Don’t know about you, but I’m having a great time with this weblog!
I’d like to go on a small excursion of what it’s all about, why it matters, and unpredictable stuff, such as the future.
This weblog started roughly three years ago. I love tinkering with technology, I love learning more about it, I love making new things (even if it’s only new for myself). Especially when it’s about mixing software, hardware, and mechanical stuff. I describe myself as an architect, a hacker, and a maker, and I’m proud of it. And I decided to write about it. One day I didn’t, the next day I did – it’s really that easy. You could start doing it too, any day.
A weblog is a publishing medium. Push. From me to you – whoever you are and wherever you are. As long as I enjoy writing it, and as long as you enjoy reading it, we both win.
One crucial aspect of this process is that we need to share the same interests. If I tried to write about culture, nature, politics, or music, chances are that we’d no longer be in sync (and I might have very little interesting to report!). We all differ, we all embody our own unique mix of interests, opinions, and experiences, and there’s no reason whatsoever to assume that a shared interest in technology means we share anything else. The great thing is: it doesn’t matter. We are linked by our humanity, and our diversity is our greatest asset. Vive la différence!
So how does this weblog thing work? Well, from what I’m writing about and have written in the past, you can tell where my passion lies. And you have the simple choice of reading and following the posts on this weblog – or not. From your comments and emails, I think I get an idea who (some of) you are. We’re in sync.
This process excites me. Because it transcends culture, age, background, and all those other aspects in which we differ (and don’t even know about each other). We can share our interests, learn from each other, exchange tips and ideas, and all it takes is an internet connection and the ability to read and write in English, even if that’s not everyone’s native language.
But weblogs publishing is an asymmetric process – there’s no real dialogue going on at all. I don’t really know who reads this. There might be thousands of readers coming back every day, or there might be just those who post comments – I wouldn’t know. I used to care about that, but I no longer do. I don’t collect stats and I don’t “track” visitors. It’s just another distraction and life’s too short. But more important to me, is motivation: my goal is not to have an “important” blog, a big readership, or lots of fans. Nor a big shop or many customers, for that matter. My goal is to have fun with technology, learn as much as I can, invent new stuff, and share to inspire others to do the same. It took me a long summer break to figure this out.
Of course I have my preferences, and of course there are areas where I know more and less about. The field is way too large to dive into every topic, let alone build up expertise in each – although I do consider myself reasonably open minded and knowledgeable about a decent range of technical domains. And those gaps? Well, that’s the challenge, of course: filling one little gap each day – day in, day out!
So what does this mean for the future?
I see no reason why any of this should stop. It’s proven to be sustainable for me, and there’s plenty of material to go into and talk about to last a lifetime. As you may have noticed, I’m moving away from a pure hardware focus in this weblog. The central theme will definitely remain “Physical Computing in and around the house”, but there’s more to it than the ATmega + RFM12B that form a JeeNode, and I’d like to explore a wider range of topics, including software and data processing, and probably also mechanical aspects (construction, CNC, 3DP, bots):
I do have a little request I’d like to make: whenever you read a post on this weblog and have a suggestion or insight which is relevant, please consider adding a comment. I tend to go with the flow (of ideas), and I tend to pick the easy low-hanging fruit first. Suggestions made in recent days on all this scary 220V power measurement stuff have helped me greatly to better understand what’s going on and to come up with more experiments to set up to try and figure it all out. I encourage you to point me in the right direction and to point out mistakes.
Who knows, it might lead to a post which is more useful to you. We’ll all benefit!