to the same paradigms. Even if we go back three iterations we’ll find a text heavy site, albeit not necessarily with mobile screens as a priority, although it did obviously work for them too. I’ve been designing responsibly for years, with responsive, or often fluid, designs. You’ll have to go further back than that to find something that wouldn’t look good on an iPhone today.

    A few words about emojis might be in order. You’ll see emojis here and there on the site, the imagery made popular by smartphones all around. I mostly use pointing fingers and magnifying glasses, but there are more hidden away. Emojis have extended our way of communicating, indeed, they have extended our alphabets, so I see no reason to not use them in my very limited imagery.

    All in all, I’m pretty happy with the new design. There are things to do, features that I want to add, and not to mention tweaks that’ll no doubt be made after some weeks of live usage, but that’s always the case. I hope you’ll like this iteration, and that you’ll tweet me any bugs you might find.

    What about TDH.se then?

    Recurring readers of TDH.me – note the .me – will no doubt wonder why they ended up on TDH.se. Likewise, people used to reading TDH.se are probably confused about the current turn of events.

    Let me explain. I used to roll my English language site on TDH.me, and its Swedish equivalent (which was by no means a translated version) on TDH.se. Now everything is on TDH.se and that’s the end of it.

    Dual domains, one for English and one for Swedish, worked well enough for a time. I started having issues with it a couple of years ago, when the updates to the Swedish site became far in-between. The ones I did post weren’t direct translations of posts from the English sites, no, they were rewrites or quote and comment pieces. While that might’ve served some purpose, it felt crummy and cheap compared to the 1,500 odd posts preceding these. I knew something was seriously wrong when all I did post on the Swedish site was promotional things – “this book is out now”, that sort of posts. Not wrong nor irrelevant, but not enough to warrant a site either.

    Meanwhile, the English site thrived. I worked with it, updated it, and so forth. The one thing I didn’t like about it was the domain name, the .me part. I’ve been trying to buy tdh.com for years, to no avail. I know that’s silly nonsense, soon to be obsolete with how the internet is evolving, but it stuck to my mind.

    Also, I’m Swedish, I’m not from Montenegro. A .com domain is global, but while it may sound like something personal, .me is a national domain, much like .io and .nu, all popular and all made big business by domain registrars across the world. I obviously already owned the .se domain and when it became clear that I wasn’t going to run two parallel TDH sites, one in Swedish and one in English, that was the way to go.

    So what happened? Well, I set up a new WordPress install and imported all the content from TDH.se. Then I imported all the content from TDH.me, added a 301 redirect to the .htaccess file on TDH.me, pointing all URLs to their equivalent on this very domain, and that’s that. If you go to http://tdh.me/book/ashen-sky/ you’ll be redirected to https://legacy.tdh.se/book/ashen-sky/ instead, which goes for search engines as well.

    As for the Swedish content (which is in Swedish), you can still find it here, URLs unchanged. If you want to browse it, there’s a specific category for it now – ?? Svenska – and all new content carries the Swedish flag emoji so you shouldn’t miss it. Or miss to skip it, if that’s your thing.

    Oh, and TDH.se is all https, which means that traffic is encrypted and you can feel more secure.

    From here on out

    I’m really happy to only have one TDH site to worry about. If you’ve read everything on the front page you probably understand why. Running two sites in tandem, the primary thing differentiating them being the language, was an unnecessary burden. There was, perhaps, technical solutions to the problem, such as multilingual variants that would let me roll one site but translate parts of it, but that never appealed to me. No, I wanted one home, one message to the world, and this is it.

    Speaking of which, I firmly believe that we need to take care of our online homes. You might spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter, and I do too, but they’re not your online homes. They’re places you visit, and they let you do so to turn a tidy profit. Your words posted on social media is money to these companies, because the more you write, the more they get to know about you, the more ads they may serve with your content, and the more they track you with targeted advertisements across the web. Not to mention all the people who come to said social media sites to read your words.

    I don’t like that.

