Posts filed under: Random Access Monday

You say it’s your blogday?

It’s my blogday too, yeah.

On August 13, 2003, I uncorked what would be the first of a little more than a thousand entries on my old blog. At the time, apparently, I had Cracker’s “Teen Angst” running through my head, because I think three of my first ten or so entries troped on the “what the world needs now” line from that song, including the first one.

It hasn’t been one long, uninterrupted string of blog entries, but it’s been 9 years since the first one, as of today. I’m still figuring out the new ratios among platforms, but I’m pretty comfortable with the pace that I’ve set for myself here this summer. Next year at this time, I’ll likely feel a little less sheepish about claiming a blogiversary.…

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RAM: Seriality and Serendipity

I spent a little quality time in the cgbvb archives last night, and thought I’d dredge up the entry below. It’s a nice example of the kind of seriality that Kathleen was talking about, and also highlights for me the kinds of serendipity that online scholarship is capable of. Sadly, the blogosphere isn’t quite the metonymy machine that it used to be, but this summer, I’ve been feeding data from my desktop and my iPad into Instapaper, and I’m finding that the same kinds of patterns emerge.

I also found out that at some point, for a while anyway, I was ending blog entries with “Snip, snap, snout.” I don’t have any recollection what that was about.

[This entry is a little more impressive with all of the links that I originally included, but now that they’re mostly dead and gone, I went ahead and scraped them. Dead links are not as impressive.]

 


“So that’s how it works!”
Collin vs Blog, 18 September 2006

I have a folder on my desktop that I’ve been gradually filling for almost two years now. I probably add something once a month or so. Maybe I’ll pull something off of a delicious bookmark, or I’ll see a link to a pdf through Bloglines, and just dump it in.

So anyway, I didn’t have a “next” thing to read about 10 days ago, so I went into that folder and grabbed a pdf. Turns out it was James Moody’s “The Structure of a Social …

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RAM: Workflow

It occurred to me that if I wait for a big block of time to go back through the hundreds of old posts from the first iteration of my blog, that day will never come. So, inspired by nothing more significant than the fact that Monday and memory start with the same letter, I’ve decided to implement Random Access Mondays here. Every Monday, I’m going to spend a few minutes poking around in my archives for a post that strikes me as relevant, clever, or resonant, something that I want to pull forward to this site.

First up is a post that I referenced in a recent Facebook update, from 2005. One of the strategies that I use to break myself out of the writer’s block is something that I cribbed from 43 Folders back in the day, the idea of “breaking big nouns into little verbs.” It’s a strategy for elaborating the shorthand that we fall back on when we write to-do lists. Instead of working on my next Book or even Chapter With A Looming Deadline, the idea is to break those big nouns down into much more manageable chunks of activity. Do enough work at the level of sentence and/or paragraph, and voila, you’ve got an essay or a chapter, and eventually more. Small verbs are easier to handle, provide you with a time-bounded task to complete, and can ideally be done in a single sitting.

The frosting on the cake here is the list of note-taking …

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