Writing more evergreen blog post topics is hard

Evergreen topics are the golden egg of blog posting; posts which don't age and don't become irrelevant over time and they are something I really wish I was able to write. A lot of my posts are about the here and now "this is how you do this thing with this technology". They might still be right in 1, 2 or 3 years time, or they might have expired before I've even built up the courage to publish.

The most popular posts on this very blog are potentially fleeting. Migrating Gitlab to another server or Creating a Docusaurus Docker container can easily be rendered useless with the release of a new version or a change in the commands to be run. It's not as easy as "Gitlab has released a new version", if Twitter changes their intent URL structure then this post on Building your own share component would become very unhelpful.

It's not easy creating evergreen content - I envy those that can come up with philosophical or timeless talks as well as posts. If you want to be seen as a "thought leader" (horrible phrase, but you get my drift) then you need to start creating blog posts and presentations that don't age and will always be relevant.

I have managed to write some evergreen blog posts - my Git commit hash and "Making sure you're not doing everything at work" posts don't have an expiry date (unless Git fundamentally change the way hashes are made) but the majority of my posts are fixed to a specific time, framework or command structure.

I see posts and opinions crop up and sometimes kick myself. Blogs which get the web development community rallying behind expressed views which I hold, and have done for a while but I just never considered it blog worthy enough (or a popular enough opinion). Perhaps I need to stop holding back when it comes to writing about my opinion. Perhaps I need to "just" post whatever is on my mind or put down thoughts whenever I roll my eyes or tut at something in the industry. On the flip side, I should write more about the positive things I see on the web - as much as the moans and groans get the most traction, it's always enjoyable to see some good thoughts and feelings be posted.

Side note: The irony is not lost on me that I am writing an evergreen blog post about not being able to write evergreen blog posts!

In a bid to try and generate some ideas for Evergreen blog posts topics, I turned to the "hot new tech of the moment", ChatGPT (does this mean this post is no longer Evergreen?!).

I wanted to see what it could suggest for "Web development evergreen topic ideas". The list of topics was quite predicable - nothing new or any curve balls, however it is still a list I might come back to when I'm feeling in need to writing but have no direction.

The list generated was:

  • Responsive design and mobile optimization
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Security and privacy considerations
  • Web performance optimization
  • The role of APIs in web development
  • The future of web development technologies, such as WebAssembly or Web VR
  • Web accessibility and inclusive design
  • Progressive web apps (PWA)
  • Design patterns and best practices for creating user-friendly websites
  • The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in web development

Generating any kind of evergreen content is hard. Scrap that, generating any kind of content is hard. However, at the end of the day, does it really matter?

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Mike Street

Written by Mike Street

Mike is a CTO and Lead Developer from Brighton, UK. He spends his time writing, cycling and coding. You can find Mike on Mastodon.