Michael Gingras

Interested in lots of things, but mainly -- crypto, browsertech, and interfaces.

Why Start a Blog?

March 23, 2023 life

I’ve been trying to start a blog for the past 3 years. I love finding the blogs of other developers. I love learning a bit about their personality through the way they’ve styled their blog, or the way they write. I love learning new things from engineers way smarter than I am. I’ve always been envious of a great blog.

So why havn’t I started one yet? Honestly, there is no good reason. For a while I told myself it was stylistic reasons. I have a high bar for design and craft, and I was struggling to come up with a design for my own blog that was the perfect combination of unique, aesthetically pleasing, and managable to maintain. I would start blog designs all of the time but give up half way because my design taste would change or I would want to add a flashy new feature or try a flashy new framework. But the reality is that I didn’t know what to write about. I wasn’t sure if people would care what I had to say. So even when I made myself a minimalist blog template that checked all my design boxes, I still wasn’t writing or publishing as much as I told myself I wanted to.

But those days are over! Here’s to a fresh start. Like any great blog, I’m christening this one with a post about “why I’m starting a blog”. I guess you could consider this the “Hello, World” of blogging. I have a few blog posts from way in the past that will supercede this one in the timeline, but I wanted to write this one first to set the stage.

I’m hoping to write a bunch about tech (mostly web stuff) both to help others who stumble upon here and to help myself cement my own learning. It’s true that you don’t really know something until you can explain it well to others. Writing can help shine a light on the gaps in your own understanding, so selfishly I’m hoping even the act of writing this blog will help me become a better engineer.

Michael Neilsen has an interesting article about how to best design a website to support creative work. Michael’s article suggests taking a bit of a different approach — rather than the primary goal of the blog being to serve an audience, the primary goal should be to serve the author. He suggests that the purpose of a website should be to help it’s owner think through their ideas well. Michael places emphesis on the interface serving as a valuable tool for thinking through how information and thoughts are organized. As needs change, the design of the interface will change alongside those needs. He also suggests that a personal website can be a “lifetime project”. I love the idea of a website growing year of year and serving as a “lab notebook” of sorts for the author. I’m hoping to take a similar approach with this blog.

Cheers, Michael