Tonight friends, I ask you to raise a glass for me! For a few hours, it has been exactly 18 years since I launched Korben.info.
Since 1997, I’ve been writing on the Net, here and there, sharing everything I’ve discovered, my analyzes, my hacks. Then one fine day between May and June 2004 (date unclear), armed with my nickname and some readers (including you, perhaps), I reserved the domain name korben.tk.
The goal is simple: Archive and share in the form of a digital reminder, everything I’ve discovered, my tips, my tools… and more.
The site, which was just a set of HTML pages in its early days, moved to a more official domain name (korben.info), but was free at the time, a few years later. I’m 22, lots of free time due to unemployment and not a penny in my pocket.
Over the years, my life has doubled. Employee during the day, by feeding my site more every day, writing before work, writing on the way back from work and sometimes writing during working hours …
Then gradually, after the first 8 years of existence, I found something to live modestly from my site. So I took the plunge, throwing myself the whole time into it.
It’s something I can’t imagine. At the time, I still didn’t believe we could survive because of a website. And yet, I have many business-friends who make a living off the web and I am amazed at their success. They were the ones who gradually gave me confidence and showed that it was possible.
So of course even if my site already existed before a lot of blogs came along, and that’s from my point of view (still today), I’m a “webmaster”, I’m stuck with a lot of labels: blogger , influencer, content creator, and more. … Journalist. Lol.
I have yet to write on the site that says to myself: One day it will work and I will live from it“, Where” One day I will be famous on the net“. No, I always write it as a hobby, a pleasure, without thinking about the consequences, success, and so on. I had no business plan, I never had a plan. This is a project that is always very personal and more artisanal.
There has of course been a relatively prosperous period associated with the success of blogs and star bloggers and I have found myself somewhat involved in it without having to seek this light. However, I am willing to admit it, it is very pleasing: fame, recognition, invitations here and there … I have traveled, I have met great people, I have enjoyed all these good times with so much gratitude that never forget that all this is ephemeral.
Like everything, of course there is the other side of the coin… The poisonous people who discourage me, the harassment I experience, the jealousy, the gossip… Very strange, but I have understood over the years that it is also a standard . so that people want to insult each other. It’s about wounds that never heal and where I have to build myself up. Dirty period that I almost threw it all away, disgusted.
Time has passed and finally successful bloggers have given way to social media influencers, youtuber … etc. Phew, they finally let me go.
That’s why I keep my hard work, not always the same regular, because depending on the seasons there are also side projects, family life, health, and sometimes even a bit of fatigue.
Of course, sometimes I wander, write sometimes that pleases you more than I do. But I quickly realized that I was in an illusion and that I couldn’t do anything if I “forced” myself. Of course, some readers are lost along the way… I know it… My interests have grown. I have evolved. And Korben is now different from Korben of 18 years ago. Ingon ana. But I like to think you grew up (no, not “old”, go) with me.
Last year, Korben.info almost disappeared. There are still audiences (between 3M and 4M readers per month), but I’m spending too much and a few breaches of contract leaving me with a month’s worth of money. July 2021 is the scheduled end. Forced to return to paid work? Change domain? I admit that this perspective didn’t appeal to me so I worked out 4 times more (and that’s not the way to say), I was very anxious, couldn’t sleep at night due to anxiety.
Then I was able to float my boat, which was a bit weak, but still usable. Obviously, it’s not just my job that allows me to do this. I must also thank you: The anonymous readers who are always positive and encouraging, the patrons who do not hesitate to put their hands in their wallets every month to support the cause and of course all the partners in advertising that worked with me, sometimes for years and who trusted me. Sincerely, thank you!
18 years later, what a wonderful adventure! A life of “no work” as my son told me one day thinking I was spending my days hanging out in front of the computer. A life very rich and very monastic.
In 18 years I have learned a lot of things. In technologies of course, but also in people, in the many disciplines required by my activity and of course me, my abilities and my limitations.
I am now 40 years old. I’m still hyper digitally active even though I do less than before. Family life takes time for sure, but I also devote myself to other “fun” activities that everyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitch knows: DIY, cooking, nature, making progress, music, and so on. Nothing crazy, but just enough to change the air and get your head off the screens.
Now, I’m at a rhythm that seems pretty “cool” to you, but I’m staying in the flow … I write on the site of course, which remains my priority, but I also shoot a lot of videos for my Patreons supporters, I host a Twitch and YouTube channel whose subscribers are growing, and as if that wasn’t enough, I decided this year to burn TikTok. Lots of work, but obviously if I do it, it’s because I want it. Besides, I don’t know how to “do anything”. It has to be learned well.
All my “friends” famous bloggers have been sold, lost or become an armored media of journalists and freelancers.
I don’t want to evolve like them. Because of laziness, but also because of conviction. I continue on this lone path of awareness, still remembering my beginnings on the Internet that marked me so well.
And even though I always have the impression that this is the last Dodo looking anywhere around him wondering where the others are, I believe that deep down I made the right choice. And unlike him, I was still there.
The most important thing to remember is that today, I am still happy to write on Korben.info and share with you as I started. I should even say “that at our beginnings”, kay naa man ka, always faithful sa post.
So I don’t know if I’ll ever go back in 18, 28, 38 or 68 years, but I’m taking advantage of every moment, because to live from your passion like I did, that’s what’s more valuable. A life of geeking, tweaking, experimenting, sharing, exchanging with you, that’s exactly what I expected. And once again, I lack the time to do everything I want.
Thanks again to all of you, to the anonymous, to the non-anonymous, to the supporters, to the partners, to the passing working hands, to the benevolent ones, to the cyberbuddies I rarely meet (snif), and of course family and friends. .
Thank you thank you thank you.
Happy 18 years to you, the site has kids in sunglasses!