Continuing the Vancouver Blogger Profile series of bloggers who don’t necessarily have to be from Vancouver, here’s a feature on one of my very good friends. We met in person at a blogging conference just over a year ago and we’ve shared many good times together, from geeking out coding websites with John and I on our couch, camping in the pouring rain and getting a visit from his wonderful family, or flying down to Las Vegas for a weekend. Since his birthday is just a few days away his profile get this super special introduction so here I present to you, the Duane Storey.
Who are you? I’m a jack of all trades really: Blogger. Drinker. Photographer. Lover. But mostly I’m just a small town guy that somehow ended up in the big city, a fact I remind myself of daily.
Where do you blog (which sites) ? The majority of my blog postings are on my own website, duanestorey.com, but I also contribute to several community blogs including matthewgood.org, and occasionally on urbanvancouver.com. I’m also going to be writing soon over at bravenewcode.com, a site where Dale Mugford and myself are going to start showcasing some of the more cutting-edge designs/code that we’ve been working on.
Are you originally from Vancouver? I actually grew up in Chilliwack, which is a small town about 150kms east of Vancouver, and led a pretty reserved life in the country up until I turned 18. At that time, it actually seemed extremely likely that I would spend my whole life back there since my family really couldn’t afford to send me to university. I had actually resolved myself to attending the local college in some basic science program until I got an 11th hour call from UBC saying I had received a full scholarship in their engineering program. Had that not happened, I really have no idea where I might have ended up. I’d probably be milking a cow somewhere right now.
Why do you blog? I originally started blogging about ten years ago, mainly as a way to keep my parents up to date with my drunken debauchery out in Ottawa. At the time, everyone was just making their own static HTML pages, and things like WordPress and Drupal simply did not exist. As the technology evolved, so did my reasons for why I spent time blogging.
For the most part I blog because I think I have something to say. I’m still not really sure what that is, but with each passing year I find that my writing means more and more to me. Despite being a hard-core technology enthusiast, I also try to keep rather grounded and write with the belief that all people share common threads. Of all the entries I’ve written on my blog, I’m the most proud of my personal ones. And while they are few and far between, it really means something to me having a stranger approach me at a conference and say they were moved by something I once wrote, or that they could relate to something I went through and talked about on my blog.
What’s your favourite thing to write about? I write quite a bit about future technologies, which I find exciting. Most of my interest in that field really comes about because I find myself so pressed for time these days. When I encounter something that seems broken or completely unintuitive, I often try to think of a way to make it better. Usually those thoughts lead to a blog entry about how I envision things changing. I also like to blog about nachos, because quite simply they are my favorite food.
What is the BEST part of blogging… or if you prefer, the worst? The best part of blogging, without a doubt, is having a chance to connect with people you’d never get an opportunity to meet in the real-world. When I got injured last year, I had an outpouring of sympathy from people I had never met who stumbled across my blog. I was literally lying on a couch back in Chilliwack with five broken bones in my face absolutely amazed with the genuine compassion people in the blogging world were affording me. One person went out of their way to send me money from New York so I could buy myself nachos with, and a few others tracked down my address at work so they could mail me some get-well-soon cards for when I got out of the hospital. It’s events like those that really validates the effort that goes into blogging and establishing those relationships, many of which ultimately turn into life-long friendships.
Do you write for yourself, your readers, for Google, for a living? I generally write for myself, although from time to time I do post entries that I think others might find interesting. I’ve tried using adsense a few times to make a few bucks, but considering how little money I made with it I just decided it wasn’t worth it for me to keep it up and ultimately detract from the look and feel of my blog.
Would you ever censor yourself/Do you feel the need to censor yourself? I definitely push the boundaries of what some people would think is appropriate given that my blog is a mix between my personal life and my professional career. At the end of the day though my blog is a personal blog, and if I had to make a choice, I’d ditch all the content related to the latter.
I do censor my blog a bit with regards to my current job, and that’s something I started to do after an incident in Boston — I once posted a bunch of photos from a night at the bar after a conference. Unfortunately, even though it was after work hours and I was with friends, some of them ended up in the hands of some of our investors. Since I work for a public company, I took a bit of flack for making those images accessible online, even though I just considered them photos of some friends and me hanging out in a pub. Since that time, I’ve gone out of my way to not talk about anything directly or indirectly related to where I work.
PC, Mac or Speak n’ Spell? Definitely a Mac, although I wouldn’t mind my old Atari 2600 back.
Blogs you read or would recommend? I read lots daily, but obviously yours (miss604.com) is at the top of the list. Matthew Good’s website (matthewgood.org) and Raymi’s blog (raymitheminx.com) are both daily reads as well.