Up until now, I have just been maintaining this site as a jumble of pages containing things I might want to have access to, or that other people with similar interests might find useful. There hasn’t been a lot admittedly, but I always felt I had to publish “just enough” to get some content up there so that I could justify having a web-site.
Typically stuff just gets thrown up on here when I’ve been retaining a tab open in my browser for a few weeks. It’s usually something that’s interesting, or useful, but that was hard to find, or that I don’t have immediate use for but that I know will come in handy in the future. The tab will usually stay there until I either book-mark it (rare enough because I absolutely hate maintaining bookmarks) or find some way to apply it so that the knowledge becomes a part of the milieu of information surrounding me.
Sometimes I do just let it go, but lately I’ve been adding these links into my web-site, which on the one hand does retain the knowledge, but on the other hand risks eventually turning the site into a link directory, which isn’t something I want to do. Apart from the fact that this would be tremendously uninteresting, the same reasons for not bookmarking, roughly apply: Takes time to maintain, has to be organised into a hierarchy, has to be kept up-to-date, and so on and so forth.
But anyway, this practice of adding in links to pages that I had created to be topic-specific has been creeping in. I’ve had a bunch of tabs now open for a while containing some bash scripting gems. I thought to add links to the page where I present my bash profile, but as I added these I started to feel the need to explain why I thought they were useful.
As I started to add these explanations, I began looking around the web trying to find articles supporting my opinions, and as I dug I found ever more links I wanted to keep, and my explanation started to seem ever more essay-like. I had hoped to find a neatly encapsulated argument, or phrase that would illustrate my position and hand off to that but there wasn’t really one forthcoming.
I’m kind of wary not just of diluting my “topic specific” pages with more general information but also that in having to condition my information so that it fits will mean throwing away related info that’s also pretty good (because it doesn’t fit you see).
So a short informal essay, capturing the information surrounding a small specific topic is a good reason to write a blog post. It’s a grandiose description of something quite trivial, but as a lazy programmer I need it to justify doing something new. Blame years of having to justify my estimates to skeptical resource-planners 🙂