More Thoughts and a Response to Permanent vs Temporary Writing
I've had some time to digest some of my thoughts regarding the concepts behind permanent writing and temporary writing and the role it plays in my blogging/journaling/writing future.
But first, I want to highlight some articles that were sent to me by Dino. He was reminded of them after reading my post and I was grateful to see some different perspective tackling the same subject.
How the Blog Broke the Web by Amy Hoy discusses the evolution of homepages into blogs and finally into social media. The article explores how we went from writing information that was made to exist indefinitely to trying to check off dates on a calendar.
Dates didn't matter all that much. Content lasted longer; there was less of it. Older content remained in view, too, because the dominant metaphor was table of contents rather than diary entry.
This is exactly what I was talking about the other day. Sure, some Web 1.0 websites might have an “Updated” date/time at the top or bottom of the page, but that wasn't all the important. It was the content on the page that was important. Not the date it was created.
For some blog readers, this might not be an issue, but I think for most casual readers it is. They only skim the most recent content and even then they might not actually consume it. And why should they? There will be more next Monday or Wednesday or whenever the posting schedule occurs. I would argue that not that many even use the tags or categories to explore related content.
This disappoints me because it devalues the older content. It's almost like saying, any book not written this year isn't worth my time to read anymore. And part of this is very much because of the way we update and the chronological order we present our content.
The second article he sent to me was Stock and Flow by Robin Sloan which looks at web content in economic turns. I'll allow Ms. Sloan to properly describe what stock and flow is:
Flow is the feed. It's the posts and the tweets. It's the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that reminds people you exist.
Stock is the durable stuff. It's the content you produce that's as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It's what people discover via search. It's what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
What an amazing way to break down web content. I'm obviously trying to lean into more stock writing vs flow, but I do think there is a place for the flow as well.
Some folks, such as Dino, have been creating digital gardens which act as archives and personal exploration devices for their various interests and hobbies. Dino mentioned that the stock writing would be what “what I would call a permanent note in digital garden terms. It's something that will stand the test of time.”
I love the idea of using something outside of your blog as a way to archive the important and quality writings. Some use digital gardens and I went old school with a retro designed website. Speaking of that website, I've decided to rename it Brandon's Homepage (at least I will in the near future), because I think it's more fitting of the title. The site is to serve as a landing pad for myself, but will also link out to everything else I'm working on. You can see on my Pro Wrestling page, I've taken an old WCW website, converted it into somewhat of a tribute and then linked to all of my recent articles and recaps from The Wrestling Insomniac. I'm basically archiving content and organizing it a static stationary type of page.
So, after a ton of deliberation her is how I've decided to proceed with my blogging and writing.
Brandon's Journal – This will be my day-to-day blog. Some posts will be in-depth though processes others may be basic life updates. The site will be true to it's name and act as a journal.
Brandon's Homepage – This will be the site that ties everything together. A one stop shop to get to whatever I'm doing and a way to enjoy a lot of what I've written in the past. This is my permanent record, my own take on a digital garden, 90's style.
Middle Aged Fat Kids – Okay, so this is a new site that I'm planning on writing a whole post dedicated to in the next day or so. In a nutshell, back in 2008, I had a podcast with an old friend called Fat Kids Radio. Recently, we discussed starting up a low stress website where we could just share our interests and have fun. I got the website up and running this weekend and I'm quite excited about it. I plan on sharing my pop culture thoughts, movie reviews, video game impressions, and so forth on Middle Aged Fat Kids so that it's separate from the more serious discussions found on my journal.
For some, managing three different avenues for writing may seem extreme, especially when I still contribute to The Wrestling Insomniac on ocassion as well as Retro-Daze. But I'm thinking if I can separate my personal thoughts on life, philosophy, the internet from my more fun and goofy thoughts on pop culture it will create for more comfortable writing environments. It will also allow people to choose what sort of content they wish to read from me while avoiding the other. Then of course, I'll have the Homepage to just link everything together and a place to share my curated posts that are worth saving.