Tag: <span>CAPS</span>

Most of you probably know, by now, that my day job is writing software documentation. Actually it’s a hell of a lot more than that but that’s a discussion for another place, which nicely brings me round to my topic du jour.

I’ve been blogging for so long now that I easily slip between “work” writing mode and “blog” writing mode. One is conversational and prone to grammatical faux pas, the other is what I use when I’m blogging… These two writing modes are joined by a third mode, which is far more eloquent. Alas it doesn’t deign to hang around with the riff-raff too often and spends most of its time offline in various documents and files.

Over the years my “blog” writing mode has developed into what you see today. I’ve stol borrowed several style ideas from others, obv, but that DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PERSON (although I hope that content offers me some leeway). Thanks to anna (obv), heather (CAPS) and Lyle (italicised emphasis used for side thoughts), all of whom, I feel I should point out, trump me on content everytime. And no, I’m not being modest, and no I’m not hunting for platypus.. titudes..

Since starting my other blog, I am finding myself developing yet another writing style which is part way between “work” and “blog” modes and, whilst it’s still very much a work in progress I am enjoying the experience. I’ve mentioned before that it is a bit odd to be starting a new blog, from scratch, after all this time, and I am doing my utmost to remember all those things I wish someone had told me when I started out this esteemed tome that you are currently reading.

Am I allowed to call my own work esteemed? Probably not.

The evolution of a writing voice is best achieved by, you know, writing a lot. It doesn’t always have to be good (refer to my bulging archives for evidence) but the more you do it, the better it gets. Of course the audience plays a part as well, pitching your content correctly isn’t always easy, but some educated guesses will get you pretty far, certainly far enough for most hobbyist bloggers.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. THIS blog is a hobby, THAT OTHER blog isn’t. Not really. It’s self-promotion, it’s open to my peers and so the content comes under more detailed (or at least more consistently detailed) scrutiny. I’ll quite happily concede that I’m using it as a way to find my professional voice with the aim of writing an article or two for publication. It goes hand-in-hand with the reasons behind the move to the “oneman” brand, and with the upcoming re-design of said websites. It may even become part of an MA in future years, but that’s a fairly big decision which can wait for now.

As for the other kind of writing, the more eloquent prose that occasionally spring on you, that will continue to burble away in the background. I do enjoy writing it, and whilst I don’t find it particularly hard, it usually gets a couple of edits before it gets published. Alas it’s wholly dependant on my mood, time available and ultimately it’s not something I can sustain for more than the length of a blogpost.

In other words, no, I am not writing a book.

Yet.

Written several weeks ago, thought I’d just post it and get it out of the way.

Yes, I’ve done it again, killed my “brand look” and gone for something different. However there is a good reason behind this… no, honestly, there is!

First up I should maybe take a moment to explain one of the reasons behind the OLD design. Remember those, slightly too large post headings? ALL CAPS and very prominent on the page. Well the reason behind them was two-fold.

  • They marked the beginning of a new post – nothing I hate more than scrolling down a page and not being entirely sure where one post ends and another begins.
  • The main reason was that they were supposed to make me think about my posts, to consider what I was writing a little more than usual as there was no hiding place for a “silly wee post”.

A lot of my posts start out as one idea, one line, one thought. Others, the ones which are reporting on real life are a lot easier to write, but the “one idea” posts have always been something I enjoyed doing but too often I’d give up on them. Having such large obvious post headers was my way of trying to lend the posts some gravitas and, hopefully, influence my writing/thinking about posts.

And some people say design isn’t important! Sheesh.

On to the new design then, and one key change is the size of the miniblog. I swithered over this for a while but thought I’d at least give it a bash – the other option is to ditch it and have “link dump” posts every now and again in the main column – and see how it works.

The idea is that the main column, where you are reading at the moment, will hold the posts that I’ve given some consideration. The miniblog (on the left) will be slightly expanded as I often felt a little cramped when writing posts for it previously.

I don’t have a set rule but I wouldn’t expect the miniblog posts to be much longer than they are at the moment, and I don’t expect I’ll be posting the main column, “longer” pieces, as often. The key reason behind the latter decision were the posts I published whilst we were away on holiday in July. They were all written in advance, edited and re-worked and published with a gap of a day or two between them. Not sure about you but I certainly felt that they were some of my better posts, they certainly gathered some excellent comments.

To summarise – longer posts in the main column, shorter posts/links in the miniblog. Simple.

The rest of the design followed on from that decision. I didn’t want to lose the miniblog too far down the page, so shifted the navigation up to the top of the page, losing a few of the options on the way.

There are still a few things I’d like to do but the LOOK won’t change for a while.

Blogging Work

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