Today at 14:07 twenty years ago, I posted my first blog post. Well over 3000 posts later, this blog has been an integral part of quite a stretch of my life, to the point where it is unavoidable that if you’ve read along you now probably know more about me than I think I’ve actually shared in writing.

In the past few years I’ve taken this blog’s anniversary as a moment to reflect on some of my blogging practices. That yearly reflection started 5 years ago when I was just leaving Facebook. This time it coincides with #twittermigration, where many people are exploring federated options now that Musk has taken over Twitter. Whether that is something that will stick is uncertain of course, but it is interesting to watch playing out. Other earlier such reflections: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

Last year I wrote:

For the coming time this note-to-blog pipeline, and making it easier for myself to post, will be my area of attention I think. Let’s see next year around this time, when I hit the two decade mark with this blog, how that went.

Indeed, that is exactly what I did from early this year: ensure that I could post directly to this blog in different ways. The key to that was create a Micropub client, which posts to this site. Once I had that I could create different paths to feed a post to that Micropub client. From inside a feedreader, directly from my notes in Obsidian, or through a simple web form. More recently I created different versions of that web form, to also post check-ins, and announce travel plans. In all fairness, my habits in how I post things haven’t fundamentally changed yet: I’m writing this in the WordPress back-end. But increasingly I am using those other paths to get content into this site.
Making it easier to post, puts the friction of blogging where it needs to be: wanting to write something.

Connecting things up into flows, blurring the lines between my site, online interaction and my notes for instance, stays an interesting thing to experiment with. In the past months I started using Hypothes.is more intensively, to annotate things I read on the web. Already all those annotations seamlessly end up in my local notes, from where I can work with them, and where they concern my own site I’ve made them visible here.

But most of all, aside from all the more nerdy things of tweaking this site and my information flows, this blog has been a source of conversation for twenty years now. It was my original hope, and my ongoing motivation to keep blogging.

Which brings me back to the earlier mentioned #twittermigration. Musk declared the bird is freed, but it seems quite a few people think the bird was caught and rather take wing on their own. Quite a few of those are the people I early on conversed with through their blogs too. If there’s a key difference between ActivityPub/Mastodon and Twitter, it’s that the federated version only ‘works’ if you actually interact with other people. Likes don’t matter in highlighting a message. Boosts do only share a message with your own followers, and has no other effect. It doesn’t mean it will be put higher in the timeline of others, it’s all in the now. There’s no amplification. Conversation is the key, if you interact then others may also see it and join the conversation. Twitter used to be like that too.

Conversation is key, and that is why I blog.
Here’s to another year of blogging and conversation.

26 reactions on “Two Decades of Blogging, The Free As A Bird Edition

  1. @ton congrats Ton! Very nice achievement! I started blogging in 2001. But I have not kept it going for a long time and only started back in 2020 probably. I always admire when I see sites like yours where we can navigate to many years of archives.

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