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My changing web policy…. spiritual websites online…

January 31, 2013

in Other

I’ve been busy cleaning up. Literally: my house and Figuratively: administration and business stuff.

It’s time for an overview of my spiritual activities online for 2012. In fact, I think it’s time for an overview of my online activities over the past 15 years.

It’s been a good year. Yeah. Seriously. According to Feedburner 495 people are now subscribed to this blog. According to WordPress there are 10. That ads up to over 500 people who want to get this blog in their inbox. I’m honored. Really.

What’s more – my online activities make me enough money to start contemplating buying a house. It’s not my spiritual stuff that pays most of my bills though, it’s gift pages like this. Just so you know.

Spirituality took me online 15 years ago or so. At the time the web was empty and it was easy to see that more could be put online. This month two students asked me, one sounded rather annoyed, very specific questions about theosophical history – noting that nothing about it could be found online. I referred both to an old fashioned institution: a library, with actual physical books and magazines and archives. I know, you can’t search them easily. I know, you have to read (or glance at) every page. I know, you can’t rely on those old fashioned indexes. And yes, I too rely on the net for research a lot. Still, when I want to get serious about a topic, I read books. And most of them in my field are not available in a digital format yet, let alone for free online.

It’s a very different web these days. When I started I was ahead of the curve: many people didn’t take the internet seriously. Some people even thought it was subversive and saw only the online pornography, while of course not actually LOOKING at it, one presumes. Not much was online and anything one put online was likely to be found by Google.

In fact, it was early days for Google when I started.

My first internet searches were on Altavista I think and all you could hope for was to find a nice link-list on a websites somewhere pointing to the relevant sites on a topic. I found the old theosophical newsgroups that way and learned a lot.

The internet was just about empty. Organisations didn’t realize yet that they had to have a website. People like me created hobby sites to fill a need. Doing so we broke every copyright rule on the planet. I did so under the assumption that spiritual people would not mind their material being published online. On the whole I wasn’t wrong: only a few people did ask me to take their stuff off – and it was usually people who had previously OFFERED me that same material for online publication.

Today it’s a different story. Organisations put online what they want to give out for free and the rest is clearly meant to stay behind the pay-wall of kindle, magazine subscriptions etc. I’ve grown with the net and no longer publish anything I don’t have copyright over. That usually means stuff I write myself, like this blog.

However, I’ve left my site katinkahesselink.net up – and do think it rather funny that it’s filled mostly with articles and quotes other people have written. If I’d thought from a PR perspective when I started the site, it would have gotten a different name.

This is another way of saying – don’t expect new material on Katinka Hesselink Net. It will change only in so far as I link TO stuff I write on this blog and elsewhere. Though of course it IS open to quality material other people write. However, you could just start a blog. And yes, I host that site and plan to keep it up as infinitely as everything else I put online. I’ll link TO your blog articles when I think they’re up to the standard I set on Katinka Hesselink Net.

Do you all remember the early days of the web?

{ 4 comments }

Samsara February 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

Namaste, Katinka!

I think it is extremely wonderful you are able to contemplate buying a house! [And, in fact, I think it was I came to 'know' [read] you through Squidoo. I am so happy that is working out well for you financially!]

I’m going through a spiritual reconstruction of my online-ness too; Have been for a while and it’s been coming to a head lately. (So this is quite fortuitous.) And I wondered if you had any suggestions as I just feel so plainly lost. I used to be all up in the blogosphere and then bowed out due to feeling so overexposed. But I love writing so much and here I am again – though not in the blogginess of it; but the solitude of it. Heck, I do not even ENCOURAGE comments anymore. I’m just writing… I need a Spiritual Blog Therapist as my focus is all ADHD’d which results in deer in headlights. And so, here I am, all considering. ;)

For example: I want a personal blog for my id. I really do. I want my 10 year old to come out and play; But is my main blog appropriate for that? If so, how so? I do not want to get into being all over the place like I once was [ie, on blogger, SU, main site, others that have come and gone...] NOR do I want to dilute the ‘being of service’ aspect of my main blog.

[It was my main blog that I began as a place for my id but as I expanded, so did it...and now I feel as if I cannot 'go back?'.]

I would LOVE your perspective on that. Just seeing your lovely face there on the left as I type this in the little comment box feels me with such peace this morning. Thank you.

Katinka - Spirituality February 28, 2013 at 10:18 am

No – your samsara blog is not appropriate for your ten-year old to post on.

Other than that – I’m not sure I understand your question. If you want to write about specific topics you care about that don’t fit your spiritual blog, do consider starting a personal blog for that stuff or perhaps writing at sites like Squidoo. On a personal blog like that you could of course allow your ten-year old to get his/her online feet wet – but I would recommend they pick an alias for that stuff. Or have them start a blogger or wordpress.com blog that’s blocking search engines.

Samsara March 1, 2013 at 1:18 am

Thank you for your response and for straightening my brain out. I felt it wasn’t appropriate and think I needed a respected mind to confirm that for me.

1. The alias is a wonderful idea and I have no idea why that did not occur to me. In this way…My 10 year old could talk about blue beach balls one week, write a poem the next week, and put photos of my dogs up the next week.
2. And you are right about Squidoo! If I want to write from my 10 year old mind about certain topics – unrelated to ‘my Samsara’ – I certainly could with a lens. A lens is compartmentalized enough certainly!

Thank you for your insight.

PS. I am still so excited for you about your house. :)

tony levelle February 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I too am delighted that you are buying a house. (Funny how that one thing jumped out at me.) Maybe because my son is thinking about taking the plunge. It cheers me that someone with a lovely and rewarding site like this can make enough to think about buying a house.
Thank you

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