Goodbye orange kinesis roadmap

After 20 years of on-again, off-again blogging, it’s become clear that writing essay-length posts while trying to focus on work is hard. I can blame the most recent 3-year gap on Thomson Reuters, who kept me busy doing design system-related things. More on that later, probably.

I recently stumbled over archives from both my original 2001 to 2004 era linkblog and my circa 2007 tumblelog. I had much fun creating both of those, so I’m going back to that style with a modern IndieWeb twist.

This time around I’m using Gatsby, along with gatsby-starter-blog to get going. Super easy to set up, but that may be because I’ve spent the last 5 years working on similar stacks. I only hit one small roadblock when setting up:


There was an error in your GraphQL query:

- Unknown field 'description' on type 'MarkdownRemarkFrontmatter'. file: `GraphQL request`

File: src/templates/blog-post.js

It took me an embarrassingly long time to work out that this error was triggered when I replaced the starter posts with my archived posts, none of which had a description variable in the Front Matter. The starter expected at least one post with this var, so I went for the lazy fix and added a description variable to one of my posts. Great success.

Gatsby is overkill for a blog (compared to, say, Eleventy) and I have concerns but it’s such a useful playground for React and friends that I couldn’t say no.

I’m deploying to Netlify and it is amazingly straightforward and comes with many useful features. Highly recommended.

It’s been much harder wrangling posts from previous blogs into simple Markdown + Front Matter. Turns out I was right to be concerned about Tumblr; getting an export from that service into a useful state was (and continues to be) a massive pain.

There is still much more to do, but I can make words appear on my very own website again, and that feels good.