I wonder if part of this has to do with fewer people writing in their own space anymore. Most people post in sanitised UIs of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. So seeing a personal page is confronting, unless it's a vanilla theme. Not sure. Either way, I'd love to see more people maintain personal blogs again. And with RSS! Maybe we need to resurrect something like Technorati.
The idea of being a "serious professional" is entangled in that of "the personal brand" and thus in your identity being your property. But it's not just that: it's also that this property has some assumed virtuous pattern of development(in the sense of Aristotle), and something that is not that pattern is incorrect, and possibly threatening because it disrupts their preconceptions of what is right - and it's always a preconceived thing, young kids aren't afflicted by this. They'd like to take the content - because it's valuable - while protecting those beliefs, so an urge rises to lash out, dismiss everything, give "helpful hints" about what to do better, or call it degenerate, because changing a belief is hard within oneself.
It's not just the blogosphere. This trend is everywhere. People don't just post vacation photos for friends, they try to become influencers. They don't throw parties, they try to be come DJs, they don't hack on little open source projects, they try to start passive income lifestyle businesses.
Everything's a hustle, everything's for money.
I don't know if this is born out of economic necessity because the middle class is hollowing out, or more just culture shifting to equate "success" with "rich". But it seems like fewer and fewer things are just... fun... anymore. It's always gotta be for something.
I will be building a new RSS reader/platform soonish. I will definitely think on the topic of resurrecting Technorati.
This is the kind of thing I miss from the web of the 90s and early 2000s. A vocal minority might complain that it doesn't look like Medium with the useless hero image of a laptop in a desk, the 45 trackers and analytics and paywall, but I silently enjoy both the content and the personality, so thank you both.
Might be the culture I live in or I'm getting old and stopping to care, but I frankly wouldn't have a problem putting this as a reference link in some internal documentation or in Slack. We have a Manga Guide to Databases in our work library since forever, so maybe the mascot is fitting. A furry-themed blog would fit too, of course, as we have a few O'Reilly books (but none with a wolf unfortunately). Jokes aside, I find the mascots of both sites tasteful and nicely drawn, btw.
I've been preoccupied lately with how we can encourage more people to blog again. I think everyone has something interesting to say, and shouldn't be constrained by what a specific social network permits (technically, or with content).
Not trying to say you should just interested in your motivation :)
The basic problem is that in terms of foregone consulting hours, writing a personal blog and hosting it using custom software is roughly the equivalent of purchasing and then purposely totaling several Teslas per year.
Things you need to run a blog:
1. Server, preferably secure. This can be set up in an afternoon, maybe on a Saturday or Sunday. You can also probably find Ansible or Chef scripts to automate the provisioning.
2. A directory on the server to hold website content - time to set up is dependent on latency to your server, but is essentially instant.
3. A web server set up to serve content in said directory - probably an hour or two to get a reasonably simple setup.
4. Probably an SSL cert - can be automated with Let's Encrypt, including making your server aware of the cert. Initial setup, maybe another hour.
5. Something to make the content. I like Hugo, but there's lots of other static site generators. Choose a pre-made theme that is the least objectionable to you. It might take another afternoon to get this all set up between browsing themes and writing some seed content.
6. Something to get the content to your server (or you can just keep the whole setup on the server!). I use rsync to deploy a build whenever I commit to the Git repo holding my blog.
Nice to haves:
1. A domain name. It makes your website easier to find, and people are more likely to remember that over an IP address. This will be about a half hour to an hour to set up depending on how shitty your registrar is.
All in all, I spend $5 a month running the server that hosts my blog. I maintain it and built it during hours when I wouldn't have been paid or worked anyways. So I'm out $60. Everything else is free (mostly as in beer, but some is also as in the other kind of free).
Not to mention that once you've created software like that, each individual blog post might well take literally hundreds of hours to write.
(Also, a basic blog system is really not that much work if you decide to go for it)
Fair enough, I just assumed it was running software the author had written himself, didn't see that it was actually Hugo.
Media publishing is about having a target market and not worrying about the segments you don't hit. Late night comedians don't worry about not having Rush Limbaugh listeners in their demographic and vice versa.
As you rightly say, your blog posts are part therapy and part knowledge transfer. That doesn't mean the "technical publishing" meta-tag doesn't also reasonably apply and brings a segment of readers with certain expectations.
I really appreciate that you opened the curtain a bit on their concerns and your disdain for them.
They aren't your customers and never will be
Saddle up the unicorn and keep riding
I mean, the lefty late-nights may not be hitting that market right now, but that doesn't mean that a competent one couldn't hit it without compromising the model.
It reminds me of my wish for anyone who is even semipopular on the internet, whether it be through a blog, Youtube channel, etc. I wish for them to ignore the comments. Log into your email, select all, and delete. That might be healthier, not just for you but for the world, because you would not be dragged down by their negativity.
