So … I’m finally ‘officially’ blogging after 5 years of talking about it. It may not be perfect but at least it is.
Friends may remember conversations way back in 2009 where I talked about starting a blog – y’know, back when blogging was still ‘cool’, i.e., ‘not dead‘, according to recent prophecying by the Elder Netgod Kottke.
Before the dark times – before the Empire:
That ending kinda gives you an idea of what I’ve been doing with my time, as well as the angst I felt while doing it.
In fact this was one of the reasons why Facebook collectively assembled its politest heroes who kindly suggested that a blog may be a more appropriate avenue for the carpet bombing of wonder to which I was subjecting their timelines.
But then, of course, I discovered Twitter …
Exhibit A – determination:
A blog was part of the plan for the third word for this year and thankfully every day is the best day of the year. But given the next word in this series in every year previous was procrastination, what’s different this time?
Exhibit B – Milt Olin.
Blogging is a writer’s tool to get to ‘just write!’ And before I die I want to be a writer – the verb, not the noun.
Exhibit C – inspiration, peer-to-peer and with just a little friendly pressure:
But my seat is directly in this seat because of Cat, another friend who yesterday wrote:
So why come back now?
Well, I missed talking to myself (with my husband and the odd friend occasionally listening in). I missed having a truly personal blog that didn’t have editorial calendars and engagement strategies. I missed having a catch all space for the various stuff that I collect. I missed having a place where I could write on whatever took my fancy.
(I also made a pact with a friend to start a blog this weekend. He assures me he will have a post up by tomorrow so I had to hold up my side of the agreement.)
And yes, I am the odd friend to which the author refers throughout but more especially at the end.
It was after all the upholding of bargains, the reputation and feedback systems, which drew me to the Web in the first place. So it was with great interest that I read the latest blog from Microsoft Research’s Principal Researcher danah boyd (of It’s Complicated fame) about her experiment with Medium to rekindle her blogging practice. Her origin story captures the flavour of why those of us drawn to blogging do what we do:
When blogging was “cool” in the mid-2000s, I was immersed in a blogging community where we were all reading and thinking about each other’s writing. As more and more people caught onto blogging, the practice became professionalized and my blog professionalized alongside that transformation.
Like danah’s Medium experiment, what my peers are also trying to do a little is to “incentivize each other in our writing, to spark ideas for each other, and to give feedback to each other as we blog about all sorts of things.”
Which brings me back almost full circle – because like Facebook and Twitter (and WordPress.com to some degree) what happens in Medium, stays in Medium. For at least 30 days, at any rate. What’s more, almost none of you will have found this link through a feed reader. Most links will have come through Twitter and Facebook (Medium and fortune will have to wait).
For me, this is where the final piece of the inspiration puzzle fits in – the IndieWeb, a syndication model where you post your content on your own domain first, then syndicating out copies to 3rd party services with permalinks back to the original version (or POSSE for short).
It’s a key part of why and how the ‘IndieWeb’ movement is different from just ‘everyone blog on their own site’. I will get the most control by using self-hosted WordPress. So in the name of the spirit of 2005, over the next fortnight I’d like to invite you all to take part in a poll to help me select one of the below purchased domain names:
During the next two weeks, each of the following posts will focus on the reason each URL has a meaning for me and why you should vote for it.