I’m a Sellout to my Generation


I’ve been building websites since the mid 90’s and the majority of my professional teaching career has been on web development. Straight html, css, JavaScript and the like stuff. I built and taught in text editors. It was a point of pride for me that my students learned the craft at it’s most basic first and after being shown the ease of WYSIWYG editors would routinely return to text editors such as notepad or HomeSite/DreamWeaver. They recognized softwares limitations and the power their creativity had over the computer.

Decades ago I began parsing out elements of my site in the name of automation. My blog started back in the straight html days where you uploaded a new page for each entry. Then the ease of blogging services crept in. No more FTP or search engine optimization or whatnot. I was one of the first 1000 people to jump on the LiveJournal bandwagon. Then after they were bought out by Russians I switched to Blogger. After the content ownership scare there I set up WordPress on a private server and have been using that setup with several iterations of the site ever since. But the problem with that is it’s open source. You were constantly updating it and some updates worked better than others. Some would bring the whole blog page to it’s knees. It all drew out fond memories of the old days of typing a page in html and FTP’n it in.

Anyways the latest technical issue meant another site redesign. Time/priorities have kept it on the back burner. Though in my mind I knew the quick solution was to throw money at it. I spend about a $9/month on my private server as I’ve been with the same mom/pop since the 90’s (they were fellow college kids when they began). A modern plug and play website with my current capabilities are expensive.

I’ve been listening to fellow old time creators like Scott Johnson of Frog Pants Network. My comrades holding onto the old ways, the old tools. People were starting to swallow their pride, give up control, give up design and migrate to plug-n-play solutions for their hosting duties. And they were enjoying it. The move mend more time to spend creating content as opposed to delivering it.

This month I caved too. Deleted 20+ years of experience, design and artwork in both pixels and code and went with a boring plug and play setup. I did this after realizing I didn’t want to make the paper anymore. To build and maintain the hardware and software of a web server is todays version of paper making. As is a sites back end structure, code, design, and imagery. There is only so much time in the day. I’d rather let someone else pulp the fibers, build the Gutenberg press, cut the typesets and deliver the results.

So today you can see the results of my giving up, selling out and spending $500 for a plug and play website. It’s ugly, plain and boring but it works and I now get to focus on just the fun stuff.

Shawn Graham