Kay lives here

working with the web


Endings and beginnings


This blog has an iden­tity crisis.

In the begin­ning — way back in 2003, I believe — it was started as a ColdFusion-focused web devel­op­ment blog. Back then, I was a real life Cold­Fu­sion devel­oper, work­ing in a 9–5 job cod­ing Cold­Fu­sion web sites.

I started get­ting very inter­ested in web stan­dards and CSS, back when the major­ity of peo­ple were still cod­ing lay­outs with tables and styling with font tags, and after a while I split off all web stan­dards related posts to a sep­a­rate blog. I then con­verted this one to Word­Press, much to everyone’s deri­sion. Even­tu­ally — and we’re talk­ing a cou­ple of years here — I shut down the other blog, merged the posts back here, and redi­rected the domain to alias this one. My con­verged worlds had re-collided, web devel­op­ment was web devel­op­ment once more, and any­way I posted reg­u­larly but never *that* often.

In 2006 my part­ner and I started our own busi­ness, Clever Starfish. The amount of Cold­Fu­sion code I wrote started drop­ping. I still posted web devel­op­ment tid­bits semi-regularly but the whole point of hav­ing this blog, this “pro­fes­sional pro­file” blog,  seemed less impor­tant. My busi­ness was my pro­fes­sional profile.

In late 2010 we decided to change our sit­u­a­tion. We sold our house in Aus­tralia, licensed Clever Starfish to some peo­ple we trust, and in May 2011 moved to Poland. At the age of 34, I am semi-retired. I have some online busi­ness inter­ests that require my atten­tion from time to time, and I do some free­lanc­ing for the new Starfish team, but the cost of liv­ing in Poland is very low and our basic costs are more than ade­quately cov­ered by what comes in from roy­al­ties and inter­est. By and large,  I don’t work and my time is my own.

If you were being dra­matic, you could say that my blog’s pro­fes­sional iden­tity cri­sis mir­rors my own.

If you’ve read Tim Fer­riss’ best­seller from 2007, The 4 Hour Work­week, that’s essen­tially what we have done. I only read this book very recently — i.e. after we’d already sold up and moved and every­thing — but I was quite sur­prised that the idea we had and that we’ve pur­sued was some­thing that a lot of other peo­ple were already into and even writ­ing books about. What I mostly got from the book was a whole arse­nal of responses for peo­ple who have the wrong idea about what we’re doing and why (there’s at least ten more posts in that!).  And some ideas about fur­ther devel­op­ing and automat­ing my online businesses.

So what to do with this wee beastie of a blog? It has been crim­i­nally neglected — no posts for months at a time, a theme that looked cool in 2005, a ver­sion of Word­Press that can’t be updated because it’s run­ning on IIS and does some weird stuff — so some emer­gency surgery is def­i­nitely on the cards, and soon. I will be tak­ing it off the Win­dows Cold­Fu­sion server and run­ning it on Linux Apache — Word­Press on IIS is just not viable, at least not on shared host­ing. I will find a new theme.

But what will the focus be? I love writ­ing and blog com­pul­sively when I have a topic to talk about, so shut­ting it down com­pletely is not some­thing I am con­sid­er­ing. I still tin­ker with Word­Press web sites but the num­ber of WordPress-focused blogs out there is stag­ger­ing and they all cover the top­ics very thor­oughly, much more thor­oughly than I could or would want to. Cold­Fu­sion I just don’t have any use for any­more. If I wanted to write a cus­tom web appli­ca­tion, there is no lan­guage I would rather do it in than CFML. But that’s just not what I do anymore.

The only thing I can think that would per­haps be appro­pri­ate here is — as I’ve alluded to already — top­ics related to build­ing, man­ag­ing and automat­ing online busi­nesses. The tech­ni­cal side of get­ting up and run­ning and out of the nine to five. And there’s a web devel­op­ment con­fer­ence in Krakow next month, and I sus­pect I might not be able to stay away. I’m kinda inter­ested in how the indus­try works over here.

Or I could share my frus­tra­tions with learn­ing my lat­est lan­guage — Pol­ish. I wish it was as easy as CFML or PHP!


  1. Please keep it going, Kay. Online busi­ness automa­tion, Pol­ish lan­guage and web con­fer­ences… it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.

  2. I’d cer­tainly be inter­ested in hear­ing more about automat­ing online busi­nesses and getitng out of the 9-to-5 rat race.

  3. Automa­tion (in any form) is good reading.

    You could also review all the con­certs you get to go to which I’m always jeal­ous about :)

  4. Con­grats. If you need some­one to get you drinks & wait on you, look me up :-)

  5. Thanks guys for the encour­age­ment! Since writ­ing this I’ve had heaps of ideas so I’m gonna just go for it :)

  6. The new direc­tion sounds interesting!

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot more life changes than I real­ized. Con­grats! Live the dream…

    • Cheers Sean! It’s a lot of fun, I’m finally doing what I want to do (and more to the point, not doing what I don’t want to do).