On Technology

This is my personal website.

I am having some trouble coming to terms with the fact that this is a WordPress site. Indeed, the WordPress site isn’t even up as of the time I’m writing this – I want to make sure it’s “perfect” before it goes live.

Forget the fact that the site that’s live right now looks like trash.
It may look like trash, but I’ve gone through that code line-by-line! I didn’t realize this, but you can’t edit the script of WordPress templates, which terrifies me.

Alas, I have been revealed as a member of the first generation who grew up with the internet. I’ve not kept up with most of the recent tech and web trends, and I sort of feel sad about that.

But I do really miss the old internet. I made my first website 20 years ago in 1997. It was “HANSONWORLD,” and it was hosted for free on Angelfire.

I think the big difference between now and then is that back then, it wasn’t easy to make a website, and making money through advertising just wasn’t a thing for an individual or small business.

Let’s say you wanted song lyrics back then. The place that you inevitably would have found them was on a fan page, maybe on the band’s homepage. The lyrics would be compiled by album, usually all on one page, often centered and always in Times New Roman.

So, you could go and look at song lyrics on a fan page. The rest of that “page” would have had pictures, maybe news articles, guitar chords, sometimes even fan fiction – all put together by someone who really loved the band.

Now, hardly anyone makes fan pages – maybe Facebook pages, but those all look the same. If you want lyrics, you’ll find some huge website that subsists not on love and admiration, but on ad sales. The pages for song lyrics (and they’re always on separate pages, to max out on ad revenue) weren’t made individually – the only human connection between the site owner and its content is that the owner has paid someone to come up with a computer algorithm to make all of those pages automatically. Cold and disconnected.

Of course, I am also conflicted because lately I have been doing some programming, and being able to automate stuff in exactly that way is very rewarding.

I have realized that for me, 2017 is the year of delegation. I’m learning that I can’t do everything, and even if I can, that doesn’t mean I’m good at it – and even if I’m good at it, there’s probably someone who can do it better and faster in a third of the time. Play to your strengths.

Anyway, I didn’t really have a goal when I started writing this other than to make a “page”, and I think that purpose has been served.