About me: My name is Solène Rapenne, pronouns she/her. I like learning and sharing knowledge. Hobbies: '(BSD OpenBSD Qubes OS Lisp cmdline gaming security QubesOS internet-stuff). I love percent and lambda characters. OpenBSD developer solene@. No AI is involved in this blog.

Contact me: solene at dataswamp dot org or @solene@bsd.network (mastodon).

You can sponsor my work financially if you want to help me writing this blog and contributing to Free Software as my daily job.

Why do I write this blog?

Written by Solène, on 14 May 2021.
Tags: #blog

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

1. Why do I write this blog? §

I decided to have a blog when I started to gather personal notes when playing with FreeBSD, while I wanted my notes to be easy to read and understand I also chose to publish them online so I could read them even at work.

The earlier articles were more about how to do X Y, they were reminders for myself that I was sharing with the world, I never intended to have readers at that time. I enjoyed writing and sharing, I had a few friends who were happy to subscribe to the RSS feed and they were proof-reading after my publications.

Over time, I wanted to make it a place to speak about unusual topic like StumpWM, Common LISP, Guix and weird Unix tricks. It made me very happy because I got feedback from more people over time so I kept doing this.

At some point, I got a lot more involved in the OpenBSD community and I think most of my audience is related to OpenBSD now. I want to share what you can do with OpenBSD, how it would be different than with another system, steps-by-steps guides. I hope it helped some people to jump to OpenBSD and they enjoy it as well now. At the same time, I try to be as honest as possible when I publish about something, this blog is making absolutely no money, there are no ads, I would have absolutely nothing to gain not being honest in my articles. I value precision and accuracy, I try to link to official documentation most of the time instead of doing a copy/paste that will become obsolete over time.

Speaking of obsolescence, I usually re-read all my texts (and it takes a long time) once a year, to check if everything seems still correct. I could see packages that not longer exist, configuration syntax that may have changed or just a software version that is really old, this takes a lot of time because I value all my publications and not only the most recent one.

I write because I have fun writing and I'm happy to make my readers happy. I often get some emails from people I don't know giving me their thoughts about an article, I'm always surprised but very happy when this happen and I always reply to those persons.

I have no schedule when I write, sometimes I plan texts but I can't get them right so I delete them. Sometimes months can pass between two publications, I do not really care, I'm not targeting any publication rate, that would be against the fun.

2. Why not you? §

This may sound odd, but I wanted to write this text mainly to encourage other people to write and publish their own blog. Why not you? On the technical side, there are many free hosting available in the opensource community and you have plenty of awesome static website generators available nowadays.

If you want to start the adventure, just write and publish. Propose a way to contact you, I think it's important for readers to be able to reach you, they are very nice (at least I never had any issue): they could report mistakes or give you links to things you may enjoy on the same topic as your publication.

Don't think of money, styling, hit rate, visit numbers, it doesn't matter. The true gems on the Internet are those old fashions websites of early 2000 with many ugly jpg, wrong colors but with insane content about unusual and highly specific topics. I have in mind the example of a website about a French movie, the author had found every spot in France where the movie has been filmed, he has contacted every cast in the movie even the most insignificant ones to ask about stories and gathered many pictures and stories about the making of the film. None of this would ever happen in a web driven by money and ranking and visitors.