Once more, with feeling

Let's give this another go

Friday 11 November 2022

Yet again, here I am, attempting to blog regularly.

In previous years, I had a blog that involved designing each post. A carefully hand crafted framework and toolchain allowed me to create a post with individual colours, layout, and art direction. Sometimes the design I had in my head wouldn’t translate to the screen easily, so I’d spend many hours over many days, tinkering away. Either getting it right, or figuring out something else that I liked.

I also made the mistake of thinking that every post had to be a think piece. That I had to have some grand idea worth exploring.

I’ve recently tried to get back into RSS feeds. Familiar names and URLs keep resurfacing from 10ish years ago. One site I came across was Chris Coyier’s, and one of the first posts I read from him was There is no bar, which has this thought provoking question:

Why do people have a hard time with that publish button, even on ready-to-rock personal sites?

For me, the hard time of publishing was waiting for a deep thought and designing something that I was happy with - they kind of went hand in hand. A great article deserved a great design. Without one, I couldn’t let the other see the light of day.

A new adventure

Since April, I’ve been working on a startup in the music streaming space called Castrooms. It’s a new and exciting thing to be the only best engineer at the company. One of my colleagues, Will, has been writing for years, and is increasingly putting out thoughts and questions on Twitter. We both spent formative parts of our careers at the Government Digital Service, where we constantly heard Make things open: it makes them better.

Not many people in our field get to do what I’m doing - working on something from the beginning, that I’m personally interested in. Maybe I should write about it?

It’s also technically hard. We’re combining real time audio and video from many sources and using multiple third party services together. I’m writing some complex and horrific code. But that’s all OK because it’s a startup, so we’re still figuring things out and prototyping. Maybe I could write about that?

Shit’s on fire yo

Much of the modern web is a walled garden. When I last tried to start blogging, I kicked it off with a post titled “Let’s make mad shit”. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to after that, but I did make a few mad shit things, like Lineup.fun. I still think we need more art galleries than malls on the web. And for me, I want some way to express myself online that can’t be ruined by a serially divorced dad obsessed with imaginary trains.

Once more, unto the breach

So, yet again, I’m saying that I’m going to blog more. I’m cutting myself some slack this time round. Everything I write doesn’t have to be some well researched and deep article. It can just be something I want to share. This doesn’t have to be some world changing website. I can just have fun with it.

My little corner of the Internet is just that - mine.