Bus Blogging

So I was up until almost 3 am this morning, migrating this blog from Posterous to a self-hosted WordPress setup. It went pretty smoothly, but I have a lot of housekeeping to do, categorizing 500+ posts dating back to 1998, fixing the random broken link or image, and so on. But this morning I’m trying out the WordPress iPhone app, and so, this blog from the bus!

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Chris Casey – The Collected Works

It has recently occurred to me that although I have done quite a bit of writing over the years, that my works are scattered all over the Internet and that no convenient starting point exists to lead to them all. Not that anyone else but me is likely to care, but I am my own first audience when writing, and allowing even just myself to review my best efforts is well worth the effort to create such a catalog. And if anyone else should appreciate this collection of my writings, well that’s a wonderful bonus. This will be a work in progress and I will add new discoveries as I find them, and whenever possible will link to or post a copy of the work.

Generally, my writings fit into four general areas; Professional Articles, Humor/Life Experience Stories, Genealogy and Opinion PIeces.  For the purpose of this listing, I’m considering only published articles, contributed book chapters, or article length items from my own blog that I think stand out and could be of interest to reader’s beyond my meager blog readership. I’ve written scores of blog posts, and tweets, too numerous, brief and not worthy of this list which is intended to include only more significant writings.

First among all items in this column has to be my book, The Hill on the Net: Congress Enters the Information Age , published in May of 1996. I wrote this book mid-way through my eight year career as a Senate staffer, and described how Congress as an institution struggled with and eventually embraced the use of the Internet as a tool for communicating with constituents. For four years after my book was published, I wrote periodic updates about Congress and the Internet.

If you read any of this stuff, I thank you and hope you enjoy it.

Professional Articles

Networks, Information, Engagement & Truth
2
/6/2015, Netcentric Campaigns Blog

20 Years Ago Today – Sen. Kennedy Announces 1st Congressional Website
6
/4/2014, ePolitics

Campaigning on the Internet: A Practitioner’s View (contributed chapter)
8/3/2010, The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice, 2nd Edition

CyberTed’s Legacy Lives On
8/31/2009, PoliticsOnline (now archived here on this blog)

Campaign Web Sites, The Morning After
11/3/2008, ePolitics

Viral Politics: The Power of e Campaigning (contributed chapter)
1/2002

Top Ten Milestones for Congress on the Internet
5/4/01, American University Forum on Congress and the Internet

Net Campaign 2000 (contributed chapter)
1/2001, Elections in the age of the Internet, The Hansard Society

Lessons from the US (contributed chapter)
10/2000,  e-guide for parliamentarians, The Hansard Society

The Senate’s New Online Majority, Part II
4/1/1996, CMC Magazine

The Senate’s New Online Majority
10/1/1995, CMC Magazine

Washington Online
12/1993, The Journal of the Boston Computer Society

 

Humor/Life Experiences

Stowaway’s
8/8/2001, Casey Blog

Lesson’s Learned in a Rat Suit
6/26/1998, Casey Blog

The ATM from Hell
11/12/1995, Casey Blog

 

Genealogy

In The Baggage Coach Ahead
12/31/2007, Casey Blog

Where Victor Met Rose
5/1/2006, Casey Blog

Family Hunting: Three Levels of Info
11/17/2004, Casey Blog

 

Opinion

My Right’s Aren’t A Matter of Address
1/22/2006, The Washington Post

My Online Evolution, Part I

For most of the last 15 years I have had some sort of online presence or other.  Working at the intersection of politics and technology means I have a closet full of campaign yard signs and a GoDaddy account with a collection of domain names, most important among them being my own, casey.com.  Over the years, both the technology and the content of my online world have evolved along with the tools and my own interests.  Once such change came this week, when I moved my blogs from TypePad to Posterous (on which this will be one of my first full postings).  Over the last couple of years, Facebook and Twitter have largely replaced my personal blog as my primary online outlet and I could no longer justify paying $15 a month for a blogging when very good free alternatives were available.  The process of moving old blogs posts from one system to another is a bit like moving from one home to another.  The tasks gets can get sidetracked as you re-read old posts, just as you might get off task while moving by going through an old box of photos.  And it was that sort of reflection, combined with a New Year’s determination to write more, that inspired this blog posting.  Probably of interest to few but myself, but it’s always been the case that I am my own main target audience online.

Casey_web_1998

My own online presence was established sometime in 1997.  The earliest capture of casey.com from The Internet Archive is dated December 27, 1996 and shows a welcome screen from CAIS, the Capitol Area Internet Service, my first ISP.  Sadly, the whole year of 1997 is a black whole, and it’s not until December 1, 1998.  The oldest ‘What’s New‘ entry from January 28, 1998 says the whole site is new.  I’m pretty sure it’s my oldest site, I don’t remember another, but aging is a terrible thing and my memory often fails me.  If The Internet Archive says this is my oldest web site, who am I to argue?  Looking back, I’m still pleased with this simple page, and my current web site is not dramatically different.  I’m sure I was proud of my image mapping (alternate text links provided of course!), and my gag on the then popular feature of an odometer style hit-counter still makes me smile (it’s an animated gif with endlessly spinning numbers).  My “Web World” is divided into simple buckets; Family & Friends, Work, Diversions, and My Book.  It’s telling that the Capitol Dome appears three time, Admiral Ackbar once, and that I once wore a suit and tie.  I still wear the shirt from that photo with Ackbar, but I rarely wear a suit anymore.

