Between A Blog And A Hard Place – Part I

Now that I’ve started this blog, I need to decide how I’m going to use it. As I stated in my first post, I’m going to be concentrating on writing. Though part of me thinks I should do more than that, as reading alone might get a little repetitive for people no matter how interesting the subject might (hopefully) be. I will likely be including pictures and maybe even some audio and video from time to time to add a little variety.

When I do write, the articles will probably be lengthy but I’ll try to keep them between 500-1000 words. If a post gets to be longer than 1000 words I’ll break it up into separate parts, though I don’t think that will happen often, if at all. On the other hand, unshackled by character limitations and with a sense of new found freedom I may be tempted to make really long posts, so you’ve been forewarned. My first article was more than 600 words and I could’ve added more, I’ll attempt to keep the majority of my posts shorter than that.

In order to figure out how I’m going to use this blog I should probably start by myself a few questions. First: what exactly is a blog? Basically, it’s an online journal or diary, but it’s used in many different ways. Some people have blogs where they post mainly pictures, some videos, others prose. There are endless possibilities, really, it depends on what the author’s interests are. Since my main area of interest is in writing, that’s primarily what I’ll be doing. I envision it as basically as an extension of my Facebook and Twitter accounts, the shorter updates will go on those two pages, the longer stuff will go here. What I don’t have room for elsewhere will be brought here.

Another question I should ask myself is: why do I write? Well, I do it to express myself and to entertain others as well as myself. I’m a visual artist and I always feel compelled to express myself in some form. Usually it’s through art (computer graphics, mostly) but I enjoy writing as much as anything else I do and think I have something worthwhile saying.

The next question is: what will I be writing about? The material will primarily consist of observations on everyday occurrences, things that pique my interest and seem worthy of discussion. I’m very much an observer of society, I’m constantly watching, listening to and analyzing all that’s going on around me. I think I pick up on what most people wouldn’t notice or give any thought to. I have my own view of the world and much of what I observe happening in it seems unusual so I’ll offer interpretations in order to make sense of them and will likely rant about a few things.

This post appears to be getting a little long now so I’ll cut it off here. To be continued.

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For Those About To Blog

For the past while, I’ve been looking for an outlet to express my thoughts about the continuous stream of random things that come to my mind on a daily basis. Facebook and Twitter are great for short messages, but as I fancy myself as somewhat of a writer, I find that the character limitations imposed by both are way too limited for the majority of what I want to write about.

Take the paragraph that I just wrote: if I were to post it as a Facebook update I’d probably be able to fit the whole thing in, but I’d only just be getting started, I would need to post separate updates to continue my train of thought. I could also post this entire article as a note but that would mean separating it from my updates and I’d much rather keep everything in one place. Further still, if I were to post the above paragraph to Twitter, I’d need to break it up into 3 or 4 Tweets. Even with deck.ly on Tweetdeck, I still would’ve only been able to post maybe half of it, but that feature seems to have been terminated so it helps even less now.

Let’s look at the numbers in terms of what different outlets allow – Facebook updates: 420 character limitation (including spaces and punctuation marks); Twitter: 140 characters. That’s not nearly enough room for me and as a result I constantly find myself cutting down my posts so that they’ll fit in both formats, ritualistically sacrificing letters and punctuation here and there to appease the Social Media Gods. More often than not, it’s as if I’m starting an update in mid-sentence, that just simply doesn’t do it for someone like me who, when I write about something, if you ask me for 100 words I’ll probably give you closer to 1,000.

I find myself continually frustrated and strangled by character limitations, so that appears to leave blogging as the next viable option for me. Up until now I’ve never felt the need for a blog or really understood the point behind blogging, especially with the popularity and convenience of Facebook and Twitter. Also, seeing as blogging started to surface about a decade ago, I didn’t really think it would stick around but to my surprise it seems to be even more popular now than it’s ever been. Taking this into account, I started to re-evaluate my needs in terms of available space and this led me to seriously consider the freedom that a blog allows. I looked into a few different blogging options, I do have a WordPress account but I use that as my business website. I want something separate from my business; I could set up another WordPress site but it would cost me for another domain name and I really don’t have a lot of in terms of available funds at the moment.

I’ve been hearing about tumblr a fair bit lately so I decided to check it out, it offers a lot of what I’m looking for and it still seems to be on the rise in terms of popularity. It looked like the best option for me so I decided to take the plunge and create this account. I’ll need to do a bit of exploring and modification early on but I think this is going to be the ideal place for me to do some recreational writing. I just hope I can find the time to do it regularly. I also hope a few readers will come along for what should be a long-winded but hopefully somewhat entertaining and thought-provoking ride.

So if you have some free time, appreciate the act of reading, aren’t bothered or intimidated by an excessive amount of words to explain the smallest things in life, and enjoy run-on sentences like this one that very likely could’ve ended two lines ago, please feel free to boldly join me in my first official foray into the blogosphere.

For those about to blog, we salute you.