Blogging about blogging is a repeated trope inside this blog and I’d bet commonly elsewhere. Why do it again?

It seems appropriate for my last (and consistently late, but one of the things about blogging is making your own rules) of nine posts for the Ontario Extend 9x9x25 challenge. I actually realized I was more than a few short, so resorted to back tagging 2 previously written ones from early October. Sue me (and c.f previous parenthetical on rules).

After ~15 years of it, maybe it is time to return to pointless, incessant barking?

cartoon of dog to another saying
image of a likely copyrighted image from a card my sister bought and sent me. I had it for a long time on my refrigerator door in Arizona along with the gallery of dogs past.

And in those often repeated blogged sentiments I write the reason for still doing it.

I am selfish, I blog for me. Not in the shameful self-promotion sense, but because I have found it a way to process my ideas. Perhaps the most relevant description of what blogging means to me goes back to the Stone Age of blogging, in 2002 [by] writer Cory Doctorow in My Blog My Outboard Brain

“Writing a blog entry about a useful and/or interesting subject forces me to extract the salient features of the link into a two- or three-sentence elevator pitch to my readers, whose decision to follow a link is predicated on my ability to convey its interestingness to them. This exercise fixes the subjects in my head the same way that taking notes at a lecture does, putting them in reliable and easily-accessible mental registers.”

“Being deprived of my blog right now would be akin to suffering extensive brain-damage. Huge swaths of acquired knowledge would simply vanish. Just as my TiVo frees me from having to watch boring television by watching it for me, my blog frees me up from having to remember the minutiae of my life, storing it for me in handy and contextual form.”

It gives me context, connections, and meaning to the things I am focusing on, wondering about, pissed off at, or just trying my best Steven Johnson hunch chasing.

Yet I can still lose track of those reasons. Just a few days ago, my favorite blogger, the one I love and married, heard me sigh and asked, as she does so well, about the why-sigh.

She had caught me in my own wonder, seeing what feels like not much reaction to recent posts. Stuff I might have felt deserved one. So I said, “Maybe I wondering if the blogging matters…”

And Cori set me straight. Quickly. “Of course it does.” And we had a long talk about the practice, and value of a reflective practice, and that The Idea Burns Within Me I cannot Sleep Until I Post feeling.

It’s easy to lose your step.

And within a few tweets Laura Killam, a total star child of the Ontario Extend project, says it so well

And today I met up in Moose Jaw for coffee with another long time blog advocate, practitioner, Dean Shareski. I asked too the question, as one long time blogger to another, how he makes a case for blogging. Dean did not hesitate much to reiterate what we both knew. But we also agreed the reasons (to reflect, to own your own records of your past) and ways to talk to people new about it are not the same as when we started (and that’s how we met).

How many times has it been professed that blogs are dead? (Google says about 25,500 times).

It reminds me naturally of a favorite Northern Voice presentation co-presented with Chris Lott and Brian Lamb — that I can find easily because I blogged about it in 2010.

Or maybe not. As I was telling Dean today, it is a long long road to reclaim my content once trusted to Wikispaces. And videos once trusted to Ustream. And some service I forget called twitpoll. All of those webs have bitten the dust.

Sigh. The web is fragile. When it’s outside my blog 😉

And that is the beauty of the 9x9x25 idea, and why I suggested it to Terry Greene. The value of blogging does not make sense (not the kind focused on blogging to make cents) until you have done it for a while, and longer than 9 weeks. When you make it a practice. When the value of the outloud thinking is your own internal payoff, not the external favorites or comments or attention.

Not everyone will necessarily find that spark. That’s okay. But if you do, keep the fire alive.

We’re going to be okay, arent we Papa?

Yes. We are.

And nothing bad is going to happen to us.

That’s right. Because we’re carrying the fire.

Yes. Because we’re carrying the fire.

From Cormac McCarthy’s The Road which I content (in a blog post!) is more a story of love than dystopia.

You might lose your way, as i did, but it’s easier to find it again.

If I have counted correctly (and likely not) this is my last (and again late) of nine posts for the Ontario Extend 9x9x25 challenge.

Featured Image: I almost reached for an Unsplash photo for this one; it had everything going for it, but just felt, like Unsplash does to me, often a wee bit too contrived. Then again, one might say the same of my own photos.

I had opened a new tab in my browser, and saw a great image via the Library of Congress Free to Use extension but as I often do, I clicked away before getting the info. So I waded through again and found this great image Gist inspector, Mrs. Mary Betchner inspecting one of the 25 cutters for burrs before inserting it in the inside of a 105mm. howitzer at the Milwaukee, Wis. plant of the Chain Belt Co. that as part of this collection is in the public domain.

I like seeing that Mary Betchner was a “Gist Inspector” (long before GitHub made them) but also the metapohircal desire of a blog post to have an impact of a Howitzer? And now, I have spent almost enough of my 25 sentences with story of a photo, before I even blogged!

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so)


  1. Well, Alan, I love it that you keep blogging about blogging.
    And when you write on certain humanistic topics, I love to respond and say whatever it occurs to me to say. You lose me on the nerdy stuff, but that’s not new.
    I love it that you have Cori now as sounding board…
    I gave up actual word blogging a while ago as people couldn’t even figure out how to scroll down a page to find the text—I know too many old folks, i.e. people my own age or older who have truly failed to cross the bridge into the twentieth century.
    Young folks aren’t interested in reading—certainly not in anything I have to say.
    So now I vlog pretty consistently because old folks know how to turn on a video. And if I keep it at sixty seconds and don’t try to get too arty, they will watch and comment.
    But on the vlog itself, I don’t get much action—I just post there because it’s a Domain of My Own.
    Until I can no longer pay the bill, then I suppose I’m web rot.
    The big numbers (300+) for me come on Instagram for sixty second videos.
    For comments from the peanut gallery, Facebook rules.

    But what I used to blog, I now record in blog like fashion using the Day One app. I truly blog for myself.
    But really, who the heck cares what I do?
    But I care about your blogging and your Instagram posts, and I would miss you if you should stop.
    For whatever that’s worth. Not much.

    Hi to all in wherever the heck it is you live now…Moose Jaw? ReallY? 🙂

    1. Thanks as always for being a regular commenter. I care that you care about what you do, and it’s worth a lot. It’s an interesting, swirling balance of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.

      I love outside of Moose Jaw, really!

  2. I still love reading your blog posts because many of them challenge me to stop and think. I think too many people rush around, not stopping to think and mindfulness is as important as physical exercise. I’ve been blogging for about 12 years now regularly and I still enjoy it. I figure I will stop when I stop enjoying it. It helps me clarify my thoughts. share my opinions and some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years. I feel if it helps one person, then it makes it all worthwhile.

  3. You’re an inspiration. Seriously. And not just when it comes to blogging and sharing and consistency and generosity.

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