And welcome, dear reader! Plans for tonight include beginning this weblog with an entirely stereotypical opening paragraph: if you are reading this, you are either a friend, close acquaintance or Twitter follower whose interest was mildly piqued by my prodding to read this collection of my thoughts; or, it is years in the future, and you've heard about the cocaine-filled, stripper-laden parties I regularly attend with my fellow celebrity bloggers and decided to see just why the universe has decided I deserve several million dollars and my very own private jet.
Or, (hopefully) most likely, you're following along as I attempt to eke out a place for myself on the WWW.
This is probably my third or fourth or nineteenth attempt at creating a weblog that I update regularly, but I'm hoping it ends up being the final time due to my immense success and dedication. I finally feel like I have something to say; like I've found myself, clichéd as that may be. Also, on a technical level, I think I've become skilled enough that people might actually care about what I have to say about prototypal inheritance vs. classical inheritance and that sort of thing.
I've long had a checklist of things I wanted to accomplish with my own blog. Some are topical in nature, and some technical. On the content side, I'd like a place to talk in-depth about web design, development and general geekery, alongside less technical subjects like music and politics. The Loop has convinced me that it's possible to combine those audiences and be successful. Hopefully good writing will supersede the decidedly large rift in subject matter.
The technical goals are more specific. There are a lot of things wrong with publications on the web right now, and while I've long been vocal in speaking out against these practices, I never had a platform on which I could walk the walk, so to speak. This is that platform. I believe a website's obligation is first and foremost to its readers, and I've built this website to meet that obligation.
Look around and you'll notice no confusing URLs. No multi-page articles. No SEO. No sharing buttons or any other ridiculous social media features. Why?
Because it's all bullshit.
The sole purpose of multi-page articles is to make readers visit three separate pages instead of one so publications can collect additional ad revenue for each page. SEO is a scam run by people who make money by convincing publications that if they pay them, they can somehow outsmart Google's hundreds of highly paid engineers. And has anyone ever heard of anyone deciding to share something because there was a share button on the page rather than because they liked the content?
Of course not.
Brent Simmons has a more expansive list of these things over at his blog. I agree with every word of that post: publications that don't respect their readers do those things to try to squeeze every dollar they can out of them. They're disrespectful and wrong, and by not committing those crimes here my hope is that I can make the web a slightly better place, and maybe even inspire others to do the same.
And so there you go. The Jake Lazaroff's Weblog Manifesto. If you made it this far and liked what you read feel free to add me to your bookmarks, because there's more where this came from. If not, keep checking back. I just might surprise you.