The Best Thing About Blogging

There are many great things about having a personal blog and consistently posting to it. And none of the great things are about trying to be a “thought leader” or personal brand. After blogging (more-or-less consistently) for 17 years, I’ve discovered that much of what I write is like jotting down a note to the future me.

RexBlog on Jan. 9, 2007

Like today. Ten years ago today, I was in San Francisco. I was on about the 20th row when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Because I blog, I can go back and read what I said that day and said a few days afterward.

In the past decade, I’ve blogged tens of thousands of words about Apple products.

But there’s something great about reading what you first thought about something that later turned out to be more (or less) significant.

It makes you feel like you were clueless…or insightful. But that you had any opinion at all makes you feel connected to an event in some way.

The headline of the post where I wrote my response is, “The least impressive thing about the iPhone is that it’s a phone.”

Ten years later, I think I nailed it.

What else happened on this day, ten years ago.

Looking at other posts of the day, I see that MyBlogLog.com was going to be purchased by Yahoo. Later, that would be as disastrous as most Yahoo acquisitions were.

AppleTV was released.

While I didn’t blog about it, ten years ago today was the first time I ever used Twitter. I had set up an account a few months earlier (in the year 2006), but MacWorld was the first time I used it. Why? The media center (I had press credentials thanks to a friend in high places), encouraged reporters to follow their posts to Twitter (“tweets” didn’t exist yet) to learn about changes in the MacWorld schedule or other updates. This was back when it was far easier to understand what Twitter was (a group text messaging thingee) than it is today. (However, for months, I continued to think it was a method for PR people to distribute text messages.)

Three things I’ve learned from blogging for the past 15 years

These things also come from just being around for a lot longer than 15 years.

I post them today after seeing reports of a controversy that is strange, only because it’s in Nashville, my home for the past four decades. Dueling tech conference organizers are quite common in other places.

While I am not attending either conference, in brief, here’s what happened. A locally organized conference was the scene yesterday of some trash talk by a country music star (who is very smart and is a savvy business person, but whose schtick and music is of the bro-country genre) and a successful tech entrepreneur who loves to shock people by using lots of profanity when speaking before groups (disclosure: I like this person, but don’t endorse his approach to panel talk).

As the target of the trash talk was a Tennessee native who is now a well-known tech journalist and media entrepreneur, it didn’t take long for her to let the dogs out.

Read more “Three things I’ve learned from blogging for the past 15 years”

David Carr, Appreciation from a Blogger and Fan

It was not until 2009, however, when I read his memoir, The Night of the Gun, that I began to understand and appreciate Carr for more than his gifts as a reporter and columnist. It’s amazing how much can be revealed about a person’s humanity in a memoir about hitting rock-bottom from crack addiction.

This morning, there are countless remembrances of New York Times columnist David Carr, who died suddenly last night in Manhattan. Most are from the journalists with whom he worked, befriended and inspired.

While David Carr and I share a few professional friends and acquaintances, besides a couple of brief chats at SXSW functions or media conferences in New York (the kind that all blur together), I never knew him, knew him.

But this morning, I find myself feeling like I did know him in a way that long-ago bloggers (before we were told by experts that blogs were supposed to have a business model or fit into some SEO scheme) used to know one-another, especially if we blogged about overlapping topics.

Read more “David Carr, Appreciation from a Blogger and Fan”

Review: The Podcast “Serial”

This is the post where I am officially joining the quickly-expanding fan club of Serial (Website | iTunes), the new audio podcast spin-off from Ira Glass’s public radio program, This American Life.

It joins Chicago’s WBEZ’s incredible lineup of podcasts that are setting a high standard for the production and distribution of media that are opening eyes (but more importantly, ears) for a coming revival of audio programming unmatched since the golden age of radio (which I’m not old enough to recall personally, despite rumors to the contrary).

Read more “Review: The Podcast “Serial””

Top Ten List of Reasons to Ignore Top 10 List Blog Posts

Here are the top ten reasons to avoid blog posts that are top ten lists.

  1. They are boring and repetitive..
  2. They are obvious.
  3. No one reads past #3.
  4. So bloggers make up stuff from 5-10.
  5. Moses. Now there was a great list writer.
  6. A grocery shopping list is good to have.
  7. A grocery shopping list is good to have.
  8. Did you notice #7 repeated #6?
  9. No one else noticed it.
  10. They are boring and repetitive.