Process Junk


I just corrected the misspelling of a writer's name in an earlier post, and doing so convinced me to republish the following from March — with the current date instead of the original (as I'm doing with most of my past disappearing posts).

I know I'm tempting fate by posting on Friday the 13th [Ha!], because the blog has already hit some snags recently. Anyone who subscribes to the RSS feed will have seen different versions of the past few days' posts in their mailbox. I've made the mistake of posting unfinished material on occasion to see how it looks, and a couple of times I just plain thought better about something.

Blogs are a funny mix of the ephemeral and the permanent, because while the norm for an active blog is weekly if not daily material, often quick and dirty, the material is still there whether you're 1,000 posts further down the road or have abandoned the blog entirely.

I'm trying not to be too precious about what I post — especially since toying with past posts is seen by some in the "blogosphere" as counter to the culture at best and dishonest at worst — but I admit I'm unavoidably particular about what I write. This has always been the case, and my health issues make it much more frustrating to write substantively, let alone feel confident in a final polish. Polish is not necessarily expected in blogging (nor is Polish, depending on where you're from), and quick, casual, pithy reads are welcome, but I still have a hard time letting something go live without feeling like I grasped it all before hitting publish.

The gorillas-in-comics post that I finally put up yesterday got longer and more unmanageable in the writing, not so much too lengthy in theory as too big for me to wrap up when my concentration flagged, compounded by connection problems. So I cut it at the point where it pivoted, and hopefully the rest of the material will go up today. With the short post about The Daily Show the opposite happened; I excerpted it from a general survey post on television into its own thing, and then decided to incorporate previous, "think-piece" material that I'd been working on, but promptly decided that that was a bad idea and cut it back down to size to focus on this week's Cramer-vs.-Stewart feud.

I promise to explicitly note changes that go beyond fixing egregious typos if they occur more than ten minutes or so after originally posting; even if nobody else cares, I'd rather not feel like I'm manipulating things, and besides the RSS feeds start looking embarrassingly dithery. Favorite blogs of mine run the gamut from those that offer mostly quick, pithy news or humor items and those that serve up lengthier reviews or commentary; I'm curious what you who are reading this think, whether you're checking this out on a lark or as a friend or whether you're an inveterate blog-reader or fellow blog-writer. I'll hopefully have a sort of Blogging 101 post up soon, too, for those of you who needed the link to Wikipedia above for an explanation of RSS. I'm still pretty new at this myself, but it's great exercise for the writing and publishing muscles, and for reuniting with folks who were old chatting-comics-on-the-computer acquaintances in days gone by.

The main reason why I've republished the above actually has less to do with the brief appearances of posts in rough form and more with the realization that whenever a post is emended — even to fix the typo of a single proper name and sometimes simply due to the addition of a label — my RSS feed marks it as updated on the date of emendation. Any substantive changes will consist of, or be explained in, bracketed or italicized remarks like this so that they're easy to spot, usually with the word "update" in bold; if you don't see such a thing then there's nothing new to read, although I sure as heck appreciate that you cared enough to look. The posts look much better in website view than via RSS feed anyway. 8^)

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