About me: See http://stepno.com
I did write a master’s essay about hypertext in 1987-88 and met Ted Nelson in the process. I was a regular reader of the alt.hypertext Usenet group when Tim Berners-Lee used it to announce his World Wide Web project and when Marc Andreesen used it to announce the Mosaic browser, the final straw that sent me back to grad school for a faster Internet account — and a doctorate.
Despite years as a journalist and more years as a graduate student and teacher, I do write hypertextually in this blog — with lots of revisions, digressions, linkages, asides, footnotes and parentheses. This style is not the best for quick reading on the Web, but it does provide resources for students who want to delve deeper into a topic. And, if nothing else, I can serve as a bad example of efficient structure and linear thinking, or as a poster child for Attention Deficit Disorder.
About this blog: The title and subtitle pretty much say it all. I used this WordPress.com blog most heavily when I was teaching journalism full-time at Radford University. (Radford did not provide its own user-friendly blogging platform for faculty. A few of us tried, unsuccessfully, to get support for a Drupal-based or WordPress-based home page and blog server in the School of Communication, as mentioned in my first post, from June 2009. This site gradually took over as my most-used blog, succeeding ones I’d been writing for most of a decade at Blogger (http://boblog.blogspot.com, still in operation, but I’ve shifted its focus to music) and radio.weblogs.com (archived at http://stepno.com/oldblog when the original service was discontinued), as well as the Harvard-colored Red Liner blog I started in 2003 while a hanger-on at the Berkman Center blogging group.
About the ads: For now, this site is hosted by the free wordpress.com service in exchange for my letting WordPress post ads at the bottom of some pages. As a logged-in user, I don’t even see the ads, so I certainly do not endorse any of the products or services that appear there. If you see any ads that you find offensive, please let me know by submitting a comment at the bottom of my most recent blog post.
The notes below and sample pictures refer to the site’s original layout. (WordPress allows you to change the theme or “look” of a site without altering the contents, except for header images and the location of menus, etc.) In May 2013 I switched to a more “responsive” WordPress layout to improve its usability on small tablets and phones. I’m still testing and may switch again. In the process I also added a plaid background similar to my home page at stepno.com.
About the picture at the top: It changes with the seasons, or more often. The heading picture is one of the things I can customize in this free WordPress theme, called Coraline, an August 2010 replacement for the simpler “Cutline” that I started with, and liked a lot. Alas, it is no longer available on free WordPress blogs. I’m not as happy with the blockish black menu, but Coraline allows a lot more flexibility, which I may experiment with as time permits.
Picky, picky. It’s still free hosting, a great public service and terrific software. Anyhow, back to the pictures…
My first image was a freight train, possibly as a visual pun about linkage or information overload or something. But mostly because it was my own — a shot I took of a train crossing the New River here in Radford, Va. — and it fit the dimensions of the page header.
When we had record snowfall in the 2009-2010 winter, I posted a horizontal format picture of the foot of snow on my porch railing. When the snow melted in time for Radford University’s Charter Day celebration, I greeted spring with a slice of the balloon-releasing photo that also appeared in the blog.
I also brought along the camera to graduation, and took one of my all-time favorite photos — the centennial graduating class facing a headwind, but smiling. I put it on the School of Communication homepage and decided not to put it at the top of my personal blog. But here’s a copy:
Next, for early summertime, I saw my cousin Sarah’s Facebook shot of herself in some (Vermont?) highland meadow, which inspired me to share a shot from my home-office window, one floor up from that previously snowy deck… which began a theme of shooting pictures of that view at different times of the year, and when I’m in different moods.
Winter 2013 was reluctant to let go, and inspired this spring snowfall picture, followed by one of the cherry blossoms outside the Radford student center. (They had one last shock of snow and a few unseasonably cold days before temperatures rose into the seventies a few days later.)
Topics here include classes I teach at Radford University, media history, online journalism and Web design.
I continue to post items about the newspaper industry and newspaper journalism at http://aejmc.net/news (where I have a co-editor) and more personal, less-academic or less-journalistic items at http://boblog.blogspot.com
For most things that interest me, I just post bookmarks at http://delicious.com/bstepno or tweet at http://twitter.com/bobstep; I use RSS feeds to try to connect this messiness at http://stepno.com and in the blog sidebars.
(The Twitter items also echo on Facebook, giving some friends the impression that I’m on Facebook more than I am.)
With the demise of the radio.weblogs.com hosting that I’d used for most of a decade, I gave this site the name of my old blog. Previous pages archived at http://stepno.com/oldblog. As long as it is my main blog, you can get there with the alias address http://stepno.com/blog
If any of these blog hosts disappear, I’m very findable through my personal home page is http://stepno.com