2 minute read

Hello World. Let’s blog like it’s 2002.

I’ve had a blog on Dave Winer’s “Radio Userland” in 2002. Back then, blogs were a novel way for self-publishing and for putting ad-hoc thoughts on the web without having to edit every page; before Twitter, before Facebook, before Instagram. It doesn’t feel like this all nearly 15 years ago.

I liked blogging so much that I soon thought to have hit the limits of Dave’s platform and started building my own, “dasBlog”, which was a self-hostable, file-based blog engine written on top of the, then new, Microsoft .NET Framework. And since I wanted that blog engine not only for me, I made it open source, with a BSD license. That project ended up being one of the few granddaddies of the open source movement around .NET and I had some fancy ideas in there that got picked up in various places.

Eventually I got sucked into Facebook and Twitter, which are fun, but ultimately very ephemeral places that you don’t have a lot of control over. And with less interest in blogging, I obviously also had less utility for the engine I created, so that eventually got picked up (luckily) by some heroic maintainers who kept it going for a good while.

Meanwhile, I do create a lot of public content again, but it sits dispersed across a bunch of sites and it’s not all focused on software technology. I have well over 10,000 photos on FlickR with a CC-BY license, for instance. So I’ve been looking for a way to put it all back together, have a bracket around that content of sorts.

At the same time, these are times in tech, politics, and society that sometimes need some long-form discussion and not just a tweet. That content needs a home and that’s not medium or someone else’s site for me. And I want a place that is mine so that I set the “Terms of Service”.

For the curious: This new website is completely generated with Jekyll, and I’m using the Minimal Mistakes theme/framework on top. I run it on Azure App Service, with a continuous deployment setup via GitHub. The site is therefore completely static right now; I may add back some dynamic stuff, but this is now an eternal construction site without a sign.

“Blogging like it’s 2002” means to link and refer and have discussions across sites. We used to have a few nifty mechanisms for that like Pingback and Trackback that eventually got all destroyed by spammers. That’s sad. That was fun. Certainly I want to make this place the “master” of most content, meaning if I refer to long-form content on Twitter or Facebook, the links should go here. We’ll see how good I’ll be about it.

To everyone who has been following my blog for a long time - thank you! I kept all the old content in the /archive section and have a link rewriter module that should keep all permalinks valid.


  • Clemens