    My home is free from tracking and spying on people. It’s as simple as I can make it without making it unnecessary hard to maintain. I use open source software when I can, and outside services need to play nice with whatever they might be doing. In my case, currently, that’s limited to Automattic’s Jetpack service, which is connected to WordPress.com, and it should be quite safe.

    I may tweet and facebook and instagram, but this is where I live online. If anything or anyone says otherwise, at some other place, then either I royally fucked up and lost this very place (fucking squatters!), or they’re lying.

    Welcome to my online home.

  • Guess who's back (and got a new suit)?

    Hey, how are you? Good, I hope. I’m doing fine too, a bit swamped with work and writing and whatnot, but that’s to be expected from time to time. I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting you of late, it was never my intention. You see, I thoroughly enjoy filling you up with…

    Err, yeah. That just got weird, didn’t it?

    What I wanted to say was that I’ve missed writing here, at TDH.me. The posts and essays I publish here tend to lead to discussions and quips about this and that, something I enjoy. It’s also a pretty bad thing to not have a living site, especially since I’m and author and all that. So I figured I’d ease back into it, publishing an essay a week here, along with some shorter pieces when I feel like it.

    The, as of writing, current theme, called TDH12

    Oh yeah, you might’ve noticed that things are looking a bit different around here. While I found the previous iteration (as the one before that) of the site looked and worked well enough, it’s good to shake things up every now and then. With this design, I wanted to make sure that the site was easy to read (it’s mostly text), and that the readers didn’t miss my books. There are still some bits and pieces that I need to sort out, but I think it’s a pretty good start.

    Found something funky? Email tdh at tdh dot me or tweet to @tdh. Thanks!

    I think that’s about it. I really just wanted to say hi and welcome back. I can’t wait to get back to writing about, err, writing, gadgets and gear, tech, books, music, games, and all that other stuff I’ve been going on about over the years. If that interest you, be sure to sign up for the newsletter (undergoing a revamp – back soon!) and follow me on Twitter. There’s also a RSS feed, for those old school netizens out there.

    Until next time then.

  • Updates in progress Done!

    Update! And we’re done. This is the first step towards a slightly more rewarding TDH.me experience. There are several things left to do, I hope you’ll be patient with me as I find the time during the coming weeks.

    On the flipside: There’ll be more posting from here on now, so there’s that!

    Welcome back.

    PS. Found anything funky? Please:

    Just a quick heads up: I’m doing some work behind the scenes here so things might get funky. Will be back in a jiffy, or something like that.

    This post will be updated with the progress.

  • Lite läsning på TDH.me medan du väntar

    Jag har legat lite på latsidan här, men tänkte försöka bättre mig, så att det inte bara blir poster relaterade till mina projekt… Så låt mig mjukstarta med några länkar till poster på TDH.me, min engelskspråkiga blogg.

  • Jag förutspår Apples oktoberevent

    Den 16 oktober ska Apple övertyga oss om att köpa nya iPad-modeller, samt säkerligen Macar och annat. Jag har skrivit en essä om saken på TDH.me.

    The tagline, “It’s been way too long”, hints at a new iMac, I think. The fact that Apple’s using the rainbow colors makes me think there’ll be color variations of the new iMac yet again. All speculation of course. I’d also expect a Mac mini, but I don’t think there’ll be anything particularly interesting in terms of design there, just a bump and possibly some minor tweaks.

  • On the purpose of the recent redesign

    This very site runs on WordPress, as it has from day 1, and the eleventh major version of the TDH theme, known as TDH11 because I have no imagination whatsoever when it comes to these things. Most of these iterations have been long-lived, but not all.

    The reason for this particular redesign isn’t that I felt the previous version lacking. Actually, I found it quite pleasant, both to work with as a publisher, and for reading. Then again, if both those things were true there wouldn’t be a revamp in the first place. This brings us to the real reason for this redesign, which is my need to publish shorter and snappier posts. A lot of that commentary have ended up on Twitter, but it’s a format that’s lacking due to its brevity. Sharing short things, sure, and for some watercooler chatter, fine, but not for actual commentary, analysis, or in-depth thoughts.

