Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

What wounded my blogging

Although I’m actually writing this in a slightly drunk state on Friday 1st May, this should, if I click the right buttons, be posted on Monday 4th May and will form the 7th consecutive day where I have posted something on the blog. I say this because my ReactOS entry should have been posted today, and instead I inadvertently published it straight-away on Friday night. Whoops.
The focus of this entry is mostly me looking back at the past couple of years and trying to work out why I didn’t want to blog here. Having thought about it, I came up with several reasons, detailed in the extended portion of this entry, so feed readers will need to click through and have a read.

Reason 1: Nothing to blog about
Until late last year, my daily life could be summed up as the following:

  1. Get up
  2. Have breakfast
  3. Go to work
  4. Come home from work
  5. Eat dinner
  6. Play World of Warcraft
  7. Go to bed

And that was pretty much it. I did go out now and again but essentially that was how I lived. Obviously losing my job changed some of that, but then having next to no money meant I couldn’t really go out and do lots of interesting things. In fact, World of Warcraft pretty much took over my daytimes too. While I find the game interesting, I know a lot of people don’t and so I never felt the need to blog about it.
Reason 2: Being careful of my (and others’) privacy
Also, in recent years I’ve been somewhat more wary of writing in public about what I’m doing, hence why sometimes I’ll write about going somewhere after having been, rather than saying I will be in place X at time Y beforehand. This was partly as a result of a run-in with a very undesirable politician 4 years ago which made me more careful with my identity, in case said person found out who I was, but also because I was dating someone who didn’t want the world to know who she was. As many of you know, Hari was only a pseudonym for my now ex-girlfriend, and even though we’re no longer together I’m not about to reveal her true identity. The same applies to my friends, who I never mention by name without their permission, nor do I post public photos.
Reason 3: The rise of Twitter
I’ve been on Twitter for almost 2 years, back when it was still relatively niche. In those 2 years I’ve posted 844 updates – far more than 1 per day – compared to very few blog posts. I did joke a couple of weeks ago that ‘whole point of having a blog is that you can use it to post thoughts that are more than 140 characters long’ – in a post that was, ironically, under 140 characters. Fact is, some things that I would have normally made a short but slightly waffly blog entry about now end up as short and to-the-point musings on Twitter.
Reason 4: The rise of Facebook
While I no longer really use the likes of Myspace, Orkut and so on, for me, Facebook has some staying power, despite it trying to emulate Twitter in its latest re-design. I’m friends with 276 people on Facebook, all of whom I have had some kind of prior communication with outside of Facebook, be it online or offline. Because the people I am friends with are people I know and trust, sometimes things get posted there and not in public, simply because I don’t want the world to know. Facebook allows me to limit what I write to be viewable only by those chosen people – my trusted friends and family. In a few cases, I’ll post a detailed entry on Facebook and then follow it up with a more general announcement on here – the break-up between me and Hari being a good example as we had a number of mutual friends.
Of course, it would be silly to say that my use of Facebook and Twitter is bad. Though it means that I may post less here, I feel that the 2 services are complementary, and serve different means. The blog is for longer, public thoughts; Twitter is for short, public thoughts; and Facebook is for more personal thoughts and sharing results of inane quizzes and photos. Well, at least that’s what I use it for.

One Comment

  1. Twitter and FaceBook haven’t upset my blogging at all… but it has nearly destroyed whatever time I used to have for commenting on other blogs.
    Current company excepted, obviously. 🙂