Three Hundred And Counting

Hundreds

I enjoy blogging for some weird reason, and I’m happy to report reaching a mile-marker along the journey: 300 followers!


More And Merrier

Let’s pretend none of my 300 followers are bots or foreign hackers – that’s a legit number! It’s over half-way to half a grand! Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but what if..? What if I could someday reach 1,000 followers? Why would that huge of a number be a worthy goal?

I’ll tell you why. It’s not because I would suddenly find fame and fortune. Nope, not that. It’s because I like writing and blogging my thoughts. I like sharing or conversing with folks online. I like authenticity. And if I have more readers, then I have more reasons to write even more! Having a huge audience would give me more incentive and encouragement to enjoy what I do – write/blog.

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

Friendly Folk

Let’s put 300 followers in perspective. One year ago, I hit 100 followers. So I gained 200 in the past 365 days. And this is where I’m coming from. I’ve never had that big of a number anywhere. My Twitter follower count is small, my Facebook friend list is less, and you name it: Instagram, Flickr, Google+ back in the day… I’ve never had a number even close to 300.

Don’t worry. It’s not making my head swell. I figure half are bots and many are likely mercy follows or follow-for-a-follow types. Whatever. Also, I know that quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have a few close buddies online than a million ambiguous whoevers.

In my blogging time, I’ve met a few very friendly folks and connected on some level more than superficial. I value their time, attention, and dialogue. A good discussion with one person is greater than 100 follow-backs. Comments are nice!

So…raise a glass…here’s to more. More blogging, more followers. And greater friends.


Have a milestone you’d like to share? Don’t hold back! Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Finding Gems On The Open Web

As one who likes to blog, I try to embrace and promote the “Open Web” or the “Indie Web.” So when I bump into these ideas online, it’s encouraging. In the past week I found two little gems with Open Web vibes.


The first is by Brad Frost over at his own blog. I liked this little nugget a lot:

Writing on your own website associates your thoughts and ideas with you as a person. Having a distinct website design helps strengthen that association. Writing for another publication you get a little circular avatar at the beginning of the post and a brief bio at the end of the post, and that’s about it. People will remember the publication, but probably not your name. – Brad Frost

He talks about someone remembering him and his thoughts because of where they were found: on his own distinct blog. In contrast, when you post your thoughts on someone else’s site, like Medium, Twitter, or Facebook, your ideas are more often and easily lost or disassociated from you. Why? Simply because the other site you’re piggy-backing on makes you look the same as everyone else.

Brad Frost nailed this idea down well; it’s one I tried to articulate last year:

Before the internet became sophisticated and commercialized, bloggers had their own simple sites that linked to other blogs and interesting places on the web–blogrolls! And their blogs each had a unique look and vibe to them, like hand-crafted quality stuff. An individual blog reflected a person’s uniqueness; it made the web adventurous and even serendipitous!

book computer design development
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The second gem is from none other than Automattic, which I found at WP Tavern:

“A Meditation on the Open Web”

It’s a video illustrating the difference between WordPress (the Open Web) and Facebook plus Instagram (closed web). If you’ve ever used the Calm app, then you’ll recognize the inspiration of the video’s meditation.

In the video, “closed” websites are like crowded cities or cookie-cutter suburbs. But the Open Web is like the wide open countryside from coast to coast, interconnecting many types of sites. The illustration is apt, although there will always be debates about the pros and cons of the “closed” versus “open” web.


Are you an advocate for the Open Web? Do you balance using a blogging platform and social media sites? Comment below or write to me; I like hearing from you!

Humble Blogging Milestone

In this last week of February, I reached a small but welcome marker along the path of blogging. I now have over 100 followers! The good news is less about being in the triple digit club and more about progress in general.

Blogging takes time and dedication. It’s not so easy to publish quality posts on a regular basis. But consistent determination can pay off with growth. Time and effort invested in writing and interacting with other bloggers helps build up the blogging community. And Im thankful to be a part of that.

I appreciate being able to share my thoughts in the blogosphere and getting to respond to comments from others. I enjoy the opportunities to practice writing. And it’s cool to discover people with things in common by reading others’ blogs.

Thank you to my readers, visitors, and followers, for allowing me to take a few minutes of your valuable time and attention.

I hope what I write benefits you in some way. Maybe you get entertainment or encouragement from it. Or maybe you learn from my mistakes what not to do! Sometimes it’s just nice to find someone else who is going through the same thing as you, reminding you that you’re not the only one.

Now that I think about it, let me also thank WordPress and the Happiness Engineers; they’re great! Every time I have a question, they respond very fast and laser into what I need, fixing anything without a fuss. They truly keep bloggers happy!

-Jason

The Web Itself Is The Social Network

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media versus the blogosphere. To help distinguish them, the term social network is synonymous with social media, whereas I refer to the blogosphere as ‘online networking’. But today I discovered something that clarifies and simplifies this latter term.

Online networking is simply…the internet! I kind of knew that already, but I didn’t know how to articulate it in a way that helped distinguish it from social media, you know, the walled-gardens and silos that seemed to evolve from blogging.

The discovery I made today is called micro.blog, which led me to the site inessential by Brent Simmons. There, I found a statement that shed more light on the subject:


Micro.blog is not an alternative silo: instead, it’s what you build when you believe that the web itself is the great social network.

