I got a little verklempt reading this.
Well, this is rather lovely!
I nodded along with host Jen Simmons and guest Jeremy Keith saying some very smart things about the web and its roots as the El train cut across Philadelphia. But at the 48-minute mark things got weird, because Jen and Jeremy basically started writing my column for me while I listened.
Read on for some great advice on conquering your inner critic.
You read a lot and like the idea of writing. You know the best way to get better at writing is to write, so write!
We become obsessed with tools and methods, very rarely looking at how these relate to the fundamental basics of web standards, accessibility and progressive enhancement. We obsess about a right way to do things as if there was one right way rather than looking at the goal; how things fit into the broader philosophy of what we do on the web and how what we write contributes to us being better at what we do.
There’s something so beautifully, beautifully webbish about this: readings of blog posts found through a search for “no one will ever read this.”
Listen to all of them.
I recorded audio versions of some of my favourite blog posts.
Jaime Caballero on Instagram: “Live blogging by @adactio. He almost didn’t make it for his 100 words challenge.”
When you’re out celebrating at the end of Responsive Day Out and realise it’s just a few minutes to midnight and you haven’t published your 100 words yet.
‘That pig was a good influence’ with Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman on Unfinished Business on Huffduffer
I had a lot of fun recording this episode with Andrew and Jeffrey. It is occasionally surreal.
Stick around for the sizzling hot discussion of advertising at the end in which we compare and contrast Mad Men and Triumph Of The Will.
Grant, like Emma, has recently started blogging again. This makes me very, very happy. And he’s doing it for what I consider to be all the right reasons:
But this is mostly a place for me to capture my thoughts, and an excuse to consider them, and an opportunity to understand them more fully.
Stuart has implemented webmentions on his site, which is great. It’s also fitting, as he is the inventor of pingback (of which webmention is a simpler reformulation).
Companies go out of business, get bought and change policies, so what if you had one place to originate all of your content then publish it out to those great social services? And hey, why not pull comments from those services back to your original post?
That’s the idea behind Indie Web Camp: have your own website be the canonical source of what your publish. But right now, getting all of the moving parts up and running requires a fair dollop of tech-savviness. That’s where Known comes in:
It’s similar to the WordPress model: you can create a blog on their servers, or you can download the software and host it on your own.
This post is a good run-down of what’s working well with Known, and what needs more work.
I’d go along with pretty much everything Anil says here. Wise words from someone who’s been writing on their own website for fifteen years (congratulations!).
Link to everything you create elsewhere on the web. And if possible, save a copy of it on your own blog. Things disappear so quickly, and even important work can slip your mind months or years later when you want to recall it. If it’s in one, definitive place, you’ll be glad for it.
There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.
In the days before comments on blogs, you could generally have a thoughtful conversation online without everything degenerating into madness and chaos simply because responding to a post required that you wrote a post on your own blog and linked back. This created a certain level of default accountability because if someone wanted to flame you, they had to do it on their own real estate, and couldn’t just crap all over yours anonymously.
If you enjoy writing, or want to enjoy writing, just do it. You’ll probably worry that you have nothing to say, or that what you write is terrible, or that you couldn’t possibly write as well as Neil Gaiman. But silence those voices, get your head down and hit publish on something. Anything. And then do it again. And again.
An alternative history from a parallel timeline.
He started coding his own just weeks after Tim Berners-Lee, a tunnel engineer helping to build the STERN protein collider, discovered ancient scrolls buried in the Swiss soil that revealed the secrets of HTML.
We were struggling, whether we knew it or not, to found a more fluid society. A place where everyone, not just appointed apologists for the status quo, could be heard. That dream need not die. It matters more now than ever.
The internet never forgets? Bollocks!
We were told — warned, even — that what we put on the internet would be forever; that we should think very carefully about what we commit to the digital page. And a lot of us did. We put thought into it, we put heart into, we wrote our truths. We let our real lives bleed onto the page, onto the internet, onto the blog. We were told, “Once you put this here, it will remain forever.” And we acted accordingly.
This is a beautiful love-letter to the archival web, and a horrifying description of its betrayal:
When they’re erased by a company abruptly and without warning, it’s something of a new-age arson.
Yet another cautionary tale on why you should be homesteading instead of sharecropping.
This is what Medium is for.
If you want to read some of Dan Catt’s lesser thoughts, he has his own blog.
Ben is rightly worried by the blasé attitude in the tech world to the PRISM revelations. Perhaps that attitude stems from a culture of “log everything by default”?
I think there’s a deep rooted trait within this industry that sedates the outrage. That is the normality, complicity, and dependency on ‘surveillance’ in the software we make.
This is a breath of fresh air: a blogging platform that promises to keep its URLs online in perpetuity.
Yes! Yes! YES!
Tom is spot-on here: you shouldn’t be afraid of writing about yourself …especially not for fear of damaging some kind of “personal brand” or pissing off some potential future employer.
If your personal brand demands that you live your life in fear of disclosing important parts of your life or your experience, the answer is to reject the whole sodding concept of personal brands.
Do things I write about my personal life threaten my personal brand? Perhaps. Are there people who wouldn’t hire me based on things I write? Probably. Do I give even a whiff of a fuck? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.
A wonderful rallying cry from Drew.
Ever since the halcyon days of Web 2.0, we’ve been netting our butterflies and pinning them to someone else’s board.
Hope that what you’ve created never has to die. Make sure that if something has to die, it’s you that makes that decision. Own your own data, friends, and keep it safe.
I heartily concur with Chris’s sentiment:
I wish everyone in the world would blog.