I wish that you and others could remember that it takes a certain kind of person even to begin writing an email to a stranger with a blog. They are likely neurotic, https://web.archive.org/web/20170430010047/https://www.truth...
I am surprised by what people say in the comments sections of various websites. But I am equally surprised when I see the author take them seriously and give them the dignity of a reply. Or a Youtuber who seems like a healhty happy intelligent person with interesting content start to talk about some of the crazy things people have been saying in the comments. "Why are you even listening to those people?" I think. But I try to remember that I myself would probably be tempted to wonder if they're right or to start replying --- and get ensnared.
The image is here: https://email@example.com
It's the socks. Those mismatched socks are clearly triggering the kinds of people who serially straighten out picture frames.
I'm starting to worry a little about the number of "people exist who do that??" moments I've had lately.
But posts like this one here show me that it was cargo culting from the get go.
I have much to say, but to date dismissed most of it, because (oh the irony) I thought I shouldn't make this personal space of mine too personal.
An old boss of mine said you can't truly fake enthusiasm. That's stuck with me since.
Do you ever get back to any of your old posts and think "wow, this is just bad"?
I mean, I envy you for being able to just own all this, complete with the blog mascot, which to me is the ultimate power move here.
How does one obtain this power?
I think turning 30 helped with some perspective; I don't care [as much] anymore. "Yeah my partner is a manga artist and drew me a mascot, so what?" In my early 20s that wouldn't have even computed.
But I think the best thing I've found is to own it. Quote your past self, make lighthearted fun of it, and show how you've grown and what you've learned. Between that and not taking things too seriously, it also disarms a lot of trolls.
It's also helped in unexpected ways. People at AsiaBSDCon remembered me as the guy who blogs about BSD. I got Allan and Benedict laughing on a BSD Now podcast at a bad joke I wrote in an otherwise-technical post. That felt really good!
I empathise that it's trivial to discuss, but hard to internalise. CBT would say if you do it enough times, you feel better about it. That's probably the real answer.
I did too and it worked very well.
I know people who would say that everything could use more garlic. I suspect that would also extend to blogs.
People should expect that a personal site necessarily has your interests. I don't think it'd be weird at all for you to post tech-related content. And you never know, there might be an intersection with your exiting readers you didn't know about.
Good on you for writing what you want to. If someone wants to focus purely on a single subject that's great FOR THEM. Personally, I'm rather saddened by the fact that I keep starting and stopping blogs for decades; I'm also thrilled to see someone who has kept one up for 15 years. Great stuff!
I wrote a collection of posts about a political event a few years ago. They were aimed a politically naive posh young professionals.
The posts were sweary, crude, but crucially written in my _own_ style.
The actual subject was very serious.
when they were widely shared on facebook (~37k impressions of 2 minutes or longer) I was amused by the "Oh I do wish they wouldn't swear" or "why are they making dick/vag jokes"
They couldn't seem to grasp that if I'd have written in in a dry, clean style, not only would they have not read it, but they wouldn't have understood my point.
Humour, irreverence and swearing are all tools to convey a meaning, point or story. Used well (I am fully willing to admit that I have not been masterful in my use) they can create a mental image far stronger than any other metaphor.
So I commend your post, you dick. <3
I know this because Ben Folds had a hand in it, and I'm a long-time Ben Folds fan.
After the success of Has Been, he did go back to the corny covers style of making music though
There's literally only one cover song on Has Been, so it seems really weird to put the album in the same category
It would be great to get back to more individualism on the web.
I get a lot of similar feedback for using art of my fursona in my blog posts (i.e. for the purpose of added emotional inflection).
The feedback was sufficient enough to warrant a dedicated response post: https://soatok.blog/2020/07/09/a-word-on-anti-furry-sentimen...
Personally, I find the rubenerd site mascot to be tasteful. The shades of green and blue complement each other well, and the skirt's length isn't risque enough to raise my eyebrows. (But then again, I'm not exactly a prude.)
Any joe-schmo can string together smart sounding words. You need to signal to me that I need to take these words seriously, and when you mix in your otherworldly passions, I can’t take them seriously, it’s too unfamiliar to me.
Aside from that, what it is about the anime and furry culture that pushes its participants to include it in everything? Every once in a while, I see a post on the cringe subreddit of some young man who has peppered anime and fursonas all throughout a school presentation. What is driving the need to include this in everything?
That is, frankly, your problem and not the author's. The author has already taken the time to distill their knowledge into text, put it online, and allowed you free access to it.
> It absolutely detracts from the professionalism of the post.
