Originally published on my blog.
I've had this blog now for about 8 years. Wow that sounds like a long time.
Why did I start it? Why am I continuing?
I recently redesigned my site, and I am still making tweaks. As I do this, I often have to make choices about what design to use or elements to include. This may sound overly dramatic, but many of these decisions depend on what the fundamental purpose of my site is supposed to be.
In the coming weeks I'll be writing much more about these decisions I've made and why I made them. Laying out my motivations and principles will be essential in explaining my choices.
The main reason for my blog is to express myself. I want an outlet where I can explore my thoughts, and explore my creativity.
Sometimes I think this expression would be best kept private, that doing it in public stunts my creativity. But actually I'm quite an open person, so I think doing my experimentation in the open just suits my personality.
But I don't just want to express myself through the writing, I also want to express myself through the design, functionality and the other choices I make on my site.
Do I care about how popular my site is? Unfortunately I think I do.
I've never seen this site as a money-making endeavour (although if I can make a little money off it I wouldn't mind too much), so I'm not going to compromise on other principles just to make more money.
However, I certainly greedily watch my stats after publishing a piece to see how popular it is. Maybe this is not actually one of my goals, it's just a human weakness, and one I should try to resist as much as possible.
I want the world to like my blog, but I don't want to shape my blog to the world's desires, so really I should do my best to ignore what the world thinks, although I'm doomed to fail at this.
I have strong principles, and I absolutely want my blog to embody them. I rather optimistically believe that it is possible to be strongly principled and uncompromising and be successful. In fact, I believe that the purest endeavours are often the best, and when done well can stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Some things I believe in:
- Always strive for honesty and authenticity
- Promote fairness and justice
- Try to illuminate the truth
- Everything is political
- One should try to speak truth to power
- Money, power and advertising corrupt the message
If I try to distil this into a list of goals for this site, they might look something like this:
- To express myself as clearly and frequently as possible
- To communicate with honesty and integrity
- To put principle before profit
- To write fairly and inclusively
- To make my site accessible to all, and findable by as many as possible
Both these lists are imperfect and incomplete. I might come back and improve them later on. But for the time being, this can be a starting point for me to think about whether choices I make for this site truly work towards my fundamental goals and principles.
Let's see where this takes us next.