in blogging

My new site: fortuitous

leaf logo When I came back from Austin, I mentioned that I wanted to do a new site focused on business type advice. After a month or so of the idea gelling in my head, I wrote down about 30 ideas for essays I’d like to write, I banged out a mockup, and I looked up a bunch of goofy domains. A couple more weeks passed and thanks to the CSS coding of Ryan Gantz, editing skills of Anil Dash, and the nice fellow that sold me the domain cheap, I give you: fortuitous.

It’s a new essay every Monday about some aspect of business that I’ve learned while running the MetaFilter/PVRblog/etc empire. Nothing too earth shattering, but it’s a fun outlet and I think it’ll help a lot of people in a similar situation out. Subscribe to the feed and follow along.

(btw, the design of the bottom frame CSS hack thing is totally cribbed from NorthTemple and it does display funny if you scroll your mousewheel like mad. It was also the first thing I’ve ever built using Coda as the IDE and it was fantastic, with a little more polish/features it’ll replace Textmate as my editor of choice)


  1. Nice site and ,so far, great content.
    That faded.png dies get in the road of active links for a surprising height.
    Good luck with the venture.

  2. Looks like those NorthTemple guys are pissed.

  3. Looks like those NorthTemple guys are pissed.
    Jeez. I guess I’ll do a post on what “stealing” has been stretched to cover in this day and age (and what it shouldn’t be used to describe).
    I saw their site as a cool hack to put a static “frame” in the bottom of a page using CSS. I didn’t copy any images, my footer isn’t transparent, the nav and logo are in different places, the colors are different. I simply made a mockup in photoshop with a menu at the bottom, and had my friend Ryan code it up. Looks like he copied some IE png transparency hacks to make it work on windows, but is that really anything like stealing? We all have to deal with stupid IE CSS hacks and I’ve been copying them off other sites that solved one problem or another for years.

  4. I don’t think anything was “stolen” but I do think it’s bad form to launch a site heavily inspired by someone else’s work without giving them a heads up or a link on the site itself.

  5. I don’t think you ripped the design here. It’s got obvious similarities but I get the impression it was more of an inspiration than anything. You saw a good idea and liked it. My concern is the huge cut and paste job of the css. The comments, naming scheme, general organization, method of zeroing out elements, and other various bits are dead on exactly the same. There’s only so much room for unique application of styles, but so much of the style sheet is exactly the same in ways that it normally shouldn’t be if written from scratch.

  6. matt,
    sorry if my post on NT came across wrong. i was sincere when i said we aren’t taking it personally, and that inspiring your design is a compliment. many of us have been reading your sites for a long while.
    the title “thou shalt not steal” was meant as a play on our being a religious site, and the comments that were already going around. the screens were also meant as a “see what’s happening”, not a “rally the troops and crusade against this guy”. i hope the latter does not happen because of it..
    no hard feelings at all from this side. in fact, i am seeing some improvements to our code that i might rip back from your page..

  7. I’m glad everyone on the web isn’t this sensitive about sharing their CSS hacks. Whether it is credited on an about page or not… please.
    The thing I love about both the CSS and Flash communities are the innovators openness to sharing. Let’s not overreact to something not worth mentioning.

  8. I think the fault here is mine. I looked at several sites and tutorials for reference, but in reviewing my work I think my CSS duplicates a bit too much of the NorthTemple stylesheet. There’s really only one best way to do an IE png hack. But I’d intended to change the opening zero-out CSS and adjust the organizational structure, and neglected to do it because of time constraints. Weak.
    Like Matt, I’m a big believer in CSS sharing when it comes to my own work, and most of the design community tends to feel the same way. In this case, though, I should have included a shoutout to NT in the comments of the CSS itself, and mentioned to Matt about the heavy-inspiration.
    My apologies to Matt for the headache here, and my thanks to NorthTemple for helping me relearn how to do a cross-browser fixed footer design.

  9. FFS, people…
    **Congratulations on the launch, Matt!** I’m looking forward to reading every word…

  10. I think it looks fab, Matt. At the end of the day, your design stands on its own, and there’s really no need to credit NT here or at fortuitous.

  11. oy vey, I’m Mormon and every CSS and blog template I’ve ever made has been cut’n’pasted and hacked together from other people’s snippets of code.
    And if it weren’t for Matt’s shoutout here, I’d have never heard of in the first place. So thank you, Matt.
    Now please type faster on, and if you’d like to know more about the LDS Church or it’s teachings, let me know, and I can arrange for some representatives to twitter you. heh

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