First post! Well, it’s the second one but who’s counting, really?
The idea of a first post is always a bit intimidating for me. The first interaction on some platform, the first message sent in a chat room, the first email to a coworker, etc. It’s not that I need convincing. I want to be doing this. It’s not that I don’t know what to write, either. I do have a lot of ideas floating around. Some notes even (hey, I came prepared). I just don’t often know where to start.
I guess there’s a desire to be clever in there. I want to write something good, and my knee-jerk reaction is to think I can’t. It’s so easy to come up with justifications. Reasons to do this, or not to do that. So, it looks like I just need to break the spell. I need to get this first one out of the way.
Why start a blog in 2024? That’s like 20 years too late! Except it isn’t. There’s certainly a renaissance of the personal Web right now. The small Web. The indie Web. Maybe it’s just the bubble I’m in. Well it has to be, because it’s all I’ve been reading about for weeks now. Blogs about blogging. And then here’s mine.
For simplicity, I’m going to conflate the terms “blog” and “personal website” for a minute. Alexandra makes a good argument for this distinction and I completely agree.
Of course, blogs never went away. I’ve been following some for over 10 years now and they have been immensely valuable to me. Honestly, reading blogs is probably my favourite type of reading at the moment. I’d love to tell you that I truly prefer deep reading and share my long long list of hardcovers, colour-coded and star-rated. But no, I’m not there. The reality is that I find it more and more difficult to dive deeply into long texts. More on that another day, maybe. Let’s just say that blogs are a part of my daily routine.
For the longest time, my own website was only a simple contact page. I’d say it served me well, but the truth is that I always found it a bit sad. I wanted to do so much more with it. Once a year or so, I would sit down and make a plan. I would find some inspiration, start sketching, pick a framework (lol). And then the motivation just kind of dried. Making a website is a project and justifications are easy.
Through this, I kept reading. I marvelled at the lengthy, beautiful catalogues of posts some people have. The clever long-form articles. The hyper-personal short texts. The unfiltered stream of consciousness dumps. The bitter ones where folks suddenly break out of their established professional tone.
I also kept working... on other people’s websites. It seems so obvious now that talking about my work is the best place to start. Sure, it’s mundane, but it’s a huge part of my life. It’s a lot of what I think about.
I never really got into social media. I mean, I had a Myspace page way back when. I tried Facebook when that became a thing. I eventually joined Twitter. I briefly tried Instagram... I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never developed a habit of writing publicly, on any of these platforms.
These days, I find myself on Mastodon and I like it. I don’t post a lot on there, but most interactions I have seem to be genuine. I don’t see a lot of growth hacking. Maybe it’s the absence of algorithms? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in now.
Generally though, the thought of investing my time in yet another platform is just not appealing, at all. From my perspective, blogs have been the warm constant, in the middle of the ever-changing landscape of the Web.
You know how some blogs have titles? Something like “Alice In Cyberspace” or “Bob’s Ramblings”. I thought mine could be “The Late Bloomer”. Yeah, I’ve changed my mind on this but the idea is sticking around. I know this about myself. It takes me a while to do anything. Bear with me, while I’m setting things up and finding my footing.