The new home for my personal weblog

I’m giving my personal weblog to a new domain (hypotyposis.net) and setting it to run with WordPress software rather than Movable Type. The new address is http://hypotyposis.net/blog I hope to redirect links aimed at the old weblog to the corresponding entry.

I moved my entries from MT to WP by using the export feature of MT and the import feature of WP. The translation wasn’t perfect; for instance, a lot of formatting was not done correctly. However, it’s good enough to move ahead with.

One thing that excites me about moving to WordPress (on dreamhost.com, where I’m hosting a bunch of my sites) is that I can easily keep up with the latest versions of WordPress through a one-click install and update process. In theory, I should be able to keep my software up-to-date; in practice, doing so was never high enough priority to go through the steps needed. A simple process makes all the difference. Keeping up with the latest software also enables me to enable commenting on my blogs without getting overrun by spammers. So far at least, I’ve been impressed with the ability of Akismet at blocking spam through its WP plugin.

Richard Hyde’s “In Search of a Sense of Place”

My friend Richard Hyde has started a weblog In Search of a Sense of Place.
I’ve always enjoyed reading the email reports he would send out and
encouraged him to share them with the larger public. Here’s a sample of
one of Richard’s entries from February 2, 2007:

    I had just walked out of the Holocaust Museum,
    where I was attending an academic conference on the great culture war
    between fascism and communism in Europe between the world wars. A
    couple of the morning presenters were pretty good, but the literary
    critics were front and center for the afternoon. After a paper full of
    words like ‘transgressive,’ ‘essentialist,’ ‘inversions,’ ‘subversive’
    and so on, and on, I had had enough. As I headed for the exit, I
    remembered the comment of someone who dropped out of Yale’s English
    Ph.D. Program: “It’s become the place where language goes to die.”

Writing big while writing small every day

I admire Lloyd and Chris for being able to add to their weblogs on (more or less) a daily basis. I have tried over the years to emulate their practice. I find it difficult to do so without spending way more time each day than I think is desirable. Recently, I have found really simple things to fill my daily writing quota. Even though I’ve not blogged every day, I have taken at least one picture a day since early January and posted my pictures to Flickr. It’s only natural for me to use a picture or set of pictures as a writing prompt for my blog. Two birds with one stone: I add commentary to my pictures in Flickr while also fulfilling my daily blogging goal.

Even though I get something up on my blog, I remain unsatisfied. I long to write more sustantive pieces than what I can just crank out on the spur of the moment. The solution that I’ve been pursuing is to work on larger scale pieces in the background while sustaining the daily writing habit. Easier said than done. I have been trying to make all the little pieces contribute to the writing of the larger pieces, instead of merely competing for time and attention.

To the end of writing articles akin to Chris Ashley’s essays, I have been accumulating a list of possible topics for blogging, looking for jigsaw pieces that start to fall together into larger patterns. I will resist the temptation to list those topics so I can give myself space to reconsider half-baked ideas.

Tomorrow, our local group of “Berkeley bloggers” meets for lunch. I’m looking forward to the fellowship and conversation that flow from being in the very same physical space as each other. Times like this remind me how I’ve not used my weblogs recently to participate in conversations. Conversing is difficult though, require patient listening/reading over time. I also find weblogging-as-conversation challenging because the way I write and read blogs are driven by speed, a need to get through the overwhelming torrent of materials.