This blog is now starting its ninth year of existence, and it had gone through its life without much in the way of upgrades. It had stuck with the same old color scheme that I never loved in the first place. The links list on the side was an increasingly dated reflection of my news consumption, and the archives section had grown unwieldy on all but the longest posts. Blogging as a pursuit has changed somewhat since 2013; the golden age is long over, and people have drifted off into new quarters in the changing media environment. Facebook appears to have de-algorithmed me (I guess I need more QAnon content for them to think my stuff is interesting), and my audience, outside of the hockey stuff and the spontaneous WordPress users who stumble upon some of my travel writing, is not growing.
As a result, I’ve decided it’s time for an overhaul. I spent some time considering different approaches to my writing life. I gave a little thought to starting a Substack, but I don’t think I have the time now to scale that up to the point where it would do what I want it to do. I considered spinning things off into their own locations: put the hockey stuff in another place, for example, while leaving this as a more personal sounding board. One of the joys of having varied interests is that they do not always sit comfortably together. For the time being, though, I have decided to stay the course.
That meant that we were at least in line for a cosmetic upgrade. I’ve simplified the design: just a good, old-fashioned serif font that puts all the focus on the text, not on any noise on the sides or the background. Black and white simplicity it is. Under the menu button, I’ve started putting in some links to posts with some of my more frequently used tags. My tagging practices over the years have been spotty, so it may take a while to get it in the sort of shape I want it. It’s hardly a priority.
What does this mean for content? Probably nothing that wasn’t part of this blog’s natural drift already. Hockey during the season and when newsworthy, travelogues when I venture outward, markers for other life events. Fiction when those lurching, months-in-the-making entries reach a point where I do not viscerally hate the idea of other humans reading them. Very, very occasional political commentary, offered in a detached and halfhearted tone; a tone not offered because I do not care, but because I believe that understanding requires that level of distance. And the occasional inane offering, too.
For now, at least, that’s where I am. It could all change next week, but inertia remains a powerful force, and this blog, for good or ill, has a fair amount of that behind it now. Thanks for coming along for the ride.