What you’re seeing now is the fifth version of my personal blog. Each previous iteration was essentially an experiment that led to the next. All versions except number four have been archived and are no longer available for public viewing, but below I’ve included a screenshot and some information for each. I am doing this for two reasons. One, I simply wish to document what I’ve learned throughout this process. Two, I think it’s a good lead for version five. Hopefully you can find your own takeaway or inspiration within this history as well.
Version One (2009)
In many ways I’ve come full circle from version one to version five. My first blog was more or less a blog in the traditional sense. It included posts on a variety of topics, some personal and some professional but all written in first person. I realized at some point most of posts were more suited for a private journal. This prompted me to journal more often and formulate a better definition of what I considered blog-worthy content.
Version Two (2010)
As I developed version two I fell in love with several blogs that had unique page layouts for each post, so I decided to take this route with my presentation layer. The result was great, but each post was extremely time-consuming and I quickly realized this was an unsustainable approach for me. I learned how to produce better articles through this experiment, but the real benefit was learning how far I could push a custom WordPress template.
Version Three (2011)
After version two my primary interest was to push WordPress customization further, so for version three I created a flexible template that functioned like a blank canvas and decided to do away with writing articles. The navigation was eliminated forcing users through an archive listing to find content. The entire project was quite abstract and I did away with it because I missed a more traditional environment to share ideas and thoughts. This experiment will most likely influence the direction I take my experimental art site, Cool Groovy Funk, which is currently under development.
Version Four (2013-2016)
Seeking a more traditional environment for sharing ideas I decided to embrace a standard WordPress template and force myself to focus on content. It worked. I was very pleased with the frequency and quality of my posts in version four. However, over time I found myself sharing this information through Twitter instead of my blog. At that point I realized I was mostly micro-blogging, a term defined by a limited character length. I want to write and I want a blog that is designed to showcase the written word.
Which brings me to…
Version Five (2017-?)
Once again I’m back to seeking that traditional blog space, but this time I’m embracing long-form writing. It will be interesting to see where this version takes me, but if I had to guess I would say to blog version six.