The short answer is that it’s just another blog. However, my motivation is not to create just another blog. I started this because I wanted to have something between Twitter and a blog. On Twitter, it’s hard to make a more complex argument or tell a compelling story. Plus, the discoverability of older posts is cumbersome. On a classic blog, there seems to be the expectation to write longer, essay-style posts. For me, that increases the barrier of writing and publishing something at all. Of course, that’s much easier on Twitter.
I want something where I can do both and everything in between. With this website, I don’t have expectations to myself self regarding depth or length of a post. I will probably post super short updates that might as well be a Twitter thread, but also longer, more deep topics that I could publish as a short book.
In many ways, Medium could have been this platform. And I tried. I posted stories like this one. What I like most there is the beautiful editor. However, the reading experience is awful. Beautiful, yes, but awful. If you’re not a logged in user, there’s a huge ugly banner that tries to persuade you to sign up. If you’re logged in, they try to make you pay (which is not a bad thing, but please be more subtle). And of course, there is the issue of ownership on Medium. Here, everything is mine. There, it’s in the control of Medium.
Even though I own the domain name canolcer.com (and was surprised that both canolcer.com and shafyy.com were free), I decided to name this website shafyy. When growing up, shafyy was my player name in games I played like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, so it has sentimental value to me. Also, it’s more anonymous than using my real name, which I kind of like. shafyy is also my name in virtual reality. And if I’m right and in 10 years we’ll all be hanging out in VR most of our time to work, play and learn, then people will probably also have pseudonyms. There is a value of choosing your own name, and of it being unique. Of course, that’s hard to do in the real world, but possible in VR. And I’m shafyy.