“I’ve got my philosophy (Keeps my feet on the ground)”

I slept in today.

Some days I like to get an early start and hit the beach.

That was my intent today.

That’s not what happened.

Instead I was able to join the Galactic Bonus Homebrew Website Club. A charming name and a charming and friendly gathering of smart people.

We live in a time when disgust with the large social media silos is at a peak. IWC people are making an effort to create and maintain a more personal web presence and spread the word that there’s another way to do the web other than big corporate sites where your writing and videos is more “content” for others to hit like and subscribe on.

I was reminded that when I first started blogging 23 years ago the main constraint on what I wrote here was the notion that eventually my mother would read the site. That vague guideline impacted what I said, and shared, the language I used. And a few years later, I was proven right. She did read things here. It’s very weird to think of her entering my url, and leaving a comment. She’s been dead 13 years. But there are her words, all her exclamation marks on her comment Octobre Surprise are still there.

Great blog today Joe and love your photo!!!!!! 🙂 Take good care of each other and it was great hearing your voice!!!!!!

The site was not for her, but I suspected she would be in my audience. And I wrote partly to account for that. I’m glad I had that as part of my plan. I had a notion of my goals. They changed, evolved. I decided the site was for me. I understood others might see and read it, and that was okay. I did not want a mass audience. Because I created a philosophy for myself I’ve been able to keep up with it.

Today had me thinking of audience, fame and monetization. I thought of Heather today. And how an audience can have an effect on a writer. And how dangerous and toxic it can be.

But maybe the world has gotten better.

It’s possible we’ve learned as a culture since then.

Yes, things are worse, I mean, we are in a sustained toxic political moment of war and political discord. But aside from that.

Dooce was a pioneer in writing about her own experiences with mental health. It was novel 20 years ago to write about even the idea of self-care or seeing a counselor or that we have feelings and are sad or have anxiety.

The excellent post from James a few weeks ago: Taking a break from personal projects: Mental health and coding strikes me as honest and true and positive and that candor is a wonderful sign of the times. It’s okay to talk about real stuff. We needn’t be falsely giving the impression that everything is always fine all the time. We don’t have to hide away doubt and sadness. We can share our truth.

Sometimes we have to sleep in and rest.

gRegor hit me with a shout out today, and he wrote about his own experiences, and feelings in the course of his service-work. About the real value of sharing. It’s of a piece with what’s better in the world—of sharing our feelings and being ourselves.

And on the flip side, it’s also great to think about the fact that it is also a completely legitimate philosophy to choose to be less searchable. Private spaces, anonymity, pseudonymity, safe enclosed spaces. Distinct and private from search engines and trackers and the full-text search that has us click-click-clicking for the very very latest news and thoughts of everyone.

I have had Jo‘s post Search Engine Hostility in a text file among links I’ve been considering linking to and writing about for a few days now. And now’s the time. Some words from it had me shout YES! when I read it. I’ll leave it as the coda for this post:

Talking about a personal website or blog, if it’s the same type as mine, like it’s an investment is like talking about a novel or a painting set or a video game like an investment. Do you see how silly that seems? I don’t get any money out of it. I get enjoyment, I get a hobby, I get community and I get fun. Isn’t that enough? Can we not just accept this as enough?

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