Extending Entries

Pragmatically speaking

I tend to write things out. By this, I mean that through the act of writing I resolve issues and situate myself in relation to ideas which I tend to consume like most people consume food. My blog isn’t for everyone. I get downright obtuse as I twist myself like a pretzel around concepts. No, I don’t walk around all day with a pencil (or a keyboard) in my hand— instead, I tend to pace and rave until I think I’ve got it figured out enough to start writing.

Moving from Greymatter to Movable Type, I feel like a hick in the big city. It’s got a lot of potential I like, but I’m still a little homesick for the modular nature of GM templates where small changes would affect many pages rather than just one small family. It’s worth the price though, for the flexible category system and its integration into the larger stream of blog discourse. However, I find myself wanting to tweak the tool, not so much code-wise, but by setting up a certain kind of grammar for my postings rather than the free-form skating across thin ice like I used to do. Consequently, I set up a category for “Blog Pragmatics.” This will be used for posts relating directly to the navigation and philosophy behind this blog, not navel-gazing regarding blogging in general. I set up a more typically titled category for that, “Metablogging,” though I suspect there will be a certain amount of overlap between the two. Being able to assign multiple categories makes this easily possible. I love new tools— I’m a tool junkie.

One idea I’m stealing from AKMA is the Blog in Prog thing. Most people who use writing as a tool discover writing is a recursive process. Revision is not just something you do for pieces submitted for approval, but a thing that allows you to flesh out and expand any writing you may do. It’s more powerful than just hitting publish and forgetting about it. Publishing on the web is addictive though, and you want to get the rush as soon as possible rather than deferring your pleasure, so often things are pushed up on the screen in a relatively unpolished condition. I think this is a good thing— for web writing, anyhow. It gives a writing the immediacy of spoken discourse. But, what if you want to develop an idea? The best lines always occur to me right after I hit post.

Being a compulsive reviser, my posts generally get pruned and embellished for hours. Often, posts are built around things that I’m reading, which upon reflection, display new nuances. My old method of dealing with it was to compose another post. This makes things difficult to follow, for people who just surf in or people who don’t have the time to follow all of my verbal diarrhea. To try and ground my conceptual threads a little more firmly, I’m going to allow myself to edit past the 4-5 hour cut-off I constrained myself to— with stipulations. Posts which display the “in progress” image I’ve constructed may be revised up to seven days after the original post. This should help stay the wandering river effect, where I refer to the same book for weeks on end. To be more reader friendly, if I update it the following day or beyond, I will place an updated notice on it. This way, a reader will not be forced to chase my tail with me as the idea or reading develops, and it will be more easily accessible to me if I should want to review it in the future— I’ll be able to look at one post instead of several. If the rumination continues past seven days, then I will create a new post on the topic.

I don’t expect to do this often, and I really don’t expect everyone to be interested in the things I extend this way. Most of them will probably be academic in nature, and it will be a way of avoiding that sort of starched-blanched-bleak ocean of text that is often generated, particularly regarding linguistic issues. It should make the blog a bit more entertaining for those who don’t come here for deep thoughts.

No, it isn’t a misdirected ploy to encourage people to scroll down. It’s keeping my recursive side and my wandering side in play with minimal confusion. I figure that only a handful of people are interested in the heavy theory stuff, so if they want to keep up with where I’m going, the little bit of scrolling shouldn’t bother them.

3 thoughts on “Extending Entries”

  1. . . . i miss the blue . . . had the feeling of diving deep into the ocean of . . . the deeper i allowed myself to go the more visible & lighter it got . . there seemed to be a less defined space – more curves, more the sense of the visible darkness streaming/flowing/bathing . . . resisted a comment the first move day . . . waited but the longing remains (didn’t realize the strength of attachment) . . . oh well . . . i trust the processes of change . . . thanks for the space . . .

  2. Love the new look — very readable.
    Do MT’s template modules not give you the flexibility you want to propagate changes through multiple pages?

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