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Darice de Cuba: blogging about everything


In the second of our interview pairs, I pose some questions to Darice de Cuba, who has been blogging at since 2003, and has been a member of 9rules since 2005.

Darice blogs about food, books, photography, coding, technology and more. Definitely “a weblog about everything”.

What made you start blogging?

Back in college in 2003 I used to spend late hours learning Adobe Photoshop and during one of my searches for tutorials I came across a weblog that talked about tableless websites, web standards and had a link to Jeffrey Zeldmans weblog. So it was more my thirst to learn anything about web standards that let me to find those niche weblogs. And from there on I got hooked on weblogs and off course web standards.

What blogging software did you use when you started blogging and how has that changed over time?

Early 2000 Movable Type was the most popular weblog system and used by most of the weblogs I frequented. But I was just getting into PHP/mySQL that I decided to code my own. Very basic: publish, edit, delete entries and comments and a RSS feed. And the interface design was my first coded in HTMl/CSS without tables. Through the WayBackMachine you can still see my first weblog version, only the background pattern is missing.

Then in 2007 Ruby on Rails was starting to get popular I dabled in the code making simple stuff. Then Simplelog a Ruby on Rails weblog system was released and I switched to it. I used it for about a year when development on it was stopped and it started to break with each new Rails update.

Having more skills with PHP I switched to Chyrp but it was unstable due to heavy development. And right about that time WordPress finally updated their admin interface and since then I switched to WordPress and couldn?t be happier.

You have an interesting mix of topics on your blog. Do you have a favourite?

I don?t have a favorite I just like writing about what keeps me busy at the moment, may it be a book, a photo I took, something I cooked or anything tech/web. If I feel like sharing my thoughts on it I will write it on my weblog. Before I used to write a lot of personal commentary and I actually want to go back to that. But the pressure of knowing that employers or clients can read it somehow makes me hold back and think twice about what I write. But my goal for the weblog is to write more personal observations.

What’s your favourite time/place/surroundings to blog?

I always blog from my desk at home, mostly I write in the evening after I have done my work and there is nothing distracting me. I have a Hakingtosh netbook I got for the purpose of working away from home but I get very self conscious going to a food or coffee place to work or blog. Although I?m trying to get pass that because it does get boring working from home. I did find a coffee shop with lots of people working there but their coffee sucks 🙂

What’s the best blog post you’ve written, and why?

I guess I don?t have a best one but if I have to choose it would be 11 things about websites, because even though it was written four years ago it still applies today. I got a lot of comments from people with the same feelings about this topic. It is an ongoing issue in the web industry.

Where do you see your blogging in five years’ time?

I have no idea, I don?t focus on the future. I do my best to live in the present time and try to not think where I?ll be or what I?ll be doing in the future. I don?t like long term plans or anything. I even do my traveling within one month after deciding to travel.

Finally… how do you manage to get such good pictures from the iPhone camera?

First I try to stick to some rules:

  • Don?t frame a busy subject with lots of things going on on the background.
  • Try to get as close to the subject as possible.
  • Light is the key, especially since the iPhone doesn?t has a flash built-in.

And then I use only iPhone apps for editing, I have Best Camera, Camerabag and ShakeItPhoto. Sometimes I edit the image in more then one program to get the desired result.