Relaunch day

img_8790I’ve been waiting almost a year for this.

Today’s the day I relaunch, with a much-needed new design by the brilliant, patient and all-round excellent Tom Hole, who runs his own design studio named Stirtingale.

The delays – and the lack of momentum on this blog over 2016 – are all down to me: first I was away on a long trip to Antarctica, via South Africa, the Falklands and Ascension Island (that blurry hand pic is me on one of Ascension’s beaches), which punched a big hole in redesign planning. The motivation during and after that to keep updating two crappy sites that I knew weren’t right – website and blog, then hosted separately under its own URL – was flagging. That Antarctic trip led me to rethink lots of things in the first half of the year. Progressive political failures and resurgent right-wingery did the same from June onwards. I lost heart in social media and the online life, and that included feeding my blog.

Tom stayed with it, pushing things on bit by bit. I’m glad he did. If you like the way this site now looks, it’s all down to him.

(If you don’t, please tell me why in the comments below.)

Also, the world has changed utterly in the last six months. From a point where social media had become stifling and counter-productive to informed debate, we’re now in a place where I suspect social media – or some form of online organising – is going to become increasingly important, and desirable, in the years ahead. I’m happy to be blogging again.

How did I find Tom? Last December, while I was contacting a lot of designers about a site revamp, I read something by journalist Christopher Lord. I hadn’t heard his name before, so googled it, then went to look at his website. The design wasn’t right for me, but something chimed. The copyright line at the bottom said “Site design tjhole”. So I found tjhole and tweeted him. He followed up with a sharp, detailed email. Yes, I thought.