The few who follow me to any degree have already noticed this, but I’ve been working on splitting my personal and professional life online by splitting my website into two: http://taddly.com and http://taddgiles.com. Here’s the scoop.
If you’re a member of my family or a good friend, or maybe even a passing acquaintance you might find my personal site interesting. http://taddly.com. In there, I’ll be sharing photos, updates on my weight loss and my latest pontifications on life’s whatevers. If you want to know when I post something new you can connect to me in Facebook, follow the RSS feed, or go old school and just bookmark the site.
Professional is subject to a very loose definition here. This site, http://taddgiles.com, is where I’ll post my current design, web, art, tech nerd links and articles about such things. To keep up-to-date you can follow me on Twitter or use this RSS Feed.
I’m trying to solve two issues here: one of control and the other of audience. First, I felt like I was losing control of my content. No wait, first I realized that I was generating a bunch of content in Facebook updates, Tweets, Flickr photos, Vimeo videos, Tumblr blog posts and more. Then I noticed that I had this growing concern that none of it was really under my control and none of it was backed up. I wanted to get control over all of my content, get it in one place and get it regularly backed up. Second, I want to communicate better with my audience. This may not be true for everyone, but my Facebook friends tend to be what I call “regular” people who could care less about the latest tech nerd toy, but do care about what’s happening with my personal life. My Twitter friends tend to be the opposite (somewhat). They tend to care more about cool tech links and info and such and not so much about what’s happening to my waist line. Creating two sites with one linked to Twitter and the other linked to Facebook helps me separate the two audiences and maintain 100% control. Those who want to follow both can and those who don’t don’t. We’ll see how it goes.
For the Nerds
For the nerds who care about such things here’s some tidbits about how the site is put together. Both sites are managed by one custom-built Ruby on Rails app with one database and one set of file storage. All of the site content is hosted on Dreamhost. The app has one admin tool where I can manage content for both sites. When I post a new entry to taddgiles.com, a twitter update is automatically pushed using the ping.fm api. Likewise, a taddly.com post automatically pushes an update to Facebook again via ping.fm. In this manner, my sites are the original source for the vast majority of my tweets and Facebook updates. The links in the Twitter and Facebook updates use the app’s URL shortener so I can keep control over my URLs too. I can also make an entry appear on both sites. All of the content is rendered as best as possible in HTML5. The HTML5 video is provided using the Video for Everybody chunk of HTML code. The site functions pretty much like a tumblelog, but the home page rather than defaulting to the complete stream, provides a summary of the latest different kinds of content. This is the first project in which I’ve used Sass and Compass to generate my stylesheets and I have to say “me likie” so far. To generate the short URLs, I used a gem created by Jack Danger called alphadecimal. For photo and video file attachments I used PaperClip. For friendly urls, I used friendly_id. Pagination was facilitated by Will_Paginate.