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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Why did I stop blogging?

Blogs seem to have fallen by the wayside for a lot of people over the last year or two. Instead everyone is making micro-posts every few hours using services like Twitter or Facebook, and that seems to have sucked the life out of blogs in general. In steps Project 52, whereby people pledge to update their blog once a week for the whole of 2010. I’ve joined up, and there are over 500 people on that list now. I will not succeed, not every week. But I plan to make a damned good stab at it.

Why did I stop blogging? Well, a couple of reasons. When I first started my blog nearly eight years ago it was simply a diary (or journal) - it was intended for myself and I put it online because it was a reason to learn PHP/MySQL and a reason to write a journal. Pretty quickly the purpose changed and I wrote so I could share thoughts and photographs with my friends when we’d been up to stuff together. That stopped being relevent with the rise of Facebook - which is where my friends share all of that sort of stuff now. Facebook makes my Journal redundant, so I largely stopped posting Journal entries.

I used to write a fair few technical entries about HTML, CSS, and accessiblity. I had a passion for it, I knew a lot about it because that was my job and I was at the cutting edge of the industry and technology. And yet over the last few years I’ve had to repeat my criticisms of the technology a dozen times, and I got incredibly disheartened and frustrated at the bullheadedness of the system, and the utter inability to effect change. Even being on the HTML Working Group was an exercise in pointlessness. And so after my last great push to consolidate and clarify my thoughts over a year ago, I gave up. That post is still my most read item, at over 26,600 hits. And the majority of the comments agreeing with a good number of my points. I was pleased, but it was the end of my efforts. I was at the end of my tether, and there was nothing new to learn or do in CSS/HTML, and the direction it was drunkenly staggering in as a set of specifications left me disheartened.

And lastly; It takes a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and a lot of research and revisions before you see a post. The payoff no longer warranted the effort, and I had other interests calling for my time where progress was more achievable and rewarding, not least my photography.

So why return?

Because micro-blogs are good for touching base and keeping up with events, but no use for detailed thoughts. Because HTML5 and CSS3 are making quick real-world progress at last, and so there are new things to learn, apply, and discuss. One of the best ways to learn is to build, and the other is to report on what you’ve built, discuss how and why you did what you did. And so I’m starting up again. I need to sharpen my skills - I know all about the shiny new CSS3 stuff because I’ve been using it as far as possible at work, but the HTML5 I know in theory only, not in practice. My jQuery is passable but I’m by no means skilled at it. Time to up my game. I hope you tag along.


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  1. Matthew posted 11 days, 21hrs, 24mins after the entry and said:

    Good to have you back, Matt

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