stevegattuso
This site is an always-in-progress repository for my thoughts and ideas. You'll generally find me writing about sustainability 🍃, urbanism 🏙️, programming 💾, vegan cooking 🍛, and whatever else pops into my mind.
Why build this website?
Published on Dec 11th, 2023.

I’ve been putting a lot of time into this website lately. With all of this work, I’ve been wondering: why do all of this? I don’t really have much of an audience on this blog- nor do I have much of a desire to “build a brand.” What’s the point of it all? I’ve meditated on this question and think I’ve come up with a few sources of motivation for doing all of this.

The first is a source of encouragement to continue creating. While it doesn’t happen too often, the occasional “I read your post about [something] and really liked it” or “this page helped me with [something else]” provides a huge source of encouragement for me. It’s really cool to know that somebody enjoyed or was helped by something you’ve made or written.

The flip side of this is that I really need to think through what I publish. The idea of public scrutiny on something I make or write creates a pressure to make sure it meets a certain bar of quality and notability.

I find this pressure to be especially helpful when writing. The threat of a skeptical mind reading my ideas forces me to really think through what I’m saying. It’s like a switch gets turned on in my brain that begins a process of considering alternative viewpoints and potential criticisms that break down or reinforce my ideas.

There is also pressure coming from the increased longevity of the medium. I’ve explicitly designed this website to make content discoverable in the long-term and, as such, need to be careful to ensure what I publish will hold up to the test of time. This isn’t Mastodon where I can hobble together some half-baked sentences, hurl them into a whirpool of content, and be confident that they’ll be forgotten about within a day. Instead, I hope the content I publish here will be valuable months, years, maybe even decades from their creation1.

Lastly, I’ve found that the things I enjoy the most around the web have been recommended to me by humans. I really love browsing through others’ blogs and digital gardens to get recommendations for software, music, books, events, etc. Word-of-mouth is my favorite form of discovery, especially as I’ve worked to remove algorithmically generated feeds from my life. As such, the Bookmarks section of my site serves as a place for me to dole out my own recommendations to others. I throw things there in the hope that I can help someone discover their next favorite thing.

All of this is on top of the fact that I simply enjoy writing here. It’s a fun, healthy, and fulfilling hobby for me, regardless of whether or not people actually read any of it.

  1. As of writing this my first blog post, A Society of Phone Zombies, recently hit 10 years old. I’d say it held up reasonably well against the test of time, barring my barely-out-of-high-school level of writing.