Geek Chic, Blogging and Me

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been posting a lot less lately.  It’s true.  I have.  It’s because I’m more than a little bit confused about the blogging.

I originally created Geek Chic primarily as a way to share things I thought were cool.  Usually snagged from my daily trolling of the internet, I’d post a few gems that caught my eye.  Call it re-blogging, call it regurgitating.  Call it whatever you’d like.  I saw it as an electronic way of curating and sharing a collection of things I thought more people should see.

With the advent of Twitter, the evolution of Facebook and now the more social integration points of Google Reader (my primary means of ingestion / procrastination), there seem to be more and more ways to share things you think are cool with the rest of the world.  And it’s becoming easier and easier — for example with Google Reader, all I have to do is click one button and I can share a post I think is interesting.  Clicking another button, I can instantly post a link to Twitter or Facebook. Done.

So the question arises, what good is this blog?

One answer to that question is my sort of secondary reason for creating this blog.  I occasionally like to rant and rave and share my opinions.  And it’s easier on the people around me, I find, if I post them online so they can stop reading when I’ve started to annoy them.  For those of you who like reading what I have to say, I guarantee that will continue.  But it feels even more narcissistic than Twitter tends to be for me to want to turn this blog exclusively into a soapbox for my rants and raves.  There are enough opinions roaming free on the internet (just look at how many people threw in their 2 cents about the FCC’s Google Voice inquiry).

So the question remains, what is this for?

There is something to be said for the blog format as a means of curating content.  If I want to show off things that I think are interesting, intriguing and cool, a blog is still a better format than the others I mentioned above.  Facebook’s information stream is a complete mess — it’s very easy to track down things that were posted 5 minutes ago, but anything before that is lost.  Facebook is a great way for me to aggregate things from my friends, but not a great way for me to see what any one person likes or has been up to.  Even the profile feed is so cluttered with nonsense that major topics get lost.  So curating is, basically, out the window.  And while Twitter may be better at letting people identify things I think are cool and my (very brief) opinions, it’s not all that interesting to look at.  I’m a very visual person. I like pictures and video.  That’s primarily what I post around here.  Posting links to these things via bit.ly just isn’t quite the same.

Google Reader maybe comes the closest to what I’m trying to do in terms of being able to re-post and comment on content.  The interface is easy, and sharing is a snap.  You can also post notes to your feed (basically the equivalent of a blog post — or more specifically a container for one of my rants). It’s not possible to customize the look of it, which is not ideal for me — I like to design things (event though this blog might not look like it lately) and dig around in the guts of the application to customize it (thank you, WordPress!).  With the shared feed, what you share is what you get.  And you can’t really change or pare down any of the content you’ve shared — so for example if the title of the post is 500 characters of Korean or the post is 5 pages long and you share it, that’s what shows up.  But it’s a pretty good alternative and I could definitely see myself using it more extensively.

So seriously, what is this blog for?

I can’t give you a great answer on that one.  I’m certainly leaning towards posting more of my own content — photos from Flickr and videos I shoot — rather than re-blogging content.  I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile now (you have no idea how many photos I have trapped inside of Aperture.  Be afraid.).  In addition, though, I might try to find some way (read WordPress Plugin) of integrating content from several sources into my blog — maybe pulling in content from Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader and Flickr in addition to posting my own (long-winded) opinions.  If there’s a good way to do it, I think that’ll be the best way to keep doing what I want to do with this blog: curating things that I think are cool (including things I’ve made) in order to share myself and my ideas — my personality — with my friends and the internet at large.  I think that’s what a blog is for — sharing yourself with the world.  I’m interested in continuing to do that, but I want to find a better way to do it.

Anyway, all of that is to say there will be some changes coming to the site. It might be rocky at first figuring out how to get all of these services to play nice with one another, but I think I can do it.

Cross your fingers and look for something new to pop up here any minute now.

Until then, thanks for reading!

-J

Tags: ,

  • Heather

    Thanks for giving thought the the purpose of a blog. Just that exercise makes it worth reading. I recently wrote what was essentially an outline for an article on why Blogs are a horrible thing…ironically, I had nowhere to post it…but this gives me some second thoughts.

    Glad your speaking so clearly, so intelligently, so thoughtfully. Makes it nice to listen.

  • http://jeffclarke.us Jeff

    Thanks Heather! I’m still curious what your article says, though. Want to post it here as a guest author? You’re more than welcome. I think you represent about 25% of the readership for this blog :)

  • Heather

    I might just have to do that :)