Impending site overhaul update: Overhauled

Update: 4.29.04 As you may have guessed if you’re reading this now, the relaunch has occured and I’m now in a spiffy new weblog format. Still plenty of kinks to iron out, numerous css bugs to address (many in IE, no surprise) and old content to be imported, but here it is. I’ll be fiddling and tweaking and cleaning up for a while so if you spot a grevious bug let me know.

Quite some time ago I announced to my readers (both of you) that I was planning to rebuild G.fc with a new design and a new content management system. And I did mean to do it, really I did, I was this close to doing it… but procrastination set in and it was just too easy to put off. Too much headache and not enough benefit. So I slacked.

But it wasn’t just pure laziness that pushed the overhaul to the back burner. It was also disillusionment. When G.fc launched in August of 2002, it was intended to grow into a community news portal, along the lines of Slashdot, kur05hin, and Ars Technica. I was hoping for contributions from visitors, hell I was even hoping for visitors. But it just didn’t happen. There was an initial flurry of activity with the registration of about 60 refugees from the Volaris gaming forums which were shutting down at the time, though apparently they reopened again and those refugees went back. Volaris was later bought up by Earthlink, so I don’t know if the forums exist in any form, but it still stands that those early G.fc regulars are regular no longer.

So as the site has continued to stagnate with a non-existent community, I’ve gradually just lost interest in supporting the sort of collaborative environment this site was intended to be. And yet, I still enjoy maintaining it as a place to publish my thoughts on whatever interests me, though I admit I haven’t been doing much of that lately. So the impending overhaul has shifted direction. G.fc will remain alive, but not as a news portal. I am officially entering into the world of blogging.

Of course, G.fc has essentially been my blog for two years, but that was never its intended purpose. I’ve avoided posting things from a purely personal perspective (unless they were informative and relevant) because it would go against that whole community portal vibe. But now that this site is transforming into the weblog of an individual geek, I need no longer pay lip service to journalistic integrity. It’s a rather freeing sensation.

But fear not, this isn’t going to be about the banalities of my personal life. I shall not regale my readers with insipid blatherings about girls I have crushes on or the results of some online personality test that tells you which Dragonball Z character you are after randomly clicking 10 radio buttons. I will not whine about that mean thing my co-worker said that really hurt my feelings more than I let on, nor shall I end every third sentence with “LOL” as if I were unaware that this is a static medium. This isn’t LiveJournal for christ’s sake.

In fact, things won’t change too much at all. The site will still live at the subdomain. It’ll still be blue and gray, though much leaner and standards-compliant. I’ll still write about the same general geekery (movies, technology, spam, web design). There will even be some opportunity for community involvement through posted comments. But the forums are going away and the user database will be purged. I’ll be spending some time digging through the old posts for any stories I want to save and import, but the bulk of the content from the past 2 years will be taken offline and permanently archived on my local hard drive. Linkrot is a concern, but once google catches up it’ll be fine.

I’ll be doing this some time in the coming weeks, loosely aiming at the first of May even though I’m not officially participating in the May 1st Reboot. The new site will be powered by WordPress, a PHP-based blog engine and cousin to b2. Moveable Type is more popular, but I know nothing about Perl so I’m more comfortable hacking around with PHP (about which I know only slightly more than nothing).

So changes are in the works. I hope to see you back here when the remodeling is complete.