These are my goals:

  • Be a pleasent place for people visiting, that respects their privacy.
  • Be a good citizen of (a lose definition of) the indie/small web.
  • Even though my impact is small, I can still try to make it positive.

This page (and the actions taken based on it), is under constant evaluation. It’s meant as a living post. 🌱 So feel free to contact me with feedback on this - especially if I fail to meet my goals.

Ads and tracking

The only tracking I’ve (consciously) put on my site, is Tinylytics.

My YouTube embeds are made with lite-youtube-embed, which (among other things) uses youtube-nocookie.com.

I currently don’t run any ads or sponsorships. The only monetisation on this site is tips through ko-fi.com and the occasional affiliate link.

Probably the most common type of affiliate links are product links to stores (like Amazon), which give the linker a small kickback if the linkee ends up buying the product. It doesn’t cost the user anything extra, but it does interfere with the incentives for, let’s say, a blogger. This is because I only receive my kickback if you purchase it, perhaps incentivising me to praise the product more than I would otherwise.

Perhaps I don’t even have the product, and I’ll just say “I recommend this cool charger!” (just because I think it looks promising, based on the store page) and hope someone will buy it.

So, here’s what I’ve settled on at the moment:

If I recommend a service I pay for regularly (like Fastmail 🖇️ and Setapp 🖇️ ), I think it’s OK to use affiliate links.

And I think it’s OK to use affilite links if it’s to a product that:

  • I’ve spent (my own) money on,

and

  • still uses,
  • used to its end of life,
  • or has bought as a gift.

For instance, I love these Anker chargers. I use about five of them, and have bought it as a gift to both my wife and other familiy members - so I wouldn’t feel iffy about having affiliate links to them.

However, I’ll still clearly mark every affiliate link. I don’t know if there’s an established standard yet - but I propose the linked paperclips emoji 🖇️ as the official affiliate link emoji. I believe it’s the perfect symbol for “links with attachments”! (So, you can see that the Fastmail and Setapp links are affiliate links, while the Anker link is not. 👆🏻) I’ll also use the full version of the links, to make it clearer that it’s affiliate links.

Also, I want to support smaller stores (and they often don’t have affiliate programs), so we’ll see how this goes…

AI

On my About page, I said that I believe you can buy roses, whilst still accepting that they have thorns. The opposite is also true, you can be against something and still accept it has merits. Too many people, who are principally against generative AI tools, also feel like they have to hold the opinion that they’re useless. I think they can be very useful, if used right - but I still have reservations.

Image generators

I often think and explain in images. So I would really like to use generative AI to create illustrations for my blog posts. However, I just don’t think that would be fair, due to the fact that these models would be useless without the copyrighted materials of artists who haven’t given their consent, nor received compensation or credit.

Perhaps I would be OK to pay for a model that has the three C’s covered, but I haven’t found that currently.

Text generators

I pay for access to ChatGPT-4, through Raycast - and I’ve recieved a lot of help through it while creating this website! As someone who has never really learned how to code, it’s super helpful to ask questions like «How do I do [this]?» «What’s wrong [here]?» «Can you explain [this] line for line?» «What’s the difference between display: block and display: inline-block

However, I don’t use it to create content. And even though I’m not a native English speaker, I don’t use it to translate stuff. I like to write (in both English and Norwegian)! And I want people to know, and feel like, the stuff on this site is written by an (imperfect) human being.

I sometimes do run spelling and grammar checks after the fact, though - and also sometimes use Ulysses’ built in checker.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with my use, though! Shouldn’t I apply the same principles to text as I do to images? Maybe! But there are some reasons why I currently use text generators:

If I had a blog that could afford to pay for an illustration to a post 1, doing this with AI would very directly remove a paying job, and I would end up not paying any illustrators. It’s less like this with asking questions about coding and the occasional spellcheck. 2

I don’t use it for anything oppinion/politcal/news based, and still pay for a bunch of content like this.

I don’t use it to pollute the web. 3

I’ve also landed on allowing crawlers on my site. I’ve installed a plugin that can stop it, but then I though «Is it fair of me to use these tools, and then say that it can’t gobble up my stuff?»

I’ll end this section, by saying that I’m not sure about all of this! And I hope we’ll get new laws in place to regulate this…

Other values

I don’t have a mission with this blog. But I’ll still try, with what I choose to write and amplify, to be something positive - and aligned with the values stated in my About page.


  1. That I’m not in that position doesn’t really change this point. ↩︎

  2. But you could say it’s hurting a potential editor and coding schools? ↩︎

  3. If you think my blog is garbage, it’s at least human made litter! ↩︎