This is the gazillionth rebuild of gosha dot net. Welcome! Feel free to skip to the bottom of the post to see what you can expect from all of this.
I’ve had my own website in some shape or form since pretty much 1995. My earliest efforts were hosted on good old Geocities and built around fandom: Lois & Clark, Star Wars, then Quake. Eventually, as I started to make art myself, the personal websites I built got more sophisticated, I started blogging, though intermittently.
I’ve since unfortunately lost most of the posts I’ve written, since I kept changing blogging platforms and hosting providers, and a lot of the content that existed in, say, Posterous, Tumblr, or a random WordPress install didn’t surive the move to the next platform-du-jour. Then social media platforms took over, and having your own living, breathing website seemed to become like a thing of the past.
In the last year or so, I have become much more aware of the issues surrounding data ownership. Much has been written about why platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are not working in the interest of the artist, researcher, engineer, musician, etc., and taking back control from those companies begins with taking back ownership of data.
This idea is what fueled the rebuild of this website. I’ve been using platforms such as Squarespace, Format, and Cargo until recently to host my photography portfolio, but this iteration of my website has been essentially hand-built, powered by just a static site generator and a few open source tools.
Before they were called websites, a personal web presence was referred to as a home page. There is something deeply satisfying about not only owning one’s (online) home, but also about building it from scratch, with tools of one’s choosing. In the same sense as cooking your own meal will always be more satisfying than picking a pre-made dish from a menu, so it is for a website. A sense of mastery has been achieved. Master of my own domain, so to say.
This is a welcome feeling in the context of the early 2020s. It also fits nicely with other trends that I have started to notice in my life recently, trends towards more awareness, of more discerning selection, and of more intentional work.
In all of this, I’ve been inspired by people all around me. Some infinitely close to me (my wife!), some whom I have never met but interact with daily, online, through decentralised social networks, mailing lists, and blogs blogs blogs.
With this version of gosha dot net, I’m trying to accomplish just three things:
- Keep an ongoing documentation of the projects I’m working on, be they photography, software, or anything else.
- Give something back. Literally all of my work is built on the shoulders of people who decided to put their work back in the world, in one form or the other. I want to be the kind of person who does this.
- Develop my skills as a writer.
If that sounds interesting, you can subscribe to the blog posts through the ancient technology known as RSS if you want to be sure to not miss a thing, or if you’d prefer a couple-of-times-a-year sort of deal, subscribe to my newsletter instead, and get all the good parts straight in your inbox.
This one is for the long haul; I’m happy to have you here.