From the author's perspective that may be a feature not a bug. Maybe they don't want to come across as professional. It's their writing and their little corner of the Internet. They can create as they please.
> You need to signal to me that I need to take these words seriously
No, they need do no such thing. If you want to extract value from what they've already taken the time to create and share, it's up to you to figure out how.
You're a grown-up. If you can't figure out whether text is enriching and useful to you or not without it being presented with just the right imagery, color, and font, that's on you.
> and when you mix in your otherworldly passions, I can’t take them seriously, it’s too unfamiliar to me.
This is a good sentence. Here you are correctly articulating that it is you who is having trouble assimilating the content they've shared. That's your choice. They have the freedom to put it out there and you have the freedom to ignore it if it's not to your taste. Everyone can do what they choose and everyone wins, for their own personal definition of "win".
> Aside from that, what it is about the anime and furry culture that pushes its participants to include it in everything? Every once in a while, I see a post on the cringe subreddit of some young man who has peppered anime and fursonas all throughout a school presentation. What is driving the need to include this in everything?
It's an important part of their identity and one that has fairly broad negative connotations. They rationally want to normalize it so that they can be their best fully-actualized self without having to deal with shame or criticism like your comment here.
This is just an armchair psychology theory, but I feel like it is just the need for social validation in the absence of it, as well as an attempt to prove that their interests/passions that are considered to be for "weird" or childish people can belong to "normal" adult people too. Hence why they never forget to remind people at any point in a regular discussion about that interest, as if it is a regular everyday thing that a lot of people are into.
And in the meantime, it is also sort of an interest/passion that isn't about an activity (very unlike most other interests/passions), but rather about being a different entity as a person, which makes it more difficult to detach yourself from that interest, as it literally is solely about being another form of yourself.
Overall, I agree with your sentiment however. Having furry content in a technical blog post would essentially prevent me from sharing it with my teammates, no matter how good the actual technical content of that post is.
I don't disbelieve you, but I do have a question!
Why is furry/anime/whatever inherently disqualifying, regardless of the quality of the technical content?
(n.b. None of the art is adult-oriented, if that's what you're worried about. I made an editorial decision on day one to keep the artwork featured on my blog 100% worksafe, even if the discussions aren't always.)
Is it a fear that "Nobody will take me seriously"? This didn't stop the EFF. https://twitter.com/EFF/status/1307037184780832769
It isn't inherently disqualifying, unless it is plastered everywhere where it doesn't belong, like in the middle of a lot of unrelated conversations or in the middle of a professional technical blog post.
For example, if you just have a furry image in your website header, but the content of your technical post itself is on-point and doesn't have a bunch of unrelated furry stuff, most people will have no issues sharing your content and recommending it to others.
For a good example of that, take a look at the website of the guy who did a lot of impressive work and research and became famous for the YOLO image classifier. His website features my little pony characters. He is very openly into it. His MLP-themed resume made as a halfway joke is extremely infamous on the internet. And then take a look at his technical blog posts. He writes really well and doesn't let his interests detract him from quality writing. And no one who is interested in reading about the technical topics he covers seems to have any issues with the content of his posts at all.
If you included pictures of scantily clad people in all of your posts, I would also hesitate to send it to my manager.
Anime has a huge sexual following as well. There’s an entire industry around printing anime girls onto body pillows for these fans to sleep with, for example.
Furries started as a sexual fantasy like The Colbert Report started as a serious news show. It didn't. The Colbert Report was intended to satirize news outlets like Fox, but art imitates life and you gotta talk about the real world at one point or another. Furries started as panels and room parties at science fiction cons and guess what, humans do this thing where art imitates life and is a reflection of of humanity at large.
But, you seem to have made it a goal to intentionally not understand what you're talking about and argue in bad faith, looking for validation of your limited worldview.
To counter your point: My boss actively suggests to people a wide mix of books on subjects, including [The Manga Guide to Cryptography](https://nostarch.com/mangacrypto) and within my company it's not uncommon to see people making MLP references, references to anime and manga (including BNA, Aggretsuko, Hello Kitty, etc) and more.
If you can't read an article for the contents & think critically about its construction and presentation, did you even go to college? Or did you fake your way through that degree? Or were you just not challenged through high school to think and that's where your 4.2 perfect GPA came from?
I don't think many care. It's a pop-culture, one of the random interests people adopt to feel "different" in the 20th/21st century (I guess kind of like "occult circles" in the 19th century or similar).
How would one feel about a 30-40 year old "goth"? Exactly.
In the juvenile 21st century culture it might be considered an acceptable passtime for someone over 20-22, but in the end it's no better than being a "goth", a "biker", a "raver", a "b-boy", a "trekie", a "new ager" or similar cringe-worthy identities people cling on to find a community in the absense of a real community of people.