Brent Simmons – inessential.com

The web itself is the great social network. This is music to my ears! Or poetry. You get what I’m saying.


In a discussion about the latest Facebook privacy scandal and the ills of social media in general, I heard someone mention micro.blog as an alternative to Twitter. I like Twitter, and I like new tech things. So I had to check it out. That’s when I found the distinction above: micro.blog is not an alternative silo.

Earlier today, I published a blog post about Walt Mossberg quitting Facebook. In it, I wondered what new social paradigm might replace social media as we know it.

On top of that, in a post I wrote last week, I suggested that the blogosphere, or at least the best parts of it, could be the best alternative to social media, perhaps in an updated form.

At first glance, micro.blog seems to be an incredible fit to all of this.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It sort of encapsulates a way to have independent blogs (a bit of the past from the blogosphere) and a common “stream” or “feed” where everyone’s blog posts can appear (a bit of the present from social media) for a modern combo of online networking.

Like the best of both worlds, maybe micro.blog takes the positive benefits of blogging and Facebooking, leaves out the bad parts, and refines them into a bit of the future alternative we may all need online.

This is all my first impressions and some speculation I guess. But it’s intriguing. And worth looking into. I mean, does this not sound pretty awesome?


Instead of yet another social network, Micro.blog is designed to work with the open web. It’s built on RSS and independent microblogs. It’s about pulling together short posts and making them more useful and easier to interact with. It prioritizes both a safe community of microblogs as well as the freedom to post to your own site.

Manton Reece

After 2018’s social media problems, maybe 2019 is the time to move on from things like Facebook once and for all.

Any thoughts? Comment below. Thanks for reading.

Online Networking’s Future In The Past

Social media was supposed to be awesome. Until it wasn’t.

In another recent act of backlash against social media, Glenn Reynolds (a.k.a. Instapundit, Blogfather) deleted his Twitter account and published the story online. (I credit Cal Newport for the link to the USA Today op-ed.)

I like what Reynolds had to say in general about blogging. But I also like Twitter. So allow me to blog about it (and publish this post link in a Tweet – a bit of irony?).

Walled garden vs wild landscape

Reynolds wrote:

“The ‘walled garden’ character they [social media] create is the antithesis of the traditional Internet philosophy of openness.”

Glenn Reynolds

Agreed. I tried to explain that earlier this year in Celebrating The Blog. Instead of ‘open,’ I called blogs ‘independent.’

Unaggregated personal blogs were the nexus of online networking before social media arrived. The early web and blogosphere was like a wild landscape of opportunity, but it didn’t attract everyone like the wall-garden of social media.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I think it’s safe to say that more and more people these days are pointing out that there are a lot of weeds inside the garden, choking out any of the benefits. No wonder they’re climbing out in search of greener pastures. Will those pastures be a return to the blogosphere, or is there something else on the horizon?

Click the link and interact

Reynolds:

“To read content on blogs, readers had to go there. To interact, bloggers had to read each other’s sites and decide to post a response, generally with a link back to the post they were replying to.”

Glenn Reynolds

I’m quite fond of these blogging basics and their simplicity. In the web’s nascent days, it was all about hyperlinks; they were everywhere. It’s how connecting, networking, and interaction happened before everyone mindlessly scrolled a social feed or stream.

This response I’m typing starts with a link back to Reynold’s article. It’s not just for citation reference; it’s so you can click and go read Reynold’s op-ed and understand the context of what I’m communicating here.


The blogosphere is about links. Social media is about likes.


Now that social media has consumed the masses, people don’t click links so much anymore, I guess. We scroll feeds. We click ‘likes.’

I revolted against Facebook, deleting my account more than once. I also deleted Twitter once. But I always return.

To me, there are still enough positive benefits in using social media. But I am aware of the negative stuff, so I keep my usage in check (moderation is key). And I also get why people are burned out on social sites like Twitter, which has been called it a vitriolic dumpster fire. (But how do people really feel?)

Back to the blog

This isn’t a call for banning Twitter. But it is a suggestion that maybe our time is better spent elsewhere.

Glenn Reynolds

Having deleted his Twitter account and praised the benefits of the blogosphere, Reynolds seems to suggest that’s where our online time may be best spent; that sounds good to me.

Before I started Jason Journals, I seriously debated between committing to Blogger or WordPress as my blog platform. I still love Blogger, but WordPress won me over.


individual blogs reflect individual persons


One feature of WordPress is the Reader. It aggregates individual blogs or topics you follow into a stream with ‘like’ and ‘comment’ buttons. It’s convenient and useful, but I’ve considered giving it up. Instead, I may only visit individual blog sites – like old times!

What I like about this idea is the draw of unique blogs. I described this on Celebrating The Blog. Basically, individual blogs reflect individual persons. But social media strips everyone’s personality. 

I love Reynolds’ ending:

Since I got off Twitter, I’ve filled the downtime I used to fill with tweeting by going what I did pre-Twitter, reading novels on the Kindle app on my phone. It’s better, and I’m happier.

Glenn Reynolds

Likewise, besides blogging, I love reading on my Kindle. In fact, I have a blog post in draft about it; that’s for a future post.