March 02, 2004

Gaining some perspective

Posted by shonk at 01:27 AM in Blogging | TrackBack

For anyone who runs their own weblog, I can’t recommend enough going back and reading your archives from time to time. For example, just now I was looking for writing inspiration by randomly reading old posts of mine and came across this gem that I posted on only the second day of this site’s existence. From that same day, and somewhat more disturbing, is my suggestion for the military; there’s no telling where the inspiration for that came from.

Looking back at these old posts, I’m comforted to realize that my lack of focus here isn’t a recent phenomenon. I didn’t really have an agenda when I started this thing and I still don’t.

One thing I have learned from the experience so far is that there’s a lot of truth in what Brian Micklethwait says: If you want to learn about it blog about it. Even though this site certainly doesn’t generate much traffic, there’s still a strong incentive to try to document assertions, to make coherent arguments and to have at least a grain of originality thrown in (not that there aren’t exceptions to the documentation and coherence standards).

The other thing about writing and maintaining a weblog is that it forces you to learn a bit about how the web works. Even if you use a user-friendly CMS like Movable Type, as I do, you still have to learn about stylesheets, scripts, RSS, etc. if you want your presentation to reflect your personality. Adding non-standard features, be they minimalist syndication feeds, feedrolls, customized error messages, correct typography or a photo gallery, probably doesn’t require any real coding, but you’re sure to learn something both from the process of finding the right code and from figuring out how to implement the damn thing on your system, which never quite behaves the way the README says it will.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that one of the things I like best about the whole blogging experience is that you can’t help but learn quite a bit from it.

And no, I have no idea where this all came from. Sometimes you just start writing and hang on for the ride.


I'm learning something new every day.

Posted by: John Venlet at March 2, 2004 07:47 AM

I'm learning something new every day.

Posted by: John Venlet at March 2, 2004 07:47 AM

Well, except for how sensitive my touchpad can be when I post comment, I guess, since I seemed to have posted another comment twice inadvertantly. Dang it.

Posted by: John Venlet at March 2, 2004 07:49 AM