Now that I seem to be gardening again I've decided to start working on pulling in content from various regularly-ish updated web presences I've had going back to ~2000. A lot of it is actually still out there on an ancient web site that I've been meaning to mothball forever.

A couple of years ago I went to the trouble of dumping it into JSON, but that was as far as I got.

Somewhere or other I also have the archive of everything I uploaded to Flickr from 2004 until... 2016ish?

It will be nice if I can massage it all into regular old markdown files with related media all in one place... after almost 30 years on the web, markdown feels like the best long-game format for staying on top of all of my old crap. SSGs come and go, but pretty much all of them operate on the principle of "chew on markdown and turn it into something else," and I like that better than logging into some web admin and hoping it still works.

This is my third attempt at reviving some kind of personal web site in the last year, and each time I have avoided the word "blog" as much as I can, because I've never liked it. At the time the words "blog," "blogger," and "blogging" started to became A Thing circa 2000, I remember it seeming like tech journalists were really trying to make it happen.

People regularly posting dated entries to personal websites was not a new thing, but the combination of 1) the web and home computers having been around long enough to no longer be nerds-only and 2) the emergence of free online services that made it easy to post date-based journaled entries was something new, and I guess "blog" was the term that was quirky and annoying enough to stick.

This was also around the time that people began to get truly obsessed with SEO, and the narrative shifted from "I don't know, just put some funny/cool stuff up on my web hosting account" to "but if you don't update your blog regularly and have a specific focus and pepper your entries with just the right amount of keywords and tags, it will negatively affect your search engine ranking and that's the worst thing that could possibly happen!"

As a relatively green web dev who was trying to get into the game, I bought into that mindset and lost the thread for a long time. Web sites went from an amazing global way to share knowledge and content to increasingly indistinguishable brochures, all twisted by whatever the prevailing SEO wisdom of the month was.

I also went through several cycles of "but if I'm a professional web developer then I should have a slick and polished and carefully curated web site!" but my actual web graphic design skills peaked around the time of the dot com crash and the days when being able to competently construct your own resume/portfolio site were enough to get you an interview, if not a job, are far in the past, so... those never amounted to anything either.

So, fie on blogs. This is just a web site.

Fri Nov 03 2023 20:00:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)