Mar 13, 2021

Hey (this is my) world

Jason Fried and DHH recently launched a new feature for their email service called 'Hey World'. Send an email to a special address and it gets posted on a nice web page. It's great to see another option for easily publishing to the web. Especially one where the pages are fast to load and easy to read. From Jason's introductory post:

I've never had a personal blog.

It wasn't for lack of things to say, observations to share, or opinions to float.

Unlike Jason I've had a personal site for many years. More specifically I've had a 'personal domain' - There are many good reasons to own a personal domain. It's a core part of the IndieWeb movement. Jamie Tanna explains the reasons very well.

So I'm glad I've had my own domain and a website, but I don't write here as much as I'd like. My job involves quite a lot of writing and I keep a private journal. So it's not as if I don't get the chance to write. But I'd like to write here. I'd like to share ideas that don't need to be private. I'd like to write about things I'm interested in and care about.

What's held me back from publishing here has been a self-imposed high bar for quality. A bar I rarely felt like jumping over.

A change of perspective was needed to start writing here more regularly.

Jeremy Keith is a constant source of inspiration. His recent post Associative trails helped clarify some important reasons for posting on a personal site.

"I don’t think about other people when I’m adding something to my website. My audience is myself.

I know there’s lots of advice out there about considering your audience when you write, but when it comes to my personal site, I’d find that crippling.

It’s very satisfying to use my website as a back-up brain like this. I can get stuff out of my head and squirreled away, but still have it available for quick recall when I want it. It’s especially satisfying when I’m talking to someone else and something they say reminds me of something relevant, and I can go "Oh, let me send you this link…" as I retrieve the tagged item in question."

Jeremy Keith

Adopting this mindset gives a freedom to publish what's on my mind without worrying about what others will think.

I love finding people's personal sites. Usually it's because they've posted about a topic I'm already interested in. Then there's the joy of discovering other things they've written about, often on a totally different subject.

I've amassed over 100 bookmarks tagged 'writing' over the last few years. A common theme is how writing helps with clear thinking and that it makes you happy. That sounds like the perfect excuse to stop worrying about what people think and just start doing it!


Tom Atkins’ website. You might also like my shared links, photos and short posts on Bluesky. Email [email protected]

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