I'm back with more about this forum and online spaces in general. I've owned the domain name samlab.com for some time now. It was/is a tribute to my dog Sam, and the fact that he's a lab. The tie-in was that maybe "old dogs" (me, not him) can learn news tricks.
One thing I'm learning is that I may be better leaving the "heavy lifting" to others. I'll still use my space (eventually ;-) for some things, but I'm thinking I may be better using this forum, as well as blogmatrix, flickr, getFAST, GRAIL, QuickTopic World Bridges, ELGG, and others to not only get away from the overhead associated with online spaces, but to stay connected to larger communities of practice. Having content in these other forums will also allow me to continue to use samlab.com to "mess around" and not be worried about "outages" when one of my "experiments" goes awry.
Of course, the danger in leaving the lifting to others is that the relationship may change over time. Indeed, Blogger has been snapped up by Google and Flickr by Yahoo, but to date they haven't been asking for money.
On the topic of the 'net and money -- I've often fantasized about how much the 50 bucks I sent Ev "back in the day" to help keep blogger going at one point, would be worth relative terms today with Google stock somewhere around $350 a share.
That said, there may come a day when for whatever reason, blogger or the others listed "goes away" or becomes part of some conglomerate that demands fees for hosting; however, from where I sit, I'm content to enjoy the current "open" nature of the web and take advantage of third-party hosting of my content, while the "getting's good."