I just learned WordPress puts up a special milestone notification when a blog site has one thousand posts, because I triggered that notification with yesterday’s post about vaguely attainable somewhat humanoid robots.
It’s pretty common for a personal blog to have only a handful of posts — sometimes just one — before it goes dormant. My first attempt ended after less than a dozen. The second attempt had more than a dozen, but not by much. Fortunately for me, they have stopped taunting me as they have been erased by no actions of my own: both of them were hosted on small startup blog hosting services that have since gone out of business. Maybe fragments have survived in Google caches and what not, but I haven’t felt inclined to go searching for them.
I had no reason to expect the results would be any different with this third attempt, so again I started with the free tier of service. Except this time I started with a more established host: WordPress.com, the commercial hosting counterpart whose revenue helps support the free open-source blog software available from WordPress.org. When I felt that I’ve found my groove and can keep this going, I upgraded to the “Personal” plan so I can have my own domain and remove WordPress ads.
So far I have felt no need to upgrade beyond the Personal tier. Most of the higher tier features are tailored to people trying to make money in one way or another but I have no revenue goals for this blog. This is mostly documentation for my own aims, and if my notes are useful for someone else, that’s just a happy coincidence. One way I’ve described this site to friends is “a diary with zero expectation of privacy”. My content is not tailored to maximize traffic and, in fact, is the wrong medium to do so: consumer traffic (and corresponding ad revenue) are migrating towards video and away from text.
But I want text. I like to read and learn at my own pace. While I’m glad YouTube (and other video sites) have implemented ability to adjust playback speed of a video, having to go and change that setting is still a hassle. And finally: as documentation for myself, I want to be able to search through my notes and that’s a lot easier with text than video.
But there are some things more suited to a video than the written word, and for them I’ve shot video footage and created a New Screwdriver YouTube channel to host them. Right now I see the YouTube channel as roughly analogous to my first few aborted blogging efforts: an exploration into the medium looking for a way to make this work. Hopefully it won’t go dormant, but the YouTube channel certainly won’t be my focus for the foreseeable future.