Form and Function

One of the reasons I moved over to using Nucleus as my blogging tool is that I don’t like what I’ve been doing with my weblog very much. In the three-and-a-bit years it’s been running, it’s never quite come together into something coherent, and there have been a variety of excuses for that. At first, I was seeing if I would even use it. And then I was getting used to making regular updates. And then I was focusing on other projects. And then I was having a neurotic period. And then, and then, and then.

Of late, I’ve fallen into treating it like a livejournal. Not really a shock, given that almost all the content I’ve written here in the year and a bit since I got my livejournal has been cunningly sent over there as well. But perhaps because I make so much use of my friends page, my own writings have, to a greater extent that I like reflected the narcissim of LJ. LJ, while I love it for many reasons, is not the best environment in which to produce content that is not about one’s daily life. It’s do-able, as others have certainly proved, but as social software, it’s geared toward keeping one’s friends up to date, and, as I say, I’ve rather gotten stuck in the rut of doing. This is, of course, only the latest excuse in the litany, but the time has come to find a new one.

But y’know, I’ve kind of run out, and while I’m sure another one will come along in a minute, I figure that I could at least take a swing at the sort of thing I want to do with this while I feel like I can. If NaNoWriMo has taught me anything it’s that, a little over a year after I got out of the habit of regular writing, I’m more than ready to get back to it. I’ve been doing more and more as the year has worn on, but as much as I love short things like Take A Walk, I really want to get back to doing longer things.

With specific regard to Black Ink, that means longer, reasoned posts about specific topics. It means thinking about things. Doing reseach, if neccessary. Actually saying something worth the time it takes to type it, rather than just the airing the mundanity of my life. (To forestall the comments, though, yes, I will probably still update my LJ with that, because I do like LJ for itself, after all.)

What has this to do with switching to Nucleus? Nothing, exactly, but I was reading Mo Morgan’s rather clever ideas about threading weblog content and thinking that that sort of thing would suit the sort of thing I’m thinking of very nicely – a nice way to chart the progession of an idea, and the point of switching to Nucleus was to give me the freedom to do exactly this sort of thing with my blog – because the data and the scripts are all on my server, I can do as I please with them, thus allowing my to shape the functions of my blog to the form, rather than having it’s form limited by the fuctionality provided by a third party.

So it’s time to start looking at what I can do, while I spend a while writing something a bit cleverer.


  1. Sounding like a broken record, have you thought of writing something for Smoke? I’m guessing you’ve seen copies on the cash desk at Gosh, maybe you’ve picked up a copy. I think your writing would suit the mag.

    Did you do another short piece on camden, or london with some reallt cool art – a poem or some such. Are there still copies around, i think i must have missed it, if gosh got it in.

  2. I meant to pick up a copy of Smoke #1, and forgot. I must track down the two issues. And yes, I had idly thought about submitting something to them, but then I forgot to buy the magazine, and well, I want to get a flavour of the thing first.

    The thing you’re talking about about Camden is available on the web at the “Take A Walk” link that I mentioned in the post – the monologue begins on Page 7. The monolgue alone is in Grey Sky #2, and the full piece in Grey Sky #3. Gosh did have copies, I think, but if drop, he may be able to sort you out with copies – I think they’re two-fifty a throw…

  3. Ah, but…

    Then there are those of us to whom LiveJournal is perfect since it satisfies this weird masochistic tendency where we know that less people are reading us than everyone else’s, while still allowing us the vanity-satiating self-confidence-trick of thinking that what we write actually matters.

    I can understand how you can become frustrated, but some of the rest of us… Yes, we really are that shallow.

  4. Re: Ah, but…

    Eh. Less people are reading me that are reading half the people on my friends list. I started the LJ with the intent to move my personal life stuff onto it, and re-focus the blog onto something that might be of interest to the casual browser, but seem to have failed in that. It’s time for another go.

  5. Groovy, Gosh is putting one aside for me. Somethings need to be read on paper. Oh, i have both issues of smoke, if you wanna borrow. I’d love to write something for it, but well, not sure what they would do with my code *grin*. I know some good info, that i think maybe is interesting (the plans for the highgate new estate, but almost all of that was gleaned from a tour of one of the houses there and a talk by the owner. I could do some more research, but it would be stealing. I could write about something about london i love but i don’t know enough history to make it rooted, but anyway, this is your live journal

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