I am reviving my personal web page after a multi-year inactivity.
The old one got its brief moment of glory after I had published an article in which I described—in lengthy details—how I helped a fairly successful startup scale its production using Kubernetes, in the early days of the project (2016, the “hard way” at the time). It then turned into a graveyard of aborted articles, rotting on my hard drive, never to be steered out of the draft spiral.
A look back
I was originally aiming for too much: long and technical articles (10+ minutes read), with the side goal of helping me validate that I truly mastered the subjects I was writing about (“if I can’t explain it clearly, I don’t know it well enough”). Which is ironic in retrospect, considering that my deteriorating attention span rarely allows me to read such long articles from the beginning to the end, unless they are closely related to a subject I’m practically involved with at that exact moment.
Although jotting things down and leaving them in an incomplete state was still beneficial for myself to some extent, not going the extra mile and actually publishing my thoughts defied the purpose of a personal page in the first place. My lack of progress turned into guilt over time. I can think about different reasons to explain this; the main ones are—without the shadow of a doubt—poor time allocation of personal time, and my tendency to overthink my writing before I even lay down the overall structure.
A different approach
But the demise of the first incarnation of my personal page isn’t the topic of the day. The topic of the day is me reviving my personal page in a sightly different format.
Experience—and discipline in various areas of my life—taught me that regular yet reasonable commitment is significantly more likely to yield positive long term results than stints of extraordinary efforts segmented with long breaks. In the present case, the goal for me is to have a framework in place that allows me to produce content which I enjoy writing and doesn’t turn into a burden. I want to get myself to write more often, not longer, and over time get better, and especially faster, at doing it. (If it is read by someone, brings them value, and sparks conversations, that’s even better!)
I am also in a different place today than I was 7 years ago when it comes to interacting with people online. I have gradually distanced myself from Twitter and its culture of permanent outrage. The recent rebranding to “X” (and what led to it) has nothing to do with it, the algorithm had been encouraging distortion, exaggeration and amplification for long before those events.
In comparison, a personal page feels like the right platform for fostering my curiosity. I am therefore starting from a blank page1, with a minimal new theme and a distraction free layout2. This time around, I decided for a radically bare design: no banner picture, no scripts, no analytics, no comments section. I didn’t even bother using fonts other than the system ones, modern systems ship with good enough default typography anyway.
Also, seeing one’s own words on an elegantly presented medium is very satisfying, isn’t it?