Laura explains the problems with hiding content for small screens, and uses this as an opportunity to elucidate why you should blog, even if you’re think that no-one would be interested in what you have to say:
The point I’m trying to make is that we shouldn’t be fearful of writing about what we know. Even if you write from the most basic point of view, about something which has been ‘around for ages’, you’ll likely be saying something new to someone. They might be new to the industry, you might just be filling in the holes in someone’s knowledge.
Amen, Scott, A-MEN:
You are not blogging enough. You are pouring your words into increasingly closed and often walled gardens. You are giving control - and sometimes ownership - of your content to social media companies that will SURELY fail.
I quite the look of Medium, but Dave Winer absolutely nails it with this feature request:
Let me enter the URL of something I write in my own space, and have it appear here as a first class citizen. Indistinguishable to readers from something written here.
I think it might get a tattoo of this:
There’s art in each individual system, but there’s a much greater art in the union of all the systems we create.
A cautionary tale from Dave Winer of not considering digital preservation from the outside. We must learn the past. We must.
Nine years and five months after he began publishing every entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary, Phil Gyford posts the last entry.
It’s very gratifying to know that I encouraged someone to write something.
Luke’s notes from my talk about long-term thinking and online preservation at An Event Apart in Boston.
Yet another reason to host your own content instead of sharecropping; danah boyd wakes up one morning to find her Tumblr account has been moved to a different URL.
Jason Grigsby pulls together a bunch of links related to responsive design, mobile web and that tricky context problem.
Dave Winer is putting together technology to battle share-cropping and enable the Pembertonisation of your content: you host the canonical copy and distribute to third-party services.
PPK has switched off comments for much the same reason that I hardly ever have comments on adactio.com: our sites are places for us to broadcast rather than have a conversation.
A thoughtful piece on how Twitter can complement blogging, but is far too often used as an impermanent substitute.
…if you didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen. In fact, I first wrote about this idea a bit on Twitter a few years ago. See if you can find it.
Could it be that the current penchant for quick, real-time bursts of content could actually be beneficial for more thoughtful, long-form content?
Oh, what a lovely metaphor! What's your online home?
What he said. "The wonderful thing about the web is that anyone can contribute to it. If you have something to say, there are plenty of places to say it. But your right to post to someone else’s site rests with that someone else."
A self-documenting explanation of why John Gruber doesn't have comments on his site.
This is a pithy one-sentence description of a blog post, praising the author's insight.
I think that reports of the death of the blog have been greatly exaggerated but I agree with just about everything written here.
This is wonderful: a line-a-day diary from the 1930s turned into a Twitter account. It's like a microblogging version of Pepys's journal via RSS.
Pride and Prejudice told through Facebook.
Mike has published his notes from day one of @media Ajax in London.
Words cannot describe how brilliant this is. In response to a whinging Twitter post I made, Matthew Levine created a bookmarklet to quickly and easily create simple hCards for easy adding to blog posts. It works beautifully.
Wesley Hodgson liveblogged the talk I just gave at An Event Apart San Francisco — Patterns in the process.
Blogging can be hard. Here's some free relief. Sure, it's a shameless commercial promotion but it's kind of cute.
Weighing up the pros and cons of allowing comments on blog posts.
Lee is a Twitter sceptic. Shun the unbeliever, shhuuuunnnnn!
kottke.org is 10. Many happy returns, Jason.
I keep meaning to post more videos to my blog and seeing as Tantek has the camera as I do, I'm making a note of what he does.
This is good news. You can expect Gravatar service to get faster and better.
Livejournal profile pages get some microformats lovin', That's a lot of hCards.
Speaking from experience, I concur.
Stephen Fry is blogging. This makes me happy. All is well with the world.
Following on from my thoughts about comments on blogs, this video resonates.
This transcription of John Gruber's justification for not having comments makes for superb reading. This is what blogging is really about.
This is the secret I've been keeping ever since I visited Six Apart a few weeks back: Movable Type is going open source.
Because if you use Tim O'Reilly's sherrif badge, the terrorists have already won.
There's now a blog dedicated to the Lifestream concept. It looks the idea (and the word I coined) has legs.
Jason Kottke likes Twitter too.
Douglas is blogging again. "To chronicle the bits and information around me. Short posts or long ones; on-topic or not; doesn’t matter. Just write."
Shaun is pushing the boundaries of CSS as an indicator of the passage of the time. I'm really happy to see this kind of experimentation: this is exactly why we want separation of content and presentation.
Not if John keeps writing posts as good as this is, it's not.
A German language blog devoted entirely to microformats. Klasse.
Jeffrey's only gone and turned on comments. Who's next? Joe? Me? I just hope he remembers the corollary of Sturgeon’s Law for blogs.
The Blog | Larisa Alexandrovna: MSM Plagiarism Strikes Again – AP Welcome to the Party | The Huffington Post
The Associated Press feels that blogs are good enough to steal from, but not good enough to credit.
Someone else who doesn't have comments enabled on his site explains his reasons.
This blog has a picture taken in Brighton every day.
In a very meta move, I've seeded Newsvine with my post about comments (and Newsvine) with an eye to soliciting comments.
The working example from Richard's chapter in Blog Design Solutions. It's a home-rolled PHP/MySQL blog for Samuel Pepys featuring beautiful typography... natch.
Anina, the blogging model, is told by her agency to stop blogging because "fashion and technology do not go together". Asshats.
Nominations for the 2006 bloggies are open.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a blog.
The Beeb is blogging on TypePad.
Not only is Yahoo! snapping up all the coolest web apps (Flickr, Upcoming), they're snapping up all the best British bloggers too (Simon, Tom,...)
Three food bloggers discuss the differences in eating habits between France and America.
Ladies and gentlemen.... John. Fucking. Oxton.
So long and thanks for all the puppies.
Tom Coates, Heather Armstrong and others weigh in with their thoughts. Tom has a sexy radio voice.