I’ve been recently getting emails from various sources grouping me with the local blogging community. I usually just ignore them, giving a passing glance at those that may contain usable information. Last night, however, I received a message that forced me to write this post.
For the sake of those who are not familiar with me, let me introduce myself first. I am someone who has taken (and is still taking on) many roles: freelance web developer, software engineer, teacher, volunteer, public speaker, and so on.
“Blogger” is not one of them.
But if you’re not a blogger, what is this site (blog.bryanbibat.net) then?
True, this is indeed a web log in the technical sense. However, it’s not a blog in the “blogger”‘s sense. A quick look and you’ll see the difference:
No Ads. I’m a Rails developer. Any ad money I could get will be far lower than what I’d get even from part-time work.
Super Fast. Jekyll = street cred. Since I don’t feel like migrating yet, I’ll have to make do with optimizing WordPress using nginx (dev) + PHP-FPM + PHP-APC on an 8-processor server and adding CDN and caching.
Minimalist. Free responsive theme. Twitter microblog. Links to my sites and affiliates. A tongue-in-cheek appearance list. Obligatory archive links and stats. Copyright information. Nothing else.
Deeper content. I’m writing 10 pages of algorithm analysis while other “blogs” are dropping smartphones off buildings.
My reason for going away from the norm is simple:
No one wants their site to be labeled as a “blog”
If this was 2004, it would be fine to have a slow, cluttered ad plastered site with stupid content.
But this is 2013. No one wants their site to be lumped together with the stereotype. Just look at the top 2 “blogs” in my current spheres of interest:
WebGeek.ph may appear like a blog at first glance, but in reality it’s a vibrant community of developers and designers. Not only do they get large turnouts in their events, they even get sponsorships from all over – not bad considering none of the key people within the community are working on it full time.
theBobbery may also appear like a blog, but scrolling down and visiting a few pages will immediately tell you that it’s the type of news and information site that other blogs should have been in the first place.
Clean, ad-free sites with quality content; I am fairly certain that John Arce and Franky Branckaute would give me a look of disapproval if I would call their sites “blogs”.
Now I’ve already made it clear why I don’t want people calling this brain dump/soapbox a “blog”, let’s go back to the word “blogger”.
You can do better than “Blogger”
“Blogger” is a stupid label. I know it’s a catch-all term, but this doesn’t excuse it’s stupidity.
Again, it’s 2013. Web-based publications have gained enough mainstream acceptance that they’ve already killed off some established print publications; don’t you think it’s time for people to label themselves more specifically? For example, I can call myself a “software engineering writer”. Other bloggers can go with “gadget reviewer”, “independent journalist”, or “foodie” (groan).
But more importantly, the term “blogger” is forever tainted by those who chose to label themselves as such in the early days of the Internet: unprofessional freeloading hacks who follow no journalism ethics and standards.
Which brings us back to the message I got last night, a message that tried to drag me into an Internet drama that does not concern me. Not only that, but all signs point it to being a case of identity theft; a sloppy, easily verified one at that.
So here I am, a guy who finds multi-million dollar blunders and industry-wide discrimination debates merely amusing, and someone thinks I’d care about some idiotic personal feud just because I have a blog with over a hundred posts?