It’s been over 2½ years since I last posted something to this blog. And lately, I have been getting the itch again to return to creating more on my own personal website. Well, to be honest, that itch has never really gone away. I’ve just been putting things off for too long a time.
My primary excuse for not writing in a blog or maintaining my own website has been that I don’t truly have my own personal computer. The machine I’m using to write this post is actually a Microsoft Surface that my employer gave me not long after I began working for them. It’s intended use is for doing work from home when needed, but—with the exception of inclement weather—that is rarely needed for my position. It’s a decent little machine, but I still prefer using Apple products. And with this being a work computer, I’m hesitant to use it for personal projects. The folks at HSC would never forbid me from using this computer in that manner. It’s more of a separation-of-concerns mindset that has held me in check.
I have been holding out on purchasing a Macbook until the butterfly keyboard saga gets rectified. With the release of the new 16″ Macbook Pro and its “new” scissor-switch keyboard design, I’m hopeful that additional upcoming models will also sport these keyboards. If so, and a 13″/14″ version will also been announced sometime in the 2020.
Regardless, as I sit here on my nearly-two week holiday break, I’m making the first steps in my latest attempt to kick-start my website. I can’t help but want what so many of my web and tech idols have: a personal space on the Web.
The (ugly and un-finished) design of my site will probably remain as-is for at least a little while. But I do have plans for a gradual redesign and reworking. I’ve picked out some new typefaces I’d like to experiment with. And I’m itching to play around with some newer CSS technologies that I’ve been reading about for so long, but have yet to use in any projects at HSC. Things like CSS grid, custom properties, enhanced media queries, progressive web app concepts are all items I want to explore more on my own.
Most importantly, I really want to dig into more Indie Web concepts and apply them here. I’ve been really inspired by so many (re-)established players in the personal blogging space, including (in no particular order):
- Jeremy Keith
- Aaron Parecki
- Andy Bell
- Lara Schneck
- Susan Jean Robertson
- Una Kravits
- Dave Rupert
- Laura Kalbag
- Marc Thiele
- Max Böck
- Paul Robert Lloyd
- Remy Sharp
- Robin Rendle
- Charlie Owen
- Tantek Çelik
- Rachel Andrew
- Eric Meyer
- Zach Leatherman
- Divya Sasidharan
I’d love to take some of the ideas that these (and many more!) have put out into the world, put my own spin on them, and turn and around and share those ideas so that maybe others will feel just as inspired as I have.
Goals to make this happen
There’s an infinite number of steps that I want to take with the progress of my site. The very first, though, is to not bite off more than I can chew. That is exactly what has prevented me from following through with my site in the past. I can start slow, and incrementally add more ideas, design, features, etc. as time goes on.
But there are a few things I already know that I want to explore right off the bat.
Update my Kirby install
My site has been running on version 2 of Kirby for a few years now. Kirby 3 was released last year. So I’d really like to get this install up-to-date as far as the CMS goes.
I don’t feel like I have a good, established deployment strategy. In the past, it was simply edit my local copy and SFTP the changes up to my server. I’d like to find a more elegant way to do this.
I’ve been a Dreamhost customer since I started having my own website. They manage not only my hosting but my domain registrations as well. And honestly, I’ve never had any issues with them in these capacities, at least with what little I use their services.
However, I recently have been attempting to become more of an eco-conscious consumer, opting to seek out the most green-friendly businesses available to me. I don’t know much about Dreamhost’s stance on some of these issues. But I intend to investigate and ask questions. If the responses to these don’t really align with my views or desires, I’d like to seek out alternatives.
As I mentioned above, a new design is definitely on my roadmap.
Further exploration and refinement of Indie Web techniques
I want more control over the content I create. And I want less reliance on big social networks and sites where I have very limited control.
And so much more
I could spend a day writing out all of the ideas that have popped into my head since last updating this site. But the things I have listed here are a good start.
Excitement is growing
Hopefully, writing here today is going to be the start of a new habit of posting more often and actually getting things done on this site once and for all. I can’t wait to see where I can take things. Please subscribe to my RSS feed so you can follow along.