Back in April I wrote how my blogging had changed since I reduced my Facebook activity last fall. I needed to create more space again to think and write, and FB was eroding my capacity to do so. Since my break with FB I wrote more than since a long time, and the average weekly activity was higher than ever in the past 16 years. In april I wondered how that would keep up in the second quarter of this year so here are the numbers of the first half of 2018.

First, the number of postings was 203 this first half of 2018, or an average of 7 to 8 per week. Both as total number and as weekly average this is more than I have ever blogged since 2002 on even a yearly basis. (see the graphs in my previous posting Back to the Blog, the Numbers).

Mid April I added a stream of micro-postings to this blog, and that helps explain part of the large jump in number of postings in the first graph below. What microblogging helps do however is get the small bits, references and random thoughts out of my head, leaving more space to write posts with more content. I’ve written 84 ‘proper’ blog posts the last 6 months, of which 50 since adding the microblog mid April, so it has pushed up all my writing.


Blogposts 2018 per month. It shows July as week 26 ends July 1st, which had 2 postings


Blogposts 2018 per week, the micro blog started week 15

Let’s look at how that compares to previous months and years.


Number of posts per month since 2016. Leaving FB in October 2017 started a strong uptick.

I feel I have found back a writing rhythm. So tracking the number of postings moving forward is likely mostly of interest in terms of ‘proper’ postings and the topics covered, and less to see if I blog at all. My steps away from FB have paid off, and reconfiguring my information strategies for more quality is the next phase.

9 reactions on “Back to the Blog, 2018 H1

  1. Thanks for sharing, Ton. Do I get it right that now you have three main groups of posts – “Home”, “Day to day” and “Micro”, with the first one being bigger “thinking pieces” and the second – a sort of diary-like? And weblog RSS containing all of them? Does this distinction work for you? Do you stream anything of these three groups to any of your other social media accounts? How do you feel about (lack of) visibility that they might have – is there any impact on your writing that you are not happy about?

    (Back from Russia and puzzling with my own weblog/FB/homeschooling tracking/kids portfolio combination that we would like to have up and running by the end of the summer).

    • Yes, that’s right Lilia, three groups, main, day to day, and micro. The main group is more work and professional interest related, Day to day more the non-work related stuff that catches my eye, or the navel gazing like this posting about how much I blog or read. Can also be a photo, a quote, or a ‘diary entry’. Micro is more tweet like. The last one is syndicated to Micro.blog/ton where others can respond. The RSS feed is a full feed of everything for now, but there are separate ones too (WP makes category feeds automatically, and the distinction between the three groups is made with categories.)

      Not fully happy with this division yet though. It works well enough, but the difference between day-to-day and micro seems a bit artificial. And because only the micro stuff gets syndicated, my ‘main’ postings don’t get the opportunity to draw attention there. So today I posted something on my microfeed about something on my main page. That feels contrived. I may also still want to add a category for bookmarks and other microformats. But not sure yet how.

      I don’t post yet from the blog to Diaspora, Twitter or Facebook, other than by hand every now and then. The functionality is supposedly there to do it automatically, but it doesn’t work properly (some of my plugins are clashing it seems). Need to look into that still.

  2. Dave wants his old blog back he wrote last year and referenced today in his rss feed, which I totally get.
    ….I want my old blog back. I liked the freedom. My ideas flowed better.

    You know some of blogging is about writing for other people, but I also write to organize my thinking. Scattering things all over the place makes me disorganized. I want it help me focus, to factor my thinking.
    This exactly is what made me ditch FB last fall. It worked, and sharply increased my writing, sharing and curiosity.
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  3. For a few months I used an additional category ‘microblog’ to share small status updates on this blog, next to having ‘front page’ blog posts and ‘Day to day’ timeline like postings. Those microblog postings were als shared to micro.blog/ton The separation felt a little contrived, as I mention in a comment discussing it.
    So I decided to undo the separation between Day to Day and Micro. Already a few weeks ago I changed my micro.blog/ton to use the full RSS-feed of this blog, not just the feed for the micro category. Today I also went in to the database behind this WordPress blog, and moved all the 100+ postings in the microblog category to the day-to-day category. I first searched for the correct numbers of both the day-to-day and micro categories in the table wp_terms column term_id. Then I changed all the posts having the micro category to the day-to-day one.
    The single mysql statement I used for this isUPDATE `wp_term_relationships` SET `term_taxonomy_id`= numberfordaytoday WHERE `term_taxonomy_id`= numberformicro;
    I bumped into a few postings that already had both categories. Through the phpmyadmin back-end I simply deleted the microblog category for those postings.
    With this done, I then removed the reference to Micro in the main menu, and deleted the category in the WordPress dashboard. So now there’s just 2 types of postings on this blog, the ones presented on the front page which are more professional interest related, and the ones in the Day to Day timeline which are about more personal things, or small observations etc. Within the Day to Day postings I can choose to use a standard or status-update style posting type, which adequately reflects how I originally intended to use the microblog category. The RSS-feed contains all postings as before, it is just a distinction to influence the way content is presented to website visitors.

