In 2009, I started blogging. But not like...blogging in the traditional "I'm just writing content" sense. In the "I want to make money with a website" sense. It was a photo-editing tutorial website, (in hindsight, inappropriately) called Gimped! and it was chock-full of tutorials on how to edit with the photo editor, Gimp. I kinda wish I still had the content from that site, but I long-since gave it up, because I have historically had a bad habit of deleting stuff when I don't want it. I built it because I wanted to make money selling ebooks, as well as ads and other things. It actually found mild success, too.
In fact, every website I've ever built over the years has, in one way or another, been driven by the direct promise of money. All of my blogging has always been about "earning credential" and "SEO marketing", and all of those things. Blogging has always been a part of my content strategy, but I've never just...used it as a place to publish personal content, or anything that I'm simply writing because I want to share it, like I do on social media.
The last year has invigorated that notion. The idea that I can post on my site and treat it more like I treat my social media accounts than this idealistic place where I only write 2000 word essays. What's crazy, is it's not like this is new. In fact, that's really how blogging started. We just twisted it into something much more than it was, and let Social Media replace our traditional sense of what it is in the process. Look at JJJ's blog, Matt's or Chris' blog. Each one is chock-full of very short posts (ya know, blog posts) that are little more than quick anecdotes and that's it.
I think my website should be the most personal piece of me on the web, and yet it was historically been reserved for "my best" content, instead of a holistic look at me. As a result, all of my authenticity found itself on social media instead. I think that sucks. Why should Elon freaking Musk get the most authentic version of me? Mark Zuckerburg? Or anyone else for that matter? Screw that noise. I'm publishing stuff on my website first.
I've completely removed all of the big barriers that stopped me from publishing on my site before. Don't have a featured image? So what! Lacking the minimum number of words to make it a "worthy post"? Who gives a damn, publish it. What about headings? Not today, partner! Is this optimized for SEO? Who freaking cares.
And with that, I've been actually using WordPress. like...just WordPress. To do WordPress things. As WordPress was intended to be used. 100% for myself. Like a personal, public journal. And you know what? It's amazing. I've taken some time to re-build my site, and have made small customizations to my WordPress install, but seriously, I'm loving the writing process in the block editor. Turns out, when you get all of the stupid formalities, it's a lovely process.