Today I am 18 years old!

Tonight friends, I want to ask you to raise a glass for me! A few hours ago, it is exactly 18 years ago that I launched Korben.info.

Since 1997, I have already written online here and there and shared all my discoveries, my analyzes, my hacks. So one fine day between May and June 2004 (the date is unclear), only armed with my nickname and a handful of readers (including you, maybe), I reserved the domain name korben.tk.

The goal was simple: Archive and share in the form of a digital reminder, all my discoveries, my tips, my tools … etc.

The site, which was only a bunch of HTML pages in its early days, switched to a more official domain name (korben.info), but for free at the time, a few years later. I was 22 years old, a lot of free time due to unemployment and not a penny in my pocket.

For years I lived a double life. Employee during the day, by massively feeding my site every day, writing before you go to work, writing on returning home from work and sometimes writing during working hours …

So eventually, after the first 8 years of existence, I was able to find something to live modestly on my part. So I took the plunge and threw myself into it full time.

It’s something I could never have imagined. At the time, I still did not believe we could live thanks to a website. And yet, I had around me lots of friends-entrepreneurs who lived off the net, and I was completely honored by their success. They are the ones who gradually gave me confidence and showed that it was possible.

So even though my site already existed before the massive arrival of blogs, and from my point of view (still today), I was “webmaster”, of course I was stuck with many labels: blogger, influencer, content creator and even… journalist. Laugh out loud.

I have never written on the page and said to myself: One day it will work and I will make a living from it” , Where ” One day I will become famous online“. No, I have always written about it as a hobby, a pleasure, without thinking about the consequences, the success, the buzz … etc. I did not have a business plan, I never had one. It is a project that is always very personal and very crafty.

There was, of course, quite a period of progress attached to the success of blogs and star bloggers, and I found myself a bit involved in it without necessarily looking for that light. I admit it though, it was very pleasant: the notoriety, the recognition, the invitations here and there … I traveled, I met amazing people, I took advantage of all these good moments with great gratitude without ever forgetting that all this was fleeting .

As with everything, of course, there was the other side of the coin … The toxic people who demoralized me, the harassment I was subjected to, the jealousy, the gossip … It was very strange, but I understood over the years that it was also very basic for people to want to lubricate each other. It’s part of the wounds that never healed and that I myself had to build on. Dirty period where I really almost threw everything away, disgusted.

Then time passed, and finally successful bloggers made room for influencers on social media, youtubers … etc. Whoa, they finally let me go.

So I continued my hard work, not always with the same regularity, because depending on the time, there were also side projects, family life, health and sometimes even some fatigue.

Of course, I have sometimes wandered off and written at times more to please you than to me. But I quickly realized that I was in the illusion and that I could achieve nothing if I “forced” myself. Of course, I lost some readers along the way … I know … My interests have evolved. I have evolved. And Korben today is completely different from Korben 18 years ago. That’s the way it is. But I like to think you grew up (no, not “aged”, come on) with me.

Last year, Korben.info almost disappeared. The audience was still there (between 3M and 4M readers a month), but I had too much expense, and a few overall breaches of contract left me with a month’s cash. July 2021 was the planned completion. Forced to return to paid work? Change domain? I admit that this perspective did not appeal to me, so I worked 4 times more (and it’s not a way of talking), I was hyper anxious, did not sleep at night because of worry.

Then I managed to float my boat, which was still a bit fragile but still functional. Clearly, it was not just my job that allowed 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 pockets every month to support the cause and of course all the advertising partners who have worked with me, sometimes in years and who trust me. Sincerely thank you!

18 years later, what an adventure! A life of “unemployed” as my son told me one day who thinks I spend my days hanging out in front of the computer. A life that was both very rich and very monastic.

In 18 years I have learned a lot of things. On technologies of course, but also on people, on the many disciplines that my activity requires and of course on me, on my abilities and my limits.

Today I am 40 years old. I’m still hyper digitally active, even though I do a lot less than before. Family life certainly takes time, but I also devote myself to other “pleasure activities” that all those who follow me on Instagram or Twitch know about: DIY, cooking, nature, development, music, etc. Nothing crazy, but just enough to change the air and get your head out of the screens.

Today I’m in a rhythm that may seem pretty “bold” to you, but I’m staying in a tight flow … I’m writing on the page, of course, which remains my priority, but I’m also shooting a lot of videos for my Patreons- followers, I host a Twitch and YouTube channel whose subscribers are only rising, and as if that were not enough, this year I decided to set fire to TikTok. A lot of work, but of course, if I do, it’s because I like it. Besides, I do not know how to “do something”. It must be learned well.

All my “comrades” bloggers in the heyday have either sold, disappeared or turned into an armored medium of journalists and freelancers.

I did not want to develop like them. Of laziness, but also of conviction. I continued with this lonely path of craftsmanship, still nostalgic about my beginnings on the internet, which deeply impressed me.

And although I often have the impression of being this last Dodo, looking all around him and wondering where the others have gone, I think deep down I have made the right choice. And unlike him, I’m still here.

The most important thing to remember is that today I still have just as much fun writing on Korben.info and sharing with you as when I started. I should even say “it at our beginning” when you were there, always true to the record.

So I do not know if I would go back in 18, 28, 38 or 68 more years, but I take advantage of every moment, to be able to live from your passion, as I do, is what is more valuable. A life of geekiness, refinement, experimentation, sharing, exchanging with you, that’s really all I could hope for. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes.

Thanks again to you all, the anonymous, the non-anonymous, the supporters, the partners, the passing helping hands, the benevolent, the cyber friends that I meet too rarely (sniff), and of course the family and friends.

tak tak tak.

Happy 18 years to you, since with the baby in sunglasses!

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