ShitBlog: What's up with that?

Put simply, ShitBlog is a blog that's designed to look shitty. The goal of Shitblog is to create an automated blog that looks like it was hand-coded by a script kiddy or middle-aged English major or the web designer for a second-rate ISP, circa 1996.

You all remember the type of web journal I'm talking about, I'm sure. They graced the internet for several years, from the time that GeoCities first made tiny amounts of webspace available to the average user, until MoveableType and GrayMatter started being common turns of phrase. They were rough, and hard to read, but there was something charming about them, a rustic quality that made it feel like you'd been exploring in some deep cavern and found a crude shrine carved in the walls of the deepest pit. You could tell that the number of hits they received each year was enough to count on both hands. They always had a "last updated" date written at the bottom of each page even though they usually hadn't been updated in over a year.

These were the pioneers of blogging, the people who didn't know better than to write black text on a purple background. The people who naively thought that someone out there would want to read about how they hadn't written in their journal in a while but they intended to do so now, the people who thought that a horizontal rule was the best tag EVER.

It's in tribute to these brave pioneers that I've created ShitBlog. It started out as a coding challenge. I had just learned PHP and SQL, and realized that it would be trivially easy to program my own blog. I did so, and in less than a day had a rudimentary blog program running. But it looked like shit. I realized then, I could try to make it look good, try to be cooler than the people who run their sites off MoveableType and own techno albums I've never heard of and own more Buckminster Fuller books than me and believe what they read in them, but I would never win. I'm a programmer, and a writer, not a visual artist. So I decided to go in the opposite direction, and make my blog as shitty as possible.

I started with just bad design. But then I went ahead and added the ShitParser, a function that goes through each entry in the ShitBlog and scrambles the text with typos, making me look like an idiot and hiding my pearls of wisdom from the swine who would judge me based on my appearances.

Eventually I added a "cut out the shit" link to un-parse the text, for my friends who wanted to actually read what I'd written.

And now here ShitBlog is, in all its glory. Enjoy.

This page last updated 7/3/2003