Real community being the variety that focuses on the actual character, personality, work, and behavior -- not on people having some niche affiliation/interest in order to be included.
Sure, my point wasn't that they don't exist, but that it's a sad clinging.
>Just because a community formed around a common (possibly frivolous) interest doesn't make it "not a real community"
In my book it does. For one it makes it exclusionary. And what when you lose interest in the "frivolous interest" later? You lose the friends or alienate some of them? That's not much of a community then to begin with.
>And why even gatekeep what makes a good community?
Shouldn't I rather ask this question to you? After all, you're the one who accepts a community that's gatekeeping based on an interest!
That's like...just your opinion, man. :)
> In my book it does. For one it makes it exclusionary. And what when you lose interest in the "frivolous interest" later? You lose the friends or alienate some of them? That's not much of a community then to begin with.
That isn't what happens, though. They are still your friends, you can still do other things with them! Maybe you met someone at a board game convention, both over the years you stopped playing games (hey, life happens) - doesn't mean you can't or don't meet up with them for dinner, a music event, or...
> Shouldn't I rather ask this question to you? After all, you're the one who accepts a community that's gatekeeping based on an interest!
Aha! Here is the issue. The communities form around those interests, but there's nothing saying you can't join the community without having a heavy interest in it. Probably having some sort of passing interest is how you find out about the community in the first place, but it isn't a requirement. It feels to me that you're making a big assumption about a lot of communities that you've never personally interacted with.
Yes, but either all opinions are equally valid, and things are just matters of taste, or some opinions are more valid than others (not mine necessarily, just some). In which case, one might want to consider whether this one is more valid - and whether being a goth or a furry after teenager years makes much of a sense.
If your argument is some variety of "anything should go" or "whatever doesn't actively hurt someone else is ok", or "it's a free country", or "whatever gets you through", then sure, can't argue with that...
And most communities are based on something, be it interest, experiences, location, profession, ... - which community is not "gatekeeping" through some factor? If you exclude people from your social circles because they "don't belong (anymore)" is orthogonal to that, and not a thing unique to relationships through interest-based communities.
On the Wikipedia page about furry fandom, it says:
> The furry fandom has its roots in the underground comix movement of the 1970s, a genre of comic books that depicts explicit content. In 1976, a pair of cartoonists created the amateur press association Vootie, which was dedicated to animal-focused art. Many of its featured works contained adult themes, such as "Omaha" the Cat Dancer, which contained explicit sex.
As well, it even has a section dedicated to sexuality, where it states:
> In a different online survey, 33% of furry respondents answered that they have a "significant sexual interest in furry", another 46% stated they have a "minor sexual interest in furry", and the remaining 21% stated they have a "non-sexual interest in furry".
Although you may not engage with it sexually, it very much has a sexual following.
Go and look at some surveys from furries, like the ones listed in the Wikipedia article. Although they say it’s not about sex, they respond differently in private.
What do you consider an unbiased news source?
Vice? https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjmq9d/how-the-furry-comm... https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/gothic-cocktails-with-ton...
Psychology Today? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animals-and-us/20170...
Almost every expert who has seriously studied the furry community has come to the same consensus: The public imagination is wrong, often hilariously so.
Almost any expert who dared say otherwise would expect a backslash, being called fascist or whatever, and probably cancellation. So there's that.
I don't know where you heard that, but it's incorrect.
There's a documentary that delves into the history of the furry fandom: https://youtu.be/c2N1sFWRRf8
> Much of the furry community sees fursonas as a sexual choice.
No, this is a myth that a lot of people outside our community believe.
If you have a fursona, that's supposed to be a representation of you. Fursonas are about identity. It can also be about one's queerness (which is probably fair to say in general, considering 80% of the fandom is LGBTQIA+), but being queer doesn't mean "being sexual".
(Yes, there is a side to most fandoms that focused on adult entertainment, but that's not all of it.)
>I don't know where you heard that, but it's incorrect.
Maybe that's technically incorrect, but you should check out how the early coverage of furry culture was presenting it as. Here is an interesting excerpt:
"Early portrayal of the furries in magazines such as Wired, Loaded, Vanity Fair, and the syndicated sex column "Savage Love" focused mainly on the sexual aspect of furry fandom."
My online sphere of interactions includes both furries and otherkin and we generally get along fine. I don't like that this sort of boundary matters, but it does, and I'm not in a position to do anything about it.
I, as a hobbyist who blogs about things in my spare time for my own amusement, owe no obligation to random people's managers.
In 99.9999% of cases, that also includes my own manager at my place of work. (And even then, my only obligation is to not talk about things that aren't meant to be discussed publicly.)
> Every once in a while, I see a post on the cringe subreddit
> What is driving the need to include this in everything?
I've answered this on my about page.