- 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?”
Somehow this year has just gotten away from me as far as posting general photos. Oh, I made sure to post albums from events like comic conventions and hiking trips. But the random one-offs and two-fers? I’ve been tossing them up on Instagram, Pixelfed, and/or Mastodon, but I haven’t been maintaining my Flickr gallery.
Part of that is just that this has been a weird year. Part of it, I think, has to do with unexpectedly replacing my phone back in February when my previous phone died without warning. (Almost everything was backed up, at least.)
Whatever the reason, I’ve got eight or nine months of random photos, some just barely interesting enough to share, some really good (IMHO), that I haven’t been curating for Flickr. And the longer I go without posting them, the less it becomes a cool thing to do and the more it becomes a Task To Be Done.
So I sat down tonight after putting the kid to bed, hooked up my camera and my phone to my computer, and started moving and categorizing photos. I eventually got tired of it, but I freed up a lot of space. Even though I’m not quite done with that stage, I went through all the photos I’ve got so far and picked out the ones I want to highlight.
There are enough that I’m breaking them into categories to upload in small batches over the next week or two. If you upload more than three at a time, Flickr will only show the most recent three to your followers. Hopefully they’ll be interesting enough to convince them to click through to the rest of the batch, but I’ve noticed that the top three in a batch always get viewed more than the rest, and always get more feedback. A lot of the more serious photographers I follow won’t even post batches bigger than two or three at a time.
The first batch went up tonight: It’s Los Angeles cityscapes.
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!
Update: I tried for a couple of days but dropped out. Though I did manage to make 19 posts across 15 days of the month between the two blogs – probably more, since I didn’t import all of the Key Smash! posts before taking it offline.
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.
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!
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.
- Mixed Emotions/Halloween/Comikaze
- Fruit Basket Case
- So Much for SudaSudafed
- I “Liked” Twitter Favorites
- Phone vs. Camera
- WiFi is the New Color TV
- Gloom ahead, blue sky behind
- So that’s where Vaporware comes from!
- Genre TV Update
- Chess (Musical)
- Les Mis/Chess: Cosette vs. Florence (and Eponine)
- Epi-Pen How-To
- Symbolic Costuming: Stage vs. Screen
- Coin Slot For Your Cell Phone
- Panorama Fail: Chalk Edition
- Is the ransom note look obsolete?
- Too Many Notifications
- Oddly Specific Advertising
For short posts, I’m actually more comfortable sitting on the couch and writing on my tablet than firing up my computer and sitting at my desk. This is something I discovered during NaBloPoMo. My workflow typically went like this:
- Write the post in the WordPress App.
- Set categories/tags and upload as a draft.
- Switch over to the admin interface to finalize and post: customize the URL, description, share options, etc.
What would send me to the computer are the things that are difficult to do on a tablet:
- Layout and formatting.
- Linking to other posts & sources.
- Major editing.
- Image size and filenames. Even if I use a file manager on my phone to rename the image, the WordPress app is going to change it on upload to something like wpid-123456789
I’m not sure how much of that is the couch and how much of that is the fact that I’ve been putting off upgrading my home computer in favor of the devices I use more often. I finally replaced the ancient Nexus 7 with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 a few months ago. (It’s awesome!) It’s FAR more responsive (the Nexus 7 was basically a proof of concept, and doesn’t deal with modern software very well), so I can actually use it for stuff.
Plus it turns out even at 8″, a 4:3 screen has a much better balance of onscreen keyboard and text area than the 8:5 screen did. Being able to see more of your document, even a little, has a surprising impact on how comfortable it is to write it.