That’s right—after a long dormancy of sputtering, social-media-era futility, the DV has returned…sort of. It’ll mostly be an archive of old posts copied from my 2010-2020 social accounts…but better! Or at least less cringeworthy? That’s the intent, anyway. It probably won’t have anything smart to say about the wide world at large, but it’ll definitely be an authority on Me, because I’ve long since accepted that Vanity is my Prime Sin.

The new “Dubious Ventures” that’s attached to my portfolio site will ideally contain anything that I feel compelled to post socially or professionally, avoiding platforms that I’ve since deleted (Facebook, Tumblr), platforms I plan on deleting very soon (LinkedIn), or platforms I can’t seem to quit but do want to heavily reduce what I post (Twitter, Instagram). I’ve decided those companies don’t deserve my creativity or insight, especially for free, and the older I get the less important my cranky rants are anyway.

Maybe a history lesson will help contextualize this. I first fired up the DV on Blogger circa late 2003, and that version contained all the superficial stuff from that era: stray observations, annoyed complaints, bad jokes, the works. It also had digital versions of my student newspaper work from the late ’90s and my then-contemporary alt-weekly freelance music writer tearsheets. Most distressing were a few cross-posted things from a now-defunct U2 fansite, and that’s all I’ll say about that. Anyway, this early DV blog was a lark—a useless distraction from my destabilizing bands and burgeoning design career.

Dubious Ventures slouched into its 2.0 phase circa 2007, when I tried emulating Hunter Thompson’s famous simultaneous spastic production of journalism with gonzo. Not the drugs and guns bit, but the “cool down from intense writing with lower-stakes writing” bit. I was starting to write a novel, and would cap long bouts of “serious” prose with half-assed verbal vomit about politics or baseball or whatever, usually posted on sites like Daily Kos powered by the Soapblox content manager. My novel eventually got self-published, and the Soapblox posts have all since been deleted, but since a few weren’t complete garbage I may release them again at some point, like when I’m too old to embarrass myself in public anymore.

That time of “staring at screens and typing furiously” was so retroactively ridiculous that I let the blog go for a bit, but then revived it once more circa late 2011 to showcase a series I called “30 Songs,” all about my various song lyrics to date (and based on David Lowery’s “300 Songs” blog). That was fun and worthwhile, and I could probably bring those pieces back in some form for Season 2 of the “My Band Rocks” podcast—but for now they’re hibernating too, not leastwise because I’ve got 14 more lyrics to include.

By 2013 the DV was falling well behind what I posted to my social media accounts. I’d not only moved jobs, but also taken on volunteer roles that demanded great gobs of time, so when it got updated at all, my blog was mostly posts cut-and-pasted from Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, with links pointing to things I wrote for AIGA Santa Barbara (circa 2014-2016) or Tight Ship-related work posts on its Ship’s Log, LinkedIn, and Medium pages (circa 2017-2019). There was even a stretch of 2018-2020 where my personal site lapsed into nonexistence; I’d tried reviving the DV on a free Wordpress site, and began moving social media stuff there, but it felt insufficient, and I ended up exporting everything and deleting that blog.

During the pandemic my business failed, so I decided to pare down all my hosting costs—reviving but shutting down and reducing to a single page of my personal site. The new is dedicated to my dubious (and perhaps finished?) sixteen-year design career. Rebuilding it involved some pretty ruthless triage, and maybe that’s a bad idea posterity-wise, but right now it feels appropriate. So here I go again. You’ve been warned.