San Francisco, California

Blogging and Dimly Lit Bars

Sloan wrote about blogging this morning and so of course I must excitedly reblog this:

...the High Blogging Era might be behind us, but there is still blogging to be done, and it is so easy and rewarding to dip a toe in, start to follow a few, and experience a different kind of network.

There is so much blogging to be done.

Yes, so: I have two thoughts about this.

First, reading it reminds me that one of the problems with RSS is that it always prioritizes what's new. You have a tiny little number in a circle, an unread count of wild new things rushing in—but—what's interesting isn't always new. And so this post reminds me that RSS doesn't value re-reading much, at least out of the box.

I try to solve this by relentlessly starring things I love. And sometimes on a lazy weekend I'll go back through this list of favorites to find old blogging treasures, like this piece from Liz on quitting things back in 2014:

We don’t celebrate stopping things, changing our paths, or our minds. Just the opposite. We celebrate finishing things.

Or this piece by Jason back in '14, too. Except this one's about the way we talk about web design:

A website is its own, singular thing. We know it isn’t a book, a TV show, a film, or a song, but our language is limited to talking about it in those restrictive boxes. A website is a mix of all of those things, and none of those things. It is influenced by place and time. A website changes with age. It can evolve and regress.

Or this piece from Cassie back in '15 (the link to this post is dead now, sadly – all that remains is what Reeder.app caches):

You have to find something meaty to hate, you have to become one with your craziness. You have to be alone. To be very, very good at being alone. My aloneness is like a small, light box. I can pick it up and carry it with me anywhere. My loneliness is an instrument.

And so although Robin writes that "the High Blogging Era might be behind us" we can—and should—return to it often because there are so many old and half-forgotten treasures to dig up. And there might be one or two of those dazzling things that we can resurrect for ourselves.

The second thought I had with Robin's piece isn't really a thought so much as a memory, where Robin writes about Daniel Levin Becker’s book Many Subtle Channels and oh boy how much did I love that thing.

But I remember something else, too: back in 2018 I followed Jez into a bar in the Inner Richmond after a reading of his similarly lovely book. We gathered together in the gloomiest corner and our pearlescent drinks were dancing in their cups, illuminated by the flickering candle perched on the table. But at one point or another in the evening I made a particularly dumb joke and someone looked me dead in the eyes and called me a complete and utter bastard (in a sort of British, loving way).

After a short beat I realized this was Daniel Levin Becker.

Oh, to be called a bastard by a writer you admire whilst hovering over drinks in a dimly lit bar.

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