While I Wait

December 8, 2009

As you may have noticed, this blog hasn’t had much activity lately. This isn’t because I don’t think about it, in fact it is just the opposite. Not a day goes by without me thinking of doing something to my web site. The main reason for this is that I really hate it right now. I thought I had a good idea of what I was doing the last redesign, but it turned out to be too much work to do it right. Then I kinda horked it up with the Disqus comments system and now it is such a mess I don’t want to deal with it.

The other reason I haven’t done anything is because I want to have it be really really really easy to post to. Lots of times during the day, I want to take a link and post it with a sentence comment, or toss an image up there because our son is just too darn cute. The problem is the barrier to entry. I have to copy the link, make up a title, add some tags, edit an excerpt so all 3 people who go to my site directly get a witty comment and then post it. This is not a difficult process, just time consuming. This gets even more frustrating because I see how easy it is on Facebook to post something, and I want that. Just not in Facebook because then my stuff is trapped behind the 21st century “Great Blue Wall”.

This led me to look at Tumblr. Looks pretty close to what I want, but the problem is that not many folks I know use Tumblr. That makes many of the features on there useless to me, and therefore makes me less interested in it. What I really want is a self hosted Tumblr with Disqus support (and have Disqus be able to get comments from Facebook as well). All that just so I MIGHT blog more often.

All of the things above are just about my blog. I have other ideas for my site as well, all taking much more time and effort. The big theory I have is treating my web site as a place that I can organize my digital content. To contrast, Rebekah is fantastically organized in real life. Without her, I am pretty sure the house would be falling apart around me. I can be organized too, but I have to do it in a rigid manner that allows flexibility in how I view my data. Yeah, I know it is impossible to have both of those, but bare with me.

Let’s say I have some comics. These comics have all sorts of data with them, things like writers, characters, publish dates, series, etc. They also have things like story arcs which span series, have read orders and their own plots. Today, if I want to read a story arc, I first have to find all of the titles, see if I have them all, then grab them and start reading. I think it would be fantastic if I could go to my site, grab a story arc and it tells me where I need to look to find all of the books for it. I don’t have that today, and the frustrating thing is there are data sources out there for much of this, but getting it all put together is time consuming AND I don’t have a framework to stick this data in without writing it myself. Oh, I also want there to be some consistency between my blog design and these comics.

So that is the deal, I am too ambitious with my site to get started at any sort of revision. So it suffers, and I tweet and star things in Google Reader until it becomes easier. I really think the next big thing on the web is making data that exists all over usable. The problem is I can see it coming, but I want it now. And while I wait, this site sits, bright blue and waiting.