Thursday, January 20, 2011

Special Announcement: Not “The End” – Just “To Be Continued.”

Tune In Next Week
If you’ve read my essays over the last few days (and apparently someone has, according to the site – thanks, whoever you are), you know that a commitment I made to myself for 2011 was to publish something every day, without worrying whether it’s perfect or making it fit into a self-imposed format.

All well and good, right? But it put me in a bind. As it says on the right hand side of the screen, I had a “plan” for this blog. Out were diary entries, link-fests, cute cat pictures, and three-sentence punditry. In were long-form essays, cultural criticism, and archives of previously-published work. This blog would be a sort of fully-curated virtual portfolio.

Frankly, I still like that plan. The problem is that I haven’t been doing a good job of using the blog at all, let alone “curating” it. Over the years I’ve only published a handful of entries here.  Meanwhile, on Facebook, Twitter, and just about everywhere else, I’ve posted often – maybe too much – but those posts have been brief, and were directed at a (relatively) limited audience, since I don’t “friend” people I’ve never met.

So: How could I keep this blog my “website of record,” while also sharing less “historic” thoughts with the public? Simple: A new blog. More importantly, a different sort of blog.

This week, unknown to all but a few, I’ve been learning how to use Tumblr. Not that I haven’t been satisfied with Blogger – I think it balances versatility, ease, and affordability better,  than WordPress or other blogging platforms. However, Blogger is pretty specifically designed for blogs like this – not too short, not too heavy with graphics or photos, and not worth the effort it takes to post one or two sentences. Tumblr, on the other hand, has a different focus. It can take what I post to other sites – like Twitter, Youtube, and, yes, this one; combine it with stuff I post directly via the web, phone, or email; and then spit it all back out in a feed, or on Facebook, or back on Twitter again. In other words, I can post the same exact kinds of stuff I post on Facebook and bring it to a larger audience – and it will still go to Facebook, anyway.

Let me be clear – this blog isn’t going away. I’ll continue to post long-form pieces, and I hope to start doing what I intended all along and post some of my older stuff, as well. This will still be a “virtual portfolio,” but I will no longer feel the kind of pressure (and guilt) I’ve had about maintaining it. Meanwhile, when I post here, Tumblr will automatically be updated, and when I post on Tumblr the headlines will show up on the right side of this blog.

And, if you’re a Facebook friend, you’ll still be seeing the same links to news stories, videos, and other things I find interesting – but they’ll now be sent via Tumblr.

I hope that, if you find what I post here or on Facebook interesting, you will visit on a regular basis, and perhaps subscribe to the site’s feed or e-mail newsletter. My “official” first post is up now at this permalink

Here’s to keeping resolutions!

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