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  4. Replied to Checking in on my social media fast by Ben Werdmüller

    Three weeks ago, I decided to go dark on social media. … It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
    I thought I’d check in with a quick breakdown: what worked, and what didn’t. Here we go.

    Wh…

    I recognise what Ben Werdmüller says. About the withdrawal creating space to both read more long form, and to write more myself. Also the replacement dopamine cravings, by looking up your blog’s statistics when the Facebook likes fall away, I had. Indeed as Ben suggests, I also removed the statistics from my website (by disabling JetPack, I never used Google Analytics anyway). Different from him, I never stopped using Twitter or LinkedIn, just cut back Facebook which I felt was the real time sink (also as Twitter nor LinkedIn were on my phone to begin with, and because I use Twitter very differently from how I used Facebook.) Going completely ‘dark’ on social media is also about privilege I feel, so the crux is how conscious are we of our information strategies? How the tools we use support those information strategies or not, and most importantly in the case of social media as a time sink: in how much it’s the tools that shape our info diet, instead of the other way around.

  5. It’s the end of December, and we’re about to enjoy the company of dear friends to bring in the new year. This means it is time for my annual year in review posting, the ‘Tadaa!’ list.
    Eight years ago I started writing end-of-year blogposts listing the things that happened that year that gave me a feeling of accomplishment, that make me say ‘Tadaa!’. (See the 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 editions). I am always moving forwards to the next thing as soon as something is finished, and that often means I forget to celebrate or even acknowledge things during the year. Sometimes I forget things completely. Although I have worked on improving that sense of awareness over the past few years, it remains a good way to reflect on the past 12 months. So, here’s this year’s Tadaa!-list:

    The Smart Stuff That Matters unconference and bbq party in honour of Elmine’s 40th birthday was an awesome event bringing together so many great people from our various contexts. Thank you to all who were there, from right next door to halfway across the globe, and so many different places in between. It is a great privilege you came together in our home. So much fun having you all at STM18! Of course we had the mythical German sausages again….Peter made a sketch of our house, sitting in the garden

    Being witness and officiating at our dear friends’ Klaas and Amarens wedding in Tuscany.
    Dinner al fresco / Thirty years of friendship (images by Elmine)

    Presenting Networked Agency during a keynote at State of the Net in Trieste. A great opportunity to create a better narrative to explain Networked Agency, and present it to a much wider audience. Also great to see Paolo and Monica, as well as many others again. Our friend Paolo opening State of the Net, enjoying the beautiful city of Trieste

    Working in Serbia, Italy, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium.
    Creating a measurement framework for open data impact, that allows for different levels of maturity, embraces complexity, and aims to prevent gaming of measurements.
    Getting tremendous feedback by the funder of a client project last year, that it was the most exciting thing they funded.
    Getting asked back by multiple clients
    Joining the board of Open Nederland, the Dutch Creative Commons chapter as treasurer
    Joining the board of Open State Foundation, the leading Dutch advocate for open government, as its chairman, after having been one of the initiators of the very first event in 2008, that later turned into this great organisation
    Taking the time to just hang out with other geeks at IndieWebCamp in Nürnberg

    I spent every Friday at home to be with our daughter. A joy to watch her develop.

    Giving the opening key-note at FOSS4GNL. I especially enjoyed writing the narrative for it, which ties local data governance to geopolitics and ethics. the Dutch open source geo community, and during the keynote (images Steven Ottens)

    Got to be there for friends, and friends got to be there for me. Thank you.
    Sponsoring the Open Knowledge Belgium conference with my company The Green Land, and participating in the conference with our entire team, and providing two sessions.

    Finding my voice back in blogging. I’ve written more blogposts this year than the preceding eleven combined, and as much as the first 5 years of busiest blogging combined. As a result I’ve also written much more in-depth material than any other year since I started in 2002. This has created more space for reflection and exploration, useful to shape my ideas and direction in my work. It was inspiring to renew the distributed conversations with other bloggers. As a result I am revisiting much of my writing about information strategies and the workings of human digital networks.
    Working with a client to further detail and document both Networked Agency and the ‘impact through connection’ project we based on it.
    Making day trips with Elmine and (not always) Y, e.g. to BredaPhoto, Eddo Hartmann and Fries Museum. Making good use of our more central location.
    Started to make better use of the various spaces our house offers, like the garden, the attic studio, and my own room. Room for improvement in the next year though.
    Avoiding feeling hurried, while keeping up the level of results.
    All in all it was a rather unhurried year, with more time for reflection about next and future steps. I worked 1728 hours, which averages out to about 36,5 per week worked. This is not yet getting closer to the 4 day work weeks I actually have, compared to last year, but at least stable.
    I’ve read 69 books, at a steady pace. All fiction, except for a handful. I’m looking to create the space to start reading more non-fiction. That likely requires a separate approach.
    Elmine gave me an amazing sculpture for my birthday, called “Strange Bird Totem”. The artist Jacqueline Schäfer’s work is described as “showing a positive vibe for life in a complex modern society“. That sort of feels like a great motto for the next year. Ever onwards!

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