an old thing (history of kirk.is)

December 29, 2019
Yesterday I mentioned finishing up a yearlong "quote format" cleanup project on my blog - I had a daily morning ritual of using its "this date on the blog" tool, usually while I was still lying in bed. It was a great excuse to take in the depth of my almost-two-decades blogging in project and I think I miss the habit already...

I also mentioned doing an internal reconfiguration that was too boring to talk about - and that's not untrue but thinking about why I had to do it triggered thinking about the general history of my longest-running personal project...

My first blog-like thing was a series of text files on my PalmPilot, which I called KHftCEA or Kirk's Home for the Chronically Easily Amused - it wasn't designed to be public but eventually I posted it online. It ran from spring 1997 until the start of my blogging at the 2000/2001 turnover.

So I switched to "writing online". (The first entry says "Maybe I'll use spellcheck" - I forgot that used to not be integrated into browsers!) Each day's entry on my early blog was a single file, but I quickly started to use "of the Moment" (Quote of the Moment, Link of the Moment, etc) headers to create sub-entries. And almost immediately in the activity it became a practice to at least have something up every single day.

A sidenote, from 2003-2013 a daily comments section on my site formed a bit of community - I graphed its rise and fall after clearing out the enormous amounts of link spam that ended up swamping it.

Another - quite literal - sidenote was Dylan's Pointless Sidebar - in 2002 I gave part of the site to be a microblog for my BFF Dylan... in 2004 (slightly to Dylan's annoyance) I let our mutual friend Sarah add entries, and then later that year opened it up to all of the site regulars, and that enhanced my site until it wound down in 2008 or so - right around when Facebook and twitter were really picking up steam.

It looks like May of 2008 I dabbled in using twitter (come to think of it, for a while I used the old "KHftCEA" name as my twitter handle) but because my blog was always my permanent archive I built some tools to mirror (easily if still manually) what I was putting on twitter onto my blog (These days, I still tend to repost most of my content on Facebook, since despite its well-known flaws, it's the only place that lets me post the longer form stuff and have comment threads about it with people I know in real life.)

Anway. Eventually I stopped posting much to twitter, but the tools I made for the mirroring were better suited to the blog updates I was doing - content-specific forms for quotes or retweets or image uploads, with only the "long form" writing still placed in the old files structure

So every day's entry had two parts: the long form section, if any (like a big photo gallery or rambling essay) and the smaller links and quotes for the day, broken up my little horizontal rule markers. My big activity yesterday was to internally merge the two sections, so that even days with both types of section would just have one file. The only change that should be visible to users is that on old entries, the "of the Moment" subheaders are still present but they now have the same horizontal rule markers breaking them up.

Yeesh. This went on longer than I expected. Which is kind of appropriate for a blog that has run 19 years, and that I hope to keep on for many decades to come. (Yikes, I just scared myself typing that! I do have a psychological hangup where it's hard for me to stop doing something once I get committed to it, it always feels like too harsh of a refutation of my earlier self. That's what fixed mindset and not having a real intuitive belief in personal growth will get you-- for worse or, often, better.)
When I come across people who describe San Francisco as a leftist/communist nightmare, I just laugh.

San Francisco is a right-wing technocratic dystopian nightmare with a veneer of superficial progressivism not so thinly veiling far-right, ultra-capitalist social darwinism.