In my time as a Person on the Internet, I’ve had a few lodestars that have guided my way. Very few remain, especially from the old blogging days, as the world around us has shifted in ways that make this metaphor all but impossible, as people grow into themselves and away from what started as hobbies or distractions, as life simply and inevitably does what it does best.
Jason Kottke’s Home of Fine Hypertext Products has been an enormous influence on everyone who’s blogged, whether they realize it or not, whether they care to admit it or not. Kottke himself has been lauded for mastering the art, derided for, well, mastering the art, and has soldiered on through all of it. And now he’s taking a break, which is fantastic.
The internet is many, many things, among them an accelerant the likes of which we still haven’t quite reckoned with. It’s enabled jobs, entire economies, that were unthinkable half-a-generation ago, but we’re still in the process of sorting out what exactly that means and are grinding through all of the phases of economic development seemingly simultaneously. The hustle culture inherited from Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and finance enables a lot of this and it also churns actual humans through the gristmill at a faster pace than our culture is capable of really understanding. Burnout was a meme even before the pandemic eroded the facade of the world to reveal the chasms underneath it. We could all use a break and, if the opportunity presents itself, we should give ourselves permission to take it.
All of which is to say, I wish Jason the very best, I hope his time away is rejuvenating, and if he decides to get back at it, I will be excited to see his feed light up once more.