My websites ebb and flow. After 23 years of writing online, I am recognizing recurring patterns.
I am keeping ancient hyperlinks intact. All articles I had published here before 2020 are still available elsewhere, also under the former main domain used at WordPress – elkement.blog. My frustration about other referenced websites’ ever changing and abandoned links ebbs and flows, too. To strike a balance, I am going to let some links die, like the elkement.wordpress.com URLs of the migrated articles. [Edit: Some weeks later, I change my mind again. Resurrecting and duplicating everything.]
Like living organisms, like seasons, like universes in a crazy cosmological model my websites breathe. Growing bigger, growing more tentacles and connections, categories, FAQs, lists and explanations … then shrinking and withering again to enigmatic and confusing experiments, borderline artistic. I start out with a philosophical-artistic-pseudonymous secret escape in a new corner of the web, then the semi-professional science-y content creeps in. I feel responsibility, I get feedback. Mostly encouraging, partly increasingly tiresome – following the principle I coined The Internet Sharing Paradox: The More Information You Share for Free, The More Requests For Even More Free Information You Get.
Including social networks, all my online stuff oscillates between interaction/connection and the desire to craft my own, very minimalist and decidedly non-interactive and 1990s-style presence on the web. I enjoyed all the features WordPress and its associated de-facto social network gave me. Until it freaks me out so much that I hide in my programmer’s cave. In 2015 I have merged the three old sites, developing my own textfile-based database in .NET, replicating some blog-like features like nice URLs, archives, tag clouds. In 2019, I have crafted a static site generator from scratch, that turned all of our content including the WordPress blogs into one big collection of static HTML sites, trying to tame and codify all the hidden tentacled relations, between “personal” and “company” sites, between “our” German articles and “my” loosely translated English versions of them. One goal has been: No code – not on the server nor the client, no cookies at all, no content from other sites, not even Wikimedia public domain images.
elkement dot wordpress dot com popped up in the middle of my online life. My first website went live in 1997 – created with FrontPage and tested on a so-called Personal Webserver, when I hardly knew what a web server was. My old pages bifurcated a few times, using three different domains, not yet counting the company-only ones and the other project sites “in the family” for whom I was just the webmaster. In 2004 I was ready for a professional change, and these three websites had vibrant lives and designs of their own. I made the change, I re-developed them all in .asp, then content creation ceased. In 2011 I was ready for another change again and signed up on WordPress. In 2012 I emerged at the other end of a worm-hole, and took elkement.wordpress.com blog live. These were the early days of a quirky community of fellow blogger-philosophers and search term poets.
The original title was:
Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything
The original tagline was:
Physics versus engineering
off-the-wall geek humor versus existential questions
IT versus the real thing
corporate world’s strangeness versus small business entrepreneur’s microcosmos,
knowledge worker’s connectedness versus striving for independence.
When the site turned into that serious research blog, I changed it to elkemental Force
– Software, Energy, and Anything Between.
The original tagline is still – yet again! – apt. Following the empirically proven pattern, I suppose I am enjoying the virtual blank of sheet of paper again. Where’s the next worm-hole?