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).