Blog Reborn

Posted in Design, Music, Semantic Web on October 26, 2011

I started this site in April of 2009. I spent no time designing it or customizing it. I choose the first WordPress template I liked, and have since seen it in use elseware.  I wrote a few posts, got a few things off my chest, then stopped. A large part of the reason why I stopped is that I had no real pride in the site. Since it is my job to design and build websites, directing people to this site was a bit of an embarrassment to me. It looked cookie-cutter and dorky, so I stopped posting. Recently I’ve started studying a subject that made me want to start posting new entries again. But if I was to do that, I wanted a blog I could take some pride in. That meant I needed to design it myself.

I went through many design variations (admittedly sticking close to traditional blog layouts) before eventually coming up with this cement wall sort of look. It has a sort of “futuristic writing on the wall” theme which I like, but what I really dig about it is its minimalism.  The lack of color is completely intentional. I want to be able to post any type of image and have it look good, as well as create a design that facilitates the easy reading of all-text posts, of which I have many. I stripped all the parts of the blog down to their bare essentials, found a cool background and fonts to use, then applied those tastefully, trying to make them visually appealing without being overbearing.  Doing so, I got to stretch out my CSS3 techniques. Besides the background, search button, and logo, all the design effects are done using CSS only.

Then I decided that if I am to have a web home, I should showcase my creative endeavors too, so I built out sections for music and photos. Now I have a nice, well-rounded site that I can truly call my personal web home.  Even better, I have several subjects I’m eager to start posting about.  One in particular that I have started studying it recently is semantic web technology. That phrase encapsulates a number of subjects and technologies, like RDF, OWL, and SPARQL, as well as a good theoretical understanding of things like first-order logic.  In short, a lot to learn.  I’ve bought some books and have begun learning, but I felt like I was missing something, something I used to get at school: re-articulation.

At school you must write papers, complete assignments, and take tests. I realized that those things provided structure and context for one to re-articulate what they have learned. Doing so can greatly enhance understanding, especially of tough subjects, so I figured I could try and make this blog serve that purpose.  As I learn I can distill my understanding into blog posts, which will help me learn, might interest other people, and will be a good reference for me in the future.

My undergrad degree is in Theoretical Mathematics, so I am well prepared to understand logic, and my years working with software have given me a good understanding of data architecture and domain modeling, so this is a subject that is right up my ally. Even though some of it has been around a while, these technologies just now emerging in a meaningful way. They are powerful tools that hold a lot of promise, but I’m not positive they will be widely adopted or can even deliver on their promise. Practical use of this stuff is certainly on my mind and will be another focus of this blog.

In addition to that I plan on posting more music related posts, including a series on mastering iTunes Smart Playlists to create playlists for every occasion and blended to perfection.  And yeah, I’ll keep posting opinion pieces and essays too, ’cause I’ve built a nice soapbox. So welcome to my blog, reborn.  May you find some value here.

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  1. #1 by JeFE on November 1, 2011 - 10:45 am

    Excelente. Nice work, and looking forward to additional posts!

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