Saturday, July 17, 2004

You will write blognuggets. Resistance is futile.

Blaise Pascal once wrote that he was sorry for writing a long letter, but he didn't have the leisure to write a short one. (Apparently, Mark Twain never said it.) This is kind of my beef with the "blognugget" style of writing. It's hard to write something long, yes, but it's harder still to write something short that's still worth reading.

Perhaps that's just a reflection on my own chronic logorrhea. For someone as long-winded as myself, developing the discipline to write in regular, short, quality bursts is a major challenge. So it's not so much that I've been neglecting this blog for two weeks, as that trying to pick something to write about, and writing it, and editing it, gets me stuck and I decide to watch The Daily Show instead.

I was really hoping it would take me more than three posts to break down and write a "hey, have you seen this web page" entry. But apparently it didn't. There's no shame in it; some of the earliest Internet projects were working on ways to share our bookmarks and find connections between sites. One of those projects actually did quite well for itself (although a million others popped with the bubble).

In the interest of keeping the blog going, here are a couple of things I think you should look at.

I'm giving myself credit for 16 of the 40 things every drunkard should do before he dies. I'm not telling you which; a man's got to have some secrets. And yes, I've done a half-assed job of a few of them, but I fully intend to go back and get the job right.

Powell's Books is running a terrific essay contest: write about your most memorable reading experience of the last 10 years. I've written and submitted my entry; if Powell's says it's OK, I'll publish it here. Powell's is my first choice for an online bookstore; I think the face that they're a real place is important and I think they genuinely care about books and reading more than the online-only stores do. Plus, they don't file bogus patents.

There now. That wasn't so bad.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

A journey of a thousand miles

starts with a single step, or so they say.

But I'm pretty convinced it starts with the second step. What is one step, after all? In basketball, you can take one step all day, as long as your other foot remains planted. You're just stepping around in circles, not moving, not even dribbling.

So here we are, on the second step. Or about to take it. Or not. Maybe I'm just shifting my weight. Maybe I'm just going to stand here and look for the open man.

Did I actually open a blog just to say that I'm not sure I really understand blogging? Or is this where I start looking for a voice, and something to say with it. Are we taking a journey? Or are we taking a page from Chris Knight:

Let's just take a step back.
No, I was wrong. I'm sorry. Take a step forward.
Now take a step back . . .
and then a step forward . . . and then a step back . . .
and then we're cha-cha-ing.

What the hell. I love to cha-cha.

Two blog posts about blogging. Don't tell the Meta Police. (Or their Internal Affairs Division, the Meta-Meta Police...)

Friday, July 02, 2004

Why Do I Need A Blog?

Why on Earth would anyone think they need a blog? Don't you need something to say? What do I have to say?

I started thinking about blogs due to some complaints on the Library Information Technology Association listserv saying that there wasn't enough coverage of the American Library Association convention available to nonmembers. Blogging was suggested as one option to deliver "man-on-the-street" reporting to the world. It was much too late for this year, but it could be a workable idea for next. So, time
to start experimenting.

Then a dear friend wrote me a letter saying "You needed to be writing a novel. I knew it like my name."

I don't know if I can write a novel.

I don't know if I can write a blog.

But I'm going to find out.