Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Drafting Blog

In giving a talk on WordPress I realized that because most blogs are very time oriented, what I was doing with Banapana here wasn’t really blogging in the typical sense. Banapana revolves more around a concept I’ll call draft blogging, by which I mean it can be seen as a persistently growing and recycling source of content.

When I gave my talk, I decided that given the audience (educators and people associated with education technology) it would be a useful proposition to first distinguish between a blog and a “typical” web site. I drew the distinction that blogs are time-oriented while most web sites (certainly not all) are category/menu oriented. It’s not by any means a totally sufficient distinction but for people who really don’t have a handle on the whole blogging concept, the timeliness aspect is a good place to start. Consider how most bloggers tend to ignore their archeological content, on top of the fact that they frequently write in present tense, and I think that you will also see that time is a central concept in the blogging space.

But this got me thinking about my own blog, since I don’t really see timeliness as an essential feature of what it is that I write about. Time is a feature in the sense that as new material arises elsewhere I want to incorporate it into what I’m doing but my goal here has never been to be sure to post every day. In fact, given the power of newsfeed readers I’ve never entirely understood how daily publication become part of the blogging concept.

What I’m trying to do here with Banapana is generate a catalog of essays with mosts posts forming the body of links that may become research going into one of these developing essays. So while updating the blog with new and (mostly) relevant information is definitely part of the project, there is a second aspect that I’m after (the drafting aspect) which is to gradually grow certain posts into full-blown essays.

I’m not sure how useful the concept of the drafting blog is, but it keeps me from being bored. I’ve already begun to see large swaths of the blogosphere that have died off because of the “publish daily” meme. A lot of people simply can’t work at that pace (or density) and give up. I suppose that’s fine, but I think there should be more flexibility in the blogging lexicon for larger, ongoing projects.

The Flash Essay

In the spirit of the shortening of content that has been the general effect of the web, I’ve decided that some of my better posts here can gradually be drafted into an essay. But alas, essays are long and on the web, no one reads long. Make your point, move on. So, the flash essay. Your point; five paragraphs. There will be no “Read more” links (though supporting points might link to other posts); there will only be the point, the three supporting points, and the point reiterated. Classic keyhole essay structure.

Obviously, at the moment, I’ve not worked out a new flash essay. Right at the moment I’m just trying to get this friggin’ template to cooperate. Anybody know how to call page children from the database? Well, I’ll get it. Until then, please enjoy my more regularly updated content on the left.

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