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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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Ten

Chris Campbell

Most of my life seems to consist of a series of repeating events. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. It's a good way to get things done and to have a routine.

It seems hard to believe that this blog has been around for a decade, but that is an excellent reason to reflect on what I do here and what I've done. Having a space of one's own on the web is more important now than ever. You need a place where you can set the rules and don't need to rely on the kindness of strangers (or large corporations). That's why this blog is here and it's my place to share things. Recently there haven't been many things shared, but life is a balance and as technologies and people change our interactions change as well.

Every now and then it's good to transform how you do things and the blog has gone through a few changes over the years. Initially it started in a simpler form using the Blosxom blogging engine which served me well for a long time (it still is a system you can use). The posts consisted of text files (created with BBEdit) that a Perl script would display. I hand-crafted the style sheet for the site and loved the simple way that it was built using text with the structure and sections built out of folders where things were stored. It was solid and fast and I still could run the site using that system.

After a few years it was time for a change and diving in to the Ruby on Rails revolution seemed like the geeky thing to do, so it was time to switch the site over to the blogging engine Typo). It required a bit more configuration, as well as a MySQL database. It was years since I set up a database on a site, so that was a lot of fun to configure and use. That ran for a few years and the tinkering and being involved with the smaller details of the site was good practice. I added a second site for the podcast Bad Metaphor that I did with my son a few years ago too.

Having established my geeky cred and working away on the sites and projects and the configuration I started to think it would be better to spend time writing and creating things instead of playing with the back end of the sites. That's when I started looking around for an alternative and I settled on the WordPress system.

The amazing thing to me over the years is how relatively easy it has been to move from one system to another. Every time the previous content was moved into the new system with few problems. After installing and configuring WordPress the import went fairly smoothly (except for needing to redo the tags) and it provided a stable platform where it was possible to change the look and keep the content. It also provided a few different ways to update the site, but the best way that I found was using Daniel Jalkut's excellent MarsEdit for editing and managing posts. Then I began using Byword for writing and with the iOS version and my iPad it became an important part of the way that I do things. So now the writing happens in Byword and the posting usually happens through MarsEdit.

As the tenth anniversary of bitdepth approached I started to think about switching systems again and started looking at Squarespace as a way to go. That takes the abstraction another step further with full hosting not needing to configure databases or plugins. So I tried it out and loved it and enjoyed looking through the templates and having a site that I could configure and use without being locked in or having to worry about the back end. So I took the plunge and signed up and that's what I'm using now. The current template may not stay, but one of the things I really love is how it is you can have a responsive site that looks and works well whether it is mobile or on the desktop. So now the goal is to post more frequently and to try and move some of the energy that is expended on Tumblr and Twitter in to this space for a more permanent and interesting collection of writing and images.

Thanks for being here and reading this and I look forward to sharing more with you.