Site History

Though I had profiles on various BBSes and servers as early as 1986, I didn’t establish my first web page until 1994 when Nyx established userpages. Mine featured my geek code.

A year later I registered phobia.com, and in 1996 put a site up via a local ISP advertising my web development services.[1] Though gainful employment eventually replaced “phobia consulting”, I still used the site as a personal homepage until in 2003 I decided to call it a blog.

That same year, I started using iBlog to publish in a structured way, but being a server-side web architect, I was eager to try new tools. After flirting with blojsam, I settled on SnipSnap mostly because it was growing to support Groovy, and I was newly interested in Ruby which wasn’t very mature for web work yet. Some years later I grew bored and migrated to XWiki, then gave in to the Wordpress hegemony in 2006.

Ringing in 2007, I sold the domain name and moved to a new hostname.[2] Ever since then, I’ve endeavoured to maintain permanent URLs for the long web.

Wordpress served me well enough, but when I was fireballed in 2010 it just couldn’t handle the load (on memory) and my site spent most of the day unable to respond. Caching and optimizing made me comfortable for a while, but that Ruby itch finally got too strong. So in 2012 I went back to static[3], first with nanoc and later to Middleman, which had a stronger community and I deployed for many projects at The Artificial.

In 2018, I built Sitewriter to take back control over my “tweets”, adding the /microblog section. Then in 2019, frustration with bit rot for Ruby projects and mothballing the agency’s projects motivated me to reset to the setup described at /site.


  1. Inspired by Philip Greenspun, I had picked up PHP/FI and built a few dynamic sites in the late 1990s. My favorite client was Crown Candy, who bartered for meals and chocolate. ↩︎

  2. I still felt the need for a “brand” of some sort, and soon began using safelyignored.com. In late 2009 I finally accepted the value of my unique name and have embraced it online. ↩︎

  3. Before static was cool again. ↩︎