Back to blogging
The title is a bit misleading, because I never really stopped blogging. I've just slowed down. A lot. From posting several times a month to posting a few times a year. I started blogging in 2011, which is a lot later than other people who have been online since well before the turn of the century. But I blogged pretty faithfully until a few years ago, even when I was contributing to a well-trafficked site and active on social media. There was something about a personal blog that was different.
Then, as social media became more and more commodified, more privacy-invading, and much less fun, I found myself reluctant to put material online. I'd been dogpiled for posts that outraged a small group with a large megaphone. I'd posted random thoughts on politics and attracted strangers who wanted to tell me at great length how I was wrong. It was exhausting and unpleasant. So I gave up having an online presence for the most part.
As an academic I couldn't be truly offline. My professional information is always available, and it's pretty easy to find my non-professional contributions from there. So I've always been torn between minimizing my online presence and doing a better job of controlling it (to the extent possible, which is a long way from how much I'd like to be able to control).
Thanks to various events, most recently the acceleration of Twitter's Hellscapization, blogging is experiencing something of a renaissance, or at least the idea of blogging is. So here I am again, trying to combine personal blogging with something more varied, which can integrate profession-adjacent writing. This change is brought to you by my forays into the strange but compelling world of digital gardens and tools for thought. Yes, I made an Obsidian account.
I'll keep blogging at the old site and when it seems germane I'll link between the old and the new.
And in the meantime, I appreciate the opportunity to blog in a space that feels more private, less commercial, and less burdened by bells and whistles. Thanks, Herman!