This is a blog about the technology and culture of sharing wifi. The focus is on using Fon.com, in Austin TX USA, but includes wireless technology and culture news from all parts of the world to build up the big picture.
El Fon Blog is an unofficial fan resource and is not a production of Fon.com or Fondoo.net. Let me emphasize, that I am pro-Fon and this is a pro-Fon blog. It is not, however, an “echo” blog like many others. I don’t simply repeat recent press releases or official Fon blog posts. If something Fon is doing is interesting, or controversial, then I express my emotional and intellectual response to it here. I have understandably been accused of being very negative towards Fon at times. It is my halfhearted hope that I may gradually nag Fon into trying a few of my ideas, and considering their TOS from the Fonero’s perspective. 😀
This website began as a demo of the “landing page” I would like to see appear when someone first opens their web browser when connected to my Fon.com hotspot. This demo was set up as part of a contest which took place in fon’s boards. The demo consists of a compact “Fonbar” at the top, for login fields, corporate logoship, and links to getting started. This blog appears below the boilerplate Fon content, as an example of personalized content provided by the host of this hotspot. Fon did not offer any truly compelling “customization” options at that time, and they have actually been further reduced.
All that is possible now is for the Fonero to define a “free” website, which can be visited without logging in, which appears with the URL and a short small-print welcome message, in an extremely non-prominent location near the bottom right. The original default Fon login page was around a half megabyte in size (unsuitable for smartphones!), and contained Flikr and Google video elements which can be changed, but not removed, if the Fonero is willing to register with these additional entities. It is now around 80k if it has never been customized. There does not seem to be a way to “un-customize” the login page later.
Additionally, this blog contains entries, which are written so that I can provide a central URL to helpful technical instructions, so that I don’t have to retype them each time. Having the instructions in one place, and referring to them by URL, allows me to improve and update them in a single place. This way I don’t have to track down every place I have ever posted such a thing, and edit each one.
Finally, this blog is presumably a safe and personal place for me to place unofficial opinions, and other material which would be inappropriate for Fon’s official boards. This is out of respect for Fon’s entitlement to keep their official forum on-topic. It is also in response to very bad experiences in the past, with Fon’s original moderator, who lacked diplomacy and who was a public bully who attempted to erase any sign of dissent or negative feedback about Fon.
This website is not about harassment of anyone or any thing. We loathe harassers.
Below is an article which I have even gone to the trouble of hosting at my ISP, because some anonymous coward complained to my previous blog host:
EDIT (from 2006): Since i’ve found out how to view hit statistics to this blog, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Approximately 575 visits in the first month and a half! Since people deserve something better to see than just the login page demo and some old rant emails, I’ve gone forward and mirrored some of the more interesting threads I’ve started on boards.fon.com including graphics I’ve created or found. Boards.fon.com is getting kind of bloated, with people showing great reluctance to use the Search function. All you have to do now is remember that if AustinTX wrote about it, it is probably here too!