IN DEFENSE OF BLOGGING
It is certainly not news that blogs today are not what they used to be in the early 2000s. Nowadays, there are a lot of alternatives to blogs. Social networks, for example. In particular those built around the concept of micro-blogging such as Twitter or Medium. Blogs appear to be down in popularity since the late-2000s, and it is not just my opinion, there are articles about this phenomenon from 8 years ago, definitely not something new.
As new social media get developed and improved, blogs seem destined to become a niche thing. Something used only by old hackers and people who live in the past. Then why starting a blog today? Why don't I just open a social media account? They are arguably easier to use, they manage the indexing process all by themselves(without worrying about things like SEO), allowing you to focus just on what you are trying to write.
I have to admit that these advantages are quite appealing, at least for the average user. But for me a personal web page is much more, it is something related to the concept of freedom, something that just a blog can give me. And in the next sections, I want to explain the reasons behind this choice in details.
The problem with social networks
As I said before, this is not the golden age of blogging. Blogs were popular in the last decade, now they are just a niche thing. Influencers of all kind live in social networks and the majority of tech-oriented blogs/e-zines only publish clickbait articles with just a few edits of a general-purpose template. Most companies around digital contents are now migrating to newer mass media technologies and, as a result, no one wants to invest in blogs anymore.
So, what is really stopping me from joining a micro-blogging platform full of users and sparkling of life? I got three main reasons to not to:
- Social networks promote mediocre entertainment;
- Social networks focus around people not around content;
- Social networks do not make you free.
With that being said, why would you spend your entire evening scrolling the feed of your Twitter timeline to read other people's opinion? What's so great about it? Why should I waste my time fueling my anger with people's bullshit I read on social media? The thing is, people on these websites do not want to seek enlightenment, they do not want to interact with new ideas or new concepts, they are not pursuing the original goal of the World Wide Web, they are just using it to increase their popularity, to build their social image and to feel important. Social networks are NOT built around contents, this is a common misconception, they focus around users.
Talking about misconception, another common one is the fallacy of thinking that social networks are free. They obviously are not. Of course no one will ever ask you for money(although you pay with your personal information, a much higher price in my opinion), the concept of freedom I am talking about refers to the idea of individual freedom, i.e. the freedom to express your opinion without the fear of being shadow-banned, the freedom to not being profiled by an evil, greedy corporation and the freedom to decide which content to consume without being constantly recommended by a machine learning algorithm.
What about blogs?
What about blogs, then? Well, personal blogs provide you extended knowledge about a certain topic. Most of the time, the author of a blog article put effort in the writing of an essay; they do so by stating demonstrable facts, by avoiding spreading misinformation, and by avoiding speaking from hearsay.
Blogs are built around content not public figures, even if they bear the author's name. When you read a blog, you do not necessarily care about the social status of the author, nor about their fame or their number of followers. That is because, unlike social networks, blogs are used for knowledge sharing, not for ego boosting or any other narcissistic tendency.
The last advantage of writing/reading a blog is that you are virtually free to read and say whatever you want. You do not have a strict, nonsensical moral guideline of what is right and what is wrong to follow, it is up to you to decide.
What about this blog?
And what about this blog? What it is all about? My blog is my personal internet page. In this website I can be free to write and manage information in the way I want without fearing for a daft guideline or for the actions of a big corporation. I am also free to build my blog in my own way and in this next paragraph I want to digress a little about the technologies behind it.
post.css. Any other update is propagated through the files using
sed(1)and other standard UNIX tools. You should be able to read it using any Blink/Gecko/WebKit based browser. You can also browse it using
w3m(1), a graphical interface is really not needed.
This approach might be a little too extreme and radical, but it is essential for me to avoid the bloated experience of the modern web. Also, this website is so little that it requires virtually zero maintenance.
In this blog I will share guides, articles and essays related to what I am currently studying/doing. Most of the things I publish here are very niche stuff but, as I stated in the previous paragraphs, I am publishing this blog for the sake of knowledge sharing, not for gaining popularity. Some articles will be popular, many others will not. I am fine with that.