Lately I've been pondering what to do with this blog.
When I started blogging I was coming out of a period where I had much to say and few avenues to say it. Blogging felt like such a liberation and I feel I got a lot out of the experience. In the intervening years my blog went up and down but always ticked along. But the last year has been very different.
Here's a little history. I start blogging in May 2002.
Those first 8 months were a pretty furious exploration of a new medium. It was, perhaps, inevitable I couldn't maintain that kind of pace especially as I started writing more and re-posting less. I think I maintained a healthy pace through most of 2008 and then my writing fell off a cliff.
In 2009 I have written only 45 posts which is considerably less than the number I would write some months in previous years. What happened?
- I took up music seriously as a hobby
- I got Twitter
In January I started taking weekly piano lessons and threw myself into making music as a hobby. I'm a classic hobbyist I suppose but with some aspirations to progress beyond my little spare bedroom cum office/studio.
With music & music tech taking up so much of my time my former interests in technology, learning, km began to whither. I'm still interested in those things but as a practitioner rather than a practitioner-observer. That is I am using the technology, learning things, working out how to learn & remember rather than studying or building tools for such things.
This means that less of my time is spent in what I would call abstract thought and more on practical matters. When I am learning to play a blues accompaniment style it's an active task. When I am trying to make a phase shifting looper in Reaktor it's an active task. These things do not seem to lend themselves so easily to being written about.
The second major factor is that, as my output has dwindled, it has tended to be more life stuff and, since I am by nature a private individual, that means more the frustrations and irritations I need to release. Twitter has turned out to be a marvellously useful release value for me and far more effective than blogging for that purpose. For the most part even this use of my blog has died off.
The combination of these factors lead to a ~90% drop in output. Last month I began, seriously, to consider shutting the blog down altogether. But a couple of things have made me reconsider and think about restarting it in some new form.
The first year of any new phase of your life I think can be overwhelming. In this year (or a little over) I have uploaded 62 "tracks" to alonetone.com where I share my music. Some pieces are musical, some are semi-musical, some are outright experiments with sound. I'm proud of what I have achieved in a year but under no illusions about it. I've also:
- gone from not being able to find middle-C on a piano to being able to play a solo piece by Philip Glass and several blues accompaniment styles
- released one MIDI sequencer and built others
- learning some basic arrangement, mixing, and production skills
- started building my own instruments & effects in Reaktor
I am starting to feel the stirrings of having something to say about what I am doing and where I am headed. So my thoughts turn back to my blog as a way of doing that.
When I was knee deep in blogging writing my own blogging software made sense. I wanted to experiment with the platform and the only way to do that with any efficacy was to have my own. Today it seems entirely inappropriate as I know I am never going to go back and finish any of the features that would have made it interesting. Today my own blogging software is a burden.
So I have a couple of choices to make:
- A clean break with the past, orphan/archive the 2925 posts I wrote and start afresh? Or continue but with a new focus/theme?
- What software should I use?