Cem Kesemen

Preparing the Way

One of my favourite podcast episodes is from the show Reconcilable Differences by John Siracusa and Merlin Mann, called Preparing the Way. It’s a legendary episode that gets mentioned constantly in the Siracusaverse and just a delight to listen to.

This post, in contrast, will have none of the fame or the fun. It’ll, however, be a public record of what I was thinking when I made all these changes in… 5 minutes or so after I publish it. (It’ll also be a playbook for what I need to do, so I don’t miss a step. 😬 )

First, I’m going to move my website on cemkesemen.com to 2019.cemkesemen.com, which was coincidentally the last time I updated it. (You can tell by the latest blog post in the feed. 😬 ) This website consists of the homepage and the Work pages, which are both sorely outdated—in design and in content.

Then, I am going to redirect the root domain to my blog. Just until I start working on my new website… y’know, if/when.

And… that’s it. My homepage will be my blog, just as it was decades ago, just as it should have been for the longest time ever. (More on that later.)

The reality of the matter is that I’m depressed by how much I’m not publishing. I was a WordPress kid—I learned how to code creating WordPress themes, and at a time when sharing online wasn’t this dangerous. I am still constantly coming up with things I want to share, and things I need to say, but they just end up being drafts in my CMS1.

My blog posts list, showing blurred drafts, which are about 5 times more than my published posts.
Just look at this… Not all are winners, but there should be a few gems in there.

The other thing that upsets me is how we, designers, have created these spaces just to get hired. The sad reality hit me while we were hiring new designers, and all the websites they shared had the same goal—they were portfolios, all of them. There are no more personal websites, they just don’t exist anymore.

And I’m guilty of this too.
I also realize that in the fast-paced world of automated application-checkers and distracted recruiters, it’s a privilege to not put your work front-and-center.

Even though I’m not convinced that I’ve earned that privilege yet, I’m still going to go through with it. My website will be my own space—to share whatever I wish, in the format I want.

Until then, here, read some blog.

Edit (25/07/2022):
Ben Myers has an amazing blog post on this subject. It mirrors most of my thoughts, beautifully.

  1. If you can even call it that—it’s just a bunch of folders and text files that go through Hugo. I’ve added a conditional to show my my drafts if I’m running it locally, and that’s it. ↩︎