Oh wow, neat site

15 October 2018

Hi there! Welcome to my new blog! This is a whole big fresh start for me. The last personal blog I ran was on a URL that I felt more and more disconnected from, and I hadn’t really updated it since 2013.

A lot has happened since then, and I’ve definitely tweeted, facebooked, and instagrammed a lot. But I think its time for a return to a slightly older vision of the web. A site that I control, where I can write when I want, what I want, and give it to folks I care about. And hopefully, through some small acts of kismet, other people will find it too!

If you’ve found this place through such happenstance, I’d love to hear from you! By email, or whatever other social media is current when you’re reading this.

So, how am I returning to the old web?

Mostly by avoiding technologies that exclude people! There’s nothing weird, or big, or proprietary here. I’m using some new HTML and CSS elements, but nothing that a reasonably new browers won’t be able to figure out. And nothing difficult to understand, slow to download, or difficult to run on devices with tiny or huge screens. The CSS is handwritten by me, a total amateur. There’s no Javascript anywhere. No tracking, no ads, no being sold stuff. No giant fonts or images. This page would load just great over 56k, or a crappy cellphone connection. There’s something really beautiful about that.

This site is generated by hugo, a static site generator that takes some theme files and content written in markdown, and spits out HTML. I upload the HTML by hand to a server running in my bathroom, and that’s how it gets to you.

I’m using Hugo because it’s easy to write markdown files anywhere, but it generates simple and easy to understand HTML, and keeps theming and links straight across the entire site.

If you’re interested, I’ve put the theme on Github.

Here are a few sources that influenced me in moving to a site based on older web tech:

This is a e-magazine about a return to low tech methods for getting stuff done. They're running their whole website on a Raspberry Pi class dev board, hooked up to a tiny little solar panel and battery pack in a Spanish apartment. If the sun goes away for too long, the server goes down! I'm also really impressed that they managed to survive the rounds on social media without even a blip. Inspirational web tinification!
I just find this minimal blog layout beautfiul, and Elanor writes such wonderful and through-provoking blog posts (that go along really well with her wonderful and thought-provoking tech work!
Fabien is right! The web is too bloated! There's no reason we're wasting all this computing power loading garbage javascript frameworks and god knows what else! Let's return to a simpler time!
Some easy design principles for making the web fucking better.
Zach is a cool guy! On top of doing cool work with scuttlebutt, his site is a breath of fresh air. Simple, colorful, and a terribly unique expression of who he is as a person. If I can be 10% as much myself as Zach is himself, I'll be really happy.