In this post, you can see a notebook marked “LTD.” This is where I jot down thoughts in pursuit of developing this creation into something more useful to me, and perhaps also to the occasional reader.
Position one: traffic doesn’t matter. A few experiments were conducted, and organic traffic is pretty much where it was before I took my long hiatus, minus the section of readers that arrived from social media, which I do not currently use. If I have a link posted for me on social media, the daily traffic average lifts back up to exactly where it was. So now I no longer look at traffic stats. I know what it is. That’s not what this site is for. This is a space for achieving personal goals: I’m using it to get thoughts out in front of me where I can see them properly, and if you’re here with me reading over my shoulder, I’m happy with that.
I note here this lovely little Cal Newport post on styles of digital minimalism, focussing on comedians like Aziz Ansari. My style is obviously very different – though my five-year-old iPhone is certainly starting to operate like his old Nokia flip phone at this point – but there are similar intents.
Position two: that this place should be a repository of all the things that interest me and teach me, under the general rubric of storytelling, culture and knowledge work. That’s the focus. This is a tool. That means, among other things, that I need to get better at deep linking back into the archive of the site. This is one thing that social media trained us out of. If you’ve been around a while, tumblelogs kind of did that to us too.
Position two needs to be questioned or codified, because I also use LTD as a personal log, much as I use my paper notebooks. It would be nice to run a Maria Popova-style repository of timeless essays, but I’m just not wired that way. My process seems to require me to note the passage of the days.
Position three: evolve the tools. Now, Matt Webb recently posted his tools for making his weblog. I have a vague memory of coming across an even more baroquely complex zettelkasten-style method, but I can’t find it now. I have, in fact, been losing stuff fairly regularly of late, and I need to figure out how to stop bloody doing that. I lost four hours yesterday trying to track down a bit of folklore that I either imagined, or read on paper and didn’t annotate anywhere searchable, or am entirely misremembering, because I cannot find it now. But there has to be an easier and more effective way for me to put extended thoughts and essays together, and I need to figure that out. This post has been in drafts for five days, and has been picked at during the week.
Modifier: “evolving the tools” becomes its own rabbit hole. Just learn the habit of putting stuff where you can fucking find it later, Warren.
Additional: I just saw this line by Jason Kottke – “What good is a blog without a thriving community of other blogs?” For me, that’s beside the point. I wish him well on his sabbatical.
As in Position One, I’m putting this up here where I can see it properly and think about it some more.