Blog (HUH!) – what is it good for?
This blog came screaming into the world on November 25th 2003.
Many things have changed since then. Man, is THAT a redundant statement in reference to a 10 year period…
Version 1 of it all was something I put together as a way of teaching myself how to write PHP, after being hired for a job as a Classic ASP developer and in between my getting hired and starting the client went somewhere else. My secret purpose was to use it as a way to keep friends and relatives informed about what I was doing after moving to London, but the thrill of it all made the site much, much more than that.
Early theme changes and additions saw all manner of ludicrous additions – I’d often get emails of complaint from friends saying that while the new hot pink design was wonderful, it meant that they couldn’t covertly read my blog at work any more or without damaging their retinas.
I put together a subscription system which emailed updates out as I published them, attaching photos at the bottom and providing numbered footnotes with URLs where relevant.
Another marvellous inclusion was The Moodulat0r – when posting I’d add a couple of numeric scores based on how I was feeling at the time, and then the page display script would use these numbers and an average to calculate my overall mood and provide a background colour accordingly. And as we found, all things in the universe tend towards beige.
The hosting arrangement wasn’t always entirely simple – first it was hosted on my work web-facing dev server (because that was the only place with PHP running that I had access to. Then when we got a server set up in a hosting environment for our Scout Group website, I put it on that. Then after 6 months or so of learning how expensive that could be, the box was moved back to my mate A-Bomb’s place and lived at the end of his ADSL connection.
When he upgraded PHP on that machine, or something, it completely buggered my page – so after a few months of total inactivity I took the plunge and ported everything to WordPress (which I was pretty impressed with the outcome of, I won’t lie: all my pre-Wordpress posts are in the Blog 1.0 Category – which explains why half of the embedded images are probably missing), setting up on a Dreamhost account where it has remained ever since.
I didn’t think to take any screenshots over time, and because of the ridiculous nature of the hosting setup it appears that the Internet Wayback Machine doesn’t have any either.
Since moving to WP my level of technological change has stagnated totally, and it’s fair to say that this year so has my blog output. It’s certainly not through any lack of material to write about – more lack of time to do so, and a more general tendency I’ve picked up to bail out on the post when I get 1500 words in and realise that I’ve actually got nothing to say, and can’t be bothered putting you all through a 2/3 finished ill-constructed rant.
So at least we can see that I’ve grown as a person during that time, anyway.
I certainly do love having a blog, and at least 4 times a year mentally prepare to turn over a new leaf, get back into being self-disciplined about writing, start a bunch of posts, then get distracted again. Seriously – you should see what’s collecting dust back here. Ah, and I already told you all this in September. Value add, right there kids.
For now though I couldn’t let the anniversary go by without at least conducting a bit of a spruce up, and to that end – please enjoy the new look. Because every blog deserves one every 6 or 7 years, I find.
For the *really* keen stats nerds in the room, here’s a pretty awful looking and borderline accurate tabulation of post numbers during the lifetime of this masterpiece.
We can seen that 2011 was a pretty good year, although much of this is due to me trying to win an iPad via a competition with the former Qype website where you had to write 50 reviews of places. Didn’t win. Although with all that wonderful new content out there I suppose humanity were the real winners in that scenario.