INTERVIEWING MY DOMAIN

Sandy Brown Jensen and Alan Levine
Sandy Brown Jensen and Alan Levine when he visited Peter and me in Eugene back in whenever–just a couple of Tricksters doing our bests to go lightly in this world

This post is in response to a call by internet raconteur Alan Levine, who sent out a call on behalf of a program called Ontario Extend, which is  a University of Ontario faculty development/enrichment experience. Those faculty members are my target audience for this post, but others are welcome to come along for the ride. (To my Emissary and art readers, no, this is not about interviewing my inner domain, although could be fun and interesting, too.)

Alan is trying to teach them how to build their own websites or “domains,” and one of his learning objectives was to get across how a website isn’t just one thing, like this vlog. He wants everyone to understand how you can build on sub-domains from it, which is not a thing I ever understood. But now that I get that concept, I am going to be inside my domain building subdivisions like crazy next fall.

To tell the truth, I never understand a fraction of what Alan is talking about, I practically learned everything I know from him. I try until I'm blue in the face, and I still can't catch up...
To tell the truth, I never understand a fraction of what Alan is talking about, and I practically learned everything I know from him. I try until I’m blue in the face, and I still can’t catch up…

Meanwhile, Alan sent out a survey to those of us, however retarded in our understanding, actually have had domains for a really long time, asking us to “interview our domains.”

What is your domain name and what is the story, meaning behind your choice of that as a name?

My domain name is “Mind on Fire: My Journey in Image, Word, and Video.” When I first learned about digital storytelling in 2010, I felt like I got an arrow to the brain. I caught that spark, and it has been ferociously alive in me ever since. 

I dreamed the name “Mind on Fire,” and grabbed the domain and started working in the blog in 2012, adding the welcome video shown here in 2013. For many years, it was devoted to DS 106 and digital storytelling videos. As digital storytelling started to integrate with my other passions of writing and photography, I added the subtitle, “My Journey in Image, Word, and Video,” to cover all my interests.

My “About Me” reads:

My name is Sandy Brown Jensen.

I’m a dreamer and a poet, a photographer,

a walker, and a maker of nature videos. 

I live a quiet, contemplative life

immersed in the natural setting of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. 

This is a personal journal blog reaching out

to share my intimate vision of a beautiful world

with anyone who cares to subscribe or visit

and walk a way with me.

What was your understanding, experience with domains before you got one? Where were you publishing online before having one of your own?

I have had an active blog since 2004 when my sister and I began keeping Mysterious Night Vision Journal: Intuitive Art from the Well of Soul together on blogspot. Since then, I have purchased the domain name, and it is my second domain.

What was a compelling feature, reason, motivation for you to get and use a domain? When you started what did you think you would put there?

As I got involved in DS 106 and started interacting with other teechgeeks, I became educated by Gardner Campbell, Alan Levine, Brian Lamb and others on the politics of the internet and began to share the value of owning my own little corner of the Matrix.

What kinds of sites have you set up one your domain since then? How are you using them? Please share URLs!

But wait! What is he saying with this question? Is Alan saying I don’t need two domains? That I can build Mysterious onto Mind on Fire somehow?

You mean I could be doing something like this? Who knew?
You mean I could be doing something like this? Who knew?

Wait. What? Alan, you’re setting my mind on fire one more time! Do you mean I can do it this way?

What helped you or would have helped you more when you started using your domain? What do you still struggle with?

I accessed all the help I could find—workshops, online articles, WordPress books, and slowly, slowly Mind on Fire evolved. It is still a work in progress. Both of my domains sometimes go quiet for weeks at a time while my thinking on some point evolves, then I go back to it.

I still struggle with WordPress. I know the basics, but WP now has something called “modules” that look cool, but I can’t figure out to use them. It now has something called a “series,” but I can’t figure out what that is, either. The documentation for my theme is too advanced for me. The support for my theme has been great, but I can’t keep on expecting them to educate me on these basics.

And it has taken me a long time to accept that my domains are just for me, that I have to make “art without concern for results.” 

I’m not sure I do accept that bitter pill when I pour hours of time and creativity into a digital story and then it is ignored by the couple hundred subscribers I have. 

But I take a lot of satisfaction in posting a beautiful video or thoughtful blog post, and it is a meditation in being Beyond Ego to— to quote the entirety of my source—“Let love radiate without concern for results.”

What kind of future plans do you have for your domain?

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people in the wide circles of my acquaintances and life activities Google me, and when they do, I want them to land on a blog of my latest creative work, which is a different motivation for keeping it up than just garnering comments. It is my online reputation and resume, and it works for me in surprising ways.

What would you say to other educators about the value, reason why to have a domain of your own? 

As an educator both before and after retirement, I teach digital storytelling and writing…and now photography, so having my own domain is certainly a way to legitimize and document my professional and artistic work, which in my case are one and the same.

As a writing professional, I know the power of keeping a journal of my thoughts; Mind on Fire catches the best of them.

Pookie, our tortoiseshell cat, watches over my Morning Pages in the Great Book
Pookie, our tortoiseshell cat, watches over my daily journaling.

What will it take them to get going with their own domain?

Having your own domain needs to spring from your own desires: as a way to talk back to the world; as a way to talk to yourself while allowing others to listen in; as a way to document your passage through this all-too-brief passage of light that is your life.

So my question to you–did you get all the way through my blog post here? Did you glean anything at all from it? It would be internet courtesy and a participation in the Law of Reciprocity to leave a comment. You’ll find the comment box on the gray bar at the top of this post and also if you just keep scrolling down this page a bit.

Thank for dropping by, Stranger!

Sandy Brown Jensen

I am a retired writing instructor and faculty tech specialist from Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. I still teach and am also a photographer, poet, blogger and digital storyteller (short videos).

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3 comments

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  • Wow what great photography! And music. Did you take all these photos and movies? What is your journey about? Nature hikes?
    Who are those people on horses and how are they relevant to your journey? (Sorry if I sound like an idiot.) How can I participate in your journey?

  • Even when confused, your enthusiasm remains unabated, that’s what I respect about you.

    Yes, you can do what is shown in your diagram. The decision point is, are these differences between kinds of sites I can organize within a theme, or are they so different in form, function, appearance that they need a different site?

    If you do choose to make a new site, you can do it by either putting it in a subdomain, e.g. videos.mindonfire.us or as a subdirectory, e.g. mindonfire.us/videos — it makes no difference.

    Just know that each one, if WordPress, is a stand alone version of WordPress that you will administer, add plugins, themes, etc.

    Dream on it!

Sandy Brown Jensen

I am a retired writing instructor and faculty tech specialist from Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. I still teach and am also a photographer, poet, blogger and digital storyteller (short videos).

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