How to Use This Blog… And Why?

Back in the day, blogging was a place to fire off short- (but longer than 280 characters) to-medium length posts on a semi-regular basis. Each post had a title and I actually spent not a little time crafting each one.

Then along came social media. And especially Twitter.

The lure of social media in the early days was the fact that you weren’t expected to write a novel. It was just a quick blurb about what you were doing, or what you were thinking, or how you felt, and then you moved on. And trust me, for someone with three small children, that was about as much interaction as I could handle in 2008.

But in the intervening years, things started to turn on social media. Twitter became less of a place to share your latest meal and more of a place to vent your spleen. And to be attacked by random strangers who would then cause a pile on. And Facebook changed from being a place to share cat videos and funny stories about your kids to a place of disinformation and indoctrination, eventually leading to the election of a certain former and maybe future President.

So, with the threat of Elon Musk taking over Twitter (or not, we will see at this point) and turning it into even more of a free-speech oasis, the time felt right to put out a new kind of blog.

Dave Winer, as he has done several times in my blogging career, sparked the idea for this blog with his Drummer software. Instead of needing to carefully craft a post, he blogs in real time. Each day starts at the top of the page and short-to-medium length blurbs get added (and sometimes reorganized) as the day goes on. And I tried to make Drummer work, because it is a superior writing environment, but I couldn’t host it myself.

So I turned back to my old friend, WordPress. And found that I could more or less make it work with my handy markdown editor, Ulysses, and by making the title of my post today’s date. I could then just leave my editor open during the day and publish short (or medium) blurbs as the day went on.

I look at this blog as an intermediate step between Twitter and blogging like you see on most WordPress sites, Medium, and newsletters like Substack. It’s a place for me to vent throughout the day, although hopefully with a kinder tone than I had on social media. And the lack of comments is glorious. Twitter was always a place for me to scream into the void (because nobody was listening), so now I’m formally screaming into the void.

And I also am looking at this as a place to set up my legacy. Maybe one day my kids will manage to glean something about me that they will think is funny, or interesting, or maybe even disturbing.

But if nothing else, it’s good therapy to scream into the void.