Building Your Corner of the Internet
Written by: Cody
0 reactions 2023-01-14
I had a blog for a long time at TheHumbleLab. It’s still there, currently with a bad SSL certificate that I need to fix 😬. As life got busy, I found I had less and less time to sit down and write a well thought out blog post. Eventually it got to a point where I hadn’t posted in years because I couldn’t find the time to just sit down and write on it. Since it was just a blog, it didn’t feel like that big of a deal to just let it go.
Recently, as conference CFP season started kicking in - I started thinking about a way to easily collect examples of work I had done that I could share during submissions. This got me thinking of treating a new site in the idea of a living portfolio. This isn’t a new idea, and there are plenty of examples out there of this kind of approach. In fact, this blog theme is largely based off of Shawn “swyx” Wang’s website, where he has done similar.
When a site is nothing but a blog, all you can do is write on it. I really wanted to embrace the idea of my “corner of the internet” where I could easily expand it to cover whatever use cases I wanted, beyond just a place to write.
If you don’t have your “own” place, you’re subject to whoever will freely host your work for you. Will your work always keep the articles you’ve written? Will they always keep your YouTube videos? What if you could keep it all in one location to make the highlight reel easier to find?
It becomes extremely useful when you’re submitting for conference talks. It also becomes extremely useful if you find yourself in a situation where you’re applying for new roles. Being able to provide potential employers with an easy path to discover more about you has massive upsides.
Not every thing needs to be a long form blog; in fact, many things probably shouldn’t!
If you look at sites like this as something more than just a blog - it opens up a door to different possible ways you can catalog information you discover, or perspectives you have. Publishing this content makes it discoverable for others, encouraging learning and building your own community.
The internet is a big and wide place - and if you’re finding a sharing useful things, it’s highly likely someone else is looking for those same things as well. This doesnt mean’t you CAN’T post the longer content pieces, it just means you can widen your content types beyond just long form.
A great example of shorter form content is what Lee Robinson (VP of Developer Experience at Vercel) does on his site, where he posts code snippets for a variety of things. Not everything HAS to be a blog post, and again, theres so much value in making this content discoverable.
I’m a big believer that we’ve all got a reason to be here and something to share. Creating a place where you can share your story, your experiences, and the journey you’ve been on can help people in ways you would’ve never expected. Similar to the knowledge topic I mentioned above - the internet is a big and wide place, and odds are there are people on a similar journey to you - and want to learn from the path you’ve been on. Tell your story!
If you left this post with only one piece of information, I would want it to be this - If you aren’t telling your story (your work, the things you learn, the parts of your journey) - you’re at the mercy of other peopel doing it for you. Build your corner of the internet, tell your story. Make your mark.