Robin Rendle
• San Francisco, California

Things Learned Blogging

Jim Nielsen on removing the hurdles to blogging:

If the goal of your blog is to blog, i.e. to write and publish, then start by removing everything that gets in the way of that goal.

Eschew anything beyond writing the content of a post. No art direction. No social media imagery. No comments. No webmentions. No analytics. If you really want to be ruthless, no embedded rich media (images, video, etc.) only links to rich media.

Imagine stripping away everything in the way of writing until the only thing staring you back in the face is a blinking cursor and an empty text file. That’ll force you to think about writing.

Here Jim is riffing on a post called How to blog by Tom MacWright :

If you’re trying to blog, write. Work in the ‘posts’ and ‘drafts’ folders. Create TODO lists and schedules to get posts live. Stay out of the blog configuration, templates, plugins, and whatnot.

Now, sure, it’s fun to tinker from time to time. This blog, macwright.org, changes over time, at the pace of about 100 lines of code a year, mostly deletions. But this change is limited and intentionally sporadic, never happening more than a few times a year.

I love that idea, slowing down the pace of change by lines of code per year. And 100 lines of is glacial, almost no change at all. But it prevents the enormous and time consuming re-writes that get in the way of blogging.