My first-ever blog ran off a CMS that I wrote. It was 1999. It was written in Perl, because that was one of the few ways a beginner could get a dynamically-generated site up on most shared hosts. I lost access to that server sometime in the years after and that first blog hasn’t been online since. The best thing about it, though, was that I got to write it and design it the way I wanted: I was in full control of both the code and the content.
My second-ever blog ran on WordPress. It was 2007. That was ten years ago, when I decided to quit my job to work on new ideas. I figured starting all over again with work should mean starting all over again with a blog, so that’s what I did. Starting all over didn’t have to mean writing my own CMS, however, because WordPress was pretty mature by then and I just loved its open-source roots. It felt like I could still be in control of both code and content.
For me, the blog started as the ultimate ‘bundle’: a place where you could post multiple types of objects, where you could quote and “reblog” other people’s content to add to the discussion, where you could build individual followings, where you could have all the features you wanted in one place (or have the option to add them as plugins or write custom code to build them). The next phase brought the unbundling – photos (Flickr, Instagram, 500px), small thoughts (Twitter), links (Delicious), sharing cool stuff you love (Tumblr), writing (Medium), &c. They were each great in their own way – each site had its own social graph, its own custom tools and user interfaces and consumption patterns.
However, recently, as some of these sites get acquired and/or shutdown or change tactics or stagnate with platform updates, I’ve been considering what to do with some types of content that I care about. Two in particular – writing and photography – have had no consistent home over the years. At the time I used all these services to get the most attention and value within each network’s social graph. But then I realized, if these services ever go away, the archives of my posts are what I’m going to treasure even more. It’s great to be able to cross-post things to other networks, but I still wanted a place of my own that could live on, no matter what happened to the platform underneath.
So it’s one of the reasons I’m bringing back STREAM – my blog from 2007. It’ll be hosted here at naveen.blog. As before, it’ll still run WordPress, not only because it’s open-source – power over code and content – but also because, like me, they just want to make the web a better place. I hope to get back to writing every so often and I hope it’ll once more be a great photo blog.