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Web technology and web design were and remain important subjects of my interest. Facing hundreds of horrible-designed pages and my many different interests fostered the creation of many different web pages, for which I played a role of a web designer, a system administrator or a hosting provider. One of the reasons for that, was my hope to become a supporter or and contributor of an active community. To shorten the story – I failed and I’ll try to explain why.

Several years I attempted to create a local, German photo-community page, a PHP and Web Design site and some other web pages. Why did I do that? Because I believed to understand something about how the pages should be designed. Maybe I was mistaken, but probably there is another important reason, that I was neglecting. Communities are not built around good-looking, convenient, user-friendly platforms, but much more around a unique idea, which I never had. There are hundreds of web-technology pages and journals, and many German local photo pages. And the fact that I know five web-interested people and fifteen hobby photographers seems to be not enough to maintain and fill the page.

I had an interesting discussion with Alex regarding the fact, if it is a good idea to create several, narrow-topic pages or one blog with all topics. My opinion was that a clear-addressed page will attract more people, than one page reporting about all subjects. I must concede that in theory I still believe that, but in practice it doesn’t work if you are the only person posting. And sorry to say that, but in the end I was the only one writing. In the same time, I already have a page on which I’m the only writer – this one.

A further reason of separating pages is the language of writing. I’m writing English and German (my Russian writing went never so far, that it would be not possible to write them in one of the already mentioned languages) and it seems that it is not a good idea to mix different languages on the same page. Bojidar gave me an advice to write English, since most people using Internet like I do, understand English. On the other hand, it seems stupid to write English for Germans living in the same German city, so my photo page was in German. Surprisingly, after I started to write this post (and decided to close the DigitalExperiement site), there is a new idea and justification for letting it online. I never finished the gallery section of the page and found out that this is probably the most important part. I’m posting my best photographs in different photo community sites, mostly for the reasons of getting feedback. In fact I don’t like any of the pages seriously, so I will re-post the best pictures on Digital Experiment someday. In fact I found at least two other people who are interested in putting their high-gloss pictures into the gallery. But as long as it is not ready, I just cleaned up the content and removed the unneeded content from the page.

An additional reason for creating pages, was my interest in small PHP projects. I’m a big fan of WordPress and Dokuwiki, so I spend a reasonable amount of time integrating these two systems. This included designing templates/themes which look the same on both platforms to allow for a seamless integration of the two systems into one web page. My TechJava Journal uses that, the Digital Experiment used it too. TechPHP was a kind of project home for all templates and plug-ins. In the end, WordPress 3 break the API completely and didn’t describe the login procedure in detail, so I didn’t want to reverse-engineer it again. Since the page was not hosted by me alone (but Alex participated in the project too), we decided to take the page offline.

The same will happen with TechLinux, a site produced to be an place to post about experiences in Linux administration and usage. It was never really useful, even if the page was a case study of how to program dynamic pages in PHP. It was a kind of own-written CMS with structure and content stored in the database.

Finally, I’m not taking all pages offline. I still host my high-school class homepage and the homepage of my first band. Probably, my most successful page is TechJava. I’m continuously posting on it and its Eclipse Category is aggregated on some important community sites. The official TLA+ Page is also doing well and become more and more attention by people interested in Temporal Logic of Action and PlusCal by Leslie Lamport. I decided to create some new content there about the history of TLA+. Since my employment at Holisticon AG I started to post on its blog. The blog is in German and discusses topics like software architecture, agile project management and other and I post regularly.

So, less is more on the web too…

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