The First Post!
- July 20, 2020
Here I am, a few weeks back, thinking to myself… “Self," I say, “it might be worthwhile to start a blog. A place I can post my ramblings about Game Jams I’ve entered, software I’ve developed, and maybe even 3D prints I’ve done… because nothing’s better than sticking to a single theme!"
“GREAT IDEA!" I respond… to myself, and I get right to work. Do I use a blog hosting site? No… I decide to go for a static website. Do I use a premade theme? No… I roll my own theme built from scratch.
And this very first post is my explination as to what decisions I made for this site. Seemed like a fitting first post for my blog, so…
Static Website Generator
Hugo is the static site generator I decided to go with. Why? Honestly, because it seemed to be a combination of strait forward and popular. Remember kids… popularity is important! (coughs) Ok… that’s not quite true. I don’t always pick the popular choice, but in this case, I wanted to pick a website generator that didn’t look like it was going to go dead any time soon. Nothing worse than spending months building ones website, then the software you use just stops getting updated. Not that the software no longer getting updated would instantly prevent me from continuing to use it, but it would mean that, over time, my blog could potentially fall behind… whatever that might mean in the long run.
Therefore, I chose Hugo. Of course, that wasn’t the only decision I had to make. Like virtually ALL website generators, there was the matter of “theme”…
Now I have my static website generator, all I need is a theme (you know… the looks and feels) and I’m off to the races… or… blogs… or blog races? Hell, you know what I mean!
I spent two full days looking through Hugo’s theme page trying to find that one theme that both spoke to me and was easily changeable so that I didn’t end up creating a site that looked exactly like every other Hugo user out there. HA!
HA HA HA HA HA HA… HA!!!!
See… I’m sure there are many out there who will just find a theme and say “Yeah… I like that!” and not really care how many others might be using the same theme, and you’re good to go. For the life of me, I don’t know why, but unless I can modify something to the point where I’ve spread my own personal “self” all over it enough that I’m undeniably in there, then I feel like I’m being lazy, or cheating, or trying to pass off other’s work as my own… even though… it was freely given… exactly… for… that… purpose… GAH! Why do I think this way?!
So, having an “intermediate” knowledge of HTML and CSS at best (and, saying “intermediate” may be too generous… real Web Devs can tell me what they think) I decide to roll my OWN theme for my site!
And I still borrowed snippets here and there to do the fancy stuff.
Be that as it may, two weeks of HTML and CSS (technically, SCSS) later, and my site’s looking pretty good… to me anyway! Great! Time to blog?
HELL NO! Blogging is work! Yeah… I said that with a strait face. Judge me!
So, My posts are listed with these very nice “blog cards” (at least, that’s what I call them in code), and each of these cards displays an image on the left. This image will either be a default one, or one specifically chosen for the post. Great!
Buuuut… what do I use for a “default” post image. What do I assult any reader with if they so chose to come visit my site and I didn’t dane to change the cover image of my post? I originally went with a picture of my face! Easy enough to do. Wip out my phone, smile for the camera, and done-ski! I put that picture into the site and, well, there was my picture… over, and over, and over (I had a bunch of empty “test” posts while developing). That would break sooo many computer screens. I know the repetition of my face almost made my own eyes bleed, so, I had to come up with another idea!
I then spent three days brainstorming ideas of a “logo”.
I spent a whole day looking at “avatar” generators. Eh… better than looking at a photo of me, but I still had the issue where I felt I was stealing from someone else.
Spent another day with GIMP, Krita, and Inkscape mucking about with “abstract” ideas that I would then plaster a “ObsidianBlk.me” on top of. Some of the results were ok-ish, but, ultimately, felt lazy. I didn’t really want something that was so “throw away”.
In the end, I whipped out some paper and a pencil.
Now… I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I can scratch out something more interesting than a stick figure (though, not by much). I spent… you guessed it… another day scratching at that paper coming up with ideas. While I wouldn’t call the final result a “master piece” by any stretch, I thought it conveyed the gist. It was a characature of me sitting, relaxed, on a cube, with the word “me” hanging off the cube (you know… like the “.me” of the site DNS? See what I did there? You impressed? Huh? HUH?!).
Took that drawing (by way of phone camera… because I’m too cheap to buy a scanner) and brought it into Inkscape as a reference and turned it into the picture that’s up there today (as of the time I wrote this post).
Basically… I put a picture of myself as the default picture. Yeah.
All that work done, I’m so ready to post this blog up.
“Hold on there!" I say to myself.
“Yes, I know… I need to actually write a po…"
“No! No!" I interrupt myself. “What about if people want to comment on your blog posts? You going to put up a way for them to do that?"
I blink again.
“BRILLIANT!" I exclaim! Then proceed to spend…
Ok, you know what? I’m not going to explain this whole process because, at the moment, if you’re reading this anywhere close to when I posted it, you’ll obviously know there’re NO comments possible on my blog at the moment.
It’s not that I don’t want them, it’s just that, the free options either put a whole shiz ton of ads on my site and are one of those systems that scrape users for data to sell to others (and I really don’t want my site to be part of that, if I can help it), or would require me to host the core service myself. I’m definitely not against the latter, but I need a bit more time to explore those options. There’s also the possibility of rolling my own comment system… which would take… more time.
As such, I decided to forego comments, at least in the short term.
Oh YEAH! Blogging! I almost forgot about that!
Well… this is my first serious post. For better or for worse, this is how I’m starting out my blog.
Maybe next time I’ll talk about game development!