Website Review 2022

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This website has gone through many different iterations over the last two decades, and the current iteration has been going strong since November of 2019. Now that it’s been 3 years, I’m evaluating how it has been working for me and for you, what I like about it now and what I don’t, and…what might come next?

Some things I like about this site are:
  • Fairly easy to update text in markdown.
  • With a few intentional exceptions, I’ve kept pretty consistent and posting here 2-3x per week. I don’t take much time at all in doing this, so it’s been a great writing practice.
  • Only in the last 3 years have I joined together all the various aspects of myself that I present to the world into this one place. It’s been nice not to feel as fractured, and to have someplace to migrate old projects to, such as my One Mouth Band stage persona.
Some things that I don’t like about this site are:
  • Still uses database on backend, and I’d prefer flat-file for various reasons.
  • Images & audio embeds are clunky, so I’ve deviated from my original goal to have one per post.
  • It has always suffered from plenty of shoemaker’s children problems that do me no favors. Though this site is intended to be very informal, often the unpolished nature of what I post here makes me look unpolished too.
Some other thoughts:
  1. As for here forward, I’m thinking differently about the purpose this site serves. I’ve often referred to it as my “second brain”, but now that I’m actually building one of those for real, I see more advantages in keeping it private by default to build it as an asset.
  2. Though I do occasionally link to things for sale here, what I write here first is essentially undercutting any potential market for what I might want to package for sale at some future date. I’ve always had such a strong bent toward free & open-sourced everything that this was fine by me so far. Now, I’m reconsidering the wide-reaching & eternal implications of my historically philosophical stance. Basically, while I still pine for the early internet culture of the 90s, the internet itself has definitely moved on. Maybe I should too?
  3. Many of my writings age well, but those that don’t really don’t. This is true of not just this one URL, but all that I’ve contributed to Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc in my articles and posts. My conversational & typically playful tone is not always received as it was intended, especially with the passage of time and the shifting of cultural norms. As I’ve said many times before “when in doubt, just assume I’m trying to be funny” which is as true now as ever. But with “funny” itself coming under attack so much in recent years, I don’t know if saying this helps. The fact that I can’t be canceled from my own puny little website might just make things worse.
  4. My recent explorations into privacy, security, and open-source intelligence have me seeing things like this public-facing website as a potential liability. Most of the things I post here are merely thoughts inspired by my encounters with the media and the world around me, and many of them are not fully-formed. I don’t tend to post overly-personal things here like I used to do on social media, but what I do post could still introduce vulnerabilities and social-engineering attack vectors that I’d rather not have. In the future (well, even today really), sites like this could get ingested into automated systems that impersonate me for fun & profit. But I don’t find such ideas either fun or profitable for me.
  5. Talking things through, even if merely into the void here, is part of how I’ve kept myself feeling sane though the isolation of living in the middle of nowhere — especially through the pandemic. But as my life moves forward to I-know-not-where, I might not need it so much. After this stage of life is complete, I really hope not to need it so much! I’d like to connect with real people in the real world more often, becoming more mobile and more useful to the world around me again. And I’d always rather do things than talk about doing things.
  6. There’s more that I could analyze about this site’s traffic, but suffice it to say that it is infinitesimally small most of the time. Like literally no one reads much of what I write. Thank you for being an exception today!

And since you are so exceptional, now I’d like to ask you what you’d like to see here? What made you come here today? What makes you come back? What would you like to see on your next visit? As always, the comments are open and I’m ever-so-curious about what you have to share :)

And if you’re thinking similar thoughts now about your own website or social media, check out this article for even more to think about.

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