Laying it Out

§…or, architecting the site before I know better

I like Hexo so far. It’s easy to work with, I’m learning a lot along the way, and almost have it set up on all of my systems (GitLab makes it easy).

Next I need to find some best practice info on Hexo, related to folder structure. It’s great that I can do whatever I want; it’s tough that I can do whatever I want.

§The What

A lot of what I’m doing will fall under the “blog” but I have other content that I want to post. Lists of Android Apps, Windows Apps, Linux apps, Podcasts, and more - across several categories for each area. There’s also writing that I’ve done and the Spark File (ok, files) I have.

Maybe the more generalized version of the breakdown is: braindump into the post entries, more organized stuff into pages. I’ll probably change my mind about a dozen times before I get much further…

§To Do

  • Theme
  • Layout
  • Plugins
  • Write, write, write

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Over the years I’ve wondered how long it takes to build a following, almost entirely related to the Internet. Early on, it was just getting anyone to read what I wrote, then getting any kind of comment or reply. One of the better experiences I had was on xanga, even if I got there through a bizarre marketing ploy[1]. This was back in 2001, before social media was really a thing. Looking back, I don’t know why I actually checked it out, but still…

I had people who I talked to regularly, and even got to know some of the more popular people on there beyond just being a subscriber. The appeal is getting that hit when someone likes something you wrote, and then to get a comment? Whoa, that was great. If the person asked a question or otherwise invited discussion, I’d ride that high.

Yes, it wasn’t necessarily “real” but I was able to talk to and find more people like me than anything physically local. Even some of the people who weren’t like me were part of great discussions, both on and off that site. It’s one of the reasons that starting in a community-driven site can get you a stronger starting point than having a site just out on the Internet. Today it would just be joining a social network and work from there, linking to your full site if you do the longer-form thing.

  1. Fake message from a “person” who said that I should check out xanga to start a blog.

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In the Middle

§It’s Not the Beginning

I can’t count how many times I’ve “started over” this site since it began in May of 2003. I’m sure that if I looked hard enough I could pull up the archived version of everything from the Greymatter, Drupal, and Dokuwiki versions, along with the little one-off pages. I don’t plan on it though; at least not any time in the near future. Maube instead of the middle this is more of a rebirth.

Now? I’m right in the middle. The middle of the year, middle of projects at work and home, hell I’m even middle aged(ish). Middle-age isn’t too bad so far - no plans for a fast car or big changes, I have enough to work on as it is. Still learning and trying apply what I’m learning to life. Sometimes that’s easy; a lot of the time it isn’t.

I’m even in the middle of designing this site, again. Definitely not giving up, just slowly building back up to being visible again.

Luckily I’ve found an SSG (Static Site Generator) that I like, called Hexo. No crazy setup, javascript based, and plays nice with GitLab and GitHub - along with plenty of other options. Posts are written in Markdown so they’re readable by people and machines, no fancy editor needed.

I might backfill some of the posts from other places, or just link to them at some point. It’s really just filling out more of the middle stuff until I can find the edges.

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Family man, big geek, awesome beard.

Application Support, ISIT