100 days to offload

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Sometimes I use the back of my car as a workspace

I miss the days of blogrolls and webrings. I fondly remember moving from one personal website to another, reading updates, discovering interesting people, and having conversations with friends and strangers alike in their comments sections.

Today, most people have abandoned their blogs for social media accounts. Facebook and Twitter own their words while Instagram owns their photos. Personalizing one’s internet presence in the age of social networks died along with the former MySpace. We’ve exchanged independence and uniqueness for corporate-driven limitations.

I’m not opposed to social media. I just miss personal blogs.

For that reason, I spend a fair amount of my web-surfing time performing seemingly random searches and clicking links from one website to the next. When I stumble upon a site I find interesting, I subscribe to its RSS feed before moving on. I’d hate to lose a rare treasure once uncovered.

Unfortunately, the IndieWeb, wherein I discover the most distinctly creative people and their personal websites, doesn’t claim many of my fellow Christians as members. Unsurprisingly, most of them are web developers. Who else can we expect to be on the frontlines of such a geeky movement? As much as I enjoy reading about web development and related topics—after all, I build websites myself—I have other interests.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I’d love to read your thoughts without needing a Facebook account. I’d like to see how you could express yourself and share your passions without Twitter’s character limit. Wouldn’t it be fun to have an entire website to make your own? Wouldn’t you rather paint on a full canvas than the back of someone else’s business card?

To be candid, I want to encourage you to start a blog. What do you have to lose? Most of you already publish to the web.

If you’re unsure where to go, Blot is my platform of choice. You might try Bloggi, Write.as, or Micro.blog. Personally, I would avoid Blogger, a free account on WordPress.com, and Medium, but that’s just me.

As for the content of your site, I can’t tell you what to write or post, but I will help you get started by sharing an idea I recently came across and have decided to practice myself. It’s called #100DaysToOffload:

The rationale behind the whole thing is to challenge people to publish 100 posts on their personal blog in a year. That’s approximately 1 post every 3.5 days.

The point of #100DaysToOffload is to be a relaxing and cathartic experience. Not a worrisome affair where you’re thinking of things to write all the time.

Posts don’t need to be long-form, deep, meaningful, or even that well written. If there are spelling and grammar mistakes, or even if there’s no real point to the post, so what? What’s important is that you’re writing about the things you want to write about.

Speaking from experience, Kev Quirk, the mastermind behind this idea, is on to something. Even if you don’t fancy yourself a writer, you’ll likely find this challenge fun and potentially revealing. If nothing else, you may discover an exciting realm of possibilities outside of the walled gardens of social media.

Here are some of Kev’s suggested guidelines:

This needs to be done on a personal blog, not a corporate blog.

There is no specific start or end date. Your 100 posts can start or end whenever you want them to.

Publish 100 new posts in the space of a year. You don’t need to publish a post every 3 days - if you want a week off, that’s fine. If it comes to the end of the year and you have only published 60 posts, that’s also fine. Just. Write.

There are no limits to what you can post about — write about whatever interests you.

There are no limits to how short or long a post needs to be.

Search engine optimisation, what’s that? Forget about all that jargon. Just. Write.

Once you have published an article, don’t forget to post a link on your social media with the hashtag #100DaysToOffload.

Get your friends involved!

If you accept the challenge, please let me know. I’m thinking about adding a blogroll to my site for the first time in probably ten years or more.

Further discussion

Kev Quirk on May 16th, 2020:

You should most definitely add a blogroll! I love discovering new personal blogs. Thanks for the mention.😊

Jeremy Sarber on May 16th, 2020:

Sure thing. Thanks for the idea.