Starting around v3, I switched over to WordPress and added little Flash elements, like a spinning logo or something (I don’t entirely remember what sat atop my sidebar) like this :
A few years later, I made a V4 that incorporated a bunch of weird elements. One was my custom Flash audio player that would use an animated GIF of my mouth moving while the “speakers” blared clips of my standup.
That was from an early “beta” build, but it’s missing something I had – on and off – for several years. There was a little animated box that sat up there and quotes from visitors and friends would fade from one to the next every 5-6 seconds or so. Now you might think allowing just any old Tom, Dick, or Harry to literally write whatever they wanted into a text field and have it be the FIRST thing someone visiting the site might potentially see is just a terrible idea, ripe for abuse. Well, you’d be right, except : that never happened. I have no idea why, but no one came to the site and wrote shitty things in there.
I quite liked the little quote box, and the evolution of that was me writing my own little “about Mitcz” quips that I started doing for my previous site – V10. The next big redesign was relatively simple, I just had a really cool idea for a header, ditched the quotes, and animated smoke coming from my cigarette in Flash.
If you’re wondering, no, it wasn’t that difficult to arrange that photo. Bouschka there (may the KING Rest in Peace) was a natural in photographs, and mostly just wanted to be wherever I was. So, if I was sitting on the leather couch, he was close at hand. The background (and wall plug) were entirely photoshopped, as was – obviously – the big fuck off “Rev. Mitcz” sign. I think I also animated the sparkles on it and/or had it flash a bit like neon. Unfortunately, there’s just no way for me to find and use all the files that were required for seeing a recreation of it.
The last version I still have just enough files to somewhat recreate was V7, and the “leave a quote” box came back. The main page was more simplified and boxed off, showing as much “here’s what Mitcz is doing” bullshit as I could reasonably fit.
The last version of RevMitcz.com prior to earlier tonight was officially v10, having gone through a lot of smaller iterations here and there. I think v8 was the first to be responsive and work properly on smaller devices. With v10, the plan was ambitious. On desktop devices, the left side contained ads for my online store, a list of podcast episodes in which I was involved (pulled from my podcast network), a live feed of my recent YouTube videos (in my “Mitcz live on stage” playlist), and a calendar of upcoming dates. On the right, a search bar, then a live feed of recent tweets, then a live feed of recent instagram posts, and finally one of those Facebook profile boxes. Remember those fucking eye sores? God, why did we ever use those.
At any rate, by the time 2019 rolled around : Google was changing their YouTube API and phasing out the old one, so I’d have to sign up for a developer account all over again and then rebuild my code to pull my youtube videos. So, I ditched those and just linked to my channel page instead. Then Facebook just … well, they suck, and I didn’t have any interest in trying to “build a fanbase” on that garbage website. Then instagram changed their API, so my instagram feed stopped working. Then twitter did the same fucking thing and I didn’t want to have to, yet again, build a whole new set of code just to show some tweets. I don’t even tweet that often.
In the last 2 years, the site was mostly stagnant, save for my yearly prediction posts. And it was lookin’ real busted up, with all the missing functionality and lack of basically anything new or fresh. So why is this v12 and not v11? Because for at least the last 3, but maybe more like 5-6, years I’ve built about 20 full-fledged mockups. Some were very intricate photoshop exports. Some were fully coded up and just needed to plug into the WordPress backend. Some were little more than some lines and a graphic that I couldn’t find a place to put anywhere else.
Then, finally, about a month ago I got hit with inspiration to try and just make a general overview frontpage that wouldn’t need constant maintenance. Using content I had full control over, no APIs or PHP calls. And to make the “quips” show loud and proud for every device, not just larger ones. I’m proud to say this site’s full functionality exists identically on any device that can view it.
There’s a couple of little tricks and things that’ll come in handy for me – and the visitors – like when I post upcoming shows, the menubar will make it very clear that there’s actually gigs coming up and I don’t have to make space for it on the frontpage or have a frustratingly empty box when there’s no shows coming up.
With all the years poured into this site (under whichever domain I used, usually RevMitcz.com) it was kind of an emotional journey putting this new version together. Finding old stories. Old photos. Old mockups. Memories abound and galore. I was reminded of a friend whom I wrote a story about, and how we made plans to hang out for the first time in years, and we got together and watched some old movies and smoked weed and had some drinks. We had plans to do it again sometime, but she died of some rare brain virus (I don’t really understand what was going on) shortly thereafter. I found a whole folder of baby photos of Bouschka, with his sister Tito, in my bed. I’m not gonna share those here, it’ll hit me a little hard. And, of course, I found 100s of Flash experiments and mockups and half-finished, half-baked “maybe this would be cool” attempts just littering the place.
At any rate, welcome to the new site. It’s nice and clean and doesn’t require me to do anything to keep it lively and fresh – 4 random stories get pulled on every homepage refresh, “Updates” like this one are decoupled from the Stories section, so I can write stories without knocking my semi-popular yearly prediction posts off the front page. And when I’m ready to add a new project, or go in a new direction, I’ve got the scaffolding to support it.
There. That’s my very nerdy, probably boring, update and brief trip down memory lane.