Writing For People, Not Machines

As I’ve been spending more time reading blogs and publication home pages again. The content that is served up in social media isn’t holding up so well. It’s a little … loud and shallow. Stimulating in an entirely wrong way.

Like Carrot Top.

I hate Carrot Top.

The Real Interesting is still found out in the open web, where ideas and writing styles haven’t been sanded down for the benefit of algorithms.

Venture there and you’ll find headlines that weren’t written for SEO. Writing that has paragraphs. And thinking. And sometimes nonsense. Sometimes it’s long and sometimes it’s short. Sometimes it’s just an image.

But there’s and honesty and integrity to good web writing that just doesn’t work on networked platforms.

Maybe because success in the wild open web seems to come from a consistent body of work.

It’s writing meant to communicate with people, not impress machines.

Pastebot for Mac

I haven’t been using my Mac much since getting an iPad Pro over the summer. It’s just been more fun to use than the laptop.

Then I bought Pastebot, and I’ve been back on the Mac ever since.

Pastebot remembers everything you copy. Then you can paste any of it later, anywhere you want, in any order you want. You can also create filters that transform text in the clipboard into another format.

If you’re anything like me, and you probably are me if you’re reading this, then you’ll appreciate what this means for doing research or trying to put together a document that includes bits of text or images from elsewhere.

It’s the most useful app I have right now.

Highly recommended.

Also, Tapbots is a developer well worth supporting. They make great apps.

Weekdays Only?

Here I am, trying to post something for the 32nd day. And I’m thinking that maybe posting everyday is too difficult. Maybe just posting during the week is the right thing to do.

But how am I going to fill up the internet if I only have five posts a week?

Russell warned me that this would be hard.

Now here I am, laying on bed, furiously trying to keep the streak going while I can still see through eyelids that are slowly betraying me.

Not Some Big, Long, Boring Thing

My favorite online writing is written by people who post often. Not long posts. Not overly serious posts. Not posts that over-estimate their importance to the world. This post from Kelly Conaboy hits the point right, square in its filthy mouth:

Blog, You Idiots!

We need good things to read. We need them steadily, from people whose voices we enjoy. Short things. Commentary about a topic the writer has a greater interest in than you do. Something funny. Something very stupid. Not some big, long, boring thing, just a little thing that you read and enjoy. If aggregation, less aggregate-y.

Related: Medium is much better since The Awl arrived.