    Hence this design, which works both with longer pieces and essays, as well as quote and comment shorts.


  • TDH.me har fått ny design

    Min engelska sajt, TDH.me, har fått ny design. En variant av den kommer även rullas ut här, inom en vecka eller två.

  • Excuse the mess, site update in progress

    Stuff will misbehave for a bit, I’m afraid. A proper update on what’s going on here’ll be online later tonight.

    Alright, I think most things are working now. If you find something funky here, ping @tdh on Twitter please.

    There are things on my todo list, so this is by no means a finished project. Sites never are. I’m a firm believer in an early 1.0 though, and then iterations after that, so here we are. Enjoy.

  • Redesign

    I’ve begun the arduous process of redesigning my online presence. This is something I do a bit more often than most, but it’s not as bad as it was once. You see, there was a time when I redesigned my sites every six months, which isn’t too bad if you want to stay current. Things moved faster then though, and today a design just works longer, although I must confess they’ve always been relevant for more than six months. I used to love to tinker, that’s how I learned WordPress, which subsequently meant I got to write a bunch of books about how to do things with the platform.

    Back then I redesigned because it was fun, and because I could. I was evolving a lot, as a designer and developer, and probably as a person too, without me or anyone else noticing. I’m still evolving, but rudimentary things such as clever taxonomy usage and new markup techniques isn’t doing it for me anymore. These days, I redesign when I need to. (more…)

  • Back To The Drawing Board

    It’s hard to build a credible online identity sometimes, and even harder to back that up with a site that makes sense. Take me for example, these are the side-projects I have on my table at the moment:

    • I’m publishing a weekly app newsletter in Swedish.
    • I’m wrapping up a novella that’ll go out to my editor early next week.
    • I’ve got my iPhone novel writing project.
    • And I’m writing a novel too, or rather rewriting it, as should be.
    • Speaking of which, I’m dabbling with self-publishing as well. It sort of connects with the writing, you know.
    • I’m putting the finishing touches on a manuscript for a Swedish horror RPG, which then will have to be translated into English at the very least.
    • I’ve got this site, and my neglected Swedish one, alongside my link commentary that ends up on Twitter and the TDHFTW blog.

    This is just the side-projects, things I do alongside my web agency Odd Alice, and my regular book writing and consulting. Nor is it counting side-projects that fly under either of my two company flags.


  • Tankar om kommentarer

    Jag tog bort kommentarerna på TDH.me, min engelska sajt, och så här gick det.

  • The Day When Nothing Worked

    I had five things to do today.

    1. Test a simple API script on a client server, and report on the findings to a client. This should’ve taken 30 minutes or so.
    2. Tweak a search page for a client, and let them test it thoroughly. This was estimated to take up to an hour.
    3. Launch the new version of TDH.me.
    4. Launch The Writer’s iPad, on a store of my own as well as on Amazon. Possibly submit the ebook to other retailers as well.
    5. Celebrate with the bubbly stuff.

    Things didn’t quite work out the way I planned.


  • Om möjligheter, och hur de vill ha din uppmärksamhet

    Jag skriver om hur alla möjligheterna som våra smarta telefoner (oavsett om du föredrar iPhone eller Android) och plattor (iPad, för det finns inga egentliga alternativ) ger oss i dag:

    So are the distractions and hence I’m thinking a lot about what all the noise is giving me. Do I need to be this available online get the most out of Twitter and Facebook? Can I disconnect for a week/month/year and still live on?

    Läs The Power That Is PossibilitiesTDH.me.

  • Om Quote & Comment-bloggar

    Vet du vad en Quote & Comment-blogg är? Läs mer här.

  • Några rader om eböcker och bokhyllor

    Jag har skrivit några rader om eböcker och bokhyllor på TDH.me, apropå det faktum att jag nästan bara köper böcker digitalt numera.