Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Last week I launched my new web design for I accidentally spent a couple of months working on it, and threw away two nearly complete designs and one perfectly good blogging tool in the process. These things are always a learning process. So what did I learn?

First, although Movable Type is a perfectly acceptable blogging tool, it annoys the crap out of me. I couldn't stand the tedium of trying to edit all those templates in so many places through that dinky web-based editor. I finally just pulled my head away from the wall it had been banging against and rebuilt the whole site in HTML::Mason. After all, I'm a web developer, I can do that.

Second, I learned that I have the visual design skills of a wet bar of soap. I couldn't put an inoffensive color scheme together to save a kitten's life, and anyone who lets me near a texture library should have himself analyzed. I finally just adapted one of those free page templates you find on the Interwebs, and even my selection drew sneers from the more color-coordinated people in my life. It's sort of Ubuntu-orange. But IMHO, almost anything is better than the horrible Movable Type default template.

I'm having fun putting together the back-end functionality I want, rather than picking from a menu of somebody else's mediocre ideas. I have basic blog stuff working now (posts and feed). Soon I'll be integrating my delicious feed as well.

Actually, the thing that took the most work (and by work I mean thought) was coming up with a tagline that captured the spirit of Webquills. I must have gone through 100 variations or more, returning to the same concepts over and over, trying to boil down in my mind what it is that Webquills is meant to be about. Finally I settled on Develop effective web sites. The phrase was strongly influenced by my reading of The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker - a fantastic little volume that basically woke me up to the difference between killing time and kicking ass. Read it. Just read it.

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