Links, template land and personal design
There will be a short preamble concerning my website, followed by some lengthy longwinded ramblings about personal website design. Be warned.
My links page is gone for now, and will probably reappear in the sidebar. For some reason, three paragraphs of text were appearing with the links page. I don’t really know where they were coming from, i couldn’t find them in the WordPress database or anywhere in my templates. Yet they would reappear without fail everytime I used just links as the page slug. It may be some sort of ghost holding out from an older version, I’m still running a WordPress gamma from a day or two before the official 1.5 release.
I’m getting sick of this brown design, although it probably looks fine (the text is a bit small in Safari). I was craving white again… I go through phases. There’s a theme switcher installed, so you don’t have to watch a layout in progress (although you can). I’m not sure if the theme selection persists between sessions (that also may be a gamma drawback).
**Happy template land**
I like to change how my site looks all the time, it’s a good think and a bad thing. I’m never happy with it but I enjoy the act of tweaking. These days, most people seem to drift along in happy template land, such is the wonderful ‘blog revolution’ that we’ve heard so much about. That said the internet looks a lot better and more consistent than it used to be.
As far as design goes, I always had trouble calling myself a designer. And I had just as much trouble calling myself an artist, neither seemed to fit properly. Nick and I had a conversation the other day, he summed it up nicely in a post titled Artists that design webpages. Art is about the art, design is about the content. So, I could probably lump myself into either category. Personally, I just like to say that I enjoy using a computer to make things.
I drifted into the old design scene around the time Swanky.org was dying, it was too bad because I was looking for a community while they were falling apart. The collapse wasn’t sudden, it just kind of sagged under it’s own weight and fell apart. I found that people then fell into one of two camps: words and pictures. Some went for the pretentious journal communities, others for the pretentious design communities. Everyone knew what happened to Swanky and didn’t want the same thing happening to their new little group. I’m a fan of both words and pictures so, I had a tough time of things. In the end I chose both, joining an art community to make pretty pictures and using Blogger as a backend for my site, allowing me to publish from anywhere.
The art community that I was participated in was Suffocate.org, started up by Nick and c3dric. It provided me with a refuge for my art and design as well as a number of online friendships and people I could bounce ideas off. We produced a lot of great issues and pieces that made you think, as well as a number of side projects including trash and conform. But it also grew, became bloated, and fell apart.
The Conform Project is a partial effort to return to my webroots, although I haven’t been able to put as much time into it as I would have liked. It’s been effective though, because I’ve been able to regain contact with a number of talented artists and designers. Thanks to everyone who’s helped me out with it over the last year or so.
It’s easy to wax nostalgic about the good old days of personal design sites, but publishing is publishing, I’m just happy that people are producing things for other people. Hopefully, the publishing trend continues and people aren’t just bouncing around to whatever seems cool at the time. I’m not trying to trivialize the ‘blog’ phenomenon, remember newspapers were a seditious fad that wasn’t supposed to last. The picture and word communities finally seem to be drifting together again, as the acronym army of CSS, JS and XML help the design catch up with the text. That said, content is king right now, so leave a comment and enjoy happy template land. Fin.