Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

Why HN readers don’t have a blog

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/a0
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Yesterday, I asked the Hacker News community why they don’t have blogs, even though they have the necessary technical skills.

Many Hacker News readers and contributors have the technical skills to run their own blog and post their opinions. But instead they prefer to use Twitter or other social networks. Why is this so? Is it the effort?

I want to respond to some of the answers in this post:

I don’t want an extremely public record of my personal opinions or thoughts today, because I know they’re going to change tomorrow. (source)

This is a very interesting answer, which I also thought about and then found my individual solution, simply to mark all posts older than one year with a note that opinions may have changed. But otherwise I have to hope that I don’t write anything that could be used against me in court (or out of court) at some point in the future. However, I personally do not think much of not publishing anything for fear that this could have negative consequences. And it probably makes no difference to post something on Twitter or your own blog. In either case, it is possible that it will remain permanently saved.

Before I gave up with my blog, many years ago, it had very few readers unless I was doing SEO bullshit or I was spending hours actively promoting it. […] But when social networks replaced blogs, people stopped using RSS feeds or simply visiting blogs. (source)

It seems that many people only want to run a blog if they have many readers and can earn money with it. Sure, no one needs to run a blog (I only do it because I feel like it), but I personally prefer to read personal blogs much more than those that are only meant to maximize profit. I want to read about real experiences, honest opinions and things that really interest its writer. And I rarely find such blogs via search engines, but rather via blogrolls or recommendations of other bloggers. But there is also the option to combine blog and social media and use both.

And I for example (but also some others) still follow RSS feeds. RSS is not dead.

I used to have a blog, and I miss it, but I realized long ago that no one gives a shit about anything I have to say. […] Sometimes I think I’d like to start one up again but, you know, people expect blogs to be put out by experts now - I just did it because I enjoy writing […]. (source)

Not being an expert is perfectly fine, and I don’t think anyone really expects blogs to be written by experts only. It is also quite pleasant to read something from “normal” people.

I’ve had similar thoughts before, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that the blog is just like a kind of public diary for me. I document things that I find exciting, learned or experienced. Some things are actually uninteresting for others, but maybe it will help somebody again sometime. Or at least it entertains a little. Who knows.

Twitter is a blog. (source)

Right, Twitter is a microblogging platform. However, Twitter is also a silo and in many ways very limited.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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