This week’s been interesting. Last week I spotted that our websites were regularly exceeding their server resources, so after several discussions with our hosts, over the weekend we migrated to a new server. Then, on Monday, my web host shut down my account because it was hosting malware. That led – via various complex live-chats – to the discovery of an annoying hack affecting a couple of my domains. Including this one.
It’s clean now. But there was a point this week where I was looking at the scale of the work necessary to clean it up, and genuinely asking: what’s the point? Do I actually want to keep this ancient site – with its intermittent posts, some of which hold up after many years and some of which look staggeringly naive? Is this of value to anyone, any more – is it of value to me? Is it worth the effort?
I came to the conclusion that yes, it is. Partly because it’s a record of my thinking and my participation in the broader internet, and partly because it contains within it a lot of the seeds that have developed me into the person I am. But partly also because of its potential.
Over the last few years I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing online. In New York, in 2015, mostly there wasn’t time; then as I moved into a very senior role at the Guardian, the risks of showing my working – of thinking in public – were consistently too great to really allow it. It wasn’t until I left that I really felt free to share some of what I’d learned. And that was at a time when I was deeply unsure how life might proceed from that point onward; I’d recently had a life-changing diagnosis that prompted – is still prompting – an enormous series of shifts in how I see myself and how I think about the world. I’ve been re-configuring my relationship with the internet and with social media since leaving the Guardian, too, and reading a lot more offline. And as my business has developed and grown, that’s taken a lot of spare time away from reflective pursuits – for better and for worse.
But I miss writing, and I miss having a space to think out loud – whether that’s consequential or incremental, personal or industrial, or simply just a place to jot down notes on what I’m thinking for a later date. I’m reminded that this website shouldn’t just be a museum – or if it is, it should be properly archived. I’m going to have to take that decision soon; perhaps this is an opportunity to come back to the internet and see what happens.