Recently, this site has had another phase of semi-hiatus which had two distinct reasons: I’ve been doing things with music theory (I’m not in a position to write about that), and, well, I’m a bit tired of blogging. I’m starting to think that the very nature of a blog is not cut out for me. Or is it the other way around?
As Vloggers say, “hear me out”: there is a clash between what constitutes an important blog thing and what I consider to be important.
I am a bit old-fashioned. I listen to 70-year-old recordings of long-dead musicians; I wear a mechanical watch; I use software way past its prime time; I read books getting close to being a century old; I watch movies from the end of the last century. It’s not the only thing I do, but there is this very real trend towards that I don’t care about what’s new.
In most cases, I despise modern things and trends with its Tik Talks, Netflixes, smartphones, LLMS, and NFTs. Basically, what Silicon Valley has done to our lives.
And yet I have a blog which, by its very nature, puts new things on top. I don’t write about current affairs, but what I published recently gets the prime spot.
The best blog I know is written by Ruben. I love reading what he publishes, following his descent into vintage computer madness. But he published daily (on a slower period, at least), so there is always something new. This however also means that there is no structure, no way to find interesting stuff from 10 years ago.
This blog is an E/N site. It makes mind-dumping easier, and having it online is a breeze thanks to Hugo and rsync(1). But looking at it from any other point of view shows, that it’s just a bag for random things. The only structure here is chronology. There are no connections1.
Back to Rubens’s blog, I enjoyed his Omake section even more than the main dish. I come back for the posts, but it’s the Omake that made the first impression. It has a structure and allows for a sense of discovery. It’s just a list, but it’s nice to play with it.
And it’s ever-green. This is something I have another problem with. Since new post is what people will see, what is the incentive to go back and update old posts? Vermaden does it, but do I? No. The only time I changed something in the past was in the sad case of having written text so bad that I would be ashamed to show it to my mother. But is the last thing always the most important? No.
Where does this leave me? I’m rethinking how this site will look in the near future. It’s already halfway there, since the main topics are displayed and presented in the main nav. This leaves me with chronology, which I come to think of as a problem rather than a solution. I’m starting to think I would be better off moving them into dedicated sites (bsd.sapka.me, for example), each treated as a book and not as an update list. This gives space to play by having dedicated layouts, maybe even bulletin boards or (dare I say it) guest books.
But I would also like to still have a place with a flow of consciousness. A simple list of updates and a single place to follow all those sub-pages.
The sites of the past I’ve created were separated into updates page and the actual content. We might have written about Cell’s forms and SSJ42, which were separate articles but an update would tell frequent visitors about it. I think this is a much better way than putting everything in the latter if you want to focus on a single subject.
Biggest risk? Google and Duck Duck Go. Fadon, Wikia, Wikipedia, FB, Twitter, and Reddit have such strong positions there that any fight for the visitor is futile. In 2023 it’s impossible to just rely on people simply bumping into a random page. Those, clearly inferior alternatives to smaller size sites have such strong positions that gaining any popularity is impossible. Don’t even start me on Youtube.
The voyage is the goal though. Not everything has to have a goal of total domination. I may create a fansite dedicated to Grim Fandango or about living in the terminal just for the fun of doing it. Just a bunch of texts with logical structure and be done with it until the content becomes obsolete.
Maybe the web will fix itself and such form will regain its rightful, prime spot. With the younglings moving from Reddit to Discord there is a chance.
This blog post is sponsored by letters W, E, B, and an existential dread after reading “Fan Sites VS Fandom: A Case Study”. I really miss the old internet and the fansites. Screw you, Wikia!