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Making choices

mythumbnailThis is the first time I’ve run my own website, and this is the biggest online project I’ve ever taken on. When getting started, I knew there were a few things I wanted to incorporate, and a few more things have popped up as I’ve been going. Here’s a bit of information about some of the programs and project I have been including in my project:


I’ve been getting a lot of comment spam, and even though they were all being caught by the moderation process, it was a pain to deal with. I have reluctantly implemented a captcha system, but I am pretty happy with the one I’m using.


The reCAPTCHA program helps digitize books, newspapers, and more. Here’s what they have to say about how it works:


To archive human knowledge and to make information more accessible to the world, multiple projects are currently digitizing physical books that were written before the computer age. The book pages are being photographically scanned, and then transformed into text using “Optical Character Recognition” (OCR). The transformation into text is useful because scanning a book produces images, which are difficult to store on small devices, expensive to download, and cannot be searched. The problem is that OCR is not perfect.


reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. More specifically, each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA. This is possible because most OCR programs alert you when a word cannot be read correctly.


reCAPTCHA is a Google project; part of their great work towards preserving human knowledge and making it more accessible. Perhaps Google should be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for their efforts.

Creative Commons:

I strongly believe in Creative Commons licenses and agree with this blog’s arguments for why Pagans in particular should embrace CC.


Here’s a basic explanation:


Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.


Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”


Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.


I like that I can share my work, protect it in the ways that matter to me, but still allow it to be modified and shared. I have chosen a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license: “This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.” A more complete explanation of my rights as the creator and your potential rights to my work is available here.

The People’s E-Book:

This is still a project in process, but I supported the Kickstarter campaign in order to keep tabs on it (and I got a cool sticker for my eReader). I’m hoping one day to use their program to put together an ebook of my rituals that I can offer as a download from my website.


Lulu is a print-on-demand publishing service that I have long admired. I can create my book, put it on their website, and they’ll print a fresh copy whenever someone orders it and ship it off to them directly. Though usually used by amateurs, one of my favourite professional authors, Cory Doctorow, has used it in an experiment in serious (that is to say, money-making) self-publishing. Though I don’t anticipate ever making any money off my rituals and writings, it is also a future dream for the website to be able to link to a book.

If there are any great programs and services for websites that I should be considering, please let me know!

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2 Responses to Making choices

  1. Craig says:

    I use Akismet for comment spam moderation. It integrates with my WordPress and keeps thespam away such that i never see it. They do a "pay what you like yearly" payment scheme as well. I happily give them a few bucks to make my life easier.

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