Remember in the days before blogs, when we used to have homepages? Well, technically I suppose I still have one, separate from my blog. How retro is that, eh? My online presence is so fragmented (arguably because my offline presence is that of a genre-flitting dilettante who can’t just sit still for five minutes) that the index of www.jpstacey.info is still not my actual blog, even in 2007.
Instead, it’s always been a portal through to existing content—blog, yes, but also short stories, book reviews, the Oxfringe lit-fest and other nonsense—and as such tended to gather dust. Worse than that, I’ve always wanted to put so much of the stuff from my halcyon studenthood there, and have therefore typically run aground creatively after writing two or three pages of copy on the bands I’ve been in and that time nearly eight damn years ago when we did a revue at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Now, though, I’ve redesigned it with a bit more scalability, and minimalism. The index is just a set of slightly Web-2.0ish buttons, all of which lead through to existing sites (although I do need to actually tidy up the navigation on “Other” at some point). That way I’m not condemning myself to writing up my entire past life to this point, of no interest to anyone other than me, my adoring public and the eventual hordes of biographers that will snap and grab in my vast intellectual wake. Or rather: I’m not condemning myself to months of avoiding the very task I mention above.
The tendency when building one’s own website—which a blog neatly avoids, for better or worse, and a CV would never even conscience—is to plan to put one’s whole trophy cabinet online, every bauble and curio. You leave spaces on the shelves for monuments to all the things you’ve done before registering a domain name, but then never remember to unpack them from the boxes in your mental attic. Well, no more.