I have had fits and starts when it comes to writing a web log before. In the past, I have never stuck to it. This time, like every time, is different.
To that end, I am starting this web log by asking, well, why?
Instead of starting a web log with an inarticulate and uncertain answer, I want to start this log by thinking through a clear and concise answer. In doing so, I am also creating criteria for writing future content, giving myself a yard-stick with which to ask “does this fit” and editing accordingly.
So, why write a web log?
It is not.
And yet, it is?
It is a little like telling the worst, most groan-worthy dad jokes (aside: Anyone can be a dad, it is simply a matter of making someone else face palm at the awfulness of your bad puns). Creating a web log, and really a whole entire web site, is something that people will stumble over, point at, and stare you in the eye and say “WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU MAKE THAT.” Now that is fun!
This one is true! While previously I have resorted to phone calls and/or texting a longstanding and longsuffering friend with a recent thought.
However, why not summarize it and throw it out into the public where anyone can see and comment on it and judge you and post mean things on Hacker News?
More seriously, the joy of the internet is that everybody is nobody and so there is really no fear in publishing something for my friends publicly. If you get it, you are my friend; and if you do not get it, well I did not write it for you. Sorry.
There is a secondary utility in having a public writing place. In case you did not know, I am kind of a big deal. Or at least my family thinks so. Which is really more stressful than actually being a big deal. Occasionally something pops up which breaches the realm of tech, and people start asking me questions (previously crypto, now ChatGPT). Having a place to publish content and refer to will likely result in more cogent answers than reloading the context of work into my brain when I am at a family gathering.
Not, like, some weird societal obligation. Please do not think I am writing for you human reading the web log right now, that is weird. Rather I am writing a web log because that is what young stand-out software developers do, and I am certainly a young stand-out software developer, how-do-you-do.
Hey you, prospective employer, how many other applicants have web logs?
It is also a digital net-working sort-of web site. Like, if you find it, you can click through to other pages to email me if you’re so inspired. You could do it right now if you want. It’s free. You probably won’t go to spam, even!
It is, in a sense, away to build solidarity with people who also have tech-ish blog-ish web sites. As it turns out, writing and consolidating ones thoughts is a fair amount of work, and so it is something to talk about with other people that have tech-ish sites.
Finally, it is sort-of like a digital front yard. You do not really judge people for what the front yard of their house or townhouse or condo looks like, but if someone told you “I do not have a front yard” that is kind-of really weird. In a sense, it is a way to show off your practicaltities without showing off who you really are (there is rhubarb growing in my website, thanks for asking).
More seriously, it is a quick filter on what I am good at (writing, talking to people, making jokes of such quality that you groan or place your face in your palm), and what I am not-so-good at (making pretty websites, in case you have not noticed).
This part is kind-of conditional on the above. If you believe the above is true, then likely you also believe that being able to control your web site and web domain is also valuable. I am inclined to agree. You get to publish silly things. You get to send silly emails, and best of all, you get to control what else your web site gets up to. If I get links to the site, I am not sharing that with who ever is up to something else questionable. My backlinks are my backlinks!