On the history of Medium.
Something something professionalization of hobbies something something gig economy something personal branding and influencer culture something something
On the future of WordPress.
I’ve used WordPress technically since before it was WordPress, and I’ve used it as my main blogging system since about 2006.1 I like WordPress, and I still think it’s a better blogging solution than like 99% of its alternatives.2 That being said, I feel it is noticeably…. lagging, in recent years. I suppose radical change is difficult when you power like thirty percent of the internet, but WordPress’s lack of adoption of more recent blog technologies—anything and everything from inline comments to ActivityStream—make it feel kinda… old. And Gutenberg…
Maybe it’s just that I’m starting to want something different than what WordPress fundamentally is. The platform is still great for, say, powering my job’s largely-static corporate website, whose primary purpose is to be basically a glossy web brochure that can be readily updated by people with no webdev skill. And WordPress is still great for, say, the CSFG, which runs a combination ecommerce/forum website. But for my own website, i.e. this one, right here, that I basically use as a hub to all my other online presences, crossposting and interfacing as appropriate…?
I won’t lie: I’ve thought, more than once, about going back to something self-created.
Maybe. If there’s time…
So here’s the thing:
- The blogosphere was not always better than the contemporary social web;
- The blogosphere felt like it was getting better in a way that the contemporary social web does not.
Jason Kottke on the old web.
So this post by and about Super Mainstream Tech Bloggers… but I also find it interesting in light of the conversations around platform fandom is currently having…
Really interesting insider info from a fashion blogger on how much she charges brands to do product placement at her blog (i.e. her rate card).
So as mentioned previously, last Wednesday I was on a panel at our local SFF writer’s group, talking about author platforms along with co-panellists Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Chris Andrews. It wasn’t a super-formal panel, and I didn’t take notes, but I’m sure some of the discussion will be of interest to some people, so I’ve done my best to recap the salient points below…
So last night I was invited by our local specific author’s guild, the CSFG, to be on a panel about Blogging For Writers. My fellow panellists were the wonderful and talented Ian McHugh, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, and Nalini Haynes, with the ever-prepared Leife Shallcross directing the discussion and keeping us all in line.
It was a pretty awesome fun night. I was there as the tech geek and “longest running longitudinal study on blogging ever” (I’ve been blogging, more or less consistently, since 1999), though I ended up digressing into a bit of neepery on publishing in general in the middle, mostly because it’s a topic my dead black heart finds endlessly interesting.
Anyway, I’m not going to recap the entire discussion, but have some summary thoughts nonetheless:
… And by the time we’d covered all of that, it was 9:30 and we got kicked out of the room.
All-in-all, it was a fun night and a good discussion, and I hope people got something out of it. Particularly all the new people (there were a lot of new people, which is rad). I’d especially like to thank Leife and the CSFG committee for inviting me to speak, and to everyone who showed up to listen.
See everyone next month!
This is about Heather Armstrong, the “Queen of the Mommy Bloggers” on quitting the biz.
Mostly I’m just kind of reeling from seeing this post come across my feeds, because dooce.com was one of those blogs I remember from wa-aa-aa-ay back in the early 2000s. You know, the days when everything was 10px Verdana and “valid HTML and CSS” and non-antialiased Silkscreen. Memories, and all that.
So I’ve been blogging for a long time. Like, a long time; longer than this blog, this identity, this iteration of the internet. I’ve been blogging since 1999, in fact; my Very First Blog posts were some short rants on LiveJournal when I was around fifteen, talking about how I’d traded staying home that day from the school athletics carnival1 to my mother in exchange for vacuuming the house.
Since then, I’ve always blogged. From LiveJournal, I moved to Blogger, back before Google owned it. Hell, back before comments on blog posts were even A Thing.2 From Blogger, I moved to my own self-made homebrew abortion of a weblog script, which I wrote because there was no self-hosted blogging platform that was, a) free, and b) suitable for a LAMP stack.3 I used this up until circa 2009, when I finally moved over to WordPress, which is more-or-less where I’ve been ever since. In the meantime, I’ve used just about every major blogging/social media platform out there; from Twitter to Tumblr to MySpace to Facebook… Hell, I even had an account on Melo for a while. (Not that we talk about that… does anyone even remember that?)
Here’s the thing, though.
All of those platforms? They suck.
All of them.
Don’t get me wrong, they all suck in different ways, but they also all suck in some way. And every now and again I think about what it would take to make a blogging/social media platform that wouldn’t suck.4
So. Here’s that.
After careful consideration, my Ideal Blog Platform would have the:
In other words, my Ideal Blogging Platform would be an easy-to-learn-hard-to-master, rich-media system catering to both first-timers and seasoned experts, providing capability for maintaining both big high-profile blogs as well as small, private groups of friends, and synchronised across a variety of hosts.
The ironic part? In a lot of ways (minus the cross-platform interoperability stuff), this was what I was doing back with my own shitty homebrew scripts back in the early 2000s. Go figure, I guess.
So yeah. If anyone out there has some spare VC and some devs and wants to fund the building of something like this? Give me a call. And if you’ve got different ideas of what would constitute an ideal platform? Let me know; I’d be interested to hear them…