I used to be an avid blogger before the burst of social networks. I didn't care too much that people actually read my articles, since they were mostly a way to consolidate my knowledge. That being said, I can't lie and say I didn't care at all. It was definitely rewarding when I got a comment, or could notice on the logs that people were actually reading some of my posts. After all, no matter how nerdy and introspective we are, we're still humans and have a natural tendency to socialise.
Then, social networks rapidly infiltrated the web and eventually that handful of readers never came back. People would rather endlessly scroll through feeds behind walls, living inside a bubble and never bumping into random blogs of unknown people ever again. For a brief while, I kept updating my blog, but ultimately I just left it untouched, almost forgotten for the past ten years. I'm on Twitter, but Twitter is essentially a web reincarnation of IRC, without the depth of even microblogging. Facebook was never my thing either.
A couple or so years ago I rediscovered Gopher and joined the initiative to bring it back to what it used to be in the past. I started using the Internet in the mid 90s, so although I still remember gopher holes from the past, I didn't exactly experience its heyday and therefore I'm not so nostalgic about it, like some are. This, coupled with the fact that I'm a developer, meant that I ended up focusing on creating dynamic content in the form of services and not so much static content. I also believe Gopher is supreme to serve file hiearchies, but not an ideal blogging platform, for two main reasons:
1. Pure text is a bit too minimal for a blog post
2. The way Gopher addresses "hypertext" is too hacky
As a result, despite all my enthusiasm about Gopher, I didn't come back to blogging, or rather, phlogging. The motivation was simply not there. Fast forward to 2021 and I finally took the chance to dive into Gemini, which I had previously ignored a bit, because I hadn't realised how beautifully it was building on top of what was great about Gopher, fixing the shortcomings that I mentioned above and others. In my opinion, a log or journal needs a minimal set of structural elements that can be easily used:
Gemini provides that in a very elegant way. Suddenly creating static content from he comfort of your favourite text editor is fun again. Not only that, virtual hosting is also a must for me, as well as a rich character set. Further, I discovered an absolutely amazing community of like minded people, actively and happily producing and consuming content within the Gemini space. It's not a huge and overwhelming amount of people, just the right amount. I see people from all backgrounds, from older nostalgic users, which like the simplicity of Gemini, to younger people enthusiastic about a modern protocol, that hits the sweetspot between simplicity and complexity. I have plenty to read, and I know at least someone will read some of my posts, like this one, till the end. So I've imported my old posts into this gemlog and started blogging again, or rather glogging!