Hello, World! My First Post

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Hello, World! My First Post

Making films (like most other arts) can be challenging because even when there are rules and tropes, you're relying a lot on intuition. And intuition is like having to climb a tall ladder every time you want to make a decision, but no-one's there to tell you at which height it's best. You'll have to just feel it. And most of the time it means climbing the ladder to the top and then down again before you might have an idea of where it's best. Doing that for weeks on end is exhausting.

What isn't exhausting is this right here.

.thing { background: black; }

That's a coding language called CSS and CSS determines what any given website looks like. And this one says that the thing has a black background. That thing can be x-amount of pixels wide, on top of a red thing, or even have rounded edges. It's designing with logic. It's a puzzle. And my brain needed a logic puzzle.

The other day I saw that musician and composer Jukio Kallio started a blog. And even if I've had a blog for a lot of my life (from a subdomain on a friend's server to a Blogspot to a Tumblr to the collaborative Frameland (which is more a magazine at this point but hey)) I thought a blog was a thing you don't start anymore. Not in 2020. Y'know, what's the point of a blog? People don't visit websites, anymore! They visit social media. Which is a website, but a different website. And much like everyone else, there's a love-hate relationship with my social media profiles: I like seeing that Jukio Kallio started a blog (and has a kid now! Damn!), but then there's all the other crap. I can endlessly reiterate that which we are all experiencing, but Marina Kittaka and Jukio sum it up so much better than I ever could. And their words are what convinced me to write these words.

So last weekend, I spent a night chatting with Glenn looking for good minimalist blogging systems (or CMS) until I found that all of them didn't work because of a mistake I had made a year ago in a file somewhere. That's the downside of logic puzzles, there's not a lot of room for poetic freedom. Now bear with me while I dip my toes into my decision-making process concerning a CMS (if this bores you, skip ahead!): I shortly considered Zonelets (Marina Kittaka's super simple system), but I prefer PHP to HTML due to its flexibility. Going for PHP, there's many options and even many tutorials to build your system. But I don't need a database or comments or anything bulky. I want something lightweight.

And then I found Nicholas by Adam Greenough which is a CMS that does exactly what I needed it to:

And that's it. I write them in iA Writer (like everything else) and then upload them manually to my server.

And as soon as I had that system figured out, I spent the rest of the weekend overhauling my website and my resume and defeating the purpose of doing a logic puzzle to zone out. Good job, me.

But hey, here it is: a blog. My own space that I control. It'll look different soon, I bet. You can visit this place without me even knowing it. You can read this and you won't have to click anything to acknowledge that you liked it or thought of me (send me an e-mail instead). It's great!

[clears throat]

Two years ago I applied for a loan to get rid of my debt. It was a government subsidy system and because the amount was too high for the government body to make a decision, they flew in a third-party consultant. This person checked all my numbers and then reported to me that he was unable to provide me with the loan. One of the reasons he gave was that my company was unviable because I did not promote myself on social media (I had taken my leave two years prior). That night I created a LinkedIn account. I've since deleted my LinkedIn (obviously), but I've not rid myself of this idea instilled by that conversation. That to stay relevant and viable as a company, one is dependent on social media. And my company is literally just me.

I've had this website since 2011 and it has changed many many times. It will change many many more times. But I think the addition of a blog is a healthy step forward in reclaiming a bit of the internet for myself. I will keep using social media, although I hope to get to a point where I use it occasionally rather than a lot.

Thank you for reading.