something soothing

there’s something soothing about writing html on a rainy weekend.

yes, i spent most of saturday afternoon, listening to the rain fall outside while i ground away at a new site design for filsa.net. it’s pretty satisfying to have a mental image of what you want the site to be, and be able to express that design in a few lines of html and a few more lines of css code.

also, you have to love the no-compile instant development cycle for html. edit, save, reload the browser. wha-la! (flourish).

i managed to pick out some great non-commercial for-attribution Creative Common licensed photos on flickr for my banner images. i need to recut the images because i did them as pngs for some reason. but they are great images and add a lot of punch to the design.

but a design is not enough. i got pretty far with a design, but there’s so much more i want to do:

  • i want to add interactive elements.
  • i want a randomly rotating banner image.
  • i want the banner area to be shrinkable.
  • i want the home page to have content that toggles on and off.
  • and so on.

and then i take a wander through some of my friend’s websites. it’s a truism that you maintain your website more when you are looking for work, or when you think people will come to look at your site. so my friend’s websites are in various stages of development:

brandon has always had the best, richest, deepest personal website of anyone i know. it’s impressive technically, has great content, and has a consistent design and user experience. it’s humbling, how well he knows how to put a site together.

florian has both a great eye for design and an ear for honest conversation. he puts both to good use on fangohr.com.

other friend’s sites are stagnant because they’ve been busy with work or other website projects.

i notice that one of my friends has taken down his personal site. he got a full time gig a few months back, so there’s no need to hang out the shingle, as it were. all his site says now is:

you have been cursed by gypsies!

looking at brandon’s site, i think i might need a heavy duty backend system to help me manage my content. i don’t mind coding a couple pages by hand, but more than 5 or 6, it’s time to use tools to help me out. so i’m evaluating a little content management system called mephisto. i’m pretty sure that it’ll frustrate me in some way–all the cm systems i’ve ever used have had limitations of one sort or another.

it feels good to be developing a website again.

getting started

well, look at this. a blog.

it’s certainly overdue. not that i haven’t been blogging elsewhere, but i’ve always been super reluctant to put myself online and into the conversation. partly because of personality–i’m more interested in listening than telling. partly because of image–there’s the image of the blowhard self-promoting blogger, who feels obligated to bless the world with his opinions.

i’ve been around blogging since, well, for as long as it has been around. (more on that later). i’ve even written some blogging software.

so why start blogging now?

well, i want to be a better writer. apparently doing something consistently, day in and day out, is the only way to improve.

additionally, i want to keep track of my ideas and development. there’s definitely been an evolution in my attitudes towards technology—what it can do, what it can’t do. let’s just say the endless optimism of the early to mid 90’s has worn just a little bit, and an appreciation that technology for it’s own sake isn’t all that interesting.

it will be value to have a written record to point to, both when i’m right and when i’m wrong. and i want that record to be public. turns out, it’s no fun to be right if no one knows it. no fun to be wrong–if there isn’t someone to correct you.

i think i can learn, about myself, and the world i work in, by blogging. being accountable for what i write will force me to be a better researcher, deeper thinker, and clearer communicator.

finally, i want to tell my story. i want to clear the air, set the record straight, explain the world.

you know. as i see it.