“Thoughtcat” began as a personal blog in 2003. I write about what I like, when I like (or at least, when I get time). By and large I comment on stuff in the news, which roughly divides into things that annoy me and things that make me laugh, but I’ve also written longer posts such as my interview with “The Graduate” author Charles Webb and the time I didn’t meet Leonard Cohen. Professionally speaking I’ve been a web content and social media manager since 2007 and Drupal sitebuilder since 2010. This site is my first foray into a self-hosted WordPress site.
I was a bit of a late starter in web terms and in the early days I wrote the content of Thoughtcat (which was more like a magazine then) in MS Word and uploaded the pages to a cheap hosting with Terrapin FTP. I remember I had to buy Terrapin and it had this cute animation of a terrapin moving from one side of the screen to the other to indicate upload/download progress. I had no idea how to use FTP for things like changing file permissions, and remember emailing their support and getting a lovely detailed response from a female member of staff with all the answers I needed… about FTP, anyway. I later “graduated” from Word to FrontPage, which only made my HTML even lousier than it already was.
Eventually in March 2005 I got myself a proper blog at Blogger, and ran that until June 2009, when I set up a free blog at thoughtcat.wordpress.com, with the aim of transferring to it all my very non-techy hand-“coded” blog pages. I actually much preferred the Blogger platform for blogging, and only switched to WordPress because it allowed you to add static pages to your site instead of just time-specific blog posts. My idea was that once I’d migrated all my content to it, I would eventually have a free, dynamic website and could eventually ditch my own hosting – but of course I ended up working in web development, so that doesn’t really apply anymore. In the meantime I did start migrating the static Thoughtcat stuff to the free WordPress blog, but never finished this; I suppose if I’m ever bored enough I might revisit it, but all the original Thoughtcat blog posts and other stuff can still be found here. The site you’re now looking at is a self-hosted version of the WordPress blog, set up in July 2013. I automatically migrated all the content from the free blog to it and am now (not) going through it to check all the in-page links etc are up to date, so in the meantime you may still find some of those manual links go to the original WordPress-hosted site, which no longer exists.
Elsewhere, I tweet with considerable enthusiasm, occasionally contribute to Wikipedia, sometimes attempt to record videos of myself playing guitar bits, and from 2002 to 2012 maintained the SA4QE website documenting an activity by fans of the novelist Russell Hoban in which favourite quotes from his work are left in public places. I was also principal organiser of the 2005 Hoban convention, built and maintain the “official” Russell Hoban website russellhoban.org, and have written a novel. I am British, live in the UK, do not vote Tory and have two children. My favourite biscuit is (That’s enough – Ed.)