Out with Drupal, in with Koken!

Posted in Thoughts

For over 9 years I’ve worked with an Open Source content management system called Drupal – its a pretty robust and scalable framework for building all sorts of web publishing software, and has been the weapon of choice for the majority of projects undertaken at my studio in Toronto called Design Guru.

Because of Drupal’s flexibility I’ve used it to develop myriad types of websites – for clients, friends and my own interests – one of the latter being the website at this domain, qasim.ca. Back in 2004 I first registered this domain name to house my personal website – which was originally built in static HTML and then evolved many times over using all sorts of web publishing tools and frameworks until its most recent incarnation using a completely bespoke implementation of Drupal 7. I spent an immense amount of time experimenting with Drupal 7 when its stable release first came out and used qasim.ca as my playground to develop a site which would allow me to publish all types of media to the web and through syndication systems – it was a central repository of all posts I publish through local and 3rd party platforms (tweets, posterous posts, wordpress blogs, instagram shots, vimeo videos and more!)

Conceptually, the ‘interconnectedness of all things’ has always resonated with me as a philosophical perspective and its something I’ve wanted to see expressed technically… My vision saw my best personal website being embodiment of my digital self; representing all of the perspectives I share in various media and on various platforms across the web. However, months after this was all constructed I realized the fallacy of most publishing systems today and how they let down what I think is an accurate representation of my personal digital narrative. Things like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram’s reliance on a chronologically relevant feed often give far too much importance to the experience of shared media being temporally relevant and its this phenomenon which I felt unnaturally pressured by to keep posting in order to maintain some balanced semblance of online persona.

In a very Zen moment recently I swept my digital broom across the mantra of a website I had developed with Drupal 7 and erased this imperfect form of my digital self! In its stead now lies this new website which is a slightly modified installation of Koken, the best software I’ve ever found for publishing photography driven websites. With this new website I’ve decided to focus more on sharing through the lens of my cameras plus posting notes like this to both relate whats new but also try to develop a more timeless online narrative.