I've had skippy.net online for over two years now. I share photos of my life and my travels, my thoughts, and my creative efforts. Various search engines have indexed my pages, and I've generally drawn twenty to thirty hits a day for this content.
Interestingly enough, the most popular content on my site has no direct link from any of the pages you find here.
A while ago, I wrote an opinion piece for Linuxnewbie.org. This piece generated a lot of feedback, and it prompted me to re-evalute my proposed network plans. In the end, I decided to give Linux a shot for my network, and I'm extremely glad that I did. So after I had my network configured and mostly deployed, I decided to share some of the reasons why I changed my mind. This generated a huge spike in traffic to my site. It also generated a lot of feedback. So much feedback that I decided to write down how I did it in much greater detail.
That last link is the single most popular document currently on my site. None of the Linux content is linked to from skippy.net. But I mentioned my Samba HOWTO to one of the Samba developers, and he found it interesting enough to link to. Ever since then, I've received a steady stream of visitors to my Linux content (sparse as it is), usually just short of 100 per day. I've also received a lot of questions and comments about it. It's been an interesting experience interacting with so many people, and sharing thoughts back and forth.
In a sense, this is exactly what I had wanted from skippy.net. I've always been interested in online communities (I was heavily involved with Bulletin Board Systems in the Columbus, OH area in my youth), and always had a desire to interact with people on things that I'm interested in.
That's great, Skippy, you say, but where is this going? My friend Bryan (second from the right) recently sent me an email, sharing that he had read through the bulk of my non-fiction writing. He stated that he didn't think he would recognize the author of those documents as the Skippy he knew.
I've shared a lot about myself on here; more so than I share with most folks. My best friend has learned a thing or two about me from reading my site, and I've known him for twelve years! So what's the deal?
The deal is that I am a die-hard intellectual. I honestly enjoy a good discussion, and some of my happiest memories are long, animated conversations about purely theoretical things. I enjoy contemplating the implications of certain word choices over others. I enjoy reflecting on the nature and the impetus of various actions (both my own, and others). Clarity, for me, is achieved through discourse. I need interaction to challenge my own thought process, and help me refine my opinions.
So that's what skippy.net provides me: a chance to engage in discourse. Oftentimes, just the act of writing my thoughts down brings new things to light, and affords me a new perspective on an issue. I'd love to receive more feedback from visitors, and engage others in the dialogue. But at the very least, I know that I can go back and review what I thought about something a long time ago, and see if my mind has changed at all.