Weblogs

I’ve read with great interest all the thoughtful posts about the “death” of the blog. I truly miss the blogging days of the internet, when that was where the focus was, before the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social networks. But I don’t want to get all nostalgic about it, because I’m also excited by all the new platforms that are emerging, and the different approaches to publishing and sharing that those platforms have put in motion.

My trajectory for the digital platform began when creating a website meant coding up pages in html and hosting them on a server.

Soon, blogging platforms gained prominence — Blogger, Moveable Type, Typepad, and WordPress. I went with Typepad, and eventually, all-in on WordPress. My focus on blogging kept me a little distant, at first, from Facebook and then Twitter, and I distinctly recall dismissing Twitter out-of-hand as something that was useless and lame and would never last. (I like to recall that I had this sentiment, so as to avoid such dismissive, extraordinarily erroneous rushes-to-judgement in the future, at least when it comes to online social networks).

Very early on, Flickr was a part of my platform, and I can look back now and realize that the photo-sharing site could have been THE social network. Being able to add a person as a contact or friend, the use of tags, the ability to embed photos on other sites, as well as submit photos into groups based on all manner of subject matter — all of these things are the foundational elements of how we connect, publish, and share on the web to this day.

Eventually, though, I jumped on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagons. Tumblr came a little later, followed by Instagram. There have been many others along the way, but either they never quite caught on, or I just realized they weren’t for me and opted not to dig in and fully engage. Lately, I’ve been using Medium quite a bit. In fact, the impetus for writing this very piece was so that I could post it up on my Medium profile.

Most, if not all, of my online publishing activity happens on the various social platforms. And that makes sense — publishing into a social space allows access to dashboards, tagging structures, and engagement tools. In terms of a personal website, or “blog,” I’m better served by having a static hub where I can roadmap, in a very simple, straightforward way, where my online activity is happening. A blog just doesn’t really make much sense anymore.

And yet, I still can’t quite let go of the idea of the blog — or rather, my blog. I still haven’t added that final post to it, the one that says, “Hey, I’m not really posting here anymore — you can find me here, here, and here.”

I don’t want to hit publish on that.

Not that it really matters if I do. The fact is, no one is reading that blog anymore. Posting that final notice is all on me, just wanting to be current on my platform, making sure to connect all the dots in a way that makes sense to anyone landing on the various pages. A good webmaster always keeps his or her platform up-to-date. Still, I resist posting up that message, even though I know, deep down, that I should.

In the end, though, it’s up to me. That’s my blog. I can do what I want with it. Such is the beauty and the power of the blog — all that creative publishing possibility, free of ads (unless you want them there) and pivots and unilateral design overhauls. I think that’s why I’m having such a hard time turning off the lights and calling it a day.

I know — in addition to posting this up on Medium, I’ll also publish it as a blog post. Yes indeed, my blog — now updated and current, for a short period of time, anyway — is not dead yet!

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Stumbled upon these recently (again) and will now be sure to check back on them more regularly:

The Open Library Blog

Reading 2.0

if:book

Counterbalance – The Lit Life Los Angeles

Internet Archive Blog

This is a pretty amazing online project presenting the work of Mark Twain. Not just the text of his letters, articles, and books, but scholarly annotation. It’s a work-in-progress, not just because the scholarly work continues, but because Mark Twain was extremely prolific and there is a huge amount of work to post. According to the site, in addition to the many books, pamphlets, speeches, and articles he wrote, Twain is believed to have written over 50,000 letters in his lifetime.

The goal of the site is to “produce a digital critical edition, fully annotated, of everything Mark Twain wrote.” It’s clear how much work has gone into the project, and the attention to detail is impressive.

This is a great example of using the web to document, organize and showcase a rich archive of a writer’s body of work. I think it also shows the limitation of something like Google Books — which of course has amazing potential and is certainly useful from a search perspective but currently lacks scholarly annotation or even basic descriptions and historical/literary context, not to mention its documented metadata problem.

With the Mark Twain Project, though, one huge improvement would be for the site to allow users to export the texts into formats that could easily be imported to the reader of their choice. There are other types of solutions (HTML5, “Books in Browsers“) coming which would make an option like that unnecessary, but as the site is currently built, an export function would be a nice addition to an already feature rich site.

Wonderfully creative and colorful site celebrating mail art — Goodnight Little Spoon.

Dash and Bella is a great cooking blog with a focus on cooking with and for children. Wonderful recipes, writing and photos, and an overall excellent idea for a food/cooking site. Definitely worth checking out and bookmarking. (Found via the Knopf Doubleday Cooking site.)

Arts & Crafts

Whip Up
CraftZine
Supernaturale
Crafty Chica
Loobylu
Soulemama
Art Projects for Kids
Threadbanger
Naughty Secretary Club
Poppytalk

Food & Drink

Midtown Lunch
Eater
Smitten Kitchen

Creative Types

Hula Seventy
Lekkercraft
Your Waitress
Bill Keaggy
Jenny Vorwaller
Sweet Sassafras
Summer Pierre
Angry Chicken

Work

Cube News 1
Save the Assistants

Lost, Now Found, a 1929 Time Capsule Proves Transporting.

Moving On After Battlestar.

Casserole Crazy.

$4 Coffee in a $2 World.

Roger Ebert Gives 4 Stars to Knowing.

Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It’s Having Its Moment.

Here the Messages Are the Media.

Can a Rebel Stay a Rebel Without the Claws?

Everlasting Moments.

The Lead Is Safe.

Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Daily Show Interview.

The No-Stats All-Star.