My recent writing has caused me to think about the purpose of this website. While the apparent use is simply blogging, that is not the reason this site exists. Its true, or at least, first, purpose is essential to write about. I will initially define how my website "works," for lack of a better term. Eventually, I will adapt this piece into an "About This Site" page.
A couple years ago, my dad, as usual, gave me a great piece of advice: to buy https://jacobneplokh.com. The reason was simple, to prevent someone from taking it later on for defamation. I purchased the domain name (among a few others!) for a few bucks, and bam, it was now mine. I quickly forgot about it and moved on, knowing I had secured it. For quite a while, it had the basic parking page for my registrar. I had a pretty crucial item to manage my reputation.
It Needed More🔗
While securing the domain prevented someone else from getting [firstname][lastname].com, there was not much for someone to immediately see I own https://jacobneplokh.com, besides simply assuming I do. The website needed some content. I started with Wordpress, went to Hugo, and ended up with Write.as. Throughout those transitions, I made sure to have both an About page and a Contact page. Now I include an Identities to show which accounts are mine and not an impostor. These pages of content provide legitimacy to the site and something, well, about me and my presence online. Another way to get content on a website is to actually write!
Freedom to Write🔗
I also can write freely (ha) with a personal website. I have a space to myself to express my thoughts (more on that later), without anything or anyone restricting me. No editor needs to approve my work. There are no "rules" to watch out for. No moderator to take down my writing.1 It truly is refreshing to write and not worry about it afterward (ahem school). This is my site, so I will write what I want and not write what I do not :)
Archive of Thoughts🔗
As I can freely express myself through this website, I create an archive of my thoughts over time. I can look back. But a journal would provide the same thing, right!? It would, but a public archive shows how I change and what stays the same over time. If my opinion changes, I do not have to scour through my site and delete/edit anything that contradicts the new opinion. For example, I wrote a Keybase-appreciation post in February 2020, and after they got bought by Zoom I followed up! What I believe today does not have to be the same as yesterday. Also, when writing publicly I think more.
In the Future🔗
Two parts I want to add are a "Projects" section and a "Wiki" section. At the time of this writing, I do not have a fully "finished" project yet ;) As they are created though, I'll add something to this site. Do not know exactly how it will look like, but it is for the future, as this section is called. Another absolutely excellent concept is the personal wiki. A favorite example is Nikita Voloboev's Wiki. I also hope to soon implement a knowledge repository to this site. It would then be an archive of my thoughts and what I know.
Write.as could theoretically remove me, which I highly doubt will happen, but I write all my posts in Standard Notes anyways, so I have a backup. UPDATE: I switched back to a static-site generator, Zola.