A New Look for Veritrope.com

Today is the Labor Day holiday in the United States and, as I see it, the perfect occasion to share some of what I’ve been working on with you.

If you’ve been to Veritrope before, you’ve probably noticed that things look a bit brighter around here. Yes – After many years of rocking a green and black color scheme inspired by a 1980s monochrome computer monitor, I’ve flipped the polarity. Night is day, dark is light. Hope you all brought your sunglasses.

I also hope you brought your hard-hats: This is still very much a construction zone, which is why I’m not making any big announcements about the new look. Please bear with me in the weeks ahead as I work to fix glitches, update the existing content to work with the new plumbing, tighten up the visual design, and put the new site through its paces. New content and new features are in the pipeline and, once the basics feel solid to me, I’ll be rolling it all out a bit at a time.

Also as a part of these changes, I’ve disabled all comments. If you need to send me a message, feel free to use the contact form, Twitter, Facebook, or a passenger pigeon.

A Small Favor

If you find things that seem broken or look weird, could you please let me know via the site’s Bug Reporter?

More to Come…


The Big Switchover…

The drastic change in color was deliberate: It is my signal to you that there is something new happening around here. Veritrope is changing – and not just cosmetically. I have a new focus for the site and I’ll be making posts about that soon, So, consider today’s visual change the “soft launch” of a new era1.

Thank You

I also wanted to publicly acknowledge some of my collaborators and early testers – people like (but not limited to) Nick Wynja, Erik Hess, Dan Byler, Brandon Pittman, and Edi Venturin. If this change wasn’t a totally shambolic experience for you, it is due to their kind comments and helpful suggestions. I can assure you that anything here which is ugly or broken is totally my fault, not theirs.

I also want to take this moment to thank you – all my readers and friends – for your support for Veritrope over the years. I’m really excited about what’s coming and I can’t wait to share it with you.

  1. And as my friend Nick says, “Soft Launch” is just another way of saying “Please don’t out me on Twitter until I get my shit together!” []

When I read Melissa Dahl’s piece for New York Magazine a few days ago, I had a strong sense of recognition.

Not only do I often feel the same way as she does but, in over a decade of working as a Technologist-for-Hire, I’ve also met so many people like her who feel totally overwhelmed by their digital workspaces. When I sit down in front their computers, I find that they – almost invariably – have a web browser with dozens of tabs open. Sometimes it’s so bad that not even a single character of the title bar is able to be displayed.

“Why don’t you bookmark these pages or, you know, just come back to them from your browser history?”, I’ll ask. “I’m afraid I’ll lose track of where I was!“, they’ll say.

Now keep in mind – they’re telling me this while we’re both sitting there, watching that rainbow pinwheel spin around and hoping that it stops without the browser crashing.

I understand their anxiety: After all, they’re using Safari or Chrome as their To-Do lists, their Outlines, and their Notepads. Each open tab is a reminder of something that needs to be done: A bill to be paid, a gift that they need to buy, an article they need to read. At the pace of modern working life, it isn’t always easy to clean up the mess you’re making… and browsers crash all the time.

So – What should we do?
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Well, dear friends, I managed to survive another orbit! That’s right – I had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday this past weekend, though reading back over my opening sentence here makes me a little sad: Clearly I am relying upon technicalities and loosely-interpreted definitions to fulfill my childhood wish of becoming an astronaut.

Unfulfilled potential aside – Maybe you, too, feel a mixture of gratitude and melancholy when you reflect upon the passage of another year of your life? Sometimes a year can go by in an unremarkable blur, a year which leaves you searching for words or fumbling through your memories when you’re pressed to recall anything of import which happened to you or – more to the point – which you think anyone else would find interesting.

This past year didn’t feel like one of those to me.
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