Rearranging the Deck Chairs
by Kathleen Fitzpatrick — Modern Language Association
May 27, 2012 – 16:03
Some months back, I got pharmahacked, which was a royal pain, needless to say, and which I took extremely personally. (Witness: I got hacked.) Part of what annoyed me so much about the hack was that I knew I’d been a sitting target; not only had I not recently checked my security settings through my hosting provider’s control panel to be sure that they were as strong as they could be (needless to say, they weren’t), but I also hadn’t updated here in several months (a summer-long gap which you can see manifested in the archives menu at right). It was all too evident that nobody was minding the store.
I took advantage of the need to rebuild my site from the ground up to put a new design into place, hoping that a new theme would inspire me to create new content. It was September, after all, and perhaps it was the equivalent of getting new notebooks and new pens to greet the new academic year.
But, of course, I wasn’t starting a new academic year; I’m on a twelve-month calendar now. And the new theme never really sat as well with me as I’d have liked. I missed my sidebars, and the header was huge enough that there was only visible content at the very bottom of many folks’ smaller browser windows. And then there was the friend who pointed out that the same theme was in use on another blog that I wasn’t terribly fond of. And then I ran into it again elsewhere last week. It all just started to feel wrong.
So here I am, coming up on the end of May, about to launch into my first full no-summer-break summer in nearly 20 years. In the hopes that I might think of this as the beginning of my new #alt-academic year, I’m treating myself to the new pens and notebooks now. Perhaps I’ll even be inspired to write.
My fear, of course, manifests in this post’s title: that all of this site redesign is no more than deck-chair rearranging, making things nice and orderly while the blog-ship is going down. But perhaps naming that fear will keep it from coming to pass.
We’ll see, I suppose.
The short of it: welcome to the new Planned Obsolescence, with some of the nifty stuff of the last design, and some older features resurrected. Things will likely need a little touching-up in the coming days — the blogroll not least among them — but it’s nice to have laid the groundwork for what I hope to be a productive year to come.