Rebooting the Blog (yet again)

September 2nd, 2019 • 4 min read #Meta
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You'll note that the previous entry (from April) talks about the 100 Days Project where I promised to pay attention to this site. So that didn't quite work. Maybe I'll retry that approach with the remaining 120 days in 2019.

This entry serves as a bookmark. It is a separator. Earlier this year, I posted:

I wrote my first blog post at in July of 2002, and since then, I've written over a thousand posts on this site, with the majority happening between 2002-2007. I migrated this site through at least 7 content management systems, but I have most of the work in some form or another. There's a chance I can preserve this narcissistic archive.

When the web was still young and innocent, I found a community of friends and thinkers who rallied around blogging. Today, I don't expect people to take note or care that I continuously stop and start here on my blog; there is no shortage of internet media for them to consume, and it's too easy to create paint-by-numbers content of their own.

Why will I keep pushing this boulder up the hill?

  • Reason #1: I author this blog just for me. In past lives, my blog has served a useful synthesis purpose. I wrote out loud to soothe my overactive and scattered mind. Lately, I've just been itching hard to make and write. I have a backlog of articles, weird experiments, and research ideas that are mostly only clogging up my brain at the moment, and I need an outlet.
  • Reason #2: This blog is my platform. I freely admit a motivation of "platform" and "personal branding" behind all of this as I play the long-term chess game with my ambitions. For the same reasons, over the past years I have been pretty active on other people's platforms (ex. Twitter), and have certainly benefited from exchanges there. However, as they say, Always Own Your Own Platform.

So, I'm using my 3-day Labor Day weekend to reboot my blog, using Ghost this time.

I had a perfectly fine instance of WordPress running for many years. I realized, though, that I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed every time I opened the WordPress dashboard. It added friction to my producing.

Ghost has a minimal design with a heavy focus on making the publication of blog content simple. As I was setting this up, I found myself getting worked up when I felt a feature is "missing" from Ghost. I've tried to counter that with, "well, do I need that exact feature to get words on the screen?" There are workarounds I could deploy if I genuinely need some missing feature someday.

For about 10 seconds, I wrestled with, "what will I focus on here?" Should I segregate my museum job, my side gigs, my non-job interests and research, my personal life? In 2002, when I first started this site, I didn't care. It was my personal blog, so it reflected me as a person. So it all goes in.

I think I'll continue with transparency and authenticity and see where that gets me. I'll be writing mostly about works-in-progress and not worry so much about what it means to be "polished."

Expect to read exceedingly geeky articles here filled with code snippets alongside Big Picture essays about museum technology or esoteric software languages. I'll probably write a lot about personal productivity workflows and processes and do so without the slightest hint of irony. Maybe a vacation photo or two will sneak in.

So here we go. Let's see if this reboot gives me a "Brand New Shoes make your run faster" effect.

What's next

  • I'm using an off-the-shelf theme for this relaunch. I like it enough. There aren't that many options in Ghost-land. There are some tweaks I'd like to make to this design, but otherwise I want to focus less on design frameworks and more on the content, itself.
  • I have about 600+ blog posts from the past 17 years I'd like to convert from WP to ghost. This is for preservation purposes, but I think there may be a couple evergreen gems to resurrect in 2019. It's not trivial to import WordPress posts into Ghost, unfortunately. There are APIs on both sides, so I can imagine a way to go forward en masse. However, I also think there's some value in a slow, calm approach to migration. I want to consider each post, one at a time, before I republish here as an exercise in nostalgia. That'll be a slow process... I'm going to go for about 5-6 a day, and maybe will be complete by the end of the year.
  • I want to get my portfolio of work back online here... lots of projects I'm still proud of and even some that never got documented.
  • There are other online platforms I'm targeting for some major refresh focus in the next couple months (looking right at you, LinkedIn).
  • Otherwise, I'm going to try to post here at what will likely be an unsustainable pace while I still have some enthusiasm... maybe that will get the flywheel going and remind me why I did this in the first place.

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