State of the website



This website has been around for twelve years now, and for about ten of them it came with a wiki attached. Had I discovered PmWiki just a bit earlier, things would have been very different. As it is, the wiki always remained a side show, separated from the rest both technically and content-wise. At least that enabled it to survive the great transition of 2017. Too bad that also meant fewer, timid updates. And why would most of the wiki be updated? Half the content was an old blog archive.

But then, why bother keeping all that stuff in a wiki?

In January this year, I started moving my sci-fi writing to its own section on the main website, this time with cover art included and a more attractive presentation all around. Came out great, really, but then a death in the family (and unrelated health issues) killed the mood, and I dove back into programming to try and forget. More about that in an upcoming post. For now, let's just say that after months of wondering what to do with the aforementioned blog archive, the answer turned out to be that I didn't really want it anymore. Suddenly, the way forward was clear: get everything else out instead, then shutter whatever is left. So after migrating the remaining sci-fi material, I moved on to the RPG and finally interactive fiction sections. They didn't come out quite as well, especially the former, but oh well.

So for the first time in its existence, this site is completely static again. It's six times bigger than my first one, and has five times as many files. Still tiny by modern standards, and about as future-proof as it gets. Kind of a patchwork quilt look to it, but this way you can always tell which parts are new, and it can be safely updated piecemeal. More easily enriched with media, downloads and so on, too.

Which brings me to my next point, that I'm going to put under the cut because reasons. If you're reading this on RSS, please click through; you'll see why.

My first website was truly personal, and people loved it. That was a long time ago; I've changed. Pouring my soul out no longer seems appealing even in private. Nowadays I'd rather talk about my work instead. My current site is mostly a repository of creative projects. And people still find things to love here! My novellas get the most views out of everything, and my experimental interpreters the most downloads.

Hardly anyone ever writes back. They used to, you know. I still have the e-mails. You'll say people moved to social media for this kind of interaction, but I am on social media. More so than is healthy in fact. And most of the time all I hear is crickets. It arguably makes sense in light of my plummeting audience numbers. Most of my work nowadays is in games, which happens on its own website, and readership naturally goes where the action is.

It still takes effort and money to keep this site up. Way back, the cost barely registered against my income, but those days are long gone. And I'd be financially secure, if barely so, but for ongoing health issues. Which are also sapping my confidence in the future.

Besides, it's getting hard to keep doing good work when I'm perpetually stuck with ancient, failing hardware and no ability to buy new books or other media. Free stuff only goes so far. Other creators need the money to eat, you know. To many, it's not just a hobby like it is to me. And I'd feel a lot better if it was more than a hobby for me as well.

So if you like this corner of the web, and you'd like to see more, better stuff here, please consider giving me a hand. I have books you can buy if you feel that helping me directly doesn't get you enough in return.

Thank you very much. I hope to be back soon with more creations.


Tags: personal, website