Meta CbN 3: Rise of the Machines

Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm in Self-Reflection

{Editor’s note: My occasional dyslexia strikes again. My title originally said CnB. Crafter Night By. Nice.}

As I wind this to a close, I have to thank all of you for your patience with my weird aside. In my life, I think it’s important to step back sometimes and consider what I’m doing. Why do I have this blog? What am I doing with it? Is it worth the time and energy? (Can you tell I’m an introvert? All this self-reflection nonsense.)

Part of why I reflect is self-preservation. I do internet work in a world that can feel hostile to technology, and here I am blogging and being a webmaster. Fact is, the most common comment people have said to me, in my years of techie/computer work, is that they dislike computers. The equivalent of going up to a teacher and telling them I dislike education because I’m not comfortable with it. I’m often frustrated by responses to work I do that are tinged with doubt, suspicion, and cynicism. It’s disheartening. I try to understand, but my long tenure, early start and love of learning new things means I know I don’t really get it. So I check myself sometimes – my motivations, my work, my responses – and see if I’m doing something I believe in. The truth is that what I really believe in is people, and communicating with them, and enabling them to do the best work they can do, and have fun too. A computer is nothing more than a tool that, when used right, can be amazing. Like a pencil, but more buttons.

So I’m finishing Merlin’s good blog ideas with the thought that what makes a blog good is that it’s human. It’s unique and expressive, it’s inconsistent, it has weird bumps, it’s obsessive and thoughtful, playful and complicated. Somebody really lives in that virtual house, and participates (give and take) in a community. With that,

  • Good blogs are weird.

Blogs make fart noises and occasionally vex readers with the degree to which the blogger’s obsession will inevitably diverge from the reader’s. If this isn’t happening every few weeks, the blogger is either bored, half-assing, or taking new medication. — Merlin Mann

So, I guess this is about the time I’m vexing readers with my diverging obsessions? Mmm hmmm. Yeah. Guilty. And there’s the crafting for charity posts, and the index I ran out of time to update. And yes, my blog does make *ahem* fart noises that make me cringe (perhaps not so publicly as Stephen Fry, but still). To wit: the weird cat thing, the pet costumes, all the mistakes I’ve fessed up to, the occasionally grumpy post, the 7 months of one quilt. But at least we’ve established I’m not bored, half-assing or on new meds, right?

The fact is that I figure some people will roll their eyes at my Star Trek obsession, or think I’m silly for talking about controversy, or not care so much about charity, but if none of it were here, well, I guess I wouldn’t be able to do my first point (Good Blogs Have A Voice) very well, right?

  • Good blogs make you want to start your own blog.

I don’t know that my blog will inspire anyone else, but I was inspired to start a really good blog by reading other blogs. I’ve read Wil Wheaton’s blog for years. I learned HTML in 1998 and had my own lame “blog” in the pre-blogging platform days. My husband also “blogged” pre-Blogger but was more consistent and had prettier websites. A friend of mine from high school had the first craft blog I ever saw (she created the Alien Illusion Scarf in the Stitch ‘n Bitch book). Then I found myself consistently reading the blog of a friend of my husband, and that made me think about consistently blogging. And then when I was in graduate school and sundered from my crafting, that I realized crafting was something more than a hobby and less than a career. So a year after quitting school, I threw up a WordPress blog and wrote about my dad and I making beer. So it began.

Last but not least.

  • Good blogs know when to break their own rules.

My rule is that I only post about crafting. So.

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I’m picking up this post when there is obviously a prelude that I missed….but it’s a great topic. I haven’t really thought about why I blog or about my blog content for, um, a couple of years now. Wow. Thanks for bringing up the topic and it’s a good idea that I hope I have the tenacity to give some thought to.

MrPuffy — Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm (link)

This has been fun, and I have to admit that your series here has made me want to blog again. :)

Kristina B — Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 9:49 am (link)

I love your blog. It’s so you, and so diverse yet all centered on a theme — your love for creating. It makes a great contribution to the blogosphere. Seriously.

And it makes me want to craft more and blog about something, which means it’s inspiring, too. :)

Melissa — Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm (link)

Your blog is inspirational. And a thinking blog. Honestly, the reason why started blogging was because of craft contests. I originally planned on posting other people’s contests to get more entries. Then I thought if I was going to promote someone’s blog, it should be my own and I like to make stuff cause I can’t afford to buy the cool crafts that I see. Not only that, I don’t have crafting skills really but I wanted to show that anyone can do it if I can. I want to stick to craft only cause, really, if I were to blog about other things too, then the blog would be all over the place and then no one would want to read it. Readers or not, I like that one day I can look back and say, “Oh, yeah, I really did make a fabric postcard. Wonder whatever happened to it?”
Please don’t stop blogging.
I could have picked any topic to blog about but I find that crafters in general are the nicest, smartest people that I have met, and I really just wanted to met more cool crafters in the world even if just as bloggy friends.
Again, always good stuff here!

urban craft — Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm (link)

Mr Puffy – yes, it was part three, if you can imagine. I think about why I do things a lot, because if I can’t figure out the why, I usually can’t convince myself to do it at all!

K – do! Miss reading your thoughts.

M – Thanks :) I agree it’s me, it’s hard to figure why family members always tell me it surprises them!

UC – a “thinking” blog. I like that. I also like the crafty community, it’s big and active and creative. I find it endlessly inspiring, and I “meet” nice folks like you and Mr Puffy :) I wouldn’t have met otherwise! That’s a win all around. I agree also it’s nice to have a record of what you did/thought. I forget, and this is really the only journally type thing I’ve ever kept up with!

Miriam — Mon Nov 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm (link)

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