I pay to have this blog up and running. That is, I pay for the space where it is stored and I pay for the name. I have to look after all the files and plug-ins, I have to perform all the updates and optimise the database tables. All this is great fun but wouldn’t it be cheaper to slap the mattischro.me address onto a hosted WordPress.com account?

Well, yes it would. I suppose I just like the independence of having my own little patch of cyberspace, sitting there waiting for all you dear readers to come and visit. Nice ideas don’t make the world go round though and so I need a better reason than that.

This is a place for my stuff. You will notice that there are no adverts here, no tickers and no pop-ups. I can put my pictures up without worrying that some evil corporation will take ownership of them or subject them to facial recognition software to work out who I hang out with. I can write about the music, films and books that I am passionate about without being paranoid about whether that information will be used by some advertising company to sell the same music, films and books to people deemed to be in the same demographic.

I know that everything that I write here will probably be read by a current or future employer without being lulled into a false sense of security by a dubiously worded privacy policy. In fact, I can better control some of the feedback that search engines give about me as this site is one of the first results returned by a search on my name. If you get involved and comment here, you probably get an even better deal — it is unlikely that your words will be picked up by anyone putting your name into a search engine. At least not until this humble blog achieves world domination, something that will be a while in coming yet.

Despite all that protection and safety and reassurance, it all comes back to content. This (not-so-) little blog is worth the cost in money for all it pays back in freedom of expression. It is a privilege that I do not use to its full capacity as it is the perfect place to think issues through and deliberate upon them at length — I don’t do that often enough. Nevertheless, the site has become an invaluable aid to me and often provides a focus for my thoughts and actions. I think that is worth the money.

Hero image by Lauren Tucker Photography, found on flickr.