A Return to Blogging
Publishing content on the internet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, the big bang level explosion of social media through the 2010's turned publishing into posting, and quality quickly succumbed to quantity. Yet, there are still plenty of ways to buck the trend and go back to the internet's roots and bring blogging back into the 'mainstream'. Today I'd like to share some tools and platforms you can use to discover, or for many re-discover, the world of personal blogs.
Write.as is the platform I use for this blog! It's a privacy-conscious platform that does not serve advertisements on your content or collect and sell your personal information. They follow a minimalist motif with a focus on creating a clean, workable writing space.
They have a free tier you can sign-up with and a reasonably priced subscription model if you want to use some of their additional features. And if you'd like, they also allow anyone to self-host their own blog through WriteFreely.
I've been using write.as for a while now and I've been very happy with it. They also have great customer service for the rare times I've needed it.
Neocities is considered the spiritual successor to the early 2000's website hosting service geocities. Like geocities, you can create and host your own website on neocities for free.
On neocities you can build your website from the ground up, allowing you to creating your own unique home on the internet. I've used neocities for some time and I've had a great experience with the site so far.
If you aren't familiar with using HTML or CSS, there are plenty of resources available on the site and elsewhere to make learning easy and rewarding. You can also build off a template providing all the functionality you need like navigation panes, banners, and footers.
I've talked about the gemini protocol a few times now, but I truly believe gemini provides the best experience for both reading and writing blogs. Unlike regular websites, you don't need to know HTML and CSS. Instead, gemini uses a simplified format called gemtext that's very easy to understand and apply.
You can read more about gemini in a previous post of mine, and there you'll find a link to the Lagrange browser you can use to start exploring the space yourself.
Similar to neocities for the web, there are services you can register with to host your own content on gemini. Below are two services I encourage you to check out:
Yestercities hosting (gemini://cities.yesterweb.org/): Yestercities is hosted by the Yesterweb, a community of 'small internet' enthusiasts and creators.
Smol Pub (gemini://smol.pub/): Smol Pub is another blog hosting service where you can manage your posts through the command line and access your content on both the web and gemini.
By staking a claim to your own little corner of the internet, you wrest control of your online identity out of the hands of exploitative social media companies and into your own.
I will admit, it takes time learning some of the more technical elements such as writing HTML or self-hosting your own website. Nevertheless, the long-term rewards of that work pays dividends in reclaiming your place on the internet.