Alvan's digital garden

Morning Thoughts on Web and All

Good morning | afternoon | evening, dear reader :^)

This post is written in a different environment than others. Usually, I write at nights when there is nothing to do, but writing blog post. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I usually waste that time or do a thing that I’ll be writing about in a bit. But sometimes, you feel like posting something. Also, I’m currently sitting at the main room of my home, and writing this on my laptop. I don’t exactly know why, but writing blog post on laptop keyboard feels a bit nicer.

As I mentioned above, also, one would think that writing blog post should be done in free time, but this time it is not the case. I got a lot to do today. The reason of me writing is I want to do this more. Instead of postponing and delaying my urge of blogging I’ve decided to force myself to write immediately after that “urge” comes.

And also, I’ve read a very nice post, telling that we are over-thinking blogging. Afterall, this place is mine, and I can post whatever I want!

Here is a quote from post that the post I linked references 😃. We are 3 level deep now!

Here is a thought. Maybe, we are overthinking it. Maybe, the one thing we should care most about is just putting stuff out there. At least, this is the primary reason we have a personal website, right? We have it to document and share random thoughts, things we learned, and nuggets we found. If we don’t put stuff out there, why have a website in the first place?

Aaand (drum rolls) here I am! Putting stuff out there :)

So, recently I’ve been reading relatively a lot. Oh, not the books, but random blog posts from random people. You probably think you should too. At least that was what I thought. But everytime I had an urge to read something, there was almost nothing to read. At least, something easy. Then I suddenly came across RSS feeds, and tried to set-up some kind of RSS Reader app. (upcoming two paragraphs are me talking about some RSS reader, which is not the topic of this post. Feel free to skip those) I started searching for a nice and simple app, but I couldn’t find one that is - 1. Up-to-date; 2. Simple; 3. Nice looking;

It was late in night and I was giving up at this point, but at the very last minutes, I found an amazing project called Miniflux. It is a free (as in both freedom and beer :wink:) and open source web-based RSS Reader. It is super easy to self-host with docker and has pretty decent feature set ranging from nice reading experience, to user management. Yep. As it is multi-tenant application, you can share it with your homies and everyone can benefit with almost no cost!

I ended up self hosting it (and donating some - please, donate to projects that you see that it gives value to you). Then added some personal blog feeds, youtube channels (you can use channel link as rss feed url), news websites, etc. Since that, it has been my primary instagram/tiktok/facebook replacer. Seriously, it changed my phone usage a lot, and as it is algorithm-free, chronological feed, I just finish new posts/news, then close the app (miniflux has PWA support, it is amazing). Previously when I checked my phone, my finger was independently opening Instagram and scrolling reels. But now, I’m happy to share that, it opens Miniflux or MoeMemos - self hosted note taking app!

LOL! Last two paragraphs look like sponsored video scrips. Anyways, I wasn’t gonna write about miniflux thing in this post. Lets go back.

After setting up this reader, I started discovering very nice corner of the Internet. Then I came across a blog post, which had a link to other one. This went 3-4 levels deep and at that point, I already had 10+ tabs open in my browser. I was discovering all these people and reading their thoughts on some topic. It was such a nice feeling! And I was experiencing it for the first time. Actually, now I’m writing about those feelings, they don’t sound very exciting, but I’ll write anyway, as it has it’s own, distinct kind.

It turns out, back in the days, when there were small search engines and very few social media, this was what people did everyday! What I was discovering was artifact of those golden years - small part of web where there are communities, real relationships, discussions, and many more amazing stuff! Everyone owns a domain (or at least subdomain in blogging platforms), their own, personalized, nice and old looking websites, where they put stuff about what is interesting for them. I don’t know, there is something real about this. It feels exactly like walking on grass, barefoot. Or swimming in the sea. Or, idk, something that connects us to nature, to real people, real stuff. Ok, I’m back 😃. Enough literature.

I guess what I am trying to say is, those people, those talks among them feels like how things should be - not fucked.

So, please go and start a blog. Try to ditch social media (from now on, SM) from your life. You probably don’t need it. At least, if you are reading this post, you definitely don’t 😃.

You will definitely see the difference. I also did. While being even slightly active on SM, it became addictive. I was addicted to that small amount of dopamine that one instagram-reel/shorts video gave. It was giving it in veery carefully calculated amounts, so I wanted more of it. To get that, I was digging myself deeper into the hole.

I don’t know you, but when I feel addicted, it hurts me. I hate that feeling of being dependent on anything - software, someone, or idk, a company, etc. Specially if it is a company that abuses it’s power, that feeling is peaked. Well, starting a blog and writing couple of things helped me a lot! Yes, you should start a blog too. Don’t know how? Contact me, I can gladly help 😊.

Let’s say you started one. The first issue you will probably face is finding a topic to write about. Well, you already have one. Your thoughts. Just write a post about a random topic that you were thinking of. Look at mine. I share personal stories, periodic wrap-ups of my life here. And once in a while, a normal on-topic thing. Even the one you are reading right now. These are all known things, but I just dump my thoughts to this blog. You know what? I own this place. The domain is mine, hosting is mine, and thoughts too! This is exactly the beauty of personal blog. There is no algorithm to decide if you will be discovered or not. No one analyzes these texts. It is nobody’s business that what is the topic of these posts. Did you feel the freedom? As long as you don’t break laws, others’ freedom, you are free to express yourself!

Yes, now we settled down some of the answers of “why should I blog?”, I want to talk a bit about analytics. They are cool. Charts look nice and I’m currently building a startup - basically a data analytics company. Also, you can reason quite a lot of things off of that data. But should you put analytics to your blog? Well, I don’t think so.

The primary reason is that, there is almost no need. If you know the individual clicks on every post and more, you’ll start to write more on those and eventually / possibly get addicted to that traction. Also, there is a chance that your blog won’t be discovered as much as you hope for, and it will discourage your willingness to write. So, I feel like it is better to just forget that data. Just write. Maybe someone will come back to you via contact details you put on your blog. You never know this, and write posts, thinking maybe there is someone reading these. I personally do like this. Homies read these. That is it. Mostly, even they don’t.

Another good effect of blogging, that I just thought of is this: Blogging puts you in front of your feelings and thoughts. You get to have a time with them alone. This makes me to be more personal, honest, sensitive, and some other feelings.

Yep. That is it. I’m finally finished. I’ll go to bed now (I’m actually continuing writing this 2 days after starting day). But you, dear reader, please start blogging. Let’s come together and get our internet back!

For now, I’ll put some links as further reading for you.

These are all from me. I’m always open to further discussions on this topic and willing to help anyone trying to set-up a blog. I might also write a post, explaining how one can start blogging.

Thanks for reading this far. Now it is time for music recommendations. I swear I’ll be gone after this.

Bye :^)

#daily #free-software #rant