A Blogger Passes On

Many years ago, I received an e‑mail from a read­er named Winston Rand, look­ing for some blog­ging advice:


I have been to your equiv­o­cal­i­ty site numer­ous times over the last cou­ple of months and always come away impressed. Having vis­it­ed many oth­er “blogs” — God how I’ve come to hate that term — I keep com­ing back to yours as my gold stan­dard. Been think­ing of start­ing my own, even have 2 domain names paid for, but being an engi­neer and an IT pro, I’m too hes­i­tant to start until most of the answers are quite clear. That is a strength as well as a fail­ing…

In my quest, I’ve looked at many dif­fer­ent blog­ging tools, host­ing sites, etc., and am still not sure which route to take. My temp­ta­tion is to say to hell with all of them and just post my stuff using sta­t­ic html pages (Dreamweaver) since I’m not real­ly inter­est­ed in feed­back or com­ments that much. But I do like the abil­i­ty to eas­i­ly inte­grate cal­en­dar, archives, and oth­er fea­tures that most of the blog pack­ages seem to include by default. And who knows, one of these days I may care what oth­er peo­ple think of my work.

Among the pop­u­lar pack­ages, I’ve got it nar­rowed down to WordPress, Moveable Type, and SquareSpace, but I’m wide open to sug­ges­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions.

Could you share your thoughts on what you use and rec­om­mend? Any advice will be great­ly appre­ci­at­ed.

Keep up your excel­lent work! I look for­ward to see­ing more of it.

I steered Winston towards WordPress, and soon after, he start­ed his own blog at nobodyasked.com. Over time, he devel­oped a sig­nif­i­cant read­er­ship, as he would write quite lucid­ly about pol­i­tics, humour, and the occas­sion­al geek talk.

Although our blogs cov­ered dif­fer­ent things in a dif­fer­ent style (Winston called it “[spin­ning] in a slight­ly off­set par­al­lel uni­verse” when describ­ing my blog in his one-year anniver­sary post), we would check up on each oth­er now and then.

During one of my last vis­its, I found out that Winston has died after a 38-hour ill­ness and 3 surg­eries. While I nev­er real­ly knew him in per­son, I still feel like some­one close is gone.

And I wish I could explain why.


  1. This is so sad! I have book­marked his site, so that I can read through his Archives before his site con­tract expires.

    • Actually, his wife (also known as the “roomie”) has tak­en the blog over for him. She was recent­ly fight­ing AT&T to can­cel his ser­vices, which they would­n’t do eas­i­ly even though he passed away.

  2. What a won­der­ful thing that he blogged and we have that to come to know him with — whether we knew him in life or not.

    I have a friend I have nev­er met in the flesh with whom I’ve been cor­re­spond­ing through blog and e‑mail and IM since 1996 or 1997.… we’ve each gone through a mar­riage and a rela­tion­ship, and hung onto each oth­er for dear life in our words, many times, when our worlds were smashed.

    And we’ve nev­er met.

    This real­ly makes me want to go there now.

    • Quite amaz­ing that you’ve been through so much togeth­er “vir­tu­al­ly”. I’ve met some amaz­ing peo­ple online…I can­not rec­om­mend it enough. Take the oppor­tu­ni­ty as soon as you can.

  3. This is some­thing that fas­ci­nates me. As this online busi­ness evolves, and we become pub­lic fig­ures to many, but still anony­mous behind our screens and pub­lish­ing soft­ware, what hap­pens when we go. Who cleans up, sends out the “passed-away tweets”?

    I imag­ine some­time soon we’ll get blog life insur­ances, assur­ing that the bills get paid, your pages cached till eter­ni­ty.

    But if we’re lucky, some­one will take over and keep our online mem­o­ries as alive as the offline ones. We’re real­ly only just dis­cov­er­ing how to deal with this stuff…

    • I’ve always con­sid­ered using a dead-man’s switch to take care of this — in the form of a pass­word sent to my friends — but I haven’t got­ten around to it.

      I’d like my blog to stay online after I’ve passed. It’s a place where I place tremen­dous effort and share every part of my being. An epi­taph for me.

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