I got some inspiration lately and went hunting for a new Jekyll Theme to rule my blog universe. I love blogging across my domains, and I love the storytelling scaffolding of a Jekyll site running on Github. The balance of words and data with a GitOps API-driven approach to things just works for my brand of storytelling. This new “docs” themed template (https://jekyll-theme-docs.netlify.app/) has everything I love about Jekyll from a storytelling perspective but they have gone the extra distance with collections and the mix of data, blogs, pages, and the magic of a static website. If you don’t get Jekyll it can be difficult to see, but if you do, you really understand the magic of YAML-driven data and words combined with FREE website hosting via GitHub pages. I have now applied this template across my four top domains, Kin Lane, Alternate Kin Lane, Algorotoscope, and API Evangelist.
For some reason blogging is my primary mode of storytelling. I find it difficult to write just in my notebook. There is some public performance and ego to what I do, but honestly I am not driven by page views or engagement. It just has to be published publicly on a blog for it to matter. It has happened. It is real. Once it lives within a domain on the web. Weird I know, but it is the only way I can reliably produce the content, visuals, and storytelling I need to move forward. So be it. Anyways, Jekyll and GitHub has played an important role in this storytelling evolution because of the ease in publishing stories, essays, and landing pages via a simple static blog. This “Docs” template has a lot of the usual things I like, but it also has a few bells and whistles, and work invested in information qrchitecture that makes it a delight to work with.
First and foremost this new template has a search. Which in a static realm isn’t trivial. Since all my sites act as a sort of archive and memory for me, this is something I have wanted for some time now. The way it setup its “docs” section provided me with a blueprint for how I can organize existing bodies of stories and data, but also how I can incrementally organize, iterate, and evolve new stories. For example, I am able to better tag stories on API Evangelist and surface them in “docs” or “info” sections like design or governance. I can also just write like the wind over time and dump into the “posts” folder and then on a regular basis evaluate what I have written and organize into a more curated outline of topics. This template also has RSS, Atom, Sitemap.xml, and some other utility capabilities that just make things a lot easier to manage. Overall it is a power template that really maximizes the potential of a GitOps Jekyll approach to storytelling, which I’ll be taking full advantage of from my API-first view of things.
I have some concerns about writing out in the open, but ultimately it is getting increasingly harder to be found online today and stand out, so these concerns aren’t very overwhelming. I am more concerned with writing and organizing my thoughts and doing it out in the open view Jekyll within a specific domain, using data, collections, posts, and pages to orchestrate the variety of stories I have stuck in my head. Some of these narratives and other projects will end up just living online via a each site I publish, however others will end up being a printed affair, taking what I’ve organized and assembling as a book. Projects like Drone Recovery and Algorotocope. The Jekyll site will continue to be a creative vehicle for publishing my thoughts within these domains, but at some point I’d like to have a physical book I can put on the shelf and visit without even having to get online. I feel a new generation of storytelling emerging, and after migrating my sites over this new template I realize just how much fiction and non-fiction writing I have done over the last decade. Something I am looking to continue and increase velocity in the next decade.