The goal of the redesign is to improve the information structure and style of maetl.net so that it better supports the different things I want to write and is motivating and interesting to work on.
For a long time, this site was mostly a linkblog with occasional commentary, rants and explorations of odd topics and interests. Around 2009, I started putting more emphasis on editorial design, exploring unique layouts for essays and talk transcripts. Working in senior tech roles for many years, I was routinely pumping out huge volumes of technical documentation and product feature work and I lost interest in actively writing about software, programming and design. The site because more of a home for weird narrative and generative art things.
As a consequence of all this unpredictable mission creep, defining a basic information structure for the site has been really difficult. I’m constantly talking myself out of breaking off separate topic streams into different new websites (always tempting, but starting new projects inside projects with new domain names, git repos, design schemes, seems like it would introduce more problems than it solves).
Changing the internal structure of the site also means having to do something with the several thousand archived URLs already published on here.
So it’s not quite so simple as sketching out a sitemap, creating a few directories and running a static site generator over them. I’ll need to balance multiple tradeoffs and make sense of a huge accumulation of words and images in different formats in order to come up with a set of decisions to produce a content structure and URL scheme that works for what I want to publish in future, while handling past content in a way that avoids timewasting and manual intervention.