Bye for now.
I started Cloud Islands in 2006, making hand-crafted websites for small businesses, non-profits, and individuals. It was a fun time to be in web design, as browser support for CSS made it possible to build original, high-performance websites with a minimum of specialized tools. Web design became a tool for creativity, and sites like CSS Zen Garden showcased the beautiful design possibility.
At the time, there was no social media; no Faceboook, Twitter, or Instagram. People depended upon their website to reach an audience, and Google’s search engine was the way that people made connections.
The period of 2003 to roughly 2010 was a Golden Age of web design, with numerous small shops springing up offering design and content services at affordable rates. But as with all good things, change was a’ coming. Larger startups and venture capital recognized an opportunity where independent designers had paved the way, and commercialization of the small website space came quickly. My job became less and less about hand-crafting small, bespoke website solutions and more about learning the template du jour. The emphasis went from creativity and efficiency to finding a “platform.”
It’s time for me to move on. I’m less interested in technology these days, as tech giants have come to monopolize and dominate what was once a much more democratic and egalitarian space. I still use some social media, still use email and apps–but these tools are now mere conveniences.
I might come back to tech some day, but I rather doubt it. My interests lean more and more towards activities and experiences in “meatspace,” such as gardening, birdwatching, trail building, sewing, puttering around the yard, and having tea with friends.
See you IRL 😉