Tag Archives: blogging

Designing blogs for readers

I don’t think there’s any reasonable way, or any need, to separate vanity and ego from a personal blog. Writing is inherently about its author, and is a product of their personality and opinions – that’s not something to be shy about, and we shouldn’t try to change it either. So, write for yourself – and hold yourself to an appropriate standard, because you’d better believe that others are judging the person as well as the piece – but as soon as you publish your views, you’re inviting readers to take a look. I think that the needs of the reader and the author are more aligned than many blogging systems seem to believe.

It took a while to arrive at these conclusions, but more and more blogs start be readable without a need to run them through Instapaper or a similar service.

Your words are wasted

In a time where we are all gnashing our teeth about Twitter’s API changes that may lock out many 3rd party developers, Google Plus’s lack of content portability or lack of respect for the permalink, as well as the rise of country club social networks pay-for social networks like app.net we find ourselves asking questions like:

  • Why doesn’t someone make a free or cheap social network for the people?
  • Why can’t I control my content?
  • Why can’t I export everything I’ve written?
  • Who owns what I type?
  • Why isn’t there an open API for my content?
  • Why can’t I search posts over a month old?
  • Why can’t I have this or that username?
  • Why am I not verified?

All these questions are asked about social networks we don’t control and of companies who don’t have our best interests at heart. We are asking these questions in 2012? Read those bullets again. These were solved problems in 1999.

While Scott Hanselman raises a valid point here, he seems to ignore the fact real blogging requires effort while social networks give a pleasant illusion of meaningful exchange of ideas at the cost of mere 140 characters or less.

How I write and time-manage

He’s great at reminding me, via his excellent talks and interviews, that it’s easier to be highly productive when you only have a limited time window in which to do so. It’s easier to perform an amazing, in-the-zone, four-hour block of work on a Friday night if I’m leaving town the next day and I know that it’s is the only chance I’ll get all week to work on Instapaper.
more on marco.org

On power of timeboxing and small-step progress. Also, the linked podcast with Merlin Mann and John Gruber is worth listening to. If for nothing else, then for opportunity to listen to Gruber’s opinion on Mike Arrington.