- Cody Bromley
I’ve wanted to write about things for a while. Product things. Art things. Tech things.
The barrier that held me back was a solid place to publish. I’ve used several dozen digital publishing platforms but none of them ever felt right, or more importantly mine.
The recent leadership change at Twitter served as a good reminder that the platforms you don’t own are terrible places to leave your data. So, I’ve chosen to not do that. This blog isn’t on a fancy new blogging platform, but it is my attempt to build one I want.
What does that mean? I’m going to try to explain it simply because I think it’s worth it.
- I’m writing this in Markdown (via Bear.app) and not some fancy CMS. Other platforms store your work on their servers or in hard to access databases. Markdown files are text documents you can open on just about any device. It’s mildly inefficient to post these files to the server, especially if I’m including images, but the tradeoff is worth it because of how future proof it is.
- You’re reading this from a site served by Next.js on a server I’m hosting in Vercel. I chose Next.js for a few reasons, but among the biggest was that it would be something new for me to learn. I wanted something that was lightweight but easy to learn, and Next.js has been that and more. I also really like that I can build the site to run completely static, which is perfect for archiving.
- Vercel, besides being the developers of Next.js, offer free hosting for non-commercial & hobby sites. Hosting has historically been the biggest and expensive barrier to doing cool things on the web, and the ability to run a server for free is amazing.
Basically, a self-managed, self-maintained platform means independence. My blog isn’t part of any network and when you visit I’m not farming any data for any big data purpose. As I told someone on Mastodon recently in regards to some new “the problem with dictatorships isn’t the dictator”.
Raphaël Chelly put it better than me in describing why they moved from Wordpress to NextJS: “a new challenge.” Call it nostalgia, but in recent years I’ve heard people speak very fondly of the Internet circa 2004-2008. It was a post-Geocities but pre-Facebook time when nearly everybody had to get their hands a little dirty to make their corner of the Internet beautiful. I’m talking about heavily customized MySpace pages, Xanga sites and Blogspot blogs where anybody who wanted to challenge themselves to do something new and fun could. I was up for the challenge then, and I’m doing this because I’m up for the challenge now.
Raphaël also shared other things I could really relate to:
- I am also a veteran low-code user with a strong technical base in HTML and CSS
- I also completed the Next.js tutorial and found it interesting and fun
- I also want to learn how to work more efficiently with technical teams and especially how to clearly express expectations and needs during a complex project.
How I really hope my journey manifests is similar to how it did back in the day. When one of my friends added something cool and new to their profile page, like autoplaying MP3s, I’d pore over their source code to figure out how it worked and implement it on mine. There’s a lot of really cool people doing stuff with this exact template I’m using and I can easily remix what they’ve done for my own purposes. I’ve already done it by adding a Mastodon icon and links to this site. Getting this blog going is something I’m hoping will help me understand how to make great products and challenge me to learn what is just outside my knowledge.
Here’s a taste of what I expect to share soon:
- Memories of apps that were lost to time
- My attempts at AI art
- Looking deeper into the Fediverse
Finally, I think I should probably explain the name. I had a few ideas, but I really wanted something short. B10g.xyz is short, rhymes when I say “bee-ten-gee-dot-ecks-why-zee” and is a not so subtle throwback to my earlier days on the internet. To be extremely clear, it’s meant to look like a partial leetspeek-translation of the word blog, but if I wanted to go full numeronym I will go ahead and decide it means “birdwatching.”
Thanks for reading this and I hope you’ll come back for more soon. To stay up to date with posts here, you can follow me on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@codybrom.