Tag Archives: The Site

The truth about blogging

I was going to write something terribly profound here about the power of blogging and it’s growth as arguably the first native language of the Internet (with the possible exception of emoticions: which don’t really qualify as a language more an annoying side-dish to the main menu of information) but I decided against it, mainly because it’s far to academic and just a little bit wanky for ten to four on a monday morning.

So I decided to talk about writing blogs at ten to four in the morning, I’d like to dispel the idea that I’m sat geekchic-style huddled over a computer plastered with stickers and cuddly toys in a dark room with just a lamp lighting up the million and one diet coke cans littered across the desk. This apparently is the image on regular reader had of me when I wrote this blog, but, stereotypical as it is; it’s not true. The truth is 90% of my entries are done in my spare time (no I don’t take time out in my day to blog) and a good 70% of them are done in cuddled into a corner of my vast sofa in my well lit living room. Normally most blog entries are done with other media input, from TV, DVD’s CD’s or radio, and for the most part the blog is unplanned.

There are occasions when things happen during the day and I feel I must blog about them, in which case I normally mull over what I’m going to write, but most of the time I’ll sit down, boot up blogger and write about whatever issue comes to my mind first. This isn’t an issues led blog (unlike others I could mention) this is a stream of consciousness, it’s a random selection of snippets from what little inner monologue I have. You see, I’m a very vocal person: I like talking, talking helps me think, I like to talk ideas, concepts and thoughts through, either with myself, or with other people. I talk a lot with my hands too, I find it helps me communicate ideas in a more efficient way – which is odd, because I used to do it while I was on the radio… which obviously no one but me could see (this was a source of much amusement for everyone that worked with me).

What I love about this medium is it’s ability to communicate in a brutally honest way, and the way that every individual uses the medium in a slightly different way, some are hugely readable, some are hard slog, some are engaging whilst others are so inane they just bore me, but because this medium is all about interpretation it’s able to appeal to different people in vastly different ways.

To redesign or not?

To redesign or not to redesign, that is the question… and it doesn’t have a simple answer, you see I’ve got bucket loads of written work I want to put up but I can’t be bothered to format it all nicely into pages at the moment, and what’s more I’d like a tool to look after it all. Blogger isn’t really an option, maybe Movable Type or if I’m feeling really brave I might build my own CMS for the job.

I’m also considering slimming down the other areas of the site, especially the homepage, or maybe turning the homepage into the blog, ooo and while we’re talking about the blog I’d like to get rid of the dates and add titles, or maybe make the dates a lot smaller, and therefore less significant? Decisions decisions, all of which I’m sure will be made with a bottle of wine and a quiet weekend in the relative peace of Notting Hill.

Printed Blogs

Just a question: If this (or any other blogs such as these) were made available in print format would you still read them? The only reason I ask is that sat in bed reading blogs this evening I realised that I can’t get comfortable sitting with the laptop in the same way that I can get comfortable with a book – and it occurred to me that maybe I should print out the blog archives I was reading: and then thinking further (dangerous I know!) I thought that I’d probably pay for a book that was as engaging a read as the particular blog I was reading at the time, so would it make sense for some of the more prolific bloggers to offer a printable service?

Would a blog lose it’s interest factor if it wasn’t online and interactive, or would it be the acid test of the good content vs the crap, I’m the first to admit that most blogs are crap, they mean nothing to anyone other than the author and nine times out of ten are badly conceived and even more badly kept up to date, but there are good blogs out there… there are some that I read every day, there are some I visit more than once a day, and there are some where I’ll quite happily spend hours reading through the most engaging archives and writings I’ve ever found online… What do you think? Who do you read? And most importantly: why? – comments please!

Blogger Pro – not all it’s cracked up to be.

I’ve just noticed that Blogger Pro (the pay for version of the ubiquitous blogging tool) actually limits the amount you can post as a paying user, but I can’t see any notice that standard users will have to pay if they go over posts of 100k within any one month period, normally I average around 50k’s worth of posting, so far this month I’ve used 24% of my allocated 100k, I think that’s rather unfair. I can see where they would be coming from if the user were using blogspot hosting, but when I’m using my own server, my own FTP, and my own money to use blogger pro – I think it’s terribly unfair to limit the amount I can post before asking me for more money.

I hate this kind of hypocrisy, the owner of Blogger used to link to “the end of free” a lot, something which blogger is rapidly becoming in danger of ending up in, it’s a bit like OUTintheUK.com which is another website that expects people to pay but doesn’t really give any reason to upgrade other than nag screens that disappear when you’ve coughed up your 25 quid. If you’re going to provide people with a “Paid” model of your site, then for god’s sake make it worth the users while… otherwise they’ll feel very cheated.

Talk about a con:

4.4 In the event that the site is unavailable due to scheduled maintenance for a period of more than 4 hours in any 24 hour period, all licences will be extended by one day. No refund or other form of compensation is available.

you might like to note that the statement above doesn’t cover all the times the site falls over, crashes, won’t log you in, is unavailable for hours on end, or grinds to an absolute stop so no one can use it… canny that don’t you think?

How does the blog grow?

Isn’t it strange how blogs grow, if you look back on here in the archives, or indeed on any site, the initial posts tend to be short sharp lists of links, or factual accounts of what we did, and where we were… so when, and more importantly what happens to turn the early blogger into a rambling blogging star, someone that consistently posts 2 or 3 posts a day, someone not afraid to just let go and bitch, celebrate, whinge, laugh and cry on there site: that’s not to say as bloggers mature you find out more about them, in fact I think it’s actually the complete reverse of that, I believe that as you become a more regular, rambling blogger your posts become more introspective, more thought about, and more heavily edited, not always consciously.

There seems to be a point when you realise that not everything you once would have blogged is something you now want on your blog, this little collection of ramblings is testament to that, there are things I discussed a year ago I wouldn’t even consider talking about now, however now I produce 10 times the amount of content that I did a year ago. It has to be said that blogging re-ignited my love of writing, it’s something I’d forgotten about, you write all the time in the industry I’m in, you’re surrounded by words, but they’re all words with a task, whereas here the words can mean everything or nothing.

You see here this is my space, it’s like a little extension of my head, where I can hive off threads of thought, mull them over in writing, archive them for future use, or just stick them on the Internet for the sake of sticking them on the Internet. It’s only here because I want it to be, it’s not an e-zine, it’s not a magazine, it’s definitely not commercial, I’m not driven to write things here because I have to, I don’t write things here because I want to please my “audience” (However if you enjoy reading it then that’s great) It’s simply because I want to write. The funny thing is when I read back over the years (not all of which are currently published) you can spot phases, having never kept a “diary” of the written sort being able to mull over my past as seen by me but not simply relying on my own memory is a fascinating experience.

New Server

The site is now sitting on our new shiny servers! *yay* muchos excitement all around this part of town.