RoB: Why Have a Website?

Part of me doesn’t want to begin this discussion with what I consider a series of very obvious statements, but it might also be important to begin at the foundation of it all. Therefore, we’ll start with the very basic question of, “Why have a website?”

My first website, for all intents and purposes, was on Geocities and served two purposes. First, it was a conglomeration of links I enjoyed and wanted to share with other people, because I thought that was important at the time. Later, it also became a collection of my poetry.

I put these things up there not just because I wanted to share them, though. In junior high and high school, I was beginning to recognize the significant power of the web and its advantages over my personal computer. Where my computer could die, lose data, etc., most web site hosting companies had backups and redundant power supplies and a variety of other tools to ensure the retention of data. Therefore, if I kept my poetry only on my local hard drive, I was almost guaranteed to lose it someday. If I put it on a web site, I had a better chance of retaining it forever. It also gave me the added benefit of being able to access it from anywhere, so if I needed to print something at school or the library, I had it all out on my website rather than locked away at home.

I have lost some very important files in the past due to corrupted or fried hard drives. Letters from people who are now dead, photos of loved ones I’ll never see again… but now, everything I feel is important goes here, on SilverPen Publishing. The photo gallery contains every photo I’ve taken with my camera in the last few years, though not all of them are visible to you. And I do all of my writing through WordPress, which means that as I write, my words are saved every 60 seconds or so to a remote server, with power redundancy and regular backups, as well as off-site backups in case the main data center ever got struck by a meteor. My data is about as safe as it can be, so I won’t lose anything again.

So, the site is largely a practical thing. On a more personal note, I find that blogging is very helpful and healthy for me on a variety of levels, and for whatever reason, I cannot keep a personal, private journal; I end up never writing in it. Something about this medium compels me to keep writing, journaling, and sharing, and I think it’s because I’m producing work that others will see. I want to share these thoughts, and I’ll discuss more in the coming weeks why I believe that is the case.

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