Wiping the slate clean

Agent Smith: We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start.


I’ve been maintaining some sort of online journal (before they were called a blog) since 1997, but for the last 4-5 years it has been somewhat neglected. Recently, I started to spend time every morning journaling and it has reawakened a desire to start writing for a, likely theoretical, audience. In preparation, I spent some time considering what to do with the blog, what should the focus of the blog be, what should the url structure be, would I advertise, would I keep the old material, what sort of publishing schedule would it have, etc. Below I’ll lay out what the plan is, and the thinking behind it and then I’ll start focusing on creating content.


I’ve noticed a trend over the years of people having different types of blogs for different topics of interest. People will have a “programming blog” and a “vacation blog” and a “dog blog”, etc, ad naseum. I spent some time laying out what that might look like and then trying to figure out what domains I would get for those various blogs, etc, it was getting cumbersome. What happens if I’m focused on other areas and the blogs don’t get updated evenly. What if I have a blog on dog training and then I decide that I don’t want to write about that for a while because I’ve said all I have to say for the moment, or I’m completely focused on some Salesforce project that I’ve been working on. I came to the conclusion that the whole notion of doing this is mental, at least for me. One person, one blog.


I think I understand why people are doing this, ranking is better when things have a narrower focus, they can lay things out to suit the primary topic of a specialized blog. It’s great, makes a lot of sense for some folks. However, I just don’t think it works for me, I have no interest in maintaining multiple blogs. So you’ll see lots of different types of posts over time, but they will all be categorized. You will find entries on Code, Business, Judo, Photography, Scuba diving, Dog training, Jiu Jitsu, Vacations and many more things. However, in an effort to not bore the shit out of the folks that only care about my thoughts on the latest pedals I bought for the mountain bike and how they worked on my last ride at tamarancho you’ll be able to narrow the focus. I’ll be actively categorizing my posts so that you can simply go to something like www.joelhainley.com/code to get the latest entries about anything related to programming, or www.joelhainley.com/grappling for everything that I write about jiu jitsu or judo. One domain. All topics. Consistent categorization.


Advertising. Yeah, I’ll likely advertise. Why not. It doesn’t get in the way of the content and if it generates a few bucks to cover the cost of hosting this blog then I’m ok with that.


Old Material. I’m wiping out all of my old material with the exception of a recent post on some difficulties I had resolving a problem with AWS on OSX, the rest of it is gone. Why? Well I just wanted to start over, my writing voice has changed somewhat over the years and I didn’t really want to deal with the older stuff. I also didn’t want to go through the effort of massaging categorization to make these things fit in the correct places. I used to have a fair amount of traffic for some of my older posts but most of this traffic has died and the content isn’t relevant anymore.


Publishing schedule. I don’t have one. I’ll publish when I have something to say, but hopefully this new structure and renewed interest in writing will result in more frequent updates, but no grandiose plans going forward.


That’s it for now.