Welcome to Emmet's homepage

Short version:

I redesigned this blog.

Long version:

Before there were blogs there were home pages. Big ugly HTML websites blinking and flashing, startling affronts to aesthetic taste, but at the same time lovingly crafted and full of passion and originality. What happened to home pages? Geocities was great. Better than MySpace is, anyway. Remember K10k? Am I right, or is this just more techno-nostalgia?

Homepages on the web were like zines, all made from photocopied paper and glue and staples, and most of the time they were about something, and passionately so. They were punk. Here’s what my homepage looked like some time before Y2K:

thoughtwax screenshot

But here comes the new millennium! CMSs mean that most pages in a site had to conform to a generic template, blogs are in, homepages are out. Now I see that same damn Kubrick Wordpress theme every single day. Or worse, I don’t see any themes at all, I just consume feeds from within an RSS reader. I mean, I love the fact that I can follow a hundred different websites every day using an RSS reader, but there’s also something immediate missing in that experience.

It’s a tough balance to strike. Not everyone is a designer. Ben Hammersley’s blog nicely deviates from the blog format, where the design shifts about to reference the content of each post. But by and large, there’s not much that’s new and exciting happening. I mocked up the new design of this site just a couple of weeks ago, and I’m getting bored of it already; list of posts on the left, sidebar on the right, bleuch. This is all a bit formal for our personal playgrounds, isn’t it?

So here’s the new plan for this blog.

The homepage will use the two-column template I’ve already mocked up. But from now on, each individual page on it will be different in some small way. Nothing major, just a little something to say that I thought about it. I think I’ve figured out a way to do that without killing Wordpress. I don’t post much anyway, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to knock together something visual once or twice a week. If it takes longer, that’s ok, too. It’s the slow movement applied to blogging. Maybe.

If you read this blog in an RSS reader everything should be pretty much the same as before, but if you feel like looking at something handmade, click through to the individual entries from time to time.

Happy New Year, everyone.

— 02 Jan 2007