Several years have passed since I first started my own personal blog and what a long strange trip it has been.

Genesis 1.1 – 2003-2006
In the beginning, the idea of starting a blog meant I had to learn how to run a server. I bought books, a computer, a router – got an expensive connection and spent hours in an upstairs bedroom learning about domain names, ports, security and a thousand other topics. I spent more time trying to wrap my head around the science than I did writing in my blog. My the time, I got home from work, the thought of communion with my computer was a labor of love, but eventually presto – my blog was running on a server in my bedroom. Nothing like ownership – I presume.

Exodus 2007
Hearing the hum of that server and watching the lights glow were somewhat satisfying, but eventually, the hard drive died (luckly I had two discs with backups) and I dreaded the thought of starting up another server. In fact, the price of online hosting had dropped to such a level the time and the cost simply didn’t make since. For about $100 per year, I moved all my files to Lunarpages and begin to write my blog again with a little more time.

Leviticus 2008 – 2011
For the past three years, I’ve been consumed with designing my blog. The sheer creativity all over the web made me second guess everything on the screen and although I wanted to write my blog, I spent more time thinking about designing my blog. After trying to think about hard-coding it, then came the addiction to themes. In this chapter of my blogs history, I’d wager I updated my blog theme twenty different times and never satisfied. Truth be told – I wasted a lot of time and in the past year, yearning for something finite, I haven’t written much at all.

Deutoronomy 2011
This fall, I’d had enough. I wanted to free my aesthetic criticism of how the blog looked and get back to the basic functions of this online work. It was time to free myself of the designer porn and consider some of the new directions of the web. Different browsers, different screens, mobile, tablets – it all started to make sense. Get rid of the eye-candy and get back to the thinking. That’s what a responsive website design made sense.

I’m running WordPress today and downloaded a cool theme to install that renders the blog on a phone, a desktop and a tablet. It’s clean, minimal and has all my social goodness linked in. I’d still like to have more tools to post music, quotes, photos and galleries, but that will come.

For now, I’ve also moved everything off Lunarpages and things are moving much faster. It could be because I don’t have a zillion style sheets rendering my pages, but the new platform using the Rackspace servers are a bit more pricey, but I’m happier with the performance and the interface.

The Road Ahead
Well, let’s hope that I’ll stay away from the server madness. No tears there. I’m also intrigued by good design, but there’s some notion that a simple reading screen may be more effective at communicating and more on that later.

I’ve got a lot of work too. Missing files, too many categories, spelling errors, bad grammar – it’s all here. At least I’m moving forward.

For now though, I introduce the 2011 version of davidcate.com and look forward to increasing my frequency of contributions to this continuous work.