Casey_web_2000

Sometime in June 2000, I launched a re-designed site.  The content was essentially the same, but a new large family photo dominates the page.  This was shortly after I left the U.S. Senate after eight years of working there, and a subtle plug for my new Internet Consulting firm can be seen along with my book plug.  And gone are those old school image maps, I was using Adobe ImageReady at this point, and all about the slices and mouseovers!

Casey_web_2001

The new look only lasted about a year.  My business partner left to go to law school, and so CaseyDorin Internet Productions became simple casey.com, and what had previously been my personal web site, was now my business site, launching in August of 2001.  It started as a clean and simple plain HTML site, but at some point around this time I was introduced to Movable Type web publishing software.  A friend installed MT on my server and I began using it for my client sites.  The animated soccer ball led to team photos of my son and daughter’s soccer teams that I had sponsored.  It was already fun watching my youngsters and their teammates play soccer.  It was cooler still watching them do it in jersey’s with my casey.com logo on the front!  My website’s focus had changed to be primarily for my business, but my personal life was still closely connected to it.  For four years I was my own boss and only employee, and casey.com showcased a wide variety of Democratic clients with whom I was fortunate to work with.

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2004 was the year of the blog, and I jumped on the bandwagon big time.  Just look over in the right column of this current version of my blog, and you’ll see how my output has never been higher than it was in 2004 and 2005.  My interest in technology, writing, an online exhibitionism converged, heated up by the Presidential election year.  I spent the last three months of the campaign working full-time at the DNC.  And while it was devastating for Kerry to lose and give a second term to Bush, it would also mean the end of casey.com as a business.  For some time I had been encouraging clients to use NGP Software’s contribution and campaign database tools as the back end for the web sites that I built for them.  Now NGP offered me a job, building a team to continue what I was already doing and I jumped at the opportunity to work there.  It took me until the following year to once again makeover my website, returning it to it’s original ego-centric purpose in March of 2005.

Casey_web_2005

This new site reflected the growth of my online world.  No longer just a destination where my personal content could all be found in one place, it was instead a portal that combined my own content, especially blogs posts and such, but contained a variety of links to my activities elsewhere on the web, such as my auctions on eBay, photos on Flickr, swag on CafePress, and a number of randomized links to the things that interest me such as The Cubs, Apple Computer, and my own family tree.  This site also included a prominent link to the Internet Archive for casey.com to share it’s evolution with visitors. 

Everything changed in 2007.  With my blogging output already in decline, new online outlets became available to the made it easier to find an audience of my friends, and to share my thoughts online in a rapid-fire manner contrary to the more thoughtful type of writing I typically sought to create for my blog.

My first post on Facebook was on February 9, 2007.  Here’s what I said…

Chris Casey Wednesday, pipes freeze, burst, water in basement
Thursday, powerbook dies, hard drive failure, everything lost
Thursday night, wife succumbs to the flu, major upchucking…
TGIF!

February 9, 2007 at 10:19 am

I joined Twitter in May of 2007, but after a single tweet I set it aside and forgot about it.  I really just didn’t ‘get’ twitter.  It wasn’t until July of 2008 that I became an active tweeter.

First_tweet

Here’s my second tweet from three months later …

Second_tweet

But after that slow start, my tweeting picked up, especially at the next year’s Netroots Nation conference in in Austin.  And I know exactly why.  It was in Austin in July of 2008 that I stood in a long line and bought the 2nd generation iPhone, a gadget I had waited a very long time for.  Mobile access to Facebook and Twitter allowed me to embrace each wholeheartedly, and I now reached my online world in tweets and status updates rather than through blog posts.  My people would see what I wrote, and I prolifically wrote more while saying less.  According to TweetStats, I now average 3.3 tweets a day.

It’s interesting that I announced my location in my first two tweets (also my only two tweets for all of 2007), as it foretells the later arrival of location aware services that the currently all the rage thanks to our gps-equipped smart phones.  At the close of 2009, I began exploring location services on my iPhone.  I was familiar with Foursquare (first checkin on 12/29/09) and Loopt, but knowing that there was likely other options out there, I iput the question out there on Facebook, and I learned about Gowalla.

Casey_facebook_gowalla

My first check-in on Gowalla was when I created my Neighborhood ABC Store on January 8, 2010.  For a time I used it equally with Foursquare, but I enjoyed the interface and interactions much better on Gowalla and now effectively use it exclusively for ‘checking-in’.  I’m exactly the sort of OCD geek that finds it appealing to make sure the world knows I’ve been to the neighborhood McDonalds, have earned my Voyager pin and plan to one day complete that Sea to Shining Sea trip as well!

