Meta blogging

This blog, in its present form managed via WordPress, is ten years old this year.

According to popular blogger Anil Dash, one of 15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging is that “Meta-writing about a blog is generally super boring.”

And he might be right.

Any housekeeping writing about how it’s been a while since you’ve written, or how you changed some obscure part of your blog, doesn’t tend to age very well and is seldom particularly compelling in retrospect. The exception are genres like technical or design blogs, where the meta is part of the message. But certainly the world doesn’t need any more “sorry I haven’t written in a while” posts.

Yet this is exactly what I’m going to ramble on about now.

When this blog (in its current incarnation) was launched, the web was quite different.

It was all about written content, with a few pictures added for fun and demonstration. Bloggers wrote about this, that, their hobbies and life in general, with no real regard about whether their words were read and with even less interest in becoming self-important influencers with huge hero images. Web pages were static, had a fixed width (or none at all), and text had a set size (or relied on browser defaults). Images were kept small because of bandwidth and loading time considerations.

Content was king, and geeks were emperors.

Back then the web was meant to be viewed on “large” screens because geeks sat behind desktop computers. It didn’t matter if the site/page was responsive; nobody considered a phone a practical browsing device. Feedback in the form of comments or email was usually deliberate and far more thoughtful than the passing swipe that a like, a retweet or an emoji could muster. Social media was a mere afterthought and all the “call to action” needed.

Now that wide screens have become commonplace and smartphones have super-crisp retina displays, the popular Verdana font at 12- or 13px just doesn’t cut it any more in this age of high pixel density displays.

Visitors' screen resolution according to StatCounter

According to my (capped) Statcounter statistics, almost half of this site’s (human) visitors use mobile browsers. The bounce rate is accordingly high. visitors' browsing platform according to StatCounter visitors' browsing platform according to StatCounter

Google too “switched to Mobile First Indexing” on 1 September 2019.

“The majority of Google’s crawl requests to your site will be made using a mobile crawler”, they say, then go on to complain about “Text too small to read”, “Clickable elements too close together”, “Viewport not set”, and “Content wider than screen”.

Look, I’m not a a professional web designer or developer, so forgive me if things like Open Graph, Twitter Cards, SASS, WOFF, Apple touch icons and the WebP image format have largely passed me by during the last few years.  I just wasn’t paying attention.

And since content and direction of this site have also matured, a redesign is well overdue.

Watch this space for details.

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