Category Archives: Writing

Who am I blogging for?

For today’s daily blog, I was thinking about posting something about getting out there and voting in the midterm election tomorrow. Aside from the fact that I already posted about elections a few days ago, I realized another problem: who’s going to read it? I mean, K-Squared Ramblings doesn’t seem to have many regular readers as near as I can tell. And Key Smash! is for testing – I’m not really expecting to pick up many regular readers there. So a call to action isn’t going to reach many people on either of these blogs. Of course, that brings up the question of why am I blogging these days? Who is my target audience?
  • How-to and troubleshooting posts are intended for other people with similar problems. They don’t have to be blog entries, it’s just easier to write and edit that way.
  • Recurring themes (like funny signs, or solar halos) are intended for anyone who lands on a related article or photo. It’s easier to tie things together on one site than across several.
  • Some of it is soapbox material that I just feel like I need to get it out there. The kind of stuff you shout into the void on Twitter or Mastodon, but maybe it was too long for that, or maybe I did post it on one of those sites and decided that it was worth hanging onto. (Aside from lack of control and limited search functionality, sometimes social networks shut down.)
  • Some of it is stuff that I find interesting and want to share. I usually end up sharing links over social media, and then if I have more that I want to say I’ll do it on a blog, because it’s much better-suited for that. I don’t have anyone specific in mind, just whoever might find the same stuff interesting.
  • And some of it is for me. I don’t think many people read my convention reports (these days people just go for the photos), but I’ll go back myself and check, “Which year was that, again? Was that WonderCon or SDCC?”
 

Considering a month of daily blogging

I don’t have the time or ideas for Nanowrimo this year. It’s actually been a decade since I last did it, now that I think about it. But I’ve done NaBloPoMo a few times, and I think I can manage a month of posting one blog entry a day.

Plus it’ll be a good way to test Pterotype federation and other stuff.

I’ve already posted two days in a row at my main blog K-Squared Ramblings. Yesterday I posted a couple of Halloween photos, and today I posted about a hosting problem that took out this blog for a few days.

I do feel like I should try to put some effort in rather than just taking a tweet/toot and calling it a blog entry. But what makes something suitable for blogging vs a social media post?

  • Long-form writing that doesn’t fit in a short note.
  • Image(s) with long descriptions or extended commentary.
  • I think I can probably take something that fits a series and justify it as a blog entry even if it’s short or just a photo with a caption.

So between Key Smash! and K2R, I’ll try to post at least once a day this month. If there are days I end up only posting here, I’ll probably move the posts over when I’m done.

And somewhere along the line I’ll turn on Pterotype on K2R!

Thread 1/

I don’t like Twitter threads.

In most cases, if something takes more space than one or two tweets to say, it’s easier to read as an article. It’s especially bad with very long threads, and those that aren’t crafted to make each tweet a unit. When sentences continue on from one tweet to the next as if they’re only line breaks, it makes it hard to pick out a statement to highlight, or where to start.

On the plus side: Tweets are more likely to be seen, more easily shared, and people can interact as they’re posted, like a live conversation. A thread that’s crafted to fit in 140-character chunks has a rhythm to it, like a daily comic strip collection vs. a comic book. And an unplanned tweetstorm gives both the writer a chance to get their ideas down quickly and the reader a chance to see them unfiltered.

Compared to an article, a tweetstorm provides immediacy, and any Twitter thread provides reach. But they’re still a pain to read.

Also written (of course) as this twitter thread.

20 Days of NaBloPoMo 2015

Well, I dropped out of the 30-day blogging challenge after 20 days. Ironically, I think part of the problem was that I tried to get ahead. Most days I would write a post in the evening, either just after the kid went to bed or just before I did. On day 20, I posted at lunch. That broke my routine, and I forgot to post the next evening.

So…

I finished a few posts I’ve been working on for a while, so that worked out. There were several things I noticed that turned into what I hope made interesting commentary. That’s two wins. But then there were the days of filler, too. It’s not like I need to keep “I hate the 405” on its own page, after all. (Besides, that’s a given.)

Things I Learned

I really don’t like writing about current events or politics these days. On Friday the 13th, I couldn’t think of anything else to write about, but couldn’t start. I ended up reading Tumblr for some idea to jump off of, and found the Epi-Pen infographic. Then I went a whole week deliberately not writing about Paris, Beirut, or refugees.

If I wanted to keep the volume up without regard to focus, I think up plenty of ideas during the course of a day. I just have to (1) write down the topic so I remember and (2) find the time/inclination/brainpower to do the writing.

I wrote more about my kid than I expected. Probably more than I’ve written publicly in quite a while. This isn’t a parenting blog by a long shot, but in addition to costuming and art, I used several family conversations as jumping off points.

When I obsessively listen to a show for a week, I come up with lots of things I’d like to write about it. I followed Chess with a Les Misérables binge, and now I’ve got about five Les Mis-related topics on my list.

If you can’t think of anything to write about, ask your spouse for a topic.

I’m actually more comfortable sitting on the couch and writing on my tablet than firing up my computer and sitting at my desk. That surprised me, but the Galaxy Tab S2 is sooooo much faster than the Nexus 7 it’s ridiculous. And hey, couch!

Tally

6 Random observations.
4 Amusing photos that fit within one of the site’s long-running categories.
3 Articles I’ve been working on for a while and finally got around to finishing.
3 Follow-ups to older posts or series.
2 Reaction pieces.
1 Interesting photo that I cross-posted from Instagram/Flickr to satisfy the goal.
1 Total filler that I would delete if it weren’t for keeping a record of how far I got in the challenge.

List

  1. Mixed Emotions/Halloween/Comikaze
  2. Fruit Basket Case
  3. So Much for SudaSudafed
  4. I “Liked” Twitter Favorites
  5. Phone vs. Camera
  6. WiFi is the New Color TV
  7. Gloom ahead, blue sky behind
  8. So that’s where Vaporware comes from!
  9. Aaaargh!
  10. Genre TV Update
  11. Chess (Musical)
  12. Les Mis/Chess: Cosette vs. Florence (and Eponine)
  13. Epi-Pen How-To
  14. Symbolic Costuming: Stage vs. Screen
  15. Coin Slot For Your Cell Phone
  16. AAAAAARP!
  17. Panorama Fail: Chalk Edition
  18. Is the ransom note look obsolete?
  19. Too Many Notifications
  20. Oddly Specific Advertising

Moonrise

The full moon hung low in the east, rising pale yellow against a shadowed sky. A cluster of lights floated next to it, airplanes lining up for approach to the runway I was driving past. I’d glanced over just as I passed under their flight path.

Above the moon and the lights, a band of pink crossed the sky. Above that, it shaded into blue.

To the west, past a chain link fence, past the tracks being laid down for a rail extension, past the expanse of the runway itself, the sky was orange. Bright yellow clouds, the only clouds in the sky, shone with light from the sun that hadn’t quite set for them yet.

I drove on.