I still like the positive aspects of social media. Making loose connections with like-minded folks that share my niche interests, getting pithy nuggets off that make me (and a few others) chuckle, and being exposed to random stuff that enrich my world view: all that is made much easier when I’m part of a follow-graph-based network that pushes content to me, feed-style.
But we are in the midst of an inflection point for social right now, and like many, I’ve been reflecting on its role in my life. I would say I’ve probably been affected more acutely than most in the upheaval, so much of the thinking and self-examination that others have been doing (e.g. should I still do Twitter now given *gestures wildly*?), I’ve already gotten past.
For me, it’s really about this: what am I getting from Twitter et al, and what am I *not* getting? If one of these Twitter clones take off, I’ll probably be on there, but I realized that there are things I haven’t been getting from Twitter that these other places also won’t give me: the space to stretch my thinking in written form. Tweet threads are fine for takes of various temperatures in bullet points, but the form is just inherently limiting for free-form exploration of ideas in text. It’s hard to really dig into anything meaty if you’re always having to worry about character count.
Doing Me For Me
I used to blog a lot in my 20s. I would mostly talked about music, sports, and other pop culture stuff. But really it was mostly music-related. To give you a idea of when, this was before Google bought Blogger. I had a lot more time on hands then – and a lot more things to say, mostly very specific thoughts about very specific things. As the amount of time I had shrank, social media kind of took on that role for me. I’m able to get my thoughts out, not spend too much time when doing so, and have even more folks read it than the few dozen page views I used to average daily. It seemed like a win-win.
But while socials is great for transmitting random thoughts to people who may or may not want to read them (thanks, algorithmic injection), I came to realize that that’s not really what I want most when I put my thoughts out there. OK, I want SOME people to be able to consume and give feedback on my brain dumps, but the ability to write them down and publish them in the form that best suits my verbose navel-gazing isn’t in 280 or 500 character chunks – it’s on ye olde web logs, under my own domain name, and in my own colours and layout, where I can go on as long as I want. I’m not doing this for other people: I’m doing this for ME.
Blogging (and its recent spin, newsletter-ing) is an inherently a selfish, self-serving, and self-absorbed activity. Some do it to get exposure, some do it to be part of a community, and some do it to make money, directly or indirectly. For me, and I suspect many others, it’s just a medium to express ideas and talk about things in detail that no one in their daily lives have the time or inclination to listen to pay attention to at the same level of detail. It’s a place for me to talk to myself that also happens to be public.
My primary objective for blogging is simply to get my ideas down and out of my head. My secondary objective is hoping that others, however few, find some value in those ideas. If that’s not the case, well, at least my primary objective is achieved. This is why I debated long and hard about what platform I should use, as some may lead to easier discovery and a better chance of gaining a bigger audience. But at the end of the day, I just chose something (Porkbun-hosted WordPress) that makes it easy for me to get something up relatively fast.
What You’ll Get
This blog is, uh, text-forward. It will touch on many subjects that I’m interested in. You can navigate it using the tag cloud and search functionality that you’ll find in various places on the site. You can even subscribe to it via RSS feeds. But I’ve time-boxed the amount of effort I’ll spend making it reader-friendly, not because I don’t want to make the site as easy for you all to access as possible, but… actually yeah that’s exactly why. At the end of the day, this is an extension of me: verbose, polymath-y, and a bit difficult. Take it as it is. Or don’t.
Back to that selfish thing: I’m here for me. I’d like you to come along too, but I’m mostly here for me. Just like my tweets, I expect to represent my view points here as authentically as possible, but I only claim as much authority as you choose to give me. If you think what I talk about is worth the read, please keep reading! If you think I’m full of shit, I probably don’t care? I am going to be as factual as I can be, but if you feel that I’m talking out of my ass, maybe you just shouldn’t read this. The only thing I’ll promise is that I’m going to be me, which is either an endorsement or indictment, depending on how you look at it.
But who really know what I’ll end up talking most about. Right now, I feel like work-related topics like Android Performance and data are going to take up a lot of space. I will likely talk about Watford a lot too, as well as the intersection of numbers and sports: money, analytics, salary caps, maximizing value, etc.. I know I’ll get into some culture/race related shit because that just occupies a lot of my brain cycles. Nothing will be off the table as long as I feel like it’s appropriate for me to talk about publicly.
So yeah, we’ll see where this goes. If nothing else, I’ve got a cool domain name.