Ever wondered how many girls with the name Jeanne were born in the Vosges department of France in 1925, in which departments the name Chantal was popular in 1980, or perhaps you need the all-time most popular boys' names in the Dordogne department. Voilà.
While working on my novel, I realized that many of the names I'd chosen for my characters were horribly old-fashioned, rare, or outright non-existent for the time and place where they were born. While doing research to fix this, I realized there were large differences between departments of France, and simply knowing which names are popular in France as a whole is close to useless.
Working with the raw data quickly got tedious, so I developed this tool to help me sort through it for the answers I needed. I hope others will find it useful as well.
This tool is currently in early stages of development but should already be functional. Additional features and improvements will be added as I find the time.
Aren't blogs and personal websites kinda doomed to irrelevance in an age of social media? Will we even have websites in another five years, or will everything migrate to apps on our phones?
Perhaps, but who can really say what the future holds? There are still benefits to a website, and I for one hope they see some kind of renaissance.
Social media is great for conversation, discovery, and sharing; not so great for permanence or control. With social media, you don't own or control the platform. In some ways you may not even own or control your content. With a personal website you own and control both the platform and content, at least as far as that is possible.
This site is a place for all the things I want to ensure have a permanent home: somewhere it can always easily be found regardless of what happens in the social media landscape of the future.
You may also notice that my blog doesn't have comments. That's because I don't see it as my responsibility to provide a platform for others. That's what social media or your own personal website is for. If social media has done one good thing, it's to relieve individual website owners of that particular can of worms.
Finally, it's a playground for me as someone who has been programming and developing websites as a hobby since I was a child, a place to do things that no social media platform could ever allow. For this reason, rather than using WordPress or other common Content Management Systems, I decided to develop my own from scratch. There are normally a lot of good reasons not to reinvent the wheel like that, but I wanted to do things that these products couldn't easily accommodate, despite their incredible versatility and extensibility.
As of this writing, this is the first version of the site, which means it is still very bare-bones not to mention low on content, but you have to start somewhere. Hopefully time will put some digital meat on its bones.