Some Blogging Notes

My deepest appreciation goes to Dave Rogers and Dave Winer for getting me back to blogging in recent days. Dave Rogers for starting up conversations again which is where our blogging association started from the beginning and Dave Winer for creating a tool in Drummer that promotes casual blogging.

# Drafts, Not Drummer for Now

For now, I won’t be using Drummer since I’ve put together a quick workflow using my own tools without disrupting my ongoing site here. I was there when Dave unleashed the power of editing the internet with his EditThisPage community. I’ve been writing on the web at On Deciding . . . Better ever since, but all of that original content was wiped from the web when Dave shut the service down. I did get a download, but never figured out how to easily get it all back up as an archive.

After that, I wanted to more directly control my content, but learned that these sites are by nature impermanent. I moved from self hosting to now using a great hosted WordPress system.

Opening the WordPress app is really not that different from EditThisPage. There’s a title spot and a blank page to write on. Images, links and emphasis are all easier now and Markdown spares me from HTML pretty much completely.

So I have a nice little system cobbled together this week of capture to Drafts during the day out of all manner of reading and jotting notes. My paper notebooks are still there for capture, but I find myself typing a quick idea into Drafts on my phone because its purposeful. It’s for publishing. I subscribed to Drafts just to be able to append Draft Quick Captures to my daily running note. Edit the note to make it presentable, copy it to the WordPress app, press publish and I’m done. I’ve generally had extra content these few days, so they get rolled over to tomorrow’s Draft.

Public Journaling Promotes Mindfulness

Ironically, I was trying to inspire myself when I wrote Why You Need to Publish Your Notebook – On Deciding . . . Better 3.0. Yet I didn’t take the time to translate my notebooks into public writing. I believe that journaling is good, but public journaling is better.

Public journaling is fun if its as casual as my private bullet journal or my morning notes in the Hobonichi. Even if it’s an internal conversation, riffing on subjects and writing down the ideas makes them more alive and the thoughts more complete. Knowing I want to share things publicly makes me more mindful of what I’m reading, thinking about whether its really interesting or just some text designed to decorate the ads generated by the click.

Promoting Community; The Return of RSS?

Since I know my audience here is small, I can talk to myself more or less without trying to be performative. That is to say, posting on Twitter, Instagram or Flickr always had this motivation contaminated with seeking likes or clicks or favorites or what have you. I really have no personal reason to become internet famous, so I can write for my pleasure and yours, my dear reader.

Blogging itself on website like this got contaminated with SEO, the seeking of hits from Google. I have one post on this site, How BIll Gates Takes Notes – On Deciding . . . Better 3.0 that was picked up by Mark Bernstein, creator of Tinderbox, and eventually found its way to some pages with pretty high readership. The post is both an explanation of the Cornell system and a discussion of the value of note taking in meetings as a means to become an active listener. So every day it gets 4 or 5 reads, but those reads never translate into regular readership here as far as I can tell. That post has great search engine placement but doesn’t make me any friends.

Back to the to the two Daves then, Rogers and WIner. As old school bloggers they seek community and conversation. Before Twitter and search algorithms took over, we had bookmarks and RSS feeds to keep track of activity in our communities. WordPress supports RSS feeds without any effort; it was the shutdown of Google Reader that signaled to many that the RSS era was at an end. There’s word that Google may be bringing RSS directly into Chrome Google, but that’s the mass market. I’m really more interested in whether efforts like Drummer might be able to kindle some communities outside of Twitter and its like for conversation and sharing of ideas. And simple blogging tools and workflows are a necessary component of that potential future.

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