Well, 2005 has now come and passed. Bring on 2006! Looking back though, it has been amazing how much has gone on and how many little things which I now take for granted have managed to creep their way in.
Of redesigns and realigns
The early months of the year were ones of great change for this site and looking back, it's interesting to see what had transpired. Quite early on in the year, if..else underwent a redesign. This was not to last long. After less than a month, I realised that design really does affect content. The conventional, chronological listing of blog entries was restricting the way that I worked which was not how things should be. I needed to go back to first principles and work out what it was that I wanted, otherwise it just wasn't going to work. And so I did and thus in the month of March, a more suitable design found its way onto If..Else. This was to sit comfortably (with a "realignment" midway) until August in which I got itchy fingers again and unveiled Black Gold, the current design.
Much of the elements that you see in place on this site can now be seen across many other designs on the web. Emphasised main/latest article1, segregated external links (i.e. the shorts)2, distinctive "big footer"3 and header block; these are no longer unique features. However, in the case of my design, these elements all evolved from my personal requirements and needs. I can't claim to have influenced any others with my design choices; instead, it seems that quite a few within the blogging community had a similar epihany at the same time.
The other thing it was amusing to see in 2005 was how some many common design elements made their way across the web. The wet-floor, reflection technique is now down-right ubiquitous replacing the wicked well worn look, gradient background and scanlines as the new hot thing to have on your site. Big is now beautiful, AJAX is now more than a football team and kitchen cleaner and beta has escaped the world of academia to become this years universal "under construction" animated gif logo.
Like Khaled, I've made a few friends across the web this year, an idea which would seem strange merely a year ago but now feels perfectly reasonable. I'll leave out naming people as I'd only miss out one person or embarrass another but it's been an absolute pleasure knowing you all.
Of course, how can I not mention that this was the year of networks and networking. Social networks and networking really exploded this year; Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn managed to receive their share of column space. Even more significantly perhaps, the networks of Flickr, del.icio.us and the growing behemoth that is Digg dominated a significant part of the web's consciousness. Serendepity?
The other big boomer was, of course, blog networks. Sometimes it seemed that there were more blog networks than blogs popping up daily. I, of course, chose to join one, a decision which was an easy one to make and one that I have no regrets with.
Of changing times
Adsense isn't new to 2005 but this is the year in which I've really noticed it taking off. As well as making a few people rich and inspired the dreams of many more (some of the many aforementioned blog networks are undoubtedly influenced by, and banking on text ads for their survival), they've also become accepted elements of sites on the web.
Web Design has crept into the forefront. Yes, design cliches such as those I've talked about above feature prominently and blogging templates are everywhere to be seen but it's good to see that more and more individual designs are popping up. Design galleries at one point threatened to jockey with blog networks in being the most copied idea of 2005 but their growth can be seen as a positive element.
Even if we were to step back just a year ago, the web design landscape was a lot barer than it is today. It's a sign of the times that where once talking about CSS, (x)html, semantics and web-standards were big topics, interesting posts on such topics are generally few and far between. Things aren't perfect yet4 but I see it as a good thing that such topics are no longer of paramount interest or importance.
Of movies, books and videogames
2005 also saw the launch of the XBox 360 but for me, it is news about Nintendo's Revolution controller which really infected my consciousness. So much hope, so much fear but so much to look forward to. My favourite game that I played this year though has to be Disgaea. Quirky, funny and bizarrely adddictive to play. It's old-school perhaps, and very much a niche game genre, but I like it.
Of looking back
By definition, these type of wrap ups only give a glimpse of what occured. There's a lot I left out, a lot that I decided to not write about and a lot that I've overlooked. However, in looking back, what I primarily see is optimism. I'm looking forward to 20066. Bring on the new year! 7
- Particularly useful in my case because it's hardly a secret that my main posts are more sporadic than other sites on the web [back]
- By virtue of having a wide area of interest, I've become quite adept at searching for gems across the web. Were I not to seperate the shorts, the main posts would quickly become overrun [back]
- A full 3 months before Derek Powazek had the same idea:) That said, Derek makes much more use of the footer than I do; whilst mine is primarily aesthetic, he's made his one of the central themes of his design. Besides, his design really does look gorgeous. [back]
- Besides, perfection isn't a goal but a target [back]
- I'm aware this came out before 2005. I don't know why I waited till this year before getting it on DVD especilly since I'm a big WKW fan [back]
- Can't forget my new year resolutions:
1) Write more
2) Write better
4) Profit… erm, wrong list:) [back]
- But first, I must sleep:) [back]