I just don’t care what you think, here’s my post and you can do nothing about it :)
Mandy’s been blogging for fifteen years:
The new stuff sits next to the old but doesn’t supplant it, doesn’t shove it out of the way. Each new post lays atop the next like sediment, and all the old layers remain exposed for you to meander through, with their mediocre sentences and lapsed claims, all the sloppy thinking ever on display. It’s a great exercise in humility, keeping a blog for this many years. But in exchange for the keen awareness of how far I still have to go as a writer, I have the space to keep going. I have the home to keep coming back to. And I will. I will return, again and again.
- myth: you need to be original
- myth: you need to be an expert
- myth: posts need to be 100% correct
- myth: writing boring posts is bad
- myth: you need to explain every concept
- myth: page views matter
- myth: more material is always better
- myth: everyone should blog
I have been reminded time and time again of the utility of writing. How it is a way to turn messy thoughts into coherent ideas, and how – as we all know – practice makes perfect. So I’m going to give it a go.
Welcome to the indie web, Sam!
The past, present and future of blogs.
Especially if you are a designer, an artist, a photographer, a writer, a blogger, a creator of any kind, owning your work is as important as ever. Social media platforms might be great for distributing your content and creating a network of like-minded people around you. But they will always be ephemeral, transient, and impermanent – not the best place to preserve your thoughts, words, and brushstrokes.
Every time I’ve thought “this is a niche subject or random thought, no one will be interested but I’ll publish anyway” someone will let me know that it was the EXACT train of thought they were thinking or thing they were looking for.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a site that’s not run by an amoral billionaire chaos engine, or algorithmically designed to keep you doomscrolling in a state of fear and anger, or is essentially spyware for governments and/or corporations? Wouldn’t it be nice not to have ads shoved in your face every time you open an app to see what your friends are up to? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when your friends post something, you’ll actually see it without a social media platform deciding whether to shove it down your feed and pump that feed full of stuff you didn’t ask for?
Wouldn’t that be great?
A personal website is a lovely thing. Nobody will buy this platform and use it as their personal plaything. No advertisers will boycott and send me scrambling to produce different content. No seed funding will run out overnight.
Pour a foundation for your own silo or home.
Eventually, it becomes second nature: jot down some thoughts and hit publish. Until then, think of it like starting a running habit. The first few days you run, it’s awful and you think it’ll never feel any better. But after a few weeks, you start getting antsy if you don’t run. If you’re not used to writing, it can feel like a slog, but it’s worth getting over that hump.
A lovely collection of blogs (and RSS feeds) that you can follow.
(Just in case, y’know, you might decide that following people on their own websites is better than following them on a website controlled by one immature manbaby who’s down with the racists.)
Your easy guide to starting a new blog.
A blog is an easy way to get started writing on the web. Your voice is important: it deserves its own site. The more people add their unique perspectives to the web, the more valuable it becomes.
Blog your heart! Blog about something you’ve learned, blog about something you’re interested in.
Excellent advice from Robin:
There are no rules to blogging except this one: always self-host your website because your URL, your own private domain, is the most valuable thing you can own. Your career will thank you for it later and no-one can take it away.
Can you feel the energy?
I have days were I can write a well researched blog post in a few hours. And I have days were I don’t feel like writing. Or I want to add one more thing but don’t know how to speak my mind. So this is a reminder to myself: just hit publish.
So to me, this blog represents the original promise of the open web.
The one that’s here, and still is here, and always has been here, and is available to you.
The one where you can speak the truths that you believe without the permission, or the editorial control, or the power dynamics, of anyone claiming to hold authority over you; or, perhaps, anyone keen to impose it.
Heather takes a break from her relentless crusading in favour of users against the idiocy of the UK government and reflects on the joy of doing it all from her own personal website.
And perhaps you should too, on your own blog, owned on your own hosting space, using your own words, and speaking your own truth. That sounds like a good little weekend project, don’t you think?
- Each voice is individual and matters
- Slow is ok
- Diversified and independent is good
- Not fitting a pattern is ok
- Not being easily commodified is ok