It's Been Awhile

I'm back at it blogging. I know nobody tends to care about these types posts, but all the same, I'm going with it. I've genuinely missed personal blogging. My previous site, don't actually own this site anymore and someone scooped the domain, so no use linking to it) used to be my spot to articulate some random ideas or something I wanted to throw out there on the web. I found by 2015 I'd outgrown the online persona modsuperstar and it just no longer felt right, so instead of letting it twist in the wind for longer, I just let it go.

But that didn't mean I didn't miss it. The idea of getting back to blogging was something on my list to do, but never really materialized. Last year I decided to buy a new vanity URL and now I have a new home on the web that feels more me. It feels right publishing under my own name.

A Blogger from 2055
Wasn't sure what to put as a visual to go along with this post, so decided to use MidJourner AI to conjur up what a blogger from 2055 would look like

Reclaiming My Online Footprint

So much of what blogging was about back in the day was having a place online that was yours. Having actual ownership over the content that you created. But then social media happened and basically ate personal blogging. You no longer needed to write a blog post when you could throw some ideas together in a Twitter thread, or a Facebook post and find an audience for those ideas. In the same way people generally stopped pirating music because Spotify and Apple Music made it way easier to just pay a subscription for easy access, microblogging sites just made it easier to assemble your ideas online and not deal with the overhead of running your own site.

One thing that's changed in the last year is social media as a concept is an outright tire fire. As someone who for a longtime championed Twitter and the value it brought the world(even with the warts), that all changed when Elon Musk decided to go full man-baby and buy Twitter "to own the Libs". As much as I wanted Twitter to remain viable and vibrant, it's obvious the platform is dying and the lack of oversight and opening the doors wide open to extremism was something I wanted no part of.

Looking Backwards Toward The Future

Like many, I decided to move my social media addiction to Mastodon. And there I found a community that is really into rolling your own anything. Don't like the instance you're on? Setup your own. Don't want to be beholden to some corporation about the content you generate? Setup your own site. The Mastodon community is full of early adopter types. The ones who were blogging in the 2000s. Who were there on Twitter in 2008 during the early days before retweets and direct messages were actual features. The people who probably had early access Diaspora or Ello accounts.

With this in mind I've decided to use this blog as a learning experiment. I've wanted to try my hand at building a site with Eleventy for awhile and have finally got my head around the whole thing. As someone who's spent a lot of time on the WordPress side of the coin, it took me a bit to figure out this drastic change in methodology. This site is built using Eleventy 2.0.0-canary.33, Nunjucks and Markdown, based upon rachitkakkar's LASA Surveryor site. To help with the whole learning curve and having some familiarity while learning I decided to go with Bootstrap 5 and FontAwesome. I've long been at a loggerhead about learning CLI, but I think I've finally got my head around that too. It's been a fun experience to really get my hands dirty and figure out new methodology while almost getting back to my roots as a frontend web dev.

This site is definitely a work in progress, but I think I've actually got a decent foundation going at the moment. I've basically cludged a lot of the styles from the single page site I built onto this domain. That's probably next on my list, is getting that into 11ty, then maybe connecting up Strapi as a content manager. Some old habits die hard 😂

About James
is a frontend web developer and graphic designer from Cambridge, Ontario. He's a blogger, mixtape maker, chronic scrobbler, sci-fi geek & dad to a wonderful daughter.