I’ve been waiting for this day for a looooong time…
I’ve been blogging since 2007, but my website hadn’t changed all that much since 2008. It didn’t work any more, on every level.
From a technical standpoint, navigation was clunky, it wasn’t mobile-responsive, the copy was crusty, and my bio stopped at 11th grade (well, kinda). Every time I spoke and the M.C. intro’d me with a bio pulled from my site, I’d cringe. It had services I no longer offer, the imagery and design were claustrophobic, plugins were broken and it converted to email horribly. The overall experience went from eclectic and cluttered to straight-up dysfunctional.
But more importantly, it no longer represented who I am. Who I’ve become. The ethic, the obsessive attention to visual design that defines much of what I put into the world now (you may’ve guessed I’m a bit of a freak about that), the devotion to story, craft, making and art and my desire to bring a more real voice to what I do.
I’d become so disenchanted with it, I began to realize that it had stopped me from creating in the way I love to create. Immersive, with color and depth and voice. I didn’t realize how much the limitations of the container I’d built were affecting my willingness to create and share on the level that made me happy. And proud. And fully-expressed.
Finally, it was time….
But, if you know me by now, you also know that I don’t like to do follow convention. I had to start from scratch, pulling ideas from many different worlds. I’m also getting older and what I’m realizing is that, as a reader and consumer, I want a far simpler content-engagement experience.
So, that became one of the guiding ethics in the redesign. And I’ve gotta tell you, it took a whole lot of complex engineering under the hood to make the outside feel simple, clean, immersive, visual and what I hope is warm, engaging, experiential, and easy.
I’ve no doubt, some of you will love it, and some will hate it. Or you may feel both, but about different elements. That’s cool. Actually, I’d have it no other way. It’s a reflection of my aesthetic, my voice, my lens on the world. That’s not for everyone.
I’ll take a hell yes or hell no over a meh any day.
I’ll be taking this as an opportunity to evolve how I’m creating, curating and sharing content. I’m stepping into my maker-side, my artist side a lot more and sharing my creative process. Much of the photography (except pics of me, of course, and images on old posts) were taken by me, and I’ll continue to share more and more of my images and illustrations, concepts and collections. The new format allows for a much more immersive, large-scale experience.
I’ve also held back in my writing…a lot…over the years. When I first started blogging, I let a bit more of my ragged edge show and got shot down. Fast. I had a lot less confidence and 7 fewer years on the planet to fall back on. So I backed down. But I’m largely done with that.
Truth is, I’m a deeply contemplative, spiritual, devoted person. But I’m also human. I’m a New Yorker. I write, think and speak like a New Yorker. With color. And, love. But yes, color. And sometimes with an edge. I tend to look at the world a bit differently than most. And it’s time to let a bit more of the unfiltered JF out on the block.
And, here’s something else I’ve figured out. I don’t see fiction or nonfiction when it comes to what I read. I see content that “tells you” what to do and content that “is” what to do. I’ve spent a lot of time dragging myself onto the “telling you” what to do side of the equation. It has genuine value, and I can do it well. But that’s not the content I love to read or create. I want to drop short contemplation-bombs, mixed in with longer essays, stories and pieces that in some small way leave you in a different place than you came. Not because of what you do afterwards, but because of how you felt while you were here.
So, there’ll be cool content with great take-aways, but more as a part of some very cool experiments I’ll be running and then sharing along the way.
I’ll also be sharing and curating more. Because, it ain’t all about me. And I’ve come to learn that one of the things people have turned to me for is not just to experience what I create, but what I discover and share.
Most important, of course, is community. None of this matters if you’re not here to share in it. To build conversation around it. So, a note of gratitude. It’s been an incredible journey. Thank you for bringing your attention, your thoughts, your wisdom and your soul to this amazing tribe.
Every day is a gift I hope that, in some way, I can continue to reciprocate.
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