JH News and Notes

There’s quite a bit going on and some of it is becoming publicly visible, so I wanted to let folks know what’s happening and why.

This is going to be a long post, so let’s break it up into smaller pieces and get it organized…

  • The “tl;dr” version
  • Splitting Personalities
  • Nuts and Bolts

Some folks – most, I’m sure – aren’t going to care about any of this, really, and that’s fine.  But some folks do, and there’s another reason I’m writing this all out.  I can never remember exactly where it was, but once upon a time Stephen King wrote:

The thought process is never complete without articulation.

And I’ve been thinking about a whole bunch of things and need to articulate them, both as a matter of getting my thoughts organized and as a matter of ending the “thinking” process and beginning the “doing.”

tl;dr summary

In a nutshell:  I’ve made, and will continue making over the next few days, significant changes to my various sites and social media presences.

If you only care about a certain segment of the things I care about, you might consider joining one of the new pages that focuses on particular areas.

If you like it all, stay on the page that’s been running for the last few years.  No need to join ’em all; if you’re on the JH page you’re going to see everything that’s on JH.US and LGN anyway.  The same will go for other SM platforms like Google and Twitter.

Also, lots of back-end work – reformatting posts, creating new thumbnails that are more cooperative with the new layout features, and all that.  And I’m going to open a new blogging platform covering the more professional end of my range of interests.

That’s the short version, and if you’re not into long entries and details you now have the basic info you need.  Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day.  For everyone else, read on…

Splitting Personalities

A few months ago I picked up a new domain, johnhenry.us, and began working to separate my content into a few broad interest areas.  The biggest reason for this is simple; some of the things I’m in to don’t appeal to everyone or run a high risk of alienating folks who hold different opinions.  Writing strongly-worded opinions and in-depth analyses of social and political issues is something I enjoy doing and I’m good at it, but someone who comes here to pick up the Morrowind FPS Optimizer or find out what plugins work well in The Secret World or to read about the music I enjoy or stories about my days in the professional wrestling business may well not care to know what I think about Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz.  When they’re faced with those opinions anyway, they tend to feel like I’m trying to push something on them.

By the same token, folks who enjoy reading what I have to say about the separation of church and state or social welfare programs are often not terribly interested in hearing which TV show I really liked this week or what songs make me cry just the right way.

And then there’s a whole third group of material – my “professional” work.  Of course it’s all “professional work,” right, but technical articles about WordPress plugins or editing tricks in Adobe Premiere are a third group of content and interest I have that simply doesn’t play well with the other two.  That kind of content should be someplace that I can reference on a resume and let potential employers see it, without being bombarded by my political opinions or getting the impression that all I do is play video games and watch television.

The best tone to use for these various functions is different, too.  One might reasonably expect to hear some pretty NSFW language in some writing, while in others it would be almost suicidal to even be vaguely off-color.

So, I’ve been engaged in a slow process of splitting personalities, so to speak.  Politics and other things you avoid talking about at family gatherings will continue to reside at JohnHenry.US, gaming and music and film and personal musings and general “JH news” will be here at LowGenius.Net.  Over at LowGenius.Com is where I’ll be posting stuff that will usually be more “dry” and “academic” about the nuts and bolts of the various things I do.

To that end, I’ve revived some Facebook Pages and will be adding other social media presences unique to each site.  My primary “John Henry” FB page will continue to be the central clearinghouse for everything.  Then there are two other pages, “branded” with their respective domains – LowGenius.Net (FB link) and JohnHenry.US (FB link) – to feature content that is relevant to those sites.

Most folks who see this article will probably be just fine continuing to read the current “central” page, but I anticipate there will be a few folks who leave that page and join the one for JohnHenry.US instead, because what they care about is politics and social issues, not my personal life or my hobbies or what kind of music I like.  Nobody has to run and like both the other pages; if you’re on the John Henry page and you generally like what you see there, it’s not going to change and there’s no need for you to go elsewhere.  This new setup will be more relevant to new readers, particularly those who are brought in to my burgeoning media empire by content that isn’t part of my work at JohnHenry.US.

Nuts and Bolts

The details, for those of you who are into that sort of thing:  going through all my existing columns on all sites to ensure that shortcodes are displaying properly; creating/modifying embedded and “featured” images so they fit well into various layout features and look sharp and clear; standardizing my plugin packages across all my domains so functionality is consistent to the extent that it can be on multiple sites using different themes.  Lots of stylesheet editing, a little PHP coding, and some graphic work and layout refinements.

Probably the easiest of these to deal with is JohnHenry.US, since much of that work is already done anyway.  Then this site, which will take a significant bit of time to work through as nearly every article here needs new graphics and formatting fixes.

LowGenius.Com is a different bit of animal; when I decided to make that my professional site, I went with a very mobile-friendly theme that presents all of the basic information on the front, with little to nothing in the way of what you’d consider “traditional” blog features like a list of articles or a post calendar or navigation bars or sidebars or any of that.  It does have blogging functionality, though, and I’m going to start using it as I’ve already said.  The other part of that is finishing the portfolio-resume-bragging part of the site, which is a huge undertaking, one of those things you never really finish – sorting out and creating new videos, graphics, and audio files to present as work samples and portfolio, assembling various resumes for various purposes, and so on.  I don’t even have it set up for ads right now.

All of this, of course, to the purpose of increasing organization and efficiency in the creation of new content.  I haven’t done a video in forever, it seems like, and I want to make major changes in how I approach that whole thing, not least of which because I’m going to be embarrassed to be seen on camera until I get my teeth fixed.  Plus it’s just good practice for me to get used to the idea that I don’t need to have my ugly mug in every video I produce.

So that’s what’s up for now, thanks for reading if you bothered, and keep your eyes out for a serious spike in quality, original content.

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