The following is a rambling, somewhat disorganized collection of thoughts on the direction I’d like to see this site take, and those I’d prefer it avoid.
- The best, most noble, most useful thing I can do here — and, alas, the thing I’ll probably end up doing the least frequently — is posting my own original work. (Mostly, that means software, since software is the thing I’m good enough at creating to think that anyone else might care.)
- Re-posting my original work which has previously appeared elsewhere on the ‘net is fine. Having this site be a central repository and archive is useful (to me, if no-one else). I should try to label “appeared previously” stuff in the name of transparency.
- The next best thing is real, substantial, exclusive content. I’m not a professional photographer or woodworker, but if I build a table and take a picture of it, hey, at least it’s something I created. (There’s a distinction between posting something I created — like software or stories or music — and posting about somthing I created, like a wood-carving or a meal.)
- Posts about hacks that work are great, but I think there’s a great opportunity to learn from failures also. If I do something that doesn’t work but should have, or if it breaks in an interesting way or for an interesting reason, I should write it up. (Thanks to Adam Savage for talking around this idea at Defcon 17.)
- Travelogues and accounts of interesting experiences can be worthwhile so long as they include particular detail and good writing. (There are, according to Google, 48,200,000 images of Big Ben on the ‘net at the time of this writing. Nobody needs to see mine.)
- This is an extended writing exercise. As Eric Burns correctly noted, “sucking for a while is the gateway to not sucking”. Maybe, on a good day, the words can amuse or inspire or convince. But writing the words has value in and of itself, even if they are never read by another living soul.
- Actually, speaking of the esteemed Mr. Burns (of Websnark fame), his Channel Markers essay is full of good advice (though some bits are too specific to webcomics criticism to be of direct use here).
- Links to anything and everything (compelling) involving Dragons will go here, for which fact I make no apology. (Not a furry/scaly/otherkin. I’m fine with folks who are, and aren’t offended by being mistaken for same, but that’s not even remotely the basis of my obsession…)
Stuff that does not belong here:
- This isn’t a link aggregator. If it’s been on Fark or BB or MetaFilter (especially, if it has been in one of those places recently), I probably don’t need to talk about it here. (Exception: Dragons. See above.) Posts which have no real point other than to link to something nifty should be infrequent, made only when the subject is of exceptional merit and has not gotten sufficient exposure elsewhere.
- This isn’t a pop media review site. Reviews of books or games belong here only if the subject is fairly obscure and/or there is a lot of personal value-add.
- No current-events posts without personal value-add. This isn’t a news site. This isn’t even a news commentary site, unless I am absolutely confident that I either have something new to say, or have the ability to say it better than anyone else out there.
- No overtly political stuff without a damn good reason. Justification: It’s divisive. Posting it loses me half my potential audience, at a minimum, right there. Those are people who will not be reading all the other interesting (non-political) things I have to say.
- I’m not going to do top-ten lists or anniversary articles or “which brand of floor wax are you?” surveys, except possibly in a tone of high sarcasm.
- No Internet-theme-of-the-day. No day-without-cats, no talking like a pirate (more than I’d normally do), no turning my page background black in symbolic protest of whatever. Above all, no April Fools’ jokes. I cannot emphasize this last one enough.
- Nothing work-related. My workplace doesn’t tell me what I can and can’t do on my own time. In consideration of this, while I may post on topics about which I learned at work, I won’t rant here about specific identifiable people or customers.
- No disguises, no be-safe-and-fit-in, no pretending to be a normal. This is a place where the mask-I-wear-in-public comes off. If employers, friends or relatives take issue, I’m better off with them out of my life.
- No link exchanges, site rings or other Internet circle jerks. If you want to link here, do. If I think your content is worthwhile — and under no other circumstances — I’ll link to you.