Many folks have woken up to the dangers of commercialization and centralisation of this very fine internet we have around here. For many of us, of course, it's one big "I told you so"...

(To fair, I stopped "telling you so" because evangelism is pretty annoying. It's certainly dishonest coming from an atheist, so I preach by example now. I often wonder what works better. But I digress.)

Colleagues have been posting about getting back into blogging. This post from gwolf, in particular, reviews his yearly blog output, and that made me wonder how that looked like from my end. The answer, of course, is simple to generate:

anarcat@angela:~$ cd
/home/anarcat/wikis/$ ls blog | grep '^[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]' | sed s/-.*// | sort | uniq -c  | sort -n -k2
     62 2005
     49 2006
     26 2007
     25 2008
      8 2009
     16 2010
     24 2011
     19 2012
     17 2013
      7 2014
     19 2015
     32 2016
     43 2017
     40 2018
     27 2019
     33 2020
     22 2021
     45 2022
      1 2023

(I thought of drawing this as a sparkline but it looks like Sparklines are kind of dead. doesn't resolve and the canonical PHP package is gone from Debian. The plugin is broken in ikiwiki anyway...)

So it seems like I've been doing this very blog for 18 years, and it's not even my first blog. I actually started in 2003, which makes this year my 20-year blogging anniversary.

(And even if that sounds really old, note that I was not actually an early adopter. Jorn Barger having coined the term "weblog" in 1997. Yes, in another millenia.)

Reading back some of the headlines in those older posts, I have definitely changed style. I used to write shorter, more random ideas, and more often. I somehow managed to write more than one article per week in 2005!

Now, I take more time writing, a habit I picked up while writing for LWN (those articles), which started in 2016. But interestingly, it seems I started producing more articles then: I hit 43 articles per year in 2017, my fourth best year ever.

The best years in terms of numbers are the first two years (2005 and 2006, I didn't check the numbers on earlier years), but I doubt they are the best in terms of content. Really, the best writing I have ever did was for LWN. I dare hope I have kept the quality I was encouraged (forced?) to produce, but I know I cannot come anywhere close to what the LWN editors were juicing out of me. You can also see that I immediately dropped to a more normal 27 article in 2019, once I stopped writing for LWN...

Back when I started blogging, my writing was definitely more personal. I had less concerns about privacy back then; now, I would never write about my personal life like I did back then (e.g. "I have a cold").

I was also writing mostly in French back then, and it's sad to think that I am rarely writing in my native language here anymore. I guess that brings me an international audience, which is simultaneously challenging, gratifying, and terrifying. But it also means I reach out to people that do not speak English (or French, for that matter) as their first language. For me that is more valuable than catering to my little corner of culture, at least for now, and especially when writing technical topics, which is most of what I do now anyways.

Interestingly, I wrote a lot in 2022. People sometimes ask me how I manage to write so much: I don't actually know. I don't have a lot of free time on my hand, and even less than before in the past two years, but somehow I keep feeding this blog.

I guess I must have something to say. Can't quite figure out what yet, so maybe I should just keep trying.

Or, if you're new to this Internet thing, Bring Back Blogging! Whee!

PS: I wish I had time to do a review of my visitors like i did for 2021 but time is missing.

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