And then here I’m am, writing about this all, in my good old (new) blog here on Posterous.  Once I publish this post, it will be tweeted and added to my Facebook wall.  I guess this post will require a ‘Part II’, because I haven’t even mentioned Ancestry.com, Find-A-Grave, PayPal, eBay, Flickr, TwitPic, etc. etc….

But I’m ready to move ahead with Part I here, so just stay tuned…

Ending the Blog Lull

If you are one of the very very few people who ever actually looks at this blog, then it can’t have escaped your notice that things have been pretty quiet around here lately. There are three primary reasons for this; technological, lack of time, and competing alternatives.

For years, I have maintained my blog using MovableType, a first-rate blogging application that I was glad to purchase and keep installed on my own server. But over time, something went hinky, and attempts to post content became increasingly likely to fail with an ‘Internal Server Error’ rather than to successfully post. Web servers are a bit like cars to me. I can fix minor and routine problems (change a tire, etc…), but more serious breakdowns are beyond me. Upgrading my MT software didn’t fix the issue, and I was stuck with a very unreliable blog.

As for time, it’s been a very busy year. I’d like to find time to blog, but often real life intrudes with a higher priority. Two events have consumed much of my time over the last few months, the Presidential campaign, and training for and running a marathon. These events have concluded happily, and now I may be able to reclaim some of the time devoted to them in order to again write more for my blog.

And lastly, new web technologies such as Facebook and Twitter have provided new means to quickly and easily share info about myself and what’s going on in my life. Given the technical problems with my own blog, and the wider reach provided by these alternatives, it became very easy to just use them while my blog lay fallow.

So there’s the explanation. But changes have been made. I have moved to new web hosting, and migrated my blog to use TypePad, the hosted blog software by the maker’s of MovableType, so reliability should not be an issue. With major events passed, I will be making a commitment to make the time to write more. And I’ll work to integrate my blog with my use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites as best that I can.

And who knows… maybe, just maybe, someone besides myself will actually read the result. We’ll see.

Blog Conversion

Media_httpchriscaseyt_ciywe

For about the last five years or so, I’ve maintained my blog using Movable Type’s (MT) software on my own web server. And during that time, I’ve been happy with the program and it’s features. It has allowed me to build and tinker with sites on my own server. But a server admin I am not, and when, from time to time, things go hinky on my server, I am not well suited to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Over the last several months, my MT installation has been very inconsistent, and is just as likely to return a server error as it was to work as it should.

I have been using web.com as my web host for about the last four years. Their VPS Root server allowed me to create the sub-sites I desired, and I was familiar with their service and support. Unfortunately, their service has suffered, and competitors offer hosting package with more features and more disk space at less cost.

And so, it’s time for me to move on. For my web hosting, I’m moving to Host Gator and am currently working at moving my life/files to my new server. As for my MT blogs, rather than install MT on my new server at Host Gator, I will instead use Six Apart’s hosted blog service, TypePad.

I’ve spent part of today, migrating my blog’s to TypePad. It’s too soon for a full review, but so far I am finding it promising and looking forward to letting them manage the burden of keeping things up and running. And hopefully, having restored reliability to my blog life, my recent lull will come to and end. Stay tuned…

It’s a Web Page!

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Colleen turned 10 last week, and it was an occasion for thinking back over 10 years of wonderful memories. I recalled that I had built an ‘It’s A Girl’ web page in advance, ready to use it to annouce the news of our new baby on the web (a blue ‘It’s a Boy’ page was also ready), and I wondered if I could possibly locate it.

And poking around old photos and files on my web server, I found it! Old web pages never die, they just become harder to find.

The Casey Guestbook

Quite a few people find their way to this web site because their name is Casey. Sometimes it’s their first name, other times their last. To all of you I would like to extend a warm welcome, and an invitation to leave a note here in the casey.com guestbook by adding a comment to this posting. Please include your name and location, so that all can see where our collected Caseys are coming from.

NOTE: Unfortunately I get an overwhelming amount of comment spam, and as a result all comments are held for approval until I can separate and approve the genuine from the unwanted. As a result, your comment won’t appear immediately, but will take days or weeks before I get around to reviewing it. But don’t let that discourage you, it’s great fun to hear from all of you Caseys out there.

The New Casey.com

Change begets change, and so it is here at casey.com. Since starting my new job, this site is no longer the online home for my work (if you’re looking for Internet strategy and development services, visit my new work home at NGP Software). And so I’m reverting it back to what it once was, my personal online playground. My blog has become my primary online outlet, but this entry page will also attempt to capture and share something about me.There will be dead links and blank spaces as the site develops and matures. But please feel free to poke around the large empty spaces inside my head. Your feedback is welcome.

CaseyDorin Internet Productions wins Pollie award for Best Use of Flash Animation

Pollie Award CaseyDorin Internet Productions was awarded the Pollie award for ‘Best Use of Flash Animation’ by the American Association of Political Consultants at their awards luncheon held today in Washington, DC for their work developing Senator Ted Kennedy’s campaign web site, tedkennedy.com. As campaigns further develop their use of the Internet, it is a certainty that they will continue to seek to find new ways to deliver their content and communicate with voters. The tedkennedy.com web site utilized Flash animations as the site introduction early in the campaign, and in an innovative interactive map.

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