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July 19, 2005

Problem #1: Website Design

Over the last few days, I've been putting a lot of thought into what I want this site to actually look like. Surprisingly, I've got a lot of ideas. But again, I'm faced with the real possiblity that I could spend a lifetime trying to get the little blue globe in the banner centered over the sidebar, and still not succeed.

I've decided that the best way to solve my first barrier to entry is to throw money at the problem and see if I can't get it to go away. I've started exploring some options to have this site professionally designed so that it looks good and stays functional. Provided I can find somebody willing to take on the task I might be able to get away without too much damage to my bankroll. Surprisingly I wasn't able to find many people willing to perform this type of service... even for money.

I did manage to find a few though:

For some reason every designer I've found appears, at least on the surface, to be directing their marketing efforts at the female demographic. Though that doesn't mean they aren't perfectly capable of putting my own ideas into practice. Besides, beggars can't be choosers.

I've included a screenshot of what the site looks like at the time of posting to provide context to this post, just in case I actually go through with it and end up with a new site design.


p.s. Maybe things won't be so bad. I've managed to include links, an unordered list and an embedded image that actually functions as a thumbnail; definitely pushing the envelope, but still, it all seems to work.

July 18, 2005

Barriers To Entry

When I break it down, there are really only two serious barriers to entry into this whole travelog thing; (1) I have no experience with any sort of technical web-design and (2) I can't write, though I'm confident both can be overcome with a healthy dose of initiative and/or money.

Everything but the most basic HTML continues to elude me. I've taken enough online tutorials to know that I know nothing. This dismal fact is amplified by the fact that I don't have a single friend who does this kind of thing.

As far as the actual writing goes, it may be a little bit of an exageration (but not much) to say I can't write. I've spent many nights staying up way too late, cranking out university research papers. I hardly count this as experience though, not because it was more than 4 years ago, but as I remember it, I spent most of my time in awe of the kind of garbage one could smear on paper and still escape with decent marks. It was a perverse game with no winners. I'm now stuck with nothing but a tired and cliched longing that I'd paid more attention in school.

If I'm going to learn to write, I need practice. For some very egotistical reasons I've chosen to practice here, in this public forum available to anybody who stumbles by. For now, I'll take solace in the fact that I'm on my own out here, I'm fairly certain that even google doesn't yet know I exist. That's okay; for the time being, I'm happy writing to myself.

July 14, 2005

The First Post

I really feel like this is something I need to get over with once and for all. Every new site seems to start with it; the symbolic first post. In my experience it usually doesn't say much beyond 'Wow, my first post, neat!' This one likely won't be any different.

To be honest, I'm surprised that I've made it this far. I typically get an idea in my head; go with it for a couple weeks, then move on to the next big thing. This site, however, has been differentiated by the fact that it's consistently been in my thoughts for two years now, sort of a recurring daydream that won't go away. Of course, I have yet to take any real initiative other than registering the domain name and getting my host, LivingDot, to install the Movable Type publishing platform.

Not to worry, I've got big plans from here on in. If all goes according to plan this site will become a sort of travelogue about a pretty big trip I'm planning to take in October.

There we go; the first post is out of the way. Boy what a relief.