Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Ideas of March (a return to blogging)

Posted on 21 March 2011 8 comments

Article illustration for Ideas of March (a return to blogging)

Last week, my friend and colleague Chris Shiflett wrote a blog post called ‘Ideas of March’ and encouraged us — the once-prolific blogging community who have since turned to Twitter to share our opinions — to start blogging again, and I’m happy to say that I’ll be joining in.

Twitter is the primary reason that I blog less these days, but the silence on this site over the last three months in particular has been down to a conscious decision: I didn’t want to write a new post until the new version of the site was live. This, I thought, would spur me on to get it done quickly, but sadly that hasn’t been the case. Not for lack of trying — I did take the entirety of January off to work on the redesign — but a tonne of new client work and 8 Faces has set me back a little. If I’m being realistic, I won’t have time to work on the new site again for some time, and so here I am, facing the hard truth that I’ll need to live with this version for a little longer, and it’s silly to let the blog stagnate.

In his post, Chris asked all those taking part to express what we like about blogs, and his reasons — as well as those added in follow-up posts by other friends and colleagues of mine, such as Jon Tan, Cameron Koczon, and Drew McLellan — are all ones I agree with, so I won’t attempt to come up with any new ones here just for the sake of it. Instead, I propose a plan, inspired by this particular passage from Drew:

Whilst I really love Twitter, I do think it’s a shame that we now mainly get to hear people’s opinions, but without hearing the reasoning behind those opinions that you would normally find in a longer blog post. Not to mention that it’s far easier to tweet without an opinion, and I think the conversation is fundamentally weakened that way.

~ Drew McLellan

My plan is this: every time I tweet about something that warrants clarification or expansion, rather than composing follow-up tweets I will instead write a short blog post, and link to that.

Chris asked that all taking part in ‘Ideas of March’ show their support by doing the following:

  • Write a post called Ideas of March.
  • List some of the reasons you like blogs.
  • Pledge to blog more the rest of the month.
  • Share your thoughts on Twitter with the #ideasofmarch hashtag.

And I’d like to add my own plan to that list:

  • Expand the opinion and validation of your ‘important’ tweets with a short blog post.

So, who’s with me?

[Photo by me, taken on a walk around Publow last weekend.]

8 comments

  1. bristolcopywriter

    bristolcopywriter

    21 March 2011 @ 12:40PM #

    Blogs are ideal for thoughts with a bit of backbone.

    Blogs are also far better places to share photos (labelled, captioned, author’s comments, responses) than tweeting out a yfrog.

    And I far prefer blog comments to appended retweets.

    So I’m definitely with you.

  2. Chris Shiflett

    Chris Shiflett

    21 March 2011 @ 01:30PM #

    Happy to see you taking part. Looking forward to more #ideasofmarch posts. :-)

  3. Joe Leech

    Joe Leech

    21 March 2011 @ 01:59PM #

    A lot has been said about breadth of tweets so it’s nice to see thoughts on depth when it comes to a tweet. There are some great services for sharing pictures, videos and goodness knows what else. Great idea Elliott, let’s make blogs the place for those longer tweets (rather than the ludicrous Tweet-longer services).

    joe

  4. Deb

    Deb

    21 March 2011 @ 03:01PM #

    Also Jay know that you have made fans far & wide with your work, who are still subscribed to your blog in their feed readers & who eagerly wait & welcome an occasional blog post or two whenever you got time & have something to say :)

  5. Christopher Murphy

    Christopher Murphy

    21 March 2011 @ 04:24PM #

    Welcome aboard the good ship, Sir. Inspired by Chris, we’ve also been making a determined effort to write more and, importantly, write longer, more substantial pieces. It’s been an enjoyable week since Chris issued the call to arms, with lots of challenging writing and thinking to consume. Long may it continue.

  6. Syd Lawrence

    Syd Lawrence

    21 March 2011 @ 09:27PM #

    Hey Elliot, after reading this, I decided I had to do the same. It made me realise that this was one new year’s resolution I didn’t want to give up on :)
    http://sydl.me/dHsfm6

  7. Trent Walton

    Trent Walton

    25 March 2011 @ 04:22AM #

    I’m totally in. I love that this is happening. Too often, I make blog posts into research papers & probably need to chill a little bit.

  8. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    05 April 2011 @ 08:12AM #

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    @ Trent: You’re one of the few designers who has consistently pumped out great, beautiful, and regular posts. You’ve been putting the rest of us to shame for ages! ;)

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