Independent self publishing, or blogging, here to say I’m afraid

Monday, 16 February, 2015

A prominent blogger, or independent self publisher, if you will, decides to stop writing online, and next thing we’re hearing about the imminent demise of the medium.

Sure, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Medium, and the like, have all come along and splinted the domain of the blog, or website, but as a media property, or communications tool, a writer’s own website has one distinct advantage over many social media channels, it belongs to the writer, and not some other autarchic entity.

And so, to be clear, when I speak of the “blog” I am referring to a regularly-updated site that is owned-and-operated by an individual (there is, of course, the “group blog,” but it too has a clearly-defined set of authors). And there, in that definition, is the reason why, despite the great unbundling, the blog has not and will not die: it is the only communications tool, in contrast to every other social service, that is owned by the author; to say someone follows a blog is to say someone follows a person.

Related: , , ,

The list of the greatest blog posts ever isn’t the greatest quite yet

Monday, 28 July, 2014

It’s still a small list – six items at the time of my writing this – and I expect it takes time to ascertain what should feature, the greatest blog posts ever.

Related: , ,

How to blog anonymously, by an unidentified blogger

Tuesday, 4 February, 2014

All you need to know about writing online anonymously, as compiled by an unidentified blogger.

Aside from selecting a screen name that can’t somehow be traced back to you, and covering your tracks electronically, you also have to consider your writing style… people just may be able to establish who you are from the way you pen, so to speak, your words:

You may be able to find out my country of origin or identity by my words and phrases. You might even be able to find a match with the other content that I posted online under my real identity. I counter this by running all my posts through Google Translate. I translate into another language, then to English, and then correct the errors. It’s great for mixing up my vocabulary, but I wish it didn’t fuck up Markdown and HTML so much. Until this point, you might have assumed that English was my second language. But let me assure you, I will neither confirm nor deny it.

Yes, profiling algorithms are out there looking for you…

Related: , , ,

Good blogs or bad blogs, they’re all making a difference

Wednesday, 25 September, 2013

I really can’t imagine much of what I write, or post, here adding anything of value to the world’s font of knowledge, but it seems I may be mistaken… it might just be playing some part, a small part, in changing the way people think.

But focusing on the individual writers and thinkers misses the point. The fact that so many of us are writing – sharing our ideas, good and bad, for the world to see – has changed the way we think. Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public. And that is accelerating the creation of new ideas and the advancement of global knowledge.

If the change that this collective writing is engendering is positive, or for the better, in any way at all, then that has to be a good thing.

Related: , ,

A selection of the best new blogs from 2011

Friday, 16 December, 2011

The Bygone Bureau invited a number of bloggers to pick out the best new blogs of the last year. No surprise to see tech news site The Verge (as selected by Tim Carmody) making it onto the list.

Pick something you love; find people who love it like you do; write the shit out of it. That’s been the recipe for successful blogging from the beginning, whether big or small.

Related: , ,

The end of a blog

Tuesday, 10 May, 2011

Many blogs fade away through neglect, their writers going about life possibly even oblivious to the fact they once blogged. Some more officially cease publication for whatever reason. Sometimes there is a farewell post, other times a website is simply deleted without a word.

But I wonder how many of us will bow out from blogging in the way the late Derek K. Miller, who recently died as a result of illness, did. Knowing the end was near, as Miller did, how many would have the fortitude to write a final post that was as affecting, and moving, as his?

Related: , ,

Some words in the blogosphere have the effect of earthquakes

Friday, 18 February, 2011

Words used in blog posts on popular, or high profile, topics of discussion in the blogosphere share the same statistical properties as earthquakes, according to researchers at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, who traced the use, and re-use, of certain key words.

The first is when use of a word builds up over time until it hits a large peak and then subsides, such as the use of the word “inauguration” before and after Barack Obama was sworn in as president. The second is when a word explodes on to the blogosphere, quickly reaching a peak and then slowly dying away. This happened with the word “palin” when Sarah Palin was nominated as the Republican candidate for vice president.

Related: , , ,

Boosting grades and improving writing through blogging?

Tuesday, 15 February, 2011

A British primary school has seen a marked increase in the test scores of its pupils, especially among boys whose writing proficiency had been noticeably lagging, after it gave students the opportunity to blog their writing assignments.

The biggest impact has been on boys – who are happily churning out 5,000-word stories for their blogs in the classroom. The school, Heathfield primary, is now being used as a role model to encourage others around the country to adopt its methods. The turnabout has seen the percentage of pupils getting a higher than average score (“level five”) in national curriculum writing tests for 11-year-olds soar from just 7 per cent to 63 per cent.

Related: , , , ,

Blogging, by any other name, is a far prettier rose to behold

Tuesday, 21 December, 2010

The Pew Research Center has noted a decrease in blogging among teenagers and, to a lesser extent, people aged 18 to 33. Then again it may depend on how you define “blogging”, which it could be argued is becoming ever more fragmented, due to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc, all of which make posting content easier than some blog publishing systems.

It could simply be a matter of semantics though, and possibly more people are developing an aversion to the word itself, rather than anything else.

So, yes, perhaps blogging is on the wane, but blogging is also more prevalent than ever so long as you are willing to expand the definition of an ugly-duckling word that’s never had a real definition.

Related: , , , ,

Niche selection and the evolution of bloggers

Monday, 6 December, 2010

The Evolution of the Blogger: I can trace my origins as an online dairy writer (though we called them online journals then) back to 1998, but cannot see where I’ve evolved to since… the missing link perhaps. Still here, whatever.

Via Freshly Peeled.

Related: , , , ,