Sharpening the saw

If you are a regular reader, you may notice some changes to the site. The reasons are varied, but if you have commented recently, don’t think that your comment is the reason why I have made these changes.

I have been working to sharpen the saw, in both my personal and professional life. I have found myself overwhelmed by the amount of work my job and my lovely daughter have created. Some of that overwhelmed sense is good, some of it not so good. Right now my inputs are far exceeding my ability to output effectively. My task list at work keeps growing and I’m not okay with just letting it go. Not that I’m OCD or anything, but admitting defeat and letting projects linger in a state of semi finish just doesn’t fly for me.

I know I recently added the Skribit widget to my site and you’ll notice it is gone. I will admit, I’m a “joiner.” When I find something interesting, i’ll join the site, sign up for the beta and put it somewhere. That stops today. No more sign ups for betas, no more widgets or gadgets or duct-tape add-ons. I can’t rely on betas and I’m not willing to fill out crash reports anymore. As for the widgets, how may pieces of flair does my blog need, after all I am not blogging at the T.G.I.Friday’s.

What about the comments? While I have very much enjoyed everyone who has commented on my blog, I feel like I am not adequately corresponding with those to take the time to write a note back to me and for that I am sorry. I have also read John Gruber’s thoughts on comments on his own blog (as transcribed by Shawn Blanc):

I wanted to write a site for someone it’s meant for. That reader I write for is a second version of me. I’m writing for him. He’s interested in the exact same things I’m interested in; he reads the exact same websites I read. I want him to like this website so much that he reads it from the top to the bottom, and he reads everything. Every single word. The copyright statement, what software I use, he’s read it all.

If I turn comments on, that goes away. It’s not that I don’t like sites with comments on, but when you read a site with comments it automatically puts you, the reader, in a defensive mode where you’re saying, “what’s good in this comment thread? What can I skim?”

It’s totally egotistical. I want Daring Fireball to be a site that you can’t skim if you’re in the target audience for it. You say, “Oh, a new article from John. I need to read it,” and your deadlines go whizzing by because you have to read what I wrote.

If I turn comments on I feel like it’s two different directions. You get to the end of my article and you’re like, “let’s see if there’s anything interesting. Let’s see if there’s any names I know.” That’s really it. Sometimes a design decision is what you don’t put in, as opposed to what you put in.

Erin McKean, a lexicographer, said in her August 2007 TED talk “…And when parts of your job are not easy or fun, you look for an excuse to not do them…” and that’s pretty accurate stuff.The rest of her talk is great, watch it.

The work of this blog has not been fun for a while, I’m going to try and change that. Sorry that I’m not going to be commenting on your comments any more, but I have not really enjoyed my blog, my twitter, my facebook, or really thing I’ve been “doing” online.

When I started to write about my “inner hippie” I realized that blogging could be fun, with a little more time spent editing and a little less churning out crap like the iPhone app reviews. That is not my schtick, I’ll leave that to the professionals.

What I will do is start to write the best blog that I can. This means that I am going to write about what I want to. Clay Shirky, in a talk at Web 2.0 explained that gin was how people coped with Industrial Revolution, and the television is our current pacifier. I don’t know if it is because we have just turned off cableThus my liberation from the mass opiate.or if the work load and the lack of sleep are starting to catch up with me, but I think that been using the Internet as my whipping horse or pacifier, but I have realized that I can get a lot more return if I have a sharper focus. Blogs I had started, like my failed project, the Simplicity Habit, or the social networks I’m currently a part of are going to either be boxed1 intentional or fall off my radar completely. So long Friendfeed, I hardly knew you. I am now focusing on getting rid of the noise in my life, to be frank, there is far to much.

If you want to converse with me about something on my blog, send me an email via the contact page, or directly if you know it. That is the replacement for comments. Not as personal as you and me sitting down at a bar and talking the night away over some brews and peanuts, but it will have to do until I can arrange for you and I to get to the nearest bar. This the changed blog.

There is probably going to be more stuff about my daughter and the amazing things she doing. I might throw some politics in here and there are also going to be more posts about me getting real with my time, attention and work. These things are going to be written more as letters to myself. If you find them interesting, great! Glad to have you as a reader! If you’re bored, I’m sorry. The internet is full of cool and far more interesting and eloquent stuff than is being produced here. If you want to troll, might I recommend Digg, you’ll find a lot of company there.

Consider this my third album, after a brilliant freshman release and the usual sophomore slum, I’m back. No experimental album shit, just me.


  1. Frakking Battlestar Galactica reference