Now before you say anything – yes, I am with you: WYSIWYG has always been some sort of a lie: what you see is hardly ever what you get and at least for the slightly geekier people it is always a better option to learn some basic HTML or at least something easier like Markdown.1
As you might know, I am running the blog Dicke Hipster with a bunch of other dudes and for all of us it’s a hobby, something we do in our spare time. And since most of the other guys are not well-versed in HTML, they use different kind of WYSIWYG blog software. And that’s legitimate – they shouldn’t need to have to learn HTML, after all the blog clients proudly promise to enable writing and even formatting blogposts without having to know the underlying markup language. Some even come with fancy integration of external services like Flickr and YouTube.
And while I haven’t yet found out what software the guys are using, I have to say that the resulting markdown that I have seen in the blog posts has been pretty atrocious. Inline-styles, paragraphes seemingly randomly marked up as divs and ps, images scaled up and down in HTML and more.
Now the cranky nerd2 in me wants to yell at the other dudes to just use the actually not at all bad editor that WordPress has in its web interface or just try to learn some basic HTML. But the more resonable part of me3 knows that I can’t and shouldn’t expect people who are gracious enough to write for a hobby project to have to learn HTML. Instead we all should be able to expect client software to not futz around with inline styles and terrible html code – after all, it’s 2013 and everybody who is working on and for the web these days should have learned their lessons from the almost 20 years of FrontPage.
I also very much think that people, who write into the internet as their main job should be able to format their work in HTML or at least accept that if they can’t do that they should just write it in plain text. But that’s an whole other issue. ↩
Yes, that’s a nerd thing to do. RTFM, basically. ↩
This morning I had an awesome idea: An art performance, reading the 2002 book “Essential Blogging” on stage, in a dramatic fashion.
The book has been flying around the office since forever, long before I even started here and by chance is has been sitting next to me for a while now, an artifact from a time long gone, back in the days when blogging was something exciting and new; dinosaurs like blogger, Movable Type and Blosxom ruled the world.
I think it would be possible to make a reading really good. There are ten chapters, with some editing this could become a one-week circle of performances. One person with a nice voice would be reading, maybe seated on some comfortable old chair. Soft piano music, if possible played on stage with the pianist in the background. A single spot on the reading person; no unnecessary theatrics.
I am sure this would not have mass appeal but I’d go and watch it. Or maybe sit there in the darkness of the auditorium, close my eyes and let the words of a bygone area soothe my spirits.
Lately I have been using all channels available to me to do one thing – whine, whine, whine.
This has to stop. So I decided to turn the week of most potential whining – which is the first week of August – into Duck Week. For one whole week, starting Monday at midnight to Sunday at midnight, every single thing I post to any kind of Social Media thing – here on my blog, on Tumblr, on Flickr, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, everywhere possible will be about ducks. Not about me, not about my whining, about ducks.
I will be collecting and chronicling the whole ducking experience on duckweek.com and of course at @duckweek. Contributors are more than welcome – if you want to make your first week of August 2011 a duck week – let me know!
I know I’ve said I’d write a lot about what’s happening during my trip to my blog, but it looks like this is not going to happen. I do keep notes and take pictures, but usually I’m too tired to write much one I’d have the quiet time to do so.
It is pretty amazing, though, how much I miss just twittering little impressions. For example right now – I’m sitting at the hotel breakfast room, typing this on my phone. It’s rather empty, so the girl who is overseeing the whole thing, has time to woo over the baby of a guest. Which is quite an adorable scene – and it’s those little impressions like that which I could capture via short tweets but wouldn’t note down and blog about later.
Well, bummer. I’m going to have another steamed bun. Best hotel breakfast ever.
Posted from WordPress for Android (What we used to call Moblogging back in the days.)
Last night I’ve been discussing blogging1 with Chris and after she looked around a bit over here she asked me: “Why would I be interested in a link blog?” And a link blog is basically what this page is – I link to stuff I like or find to be interesting without adding much of my own opinion, experiences or that illusive personal voice. And basically it has been that way since always.2
Besides being too lazy to write more than a paragraph or two, I do have another “excuse” for “just” link blogging: I really do like link blogs. I have been following waxy.org/links for years, I’m following a whole bunch of people who share their links on Google Reader3 and I even built myself a little script that takes all status updates of the people I follow on twitter, scans them for links and builds a little link feed out of it. And I do follow a lot of people who do link a lot.4 And I sure love givemesomethingtoread.com.
Now why would I want to do such a thing or follow those kinds of blogs? It’s easy: they curate the web for me.
There are many people out there who create really outstanding, wonderful, inspiring stuff5 – texts, books, drawings, photography, movies and so on. And there is no way I on my own could be able to find those things that clearly deserve an audience.6 And those link blogs and shared items and links on twitter help me find both the popular things7 and the hidden gems.
And my rather humble hope is that a few people might like my selection of things from the web, either when actually following the blog here or by having stuff rated up on one of those tools that use link counts to determine which pages are worth having a look at. That’s why I keep linking to stuff that I find and find to be interesting, documenting what was worthy of my attention and recommending you guys to check it out.
The fact that I do that on many different platforms, very inconsistently and with no real system behind which tool I use to share those – that’s a whole different blog post right there.
So, yeah, this is now going to be a blog-post about blogging. Very last decade, I know. I want to apologize for that in advance. [↩]
Of course, back in the old days, I had this category Mademoiselles which was rather popular. [↩]
Which is basically just link blogging for lazy people. [↩]
I’m not actually reading that feed, but it is an excellent Spark for myFever installation. [↩]
Yeah, I prefer the word “stuff” over the word “content.” [↩]
As most of you might know, I am an avid and early user of Twitter. You can find me under @dominik. For a while I have played around with auto-posting my blog posts to this account, but soon I was annoyed by my own spammy behavior. Now it turns out that some people actually liked being notified of new blog posts via Twitter. This is why I now decided to auto-post my blog posts to the account @lostfocus – so, if you’re interested in stuff like this, go ahead and follow it. Enjoy.