19 May 2011

Radically Purposive Blogging

I have not been blogging much lately, and it really has not been for lack of time. After a dissertation-imposed hiatus, I'm ready to get back to it. But the only blogging that really holds my sustained attention is blogging my hobbies and interests, and I find a general personal blog like Lithium Press to be a very poor vehicle for that. Fweem's project blogs have inspired me to rethink all this.

And in fact, I have started two other blogs in the past, but never did anything with them. One was on music, but I posted once and abandoned it entirely for TLP. The other was on wristwatches, which I seriously blogged for a month and then forsook. I went through a bit of a horological obsession in 2008, and like most of my obsessions, it cooled and I moved on. I remind myself too much of John Laroche, of Susan Orlean's "Orchid Fever"/Kaufman's Adaptation:

    Laroche grew up in Miami. He says he was a weird kid. This is not hard to believe. When he wanted a pet, he bought a little turtle, then bought ten little turtles, then tried to breed them, then started selling turtles to other kids, then decided his life wasn't worth living unless he acquired one of every species of rare turtle, including a three-hundred-pound exotic tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. Suddenly, another passion seized him. He became immersed in late-Ice Age fossils. Then he dropped turtles and Ice Age fossils and became obsessed with lapidary, and then after a while he dropped lapidary and got into collecting and resilvering old mirrors. His passions boil up quickly and end abruptly, like tornadoes. Usually, the end is accompanied by a dramatic pronouncement. When he was in his teens, he went through a tropical-fish phase, and he had sixty fishtanks in his house. He even went skin-diving for the fish himself. Then the end came. He didn't merely lose interest in collecting fish: he renounced it, as if he had kicked a habit. He declared that he would stop collecting fish forever. He also declared that he would never set foot in the ocean again. That was fifteen years ago. He lives a few miles from the Atlantic, but he has not gone near it since.

This may drive the people around me a bit crazy, and it's not easy for me either. I'd be more than happy to find that One True Thing that captivates me endlessly and forever. But that's not how I'm wired. At least my interests are somewhat cyclic. I'll take that.

So, wristwatches. I'll save how I got started into horology for a post on Wrist Watcher. Definitely one of my more hot-and-cold interests. But just eight posts on that blog, in November of 2008, has drawn 482 page views. Most of those (almost 300) have come since February of this year. I have no explanation. I have half a mind to start blogging horology again, for a change of pace, and because finding some consistent readers might be nice for a change.

The fact is, I follow a number of good topical blogs that are mostly dormant, but when updated, are of really great quality and always interesting. Like Muse-ings, Ed's Corner, and even a commercial blog, Small House Style. I actually like that the post count for all three is low, but the quality is high. And the posts are always on the blog's designated topic. No filtering required.

I think Lithium Press needs to be either shuttered or repurposed, and one or more topical blogs need to grow in its place. Ed Brandwein of Ed's Corner has even just turned a big chunk of his blog into an ebook that I'm going buy. (Need it in pdf, Ed!) I want a piece of that action—a blog or two (or why not dozen?) that would make sense as a book. Radically purposive blogging.

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