I am currently working on a new content format for the website. I want to work further away from the ephemeral format of the blog post.
When I started my website from scratch in 2019, the main reason was that I needed a platform for my photos and watercolours. At that time, blogging was more of a vehicle to help me get more attention.
It turned out quite differently. After the 2019 exhibition and my first client commission of a three-part work in oil, which unfortunately I haven't shown here yet, I put away the watercolour brush for the time being. Completely and utterly. I haven't painted anything noteworthy for almost two and a half years. Instead, I'm photographing more again. And writing. And researching. And researching even more intensively and thoroughly, penetrating to the original sources and realising: this is what makes me happy.
Subdomain for the blog
There are three reasons why I am now changing almost everything.
1. To save time by reworking a university term paper
(To sum up, for the reason of time saving, the badest idea ever)
Writing my texts takes a lot of time. Not in a negative sense, it's just that careful research simply takes time - I'm more interested in a high, in-depth density of information than in a fleeting posting. For example, if you're looking for articles on the quote from the last Bond film, you'll quickly find what you're looking for. These are all roughly one-page texts that are quite sufficient for most people to understand. What I personally miss most of the time, however, is a fine sense for the time of origin, for the person and personality behind such a quote, for example - but what is especially missing is the exact context and also a verifiable source that proves a quote or an action.
So I thought to myself about a month ago, why not save time for once, you found this nice text about the design maxim Form follows Function the other day when you were tidying up, why not post it, it's still pretty good, I thought on a cursory perusal. (If I had known what I was going to do!) I scanned it and got to work, but I couldn't post this text as it was. It dates from 1995 and was based purely on book research in the library of the University of Wuppertal. There was talk of small telephones with knob antennas, not even the original script by Sullivan was available to me.
That was quickly changed, wasn't it? A little research here, a little change there.
But wait: How are you going to place all the pictures next to the text in the current layout? A new template was needed, especially a dynamic one with dynamic sub-elements. I was not yet technically able to do that in mid-February.
The new template(system) took a week of work, sometimes during the day in between, sometimes the whole evening, almost a whole weekend. A nice time saver, this essay. A disaster. Several days of work for the template, many hours of text work and research and still no end in sight.
2. Editions science
With my good friend Arne, I have a small video conversation every two to three weeks or so. We just talk about everything that has happened to us in the last few weeks. That's how we came to talk about my new essay. It was to be considered whether it would be a good idea not to publish the text in the original. And then perhaps a revised version. That way, one could trace the history of the text's development, technically called genesis (from the ancient Greek γ?νεσις genesis "birth, emergence"). Among other things, this is also the subject of edition studies. Do you know right away exactly what editorial scholars do? I didn't know, and since then there has been a little booklet on my desk: Bodo Plachta, Editionswissenschaft, Eine Einführung in Methode und Praxis der Edition neuerer Texte, RECLAM Nr. 17603, 1997, Ditzingen.
Plachta writes about edition science: "The reconstruction of the genesis of a literary text from the first note through drafts and fair copies to the final publication is one of the fundamental tasks of an editor." (Plachta, ibid.)
So how could I make a revision of my own texts visible on the web. In what format could I publish these texts, especially since I already stretch my blog posts to the maximum in length and width? A very good and, above all, very exciting question that also reveals that something like this probably doesn't exist very often yet.
Ergo: I need a new content format for my website in which I can continue to develop thoughts, ideas or topics over a longer period of time and, above all, in a comprehensible way.
This would actually have been just a "small addition" for my website, had it not been for two days later ...
3. Die Subdomain
... a person from my family circle approached me. We talked about the front page of Cronhill. It would no longer reflect the depth and breadth of my content. Painting and photography were no longer as broad a part of my life as they were in 2019, and my focus had shifted to the blog, but there was very little of that on the front page. I would write and research much more than could be seen. Like an iceberg of which you can only see 1/7 above water.
Do you know what it's like when someone sows a seed in your head and you can't stop it? (I've moved on from the metaphor of a flea in my ear, because I don't mind these ideas at all) I could hardly get any peace of mind in the evening. These thoughts about my website were, I just hadn't seen them or given them a place.
Now this plant has grown quite a bit and I am fertilising it, making room for it in my thought garden.
Ergo: The blog is moving to a subdomain.
Ergo: There will be a new content format, the name of which I owe to a good friend! Thank you, dear friend!
Ergo: You will be able to see textual changes in this format. What an interesting idea. Thanks for that too!
Ergo: I am working on it right now.
4. Much work
In the course of three years, the small Cronhill website has grown enormously. There are 12 templates for the blog alone. In addition, there are the homepage, overviews, categories. Etc etc etc - That's not just downloading a new wordpress theme. There are dozens of template variables in my MODX website, dozens of chunks, I'll make a precise statistic. Everything has to be simpler, but also better. The texts must be easy to edit, because the trilingualism will remain.
Besides, the new should last. First of all, again for three years. So every CSS class, every line of code needs to be well thought out. So that the new thing is also technically state-of-the-art again.
I am looking forward to it.
About the coming changes to the website. The blog will move to a subdomain, there will be a new content format in which I will work on a particular topic permanently. The changes will/should be trackable, beyond just versioning.