Making Sense of All My Blogs
I’ve noticed recently that some of the people who follow my open-source work and my writings are wondering why am I publishing articles on 3 different blogs and can’t figure how I decide where to publish something. This short article is an attempt to shed some light on this.
Let’s go over each of my blogs in the order of their creation.
(think) was my first attempt to write. I failed miserably and I produced some pretty crappy content, but I also learned a lot in the process.
(think) on the 5th of May, 2008. Frankly, I don’t remember at all one I wanted
to achieve with the blog originally. I guess I just thought it was cool to have a blog and I decided to create one.
Over the course of a decade the blog saw quite a few transformations and shifts in my focus and interests.
For a few years it was named
DevCraft1 and it was hosted on https://wordpress.com. Afterwards
I adopted the
batsov.com domain, the
(think) title and switched to Jekyll, Octopress and then again to Jekyll.
Originally I was writing mostly tutorials on topics like Linux, Java, Emacs and Ruby, but eventually I started writing some essays
as well (my favorite type of posts). As my OSS portfolio grew it started to gain
significant coverage in my blog as well.
(think) was a bit messy and without a clear
direction, but I guess it was a somewhat accurate reflection of myself as well.
I’ve thought at times about deleting some of my lame articles and heavily copy-editing the rest to make them fit my current beliefs and standards of quality, but this approach felt like cheating to me. I was who I was and I wrote what I wrote. To me that certainly has a lot of value. I’ve been thinking lately that being (very) critical of your old work is a good indicator that you’re moving in the right direction. We can always do better, but we need to reach a certain level of experience to see that.
For various reasons (mostly a combination of frustration with Octopress and my (immense) laziness), I didn’t write anything between 2015 and 2018 and when I finally mustered the will to return to writing I decided to go with a clean slate and a new blog.2 That’s how “Meta Redux” was born.
These days I use
(think) mostly for short (and somewhat random) tutorial-like articles,
that don’t fit very well with my vision for Meta Redux. Perhaps at some point I should retire
(think) completely, but we’ve had a good run together and I’m not ready for us to part
ways just yet.
Emacs Redux was my second blog. I started it in 2013 with the clear goal to write there short Emacs tutorials. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past 7 years with a various degree of commitment and quality. Still, I consider it a great success that I’ve kept writing there for so long. For a while I wasn’t very active there, again due to frustration with Octopress, but once I converted Emacs Redux to Jekyll, I’ve managed to rekindle my passing for it.3
It’s important to understand that I don’t write about Emacs exclusively on Emacs Redux. Often when an article is more “meta” in its nature (e.g. musings on the role of Emacs in modern society) it will end up on Meta Redux. Articles related to CIDER usually end up on Meta Redux as well, as I consider them more of Clojure articles, than Emacs articles.
After the previous couple of sections, there’s little to add here. Meta Redux is my primary blog these days, where I try to share my thoughts on the topics I consider the most important to me. These days those topics are still mostly programming related, but this may very well change down the road.
I have to admit that my fondness for the word “redux” turned out to be a major SEO problem due to the massive popularity of React in recent years. Just Google “meta redux” and you’ll see what I mean. That being said at some point I was thinking of doing “Ruby Redux” and “Clojure Redux” as well, but then I came back to my senses and I realized I don’t have nearly enough time for so much writing, plus I still prefer writing code to writing articles.
You might have noticed that all my blogs are pretty spartan when it comes to the visuals. A while ago I realized
that a blog is all about the content and we can’t have a fancy theme distract us from what matters the most.
On top of this - my CSS skills are a complete zero, so there’s that as well. A bit of Jekyll, a bit of
minima (its default theme),
and lots of quality time writing articles in Emacs. That’s my recipe for a rewarding blogging experience.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope now you’re finally making some sense of how I leverage my different blogs.