Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Be Sure, To Be Sure...

St Patrick's Day again. How I loathe this day! To be accurate, it isn't the day itself, or St Patrick I loathe, but rather the way in England the non-Irish try and co-opt it as an excuse for yet more binge drinking. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, there's nothing more dispiriting than watchingroups of drunken English people in pubs wearing those bloody stupid hats and drinking Guinness in an attempt to seem 'Irish'. Why do they do it? St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, not England. It has bugger all to do with us! Damn it, I'm of Irish descent, (my maternal Grandfather, for what it's worth), so I have more claim on this day than most of my compatriots, but I've never felt the desire to celebrate it. Mainly because I'm British, not Irish. It wouldn't be so bad if the celebration of St Patrick's Day was indicative of England's embracing of the cultural traditions of our neighbours. But you don't see many English people celebrating St David's Day by having leek-eating parties, or wearing kilts (or whatever it is they do in Scotland) on St Andrew's Day, now do you? Perhaps the worst thing about this English St Patrick's Day is that it simply perpetuates stereotypical English views of the Irish - drunken idiots who dance jigs.

Leaving dubious Saint's day celebrations to one side, the other thing which has been perplexing me of late has been the future of The Sleaze. With the site's tenth anniversary just around the corner and continued problems with traffic, this subject has been vexing me more and more. Mind you, having just renewed the domain for another two years, I guess I'm committed to keeping the site going for the foreseeable future. The question is - in what form? I can't deny that - particularly with the ongoing low traffic to the site - I find myself increasingly resenting the amount of time I devote to updating it. To be fair, it isn't so much the writing of the stories which takes the time, it's the actual updating of the site which I increasingly find tedious. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, The Sleaze is based around static pages, requiring manual updates of all the menus and index pages. The alternative is to switch the site over to dynamic pages generated by a content Management System (CMS). I've always resisted the use of a CMS because of the design restrictions most CMS's have traditionally placed upon sites created with them. There's a certain generic look to many sites as a consequence of this. However, things have moved on and many CMS's are now far more flexible with regard to page templates. So, the possibility of reworking The Sleaze as a dynamic site is back on the agenda. The main obstacle is the amount of time this will take. Whilst the current page templates were designed with an eye to using them with a CMS, I've subsequently decided that I really need to start from scratch again - not in terms of their appearance, just their underlying code. So there you have it - in the quest to spend less time with The Sleaze, I'm contemplating engaging in a major and highly time-consuming project!

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