Nerd, Decentralize Thyself
Back in April I linked to Rich Stevens’ announcement of a new newsletter he planned to begin publishing once or twice a week focusing on “A little business, a little gadgetry, a little art and writing, and a few dick jokes.” Since then I have enjoyed his seventeen posts immensely, and the latest was no exception: in Nerd, Decentralize Thyself1 Rich Stevens spoke to the recent trend towards relying on platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter, and how despite liking both he would never forfeit ownership of his website. He went on to call for more people devoted to pointing out great work in order to solve the discoverability problem those aforementioned services aim to obviate as a way of decreasing our reliance on third parties to do great work and, hopefully, make building a website back into something cool again. If you find this description at all interesting, subscribe to the newsletter; you will not be disappointed.
Personally, I could not agree more: I love Squarespace and Tumblr has a great thing going for it, but I want to be the one responsible for my Markdown parser failing to recognizing a link. I like downloading my web.config file so that I can mess it up for half an hour. If I feel like changing how readers view footnotes, then by God I will. Running this sort of website has a much higher barrier to entry, but it also brings with it a much greater reward. Just as not everyone can handle working from home, I cannot in good conscience say that everyone should go write their own CMS; however, once you experience the benefits of doing so, you will never want to go back.