Consider this a sort of transparency report. As I mentioned in my recent Responsive Redesign post:
Though I’ve long been a staunch proponent of not self-censoring old content, I may start “unpublishing” some old posts that I feel have little or no redeeming value, besides being cringe-worthy indicators of where I was at the time.
This was a massive undertaking, that involved twice going through each and every one of the 2,088 posts I’ve published over the last 13 years (many of which I reread) and asking myself, Is this something I’m proud of? In the end, I answered No to 277 posts. The vast majority were culled from my early years of blogging. It’s hard to categorize the subject matter which most often fell under the knife, except to say that many of my old political or complainy rants had not aged well.
I have finally abandoned the 380px-wide column that I chose arbitrarily for my first attempt at a blog design in 2002. That relatively narrow column became fixed when I began embedding photos in my posts, all scaled down to 380px-wide, shortly thereafter. To overcome this limitation, in 2009 I added the ability to enlarge photos using a Lightbox plugin. This meant that I had to manually generate a 380px-wide version and an 800px-wide version of every photo in a post, linking the former to the latter. I attempted a responsive redesign at the end of 2012, but it was really just a hack job. I got things into a place where they sort of worked, but stopped short because I had a new job to focus on. Finally in 2013, I abandoned the 380px-wide “thumbnails” altogether, and just started posting the 800px-wide versions—bandwidth be damned!—allowing the browser to scale the image down to my then-still, 380px-wide column. The benefit being that the newer high pixel density screens in smartphones and tablets showed much crisper images than they had previously.
I received an email from an editor at Fabrikzeitung, a monthly magazine published in Zurich, Switzerland by Rote Fabrik. They were planning an issue about QR Codes and asked whether I would write an article expanding upon my post, Why does that QR Code go to justinsomnia.org? Of course! As an aside: I believe this is the first article I’ve ever been commissioned to write—and got paid for.
Well, they sent me an actual physical copy of the issue, and it looks very cool.
Here’s my article.
For those who might be curious, you can read the full text here:
The last time Justinsomnia went under the knife was 2007, and the web has changed a lot since then. Allow me to impress this upon you with a single image. The graph below represents the percentage of mobile browser traffic to my blog over those last 5 years. Hello iPhone and Android users!
In the span of a single year, mobile traffic jumped from almost nothing to nearly a third of my total traffic (before settling down around 15% this year). Given that there’s now a significant global audience of people browsing the web with smaller screens, I decided it was time to get up to speed on responsive web design. (If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend checking out Apple’s developer docs on Configuring the Viewport. It was eye-opening.)