This site is the personal site and blog of Gregg Hartling, formerly a Los Angeles-based designer & developer, now internationally roaming.
About Me, Briefly…
Born in San Diego, CA during the Nixon administration. Moved to Hawaii in the mid-eighties. Attended a media magnet-type high school where I got into film and video. Gave up my full academic scholarship to the University of Hawaii after two years to attend UCLA Film School. Learned about the artistic process and got started in the brand new media lab just in time to decide I didn’t want to work in Hollywood. Started as the entire media department (digital video editing, print design and eventually web design) for a direct marketing company. Moved on to be the first employee at a web design boutique called Venu Interactive.
Designed and built sites for financial & entertainment companies, as well as EarthLink, which came back a year later and recruited me. Spent 8 years there building their member portal (dynamic, personalized My Yahoo-like site serving up to 8 million page views a day) and many other projects.
Best professional achievement so far was the product design for myEarthLink Reader, which was covered by TechCrunch in “When Did EarthLink Get So Cool?”. It was called “an important product” by Dave Winer, considered the father of blogging and RSS.
After EarthLink I went to the Los Angeles Times where my team built the first vesion of their online archives, liberating over 2 million articles dating back to 1985. From there I went to work for the Chicago-based parent company, Tribune, where I recently resigned in order to get married and live in Spain for 3 months.
How This Site Was Made
I work on large, complex database-backed websites all day, so when I come home I like to keep it simple. After trying self-hosted solutions like MovableType, WordPress, and ExpressionEngine as well as online services like Tumblr and Posterous, I decided on a little system called Jekyll.
Jekyll describes itself as “a blog-aware, static site generator in Ruby.” It works for me because it is flexible enough but doesn’t have a lot of moving parts. Every page you see on this site is a static HTML page that was rendered on my laptop and rsync’ed to my server. I can write the posts in Markdown, Textile or raw HTML in plain text files (which get backed up by the awesome Dropbox).