As promised, the long, boring, navel gazery that is the “Why I Changed The Blog” post. Feel free to skip.
First, the important things you need to know. The landing page will show the five most recent posts. If you want to read further back, just hit the Journal link over on the left and you can browse to your heart’s content. To the tune of 150 pages of blog posts!
That’s right, I’ve finally gathered most of my web writings since 2003 into one site. Notice I say most. Over the years I had deleted things here and there during other platform moves. Somehow, sometime, I lost about six months of posts from 2011. And I did clean out some posts while moving everything to the new setup. But there are nearly 1350 posts from June 2003 to today if you want to keep paging back.
The downside to that is, at this point, I have no cool search function or formal archive section. Hopefully that will come in the future but for now you have to manually work your way back.
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m no longer posting pictures of the girls here. I figure they, and their friends, are getting old enough to use Google, so why post pics that can be used against to identify and possibly embarrass them. Chances are you’re a Facebook friend, so you’ll still get to see the occasional pic of them there.
I’ve also done my best to scrub full names from the site. Which took some work, because I used to use a lot of full names in posts when I first began writing on the web! How come none of you ever complained? Hopefully you will just see first names and last initials or family names, but never full names. If you find one I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll clean it up immediately.
Regarding the old posts, I gave them all a quick skim to remove full names, bad links to pictures, clean out sloppy HTML, etc. But there may be bad links or the occasional rendering error. You should get the gist of most of them, though.
Also deleted have been the old Friday Vid posts. I’ll still be posting Friday Vids, but the YouTube format I will be using here is different from what I’ve used in the past. Rather than go through and update a couple hundred posts with new code, it was easier just to delete them all.
Finally, some explanation on what exactly has changed for the other geeks out there.
Over the past ten years I’ve used Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, Tumblr, and Squarespace. I liked Squarespace a lot and would still recommend it to anyone with limited technical knowledge who wants to build a website. But for all the things Squarespace was good at, it kind of sucked for the thing I care about most: getting the words in. Its web interface was temperamental at best, its mobile apps were unusable, and there were no signs they planned on upgrading/improving them any time soon.
Over the summer I began researching static, or flat-file, blog systems. An overly simplified, and possibly incorrect, explanation of these is that rather than being built with through databases, static blogs are built with simple text files. To write a new post, I open up a text editor, type in some words, save it to the appropriate folder, and the site is instantly updated. No logging in, copying/pasting into a web interface, or any of the other steps database-based systems require. Static sites should load quicker, be much easier for to update the software for, and take up less server space.
I spent a solid week reading up on static systems, another weekend playing with the Kirby system, and finally decided to go with Statamic in mid-August. Since then I’ve been collecting all my old posts into a folder, playing with a mocked-up version of the site in a virtual server, and now, here I am. In addition to the simplicity and speed of Statamic, the real beauty of it is that all the site’s content is stored in a single folder as a stack of plain text files. If/when I decide I want to do something new and different, I can just copy those files into the next system and everything will be there.
So that’s that. So far so good, and I’m pleased with how things look/work. Statamic is a fairly young platform, so while I’d like to add a few functions as it develops more, I also plan on keeping the site pretty lean. Once I can offer a good archive page, I think it will be about perfect.
As always, thanks for reading.