As we flip the calendar and enter into 2017, it’s time to give this website a top-to-bottom overhaul. I’ve been writing here at jamesdhogan.com for five years now, and the blog has more or less looked the same the entire time.

You’ll notice a new redesign–and you’ll notice a lot of things missing. I’ve retired a lot of old content and am starting fresh with a mostly clean slate. (There are a few favorite posts from 2016 loaded up into the new site so you’ll have something to read.)

There were two things that frustrated me about the old site: its appearance and its function.

I’d been using Blogger–which, believe it or not, was a seemingly good option when I first began this endeavor–but as so many blogs like mine depend upon distribution via social networks, and as mobile devices take a clear lead in consumption, it became clear that I needed a dynamic platform.

And when it came to function, the old blog often left me with a bad case of writer’s block. I felt as if every blog post I sat down to write was intended for an enormous audience. The posts I cherish the most, and the ones I want to preserve for my family, though, are the much more casual ones–posts that aren’t necessarily even fully formed. Just diary entries.

It occurred to me that I wanted my new endeavor to much more resemble a journal, but with an outlet for the stuff that I was writing to a broader, public audience. Thus the name change to “Journal,” and with the distinct boundary between the “diary” and “writing” sections of the blog.

I want to get back to taking down parts of my day, jotting down tidbits from the kids’ lives or little things that happen, without the pressure of assembling a search engine optimized and fully shareable with graphics publication.

And I also want to write the longer stuff, the kinds of articles and editorials that have brought hundreds of thousands of readers to my website over the years, and have the ability to professionally market them.

Here we are, then. Out with the old, in with the new. Bear with me as I get the particulars figured out, and if something totally breaks, or if you have any good suggestions, send word over to me@jamesdhogan.com. I’ll be grateful.