Introducing: The Desk

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Over the last four years, I’ve published one technical article after the other—on this site and on several publications — digital and print. With the exception of one or two posts, my articles have been purely technical.

But I also have — and love sharing — non-technical content as well. I like sharing and talking about tools and apps I love using, and share tips on different topics like traveling and health and productivity, for example. I can’t count the number of times I’d tweet about some non-technical idea or thought I’d have and a few of my friends or followers would respond with “this would make a great article idea” or “maybe you should write about how you do that”.

I’ve been avoiding publishing non-technical articles in my Articles section because I understand and keep in mind that many people may not be interested in them and are only subscribed to my RSS for the technical content. So, after my recent migration to Hugo, I decided to give non-technical content its own little corner on this site, with its own RSS feed. So you can subscribe to the RSS for this section if you want to receive these articles in your RSS reader.

Heads up: if you’ve been subscribed to my Articles section for the technical content, you may need to update the RSS link if you haven’t already. The migration to Hugo included some URL changes, including that of the RSS. I haven’t posted any new articles in the Articles section since the migration, so you haven’t missed anything yet. Please re-subscribe to the feed to get the new upcoming content. Apologies for the inconvenience.

I’ve always wanted to have a corner where I can post non-technical content. Using Medium to do so crossed my mind once but I don’t like the idea of someone else owning or having rights over my content, so publishing on Medium was out of question for me. Not to mention that I like the idea of having an online home (or office or studio) that people can visit to find any and all content written or created by me. And this is it. All this said, I decided to dedicate a small corner of my site for such articles. And I’m happy that it’s finally out!

The Desk

I’ve been meaning to roll this section out for a few months. But part of the plan for this section was to extend it with a newsletter which would launch at the same time, with this post being an announcement for both the new section and the newsletters. But finally I realized that the newsletter was standing in the way of this because I just didn’t feel ready to commit to it just yet.

The plan for the newsletter was to send out infrequent letters in which I share what I’m up to, what I’m reading (recommended articles), useful tips and tricks that I would share only with my subscribers, previews of new content, and a little more. But after giving this quite a lot of thought, I decided to post such content on this site instead—so now everyone would have access to it.

The name— Desk —is inspired by Jeffrey Zeldman’s letter on his Studio’s Web site. “From the Desk of Jeffrey Zeldman” is a letter from Jeffrey in which he personally introduces himself and addresses his visitors in a beautiful letter which sounds exactly like what a real letter would sound if and when sent out from his real desk. The moment I saw the title I thought to myself: “I love this!“. I’ve always thought of my Web site as my online home and studio, being an independent freelancer, so naming this section The Desk made a lot of sense given the type of content I’ll be posting in it.

I’ve also put a little extra thought into the URLs for the posts in this section. For example, the URL for this one is desk/about/ and an upcoming post will be about my physical desk setup, so the URL for that one would be /desk/setup/. (It’s similar to the /uses/ page that Wes Bos started, but I customized the URL to fit into the structure of the content on my site and hence the URL is different from the one Wes and other devs use.) It made a lot of sense for that post to be part of the Desk section because it is literally about my real desk. And the best URL for that IMO is /desk/setup/, because it’s about my desk setup.

About the posts in this section

Posts published under the Desk section are going to be date-less. Unlike technical articles, posts in this section do not need a publication date because the content in these posts would not “expire” or be invalid after some period of time. I like this because it gives me more flexibility and freedom in posting new content here. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since a post has been published—you’ll find the content in that post still useful at any time you decide to read (or re-read) it. I aim to publish posts that would be continuously “refreshed”. For example, a Desk post about my favourite tools and apps would periodically be updated with new tools and apps as I add those to my personal list.

One of my goals for this section is to get creative with the layout and design for each post. This won’t be evident in the first few weeks because my current aim is to get this section and the content in it out and not be hindered by my design decisions (or lack thereof) anymore. Some posts are going to be kinda deserving of their own little corner on my site, so instead of creating them as their own little sub-sections, I’ll be designing them in a way that would make them look like they’re their own section. I’m hoping that once these designs are rolled out, this will make a little more sense.

Work in progress

I’ve already got a list of topics for future posts in this section that I plan to publish. (I’m super excited about them!!) But if you would like me to write about a specific topic or have a question that would be worth writing an article about, please let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

Thank you for visiting and reading. See you soon!

Sara Soueidan