Ben Borgers

Website Like a Library

April 3, 2022

I want my website to be more like a library.

Not in the sense that it’s huge and that you can look anything up. But more in the sense that it contains lots of twists and turns, and holds a record of things that’ve happened in the past. And I want it to have character.

I watched a CGP Grey video today where he shows the in-depth research for a video. In it, he goes to the The British Library and explores sections of very old books whose organization predates the Dewey Decimal System.

It reminded me that these large collections of books have really interesting character. There’s people who’ve borrowed the books before you, and you can see when they did 30 years ago. Little scribbles in the margins. An abundance of information, all written down for someone who might be interested in the future.

I want my website to be more like that. It started out just as a programming blog a couple years ago, and now I’ve also got blog posts from the past couple months about my life and the world.

But eventually, I think it’d be cool to have a personal website that documents all sorts of things I’ve done and documented. Maybe you turn a corner and find summaries of all the Black Mirror episodes I’ve watched (I actually started writing these a couple years ago but never finished), or summaries of notes for a class I’m taking.

I want it to be a little messier, and a little more bespoke — each corner can have its own layout, its own setup, without me feeling like I have to build a system that will accommodate every type of thing I ever want to publish on my website. By the time I want to publish something else on my website, I’ll want to change the all-encompassing system as well.

So instead: smaller setups for each corner of my website. When I want to publish a new type of thing, I’ll build a new place for it to go — bespoke, just for that thing, and just the way I want it in that moment.

I want my website to be a place where people can scroll back and see lots of documented things from over the years. Personally, I love the feeling when I stumble across someone’s website and it feels like I get to take a little journey back through their life’s history.

So that’s what I want to make my website into, eventually. In a decade, I want you to be able to walk the halls of my website and explore any nooks that seem interesting.