October 30, 2014

Refinement can be a Hinderance

Refinement can be a hinderance.

We learned the lesson in early blogging years (late 90s and very early 00s) that just getting things out there in rough form has value. I look back at my early blogging at vanderwal.net from 2001 to 2003 and it is not exactly refined.

(Now for the big but)

Those early blog posts, up through 2006 are the ones I continually go back to and refind (or more of Google surfacing them for me when thinking I need insight on something that I want more insight on). They were a paragraph or few. They were straight brain dumps. Most importantly they were nodes that brought conversation, next thing colleagues, invitations to explain at conferences, and a great cadre of like minds.

Over time I was encouraged to be more refined and edited, which slowed things down. It slowed down to the point I am sitting on a massive amount of text and markdown documents tagged “blogfodder”. So, much I fear being called the godfather of blodfodder.

The past year my most valuable inbound content has been from a few voices sending things in TinyLetter. A few blog friends have sparked up their old blogs with old school medium length (one paragraph to eight or so) blog posts. Both TinyLetter and these medium length posts are most often stream of consciousness, not heavily edited, and are incredibly valuable as they are good smart insights from real perspective, not contrived want to be smart BS that just rehashes what was common knowledge for the last 6 to 15 years.

Enter the Tilde

This past month Paul Ford popped up Tilde.Club and the old internet and web was reborn. It is pure nostalgia, less for the tech, but for the mindset of discovery of people, how to do things, how to do things better, and connecting like souls and minds. Everybody was a maker and striving to understand the tools, but also to connect to a wider world. It was the new way forward, which didn’t exactly play out at all like that as the band of hacker / maker / understand deeply to make better for all was just an incredibly small group that connected in a couple thousand or so in the early 2000s out of the billions of people on this planet. We thought it was the mainstream as a couple thousand looked like a lot of people to have in a convention center in Austin (in 2001 there were about 1200 and that was the best tight group of similar minded people Iíve ever run across).

But, the early 2000s the hackers and makers blogged. It was unfinished. It was raw. It was fluid. It was quite valuable.

I’m loving Tilde (yah, most donít understand it and may never and that is all good too). Also loving those back to writing and sharing regularly, nearly daily with short blog posts.

Manufacturing a Habit

I’m going to make an attempt to get back and make a habit of posting daily. Iíve been writing daily and just not posting. The more I write the shorter the pieces. The more I write the more I focus on writing better. But, this blog on vanderwal.net is going to be rough and non-edited (okay maybe lightly and after posting), while Personal InfoCloud will have a little more time and editing put into it (I have 40 to 50 social lenses related posts and about 15 Shift Happened posts to get posted there, along with a lot more that fits in neither of those categories).

As I found in the early 2000s getting things out there in rough form has a lot more value than just sitting on my hard drive, now tagged blogfodder. Sitting on things to refine may be the dumbest thing Iíve done in a long long time. I’m tired of the dumb things ruling.

Others that Pushed This for Me



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