Kevin Purdy

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Committing, or "Hello World 3"

21 Nov 2013

Hello. I am the owner here, and you’re looking at the third version of my personal site. Unless you’re in the future and I’ve rebuilt the site again on some other platform. The web is a very temporal writing space. Let us move on.

GitHub obsession, right before launch

I write that I am “the owner” and it reminds me of why I ventured on this reboot of the site, across hundreds of tweaks and adjustments, and when I really should have been doing other (paid) work. I wanted a site I could look at or point to and think, “I made that.” I also wanted to learn more about what makes a site work, and what makes it look decent, so I could feel like less of a charlatan when Twitter gave me yet another site to point at and laugh.

I could feel ownership and attachment to my very first site, made with Notepad and nested HTML tables. It was low-rent, but it worked, and I made it. With the Wordpress-based site that followed, I could note the tweaks I made to different themes, the widgets I had customized, or the fact that the whole scheme was sitting on a shared host for which I paid a monthly fee, with data that was easy to export.

Still, it was someone else’s blogging engine, and not always easy to manage or keep secure, and it looked a lot like other WordPress sites out there. I don’t need to look different for the sake of different. I quite enjoy, for example, denim jeans and white dress shirts. I just want some assurance that there are reasons and thoughts and decisions to the way I look. Starting over with a Jekyll-based site felt right in that regard—like a new wardrobe, followed by a car-filling trip to Goodwill.

Jekyll is also, on a writing level, just a folder full of text-like Markdown files, so this site should be a more fluid blogging space. No promises, though.

Working on this site called me back to my earliest days on the web: examining and cribbing code and design from sites I respected, bugging talented friends for help. And the front page could say exactly what I wanted it to say, right where I wanted the message: I am this person, and I do this work, and we can talk further if you email me. More than anything, I learned a lot about how modern sites and CSS work by building up this site—at least a freshman course’s worth. And I gained far more respect for the people who make good, responsive, legible sites that say something clearly.

Thank you for peering at this thing. More on what it’s made of and who helped is at this colophon post.