To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
It’s been a great day. The Public Record Radio Show went off without a major hitch this morning, finished IT consulting work before noon, lunch with a friend, a good afternoon of writing, launched my ThePublicRecord.ca microblog, covered Council, and didn’t go to sleep until I finished this personal blog post.
I achieved something I’ve wanted to do for a while now – launch a micro-blog (I call it a sideblog, marketing term is sub-blog, but micro-blog makes me feel better than sub, which I see as “less than).
Now.ThePublicRecord.ca is my news micro-blog where I’ll post updates, news, commentary, and links you need to stay informed.
What’s old is new again, I needed to do something to invigorate my writing, and I’ve kept being nostalgic about my blogging a decade ago – I wanted to start writing quick posts again. I knew this meant separate the blog from the more traditional journalist form of writing on the main ThePublicRecord.ca website.
I keep looking at 2006, 10 years ago, and saying – I want to blog like that again. Look at November 11, 2006, eight posts. I want to do that again.
To that end:
- Now.ThePublicRecord.ca as the name: quick, easy to remember, and catching the immediacy I’m looking for.
- Content: More first-person expressive writing form, here’s what I think and why.
- Micro-blog: I looked at my history of writing, and my blogging decreased significantly as I picked up Twitter in 2009. Twitter lets me dump an idea, but often at the expense of context and with 140 characters, often at the expense of nuance.
- Accessible: I’ve watched how people link off and retweet from my Twitter. People are not watching Twitter all day in Tweetdeck, nor are their many “superusers”. Most of you go to my Twitter a few times per day, looking for City Hall updates. Because my Twitter is me – not some reluctantly embraced focused-group least interesting step-by-step oriented piece of checked listed content – you often have to sort through a bunch of nerd tweets, my civil liberty tweets, and sometimes my rants about the ridiculous HSR customer service department.
(See to get to the point of this bullet, you had to deal with a sub-rant)
Simply put Now.ThePublicRecord.ca is what you are looking for without the filler.
- Searchable: Good luck finding content on Twitter among the 106,000 tweets I’ve published. What a waste of effort on my part. I’ve been saying to myself for years that I was stupid to post deeper thoughts in multiple tweets. Sigh, I just procrastinated and never did anything about it.
- Simple: WordPress is a great CMS, but not a great blogging platform. (I’ve never liked WP, I adopted MovableType before they completely screwed up.) Now is powered by Ghost, a very simple blogging only CMS. Due to its basic simplicity, I’ll be able to control everything, and customize the template I’m using over time. I don’t have time to fully understand WP, and I’m not that good a coder anymore anyway.
- Markdown: Part of the simplicity is Ghost uses Markdown for writing. Once I get back into the practice of using Markdown, I’ll be able to write quicker. (Yes, I know there are WP plugins for Markdown)
- **Community: **What I really miss, I really really miss, is that I had a community on my blog a decade ago. People left good comments, we had conversation, and we advanced our knowledge together. I often tell the story of the time a commenter told me I buried the lede. I was always happy when readers corrected an error or called bullshit on a bad post.
At present, there are no comments, that will come with time. I’m not going to use a third-party service that includes trackers. I’m watching a few open source commenting systems being developed and I’ll adopt one.
The site is secured with HTTPS, using a Let’s Encrypt certificate.
The Public Record radio show is still in the experimental phase – basically, I’m testing all the elements that will eventually form the longer and more frequent shows in January. The idea is simple, make mistakes now when few people are listening.
Today, only one error, I didn’t transition well to a pre-recorded audio interview. Other than that, everything went well and I’m comfortable at the board and in studio.
So, moments after boarding the 51-University bus to McMaster this morning, the bus was cut off by a police vehicle responding to a priority call. The bus had to slam its brakes, and I was in the worst possible position when this happened – the gap at the back of the articulation with nothing to hold onto.
As I was falling backwards, I was able to use my mid-body strength to push myself forward, saying myself from falling backwards, but leaving me stumbling forward. After some “dancing” and loud footwork, I managed to grab a handgrip on a seat, and didn’t fall.
Best of all, I didn’t spill my coffee travel mug 🙂
On the way back downtown, a driver thought a pen I put in my mouth well grabbing something out of my pocket was a cigarette – he stopped, open the door, was about to give me a lecture when it realized it was just a pen. I appreciated that he cared enough about me to be prepared to give me the lecture I give others 🙂
A friend took me for lunch today “just for being you”. I really appreciated the gesture and the conversation. Thankfully (weird to write this), we were both too busy today to converse for more than an hour. I enjoyed it, and I don’t even treat myself to a sit-down restaurant meal. I used to do that a lot when I was full-time in the army… this has me thinking, I need to do social lunches or dinners … or, get into reading a book over a sit down dinner. (When Acclaimation first opened in 2002/3, I used to eat sit down dinners at the bar while doing my course studying) This could work, because I need to structure non-work reading time.
To that friend, you know who you are, thank you.
I had fun blogging on the microblog during Council, got a few highlight videos up, and will finish two highlight clips tomorrow morning. I’m transcribing a speech by Eisenberger that stood out, and a comment by Green later in the meeting. The microblog ends in the middle of the meeting, mostly because of video clipping and vote tracking.
This Blog Post
I just sat down and wrote this personal blog post. Mission Accomplished.
See you in the morning. Considering it’s 1:15am – Council went til 11:15pm – and I have no scheduled meeting in the morning, I’ll likely sleep in until 8:00am-ish.