Happy 2015, kids.
Kickin’ back today. Might have a photo or three later. Enjoy your day!
Nice Marmot: December 2014.
Happy Fifteen. And a worthy read, as always. How many times I contemplate Zhuangzi’s writings, and wonder what the hell blogging has to do with anything important. Try “Knowledge Wandered North.” There isn’t a day goes by, I don’t think about this.
End-of-year business shizz.
Beyond The Margins: The Joy of Writing (Redux)*.
[Back to somewhat normal postings tomorrow.]
In case y’all were wondering. I think full-on will really resume after this next weekend. Kinda nice to enjoy a slowdown break.
I have no great epiphanies this year. Fifteen seems a year like any other; it is no remarkable accomplishment. Weblogging is just a thing I do, like breathing. In fact, to call it ‘weblogging’ sounds increasingly pretentious as we move farther from 1999. In the same sort of vein as calling a photo-a-day project a ‘365 project’. These labels are archaic. My work here is an anachronism. Everyone takes multiple photos a day now. Everyone emotes via social channels in machine-gun staccato.
Fifteen years of linkblogging, it feels more and more like I’m the guy who still dresses up to get on an airplane. And complains about ‘them newfangled engines that don’t have propellers.’
I think the distinction between ‘creators’ and ‘linkers’ is a more important classification today. How long you’ve been around doesn’t matter — in today’s short-attention-span theatre, it’s what you’ve done lately. And that revolves around constant, neverending creation. Those who create, who post original stuff, have evergreen traffic. Those who link can be popular, but there are thousands doing the same thing with only minor differences. The brand value of a creator is higher, and longer lasting.
In the contest between doers versus watchers, doers win. Along these lines, my photos get more attention than my blog posts, so I may start doing more photography and deprecating the linkage. It’s just that I’m so damned curious about things. And I enjoy sharing what I find, starting conversations that range widely based on readers’ experience. Every so often, it generates a good story and I’m supremely happy. That’s blog-success. For me, anyway. Engagement. And a bit of learning.
Looking over the upcoming year … our nation is in crisis. How much we can change in just a few short months! We’re largely the same population we were back in the summer, but now charges of racism, chauvinism and worse are getting hurled across the metacosm. Litmus tests over controversies-du-jour are splitting up friends, families. Feels like the ’70’s again: malaise, angry protests, intolerance. Archie Bunker. We find our glass is no longer just half-empty; been fermenting too long. It’s a Dixie cup half-filled with gasoline. Someone else holds the match. That concerns me. Demonization of opponents allows greater evils to gain and sequester power, and the media is spending more time highlighting difference than common cause. Tribes pull inwards, on the defensive. Outrage blinds. Violent protests are playing right into the hands of those who do not have our best interests at heart.
To top it off, I suspect the upcoming Presidential race is going to take advantage of this atmosphere. This is not a post-race, post-feminist society. There are elements who love to fan the flames. Detente or harmony — before election day — is not to their advantage.
Given that, I’m not especially looking forward to my fifth time blogging through a Presidential campaign. When I started blogging, I would have said the effort took courage and stamina. At this particular moment, I say a strong stomach will be required. For my international friends and readers — I apologize for our lunacy in advance. It’s gonna be a weird election season, and you’re going to question everything you think you know about America. The longtime attacks on public education continue to bear fruit, and our newspapers and political candidates are perfect examples of the result.
As for everything else, it’s a cruel, crazy, beautiful world. I’ll keep digging, as I always do. I think of Joyce when I open the blog each morning: “Welcome, O Life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my age.”
Thanks again for listening. Onward.
Xmas Gift Suggestion, of the last-minute variety: Will Reichard’s ‘This Album Full of Angles’.
Will’s been a very good friend to this weblog. His foray into novel writing is a worthy effort, being compared to Neil Gaiman. Amazon has the ebook for $0.99, the POD for $10.79, and Smashwords has ebook versions for $0.99. A good holiday read. And you’ll be supporting another blogger.
ArtDaily: The history of photo sharing, highlighting the social side of photography.
Aeon: Why we still dream we can live on through fame.
“Alas, recognising the problem doesn’t seem to get us very far. Why would I be writing about the folly of fame, if not so that you remember my name?” Makes me think fondly of the early days of blogging.
Medium: Ten Years of Podcasting - Fighting Human Nature.
Yes. To this, I would add overwrought intros and outros, and rambling slow-to-get-to-the-point subject matter. I say it many times, Hemingway, not Tolstoy.
Asian movers? As in furniture movers? Some poor schmuck putting comments on ‘The Luminous Endowment’ and ‘Wikipedia: The Dictator’? Folks need to work on their targeting ...
TechDirt: Tennessee Town Passes Policy Banning Negative Comments About The Town’s Government.
Well. Does TechDirt moderate comments? I can’t tell from their site. I’m not defending the town, mind you. But another article on TechDirt quotes this opinion in positive manner: “I do delete comments from time to time. If I notice them and they are ‘excessively violent’ or ‘harassing’ or ‘otherwise objectionable,’ I delete them. Why? First, its my blog, so my fucking rules. You have a right to express yourself, but not necessarily here.” My italics.
Everyone loves the First Amendment until it ends up bristling and ugly in their own comments section or social channels.
I come down on the side of, “If tax money is being used to support those sites, then any taxpaying citizen can comment.”
Medium: Why I care about PowerPoint.
It takes way, way too much time and frustrating effort to create excellence in Powerpoint. I find noone’s willing to pay for excellence; the presentational quality of a ... Xerox ... is fine with them. With sparkly transitions. *Gag*.
Xmas gift suggestion: Heartbreak Time Machine.
Well, dang ... Jeremiah’s out of his ‘Super Pak’. But you can still pick up a single, here. And you’ll be supporting another blogger.
Xmas gift suggestion: Gordy’s camera straps.
Great stuff, and you’ll be supporting a fellow blogger.
Note: I’ll start doing these occasionally, pointing to those who frequent this blog and have wares for sale.
“Mark All as Read”.
Too much stuff in the aggregator. I have to cry “UNCLE!”
Links IF I can. Sorry. Tootle along elsewhere. Craziness on this end.
Storify: There is No Fold (with images, tweets).
Finally, someone with recognized authority calls BS on the myth. Thank GOD.
EuanSemple: Social media purist.
“Content marketing” vs. just plain old blogging. Makes me think of the difference between beef cattle on big old ranches, versus feedlot beef. Feedlot beef facilities have to deal with a whole lot of ... well, ‘byproducts’. Whereas for traditional blogs, the byproducts transmute to fertilizer for future posts ...
Apostrophe CMS/Node, MongoDB.
So WYSIWYG, it kind of hurts my brain. YMMV.
Got so busy so fast, forgot to blog!
I’ll get on it.
Heartbreak Time Machine: Mustard Seed School Benefit, Holiday Heartbreak Show.
Frequent commenter Jeremiah’s doing some benefits. His limited edition single is gorgeous (and gorgeously packaged); designers on your gift list would love it.
Dazed: Flickr is about to sell off your Creative Commons photos.
“Are you one of the millions of people signed up to Flickr? It’s time to switch your license settings. The Yahoo-owned photo-sharing site has just announced that it will start selling prints of some 50 million Creative Commons-licensed images, but the photographers involved won’t see any of the profits. Nope. Not a single penny.” My emphasis. I warned y’all about this a decade ago. All my Flickr images are copyright protected. All.
The Book of Life.
I point you to the “What is it” page. Better to just dip your toes in, on the main page (click the logo top-left).