Welcome to ‘Moving to Freedom’ BETA!
I was tempted to include with this post one of those lame “under construction” graphics from the early web days — animated, of course — in an equally lame attempt to be ironically funny. Of course any hint of humor would soon fade into oblivion as the site proceeded to languish forever “under construction,” with just this one entry.
(I just checked and saw that I have an archived version of my first web site from late 1996. No yellow construction graphics but painfully bad all the same. Maybe I’ll host it here someday or throw up a screenshot if I’m in the mood for public shame and humiliation. I had advanced to new heights of sophistication with my second web site in early 1998: it had frames. I think this thing you’re reading now qualifies as my third web site.)
Anyway, I’ve been working on getting this site going and I may be a week or two away from a concentrated promotional campaign to draw visitors — I’m pretty sure I can get my sisters and maybe my dad to visit at least once — but I had the urge tonight to finally write a real post that I won’t delete when I’m officially underway. (I wanted to put quotes around the word officially but decided three quoted terms in one post was excessive.) (And maybe I’ll end up deleting it after all. What do you care — you weren’t here to read it.)
It just seemed like it was time to start feeding this thing. It will be good to have those first post jitters out of the way, saving me from the need to agonize for hours and days creating the unassailable prose that would take the world by storm, driving traffic to my door and lifting my ego up high, high over the teeming blogging masses, onward to… oh god help me.
Seriously, I have more in mind for this place than spewing out random blatherings. The about page gets into this. The about page is all I really have completed at the moment, and it needs work. I don’t know if I’ve fully communicated there the true essence of Moving to Freedom. I’m still working on the business plan. That’s a joke — you may notice a few money-making gewgaws around the site but I don’t expect to profit greatly from Moving to Freedom, at least not financially. If I make enough to pay for domain and hosting costs that would be fantastic. In my daydreams I would be able to sustain myself solely based on my writing, but for that to come true you’ll need to keep visiting and chip in regularly to the “Help Scott C.’s Move to Freedom” tip jar that will appear here in a few weeks. (Oops, more quotes.)
Moving on to the title of this post. Please consider this the beta phase, which is just another way of saying the web site is under construction. As they say in Vegas: “What happens in beta stays in beta.” I’m working on the design while trying to decide what to write about and how to write about it. One of my concerns is that I’m only doing all this stuff so far because it’s fun to play around with new software and that I won’t have the legs to actually keep a blog going. (I may get discouraged if I don’t get visitors or if a thriving comments section doesn’t develop. Hint.) Of which software and design, I’m having a lot of fun learning about and playing around with WordPress, which is a free content management system licensed under the GNU GPL. I really didn’t know anything about CSS so I found a theme that looked something like what I wanted and then started modifying it in the most inappropriate ways to look closer to what I wanted, knowing all along that I was mangling the styles horribly. That didn’t bother me so much and I would have used this first effort for a while, but as I read up on the subject I decided I really wanted to have the content come first in the underlying source so that search engines would have a better chance of finding the good stuff (there goes another opportunity for quotes) and as an added benefit it would be more accessible in general. So, this thing is barely getting going and I’m in the middle of a redesign.
You may have noticed the subtle way I was linking to Wikipedia in the last paragraph. I like Wikipedia. I think it’s neat. I hope it continues to grow and succeed. The links also demonstrate how I’m conflicted about my potential audience. I think the subject matter here will tend to draw a more technical crowd (if you count three as a crowd) that knows very well what CSS and the GPL are, but I would love it if all kinds of people enjoyed the site, and some non-technical people might want to follow a link now and then to see what the hell this nerdboy is talking about.
In addition to the redesign, I’m working on the dreadfully named “policies” page. I think it will be helpful to have some rules/guidelines for this place. You’ll notice that respectable sites often have privacy and comments policies and etc. I’d like to pretend to be one of those sites. But for now, Moving to Freedom is a virtual den of lawlessness and inequity. Welcome!