Developer Manton Reece is on a mission to take back short form content for the open web by providing better tools for independent microblogging. Most short form content today is posted through centralized social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where posts are mixed with promoted content and users have no control of their…

via WordPress Tavern

I spotted this in my reader today, and I decided to add a quick note. This is not the first such service I’ve seen ( still exists, after all), but it’s always worth checking out when another contender comes along to give the existing incumbents reason to sit up in their chairs. We’ll see how this shakes out once the service rolls out. What do you think? Will you try I’ll reserve my handle, of course.

Kickstarter for

Today’s assignment is a bit more behind-the-scenes than the earlier ones, but it could be interesting.

I sort of rebooted this blog decently well this past November, with Blogging 101, but the assignment today is something I should now be able to start on, and it’s the ever-so-exciting task of analyzing how it’s doing, and what’s working, and what’s not, or at least, that’s my interpretation of the assignment.

Stats from before November had very few human visitors and even then, a quick peek based upon a Google search (for, among things, “guild tabard”).

More interesting is how things went in November. A decent analysis to get an idea of how slow my blog was most of 2014, generated by Jetpack. You can take a look at it here:

Jetpack Annual Report for

I’m sure I have too many categories for most of them to be useful, and the same is true for my tags, so I’m removing many of them. My tag cloud is more useful now, I hope.

Yeah, there’s a few clear winners for tags…
Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 9.25.09 PM
This feels less scattered somehow.


I spotted some mistakenly created tags as well as some broken posts that still are based on an older address for this blog, so this process is already worth the time spent. I’m not “done”, as this is an ongoing process, but I have a better idea how I’m going to keep tags and categories somewhat manageable. I’ll be a bit less liberal with tags and less likely to create one if it’ll be used rarely on the site.

Today was some work, alright, but I think it’ll pay off in a less random structuring of content. We’ll see.

This post is part of a workshop I’m participating in, and is my response to the day #5 assignment, over at the Desk community site.

10 Days to a Better Blog — Day #5


I’ll be honest, I haven’t put much thought into where I want to primarily sit down and write at, so I often wind up writing where I have spare time and a computer. Since I’m mostly* a Mac user, the app Desk is usually at hand, but the most recent WordPress update has done well allowing distraction-free writing, if I’m not sitting in front of one of my Macs. I do want to improve this, since sometimes I still allow myself some distractions (too many!)

Ideally, the place and environment I’d want to go with is a place with a comfortable seating environment, room to deploy my writing machine, and music (via headphones, if needed) is really the “essentials” for me.

I’m going to try a few places that are available to me as I go through the current challenge. Having a MacBook Pro handy should help with that. First, I think I’ll try a few areas around the homestead. Then I’ll take a look at some remote locations, including a few break areas around the office. This post is just the start.


via 10 Days to a Better Blog — Day #3 – Writing – Desk Community.


*I do own a non-Mac laptop for gaming mostly and also since it’s good to experience a different OS, first-hand.

I’ve been prompted to collect my thoughts on expressing my reasons for blogging. I should more accurately state that these are my reasons as well for blogging more often. Hopefully, this is the blogging push that keeps the train on the tracks. So, here’s a rough list of reasons I came up with and it’s subject to change after future review, your mileage may vary, batteries not included, etc.

  • I have these thoughts sometimes, but there’s no audience ready to avail,
  • Some things I’d possibly like to remember, or pass on to another, at some future date,
  • Social networking

I think those reasons are a good start (back) up blogging.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

– Douglas Adams

I’m participating in an online blogging workshop and this post is day 2. More great posts are available over at the Desk Community.

It’s time for some free writing. I used to dread these exercises in high-school composition. The main reason being that I was always afraid that the thoughts wouldn’t flow for the entire time set and I’d feel a bit foolish when I had it evaluated by my peers. Yes, peer review is a scary thing at any age!

So, I sat down, set a timer, and just started typing. I think it might be easier to handwrite, but that’s only because my handwriting speed has suffered over the years due to less usage. I really ought to look into more practice there as well. Speaking of hand-writing, I want to pick up a fountain pen again. those actually felt pretty good to write with. Despite my analytical nature, advanced writing classes were a thing for me during the grade school years.

Another thought I had is a bit work-related, and it’s a bit of a view on how technical support should be very useful. I think it’s better being a “guide” for the person seeking help, and not simply taking over and doing some arcane task. It’s a fine line between being a teacher and a friend, looking over the person’s virtual “shoulder”, especially when you can’t be physically present to see what the person you’re helping is struggling with. Sometimes, frustration could be avoided by keeping in mind that role.

I sometimes see signs of a gradual change, sometimes irreversibly, into jaded, minimal help, with less human touches in a response, and more links to documentation. I try encourage bing sparing in giving links unless needed, and only as the “for more information” part of my response, following an explanation or step-by-step instructions, in my own words, if needed.

Well, that’s it, the timer is going off in a few seconds and I’ll be hitting publish soon after. That wasn’t as bad as I remember it.

Go for a 10-minute free-write: have no mercy on your keyboard as you give us your most unfiltered self (feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

via Ready, Set, Done | The Daily Post.

The past 30 days has gone pretty quickly, I must admit. In between work and extracurricular time, I’ve been participating in Blogging 101. At first I had intended to take part to simply motivate myself to post more often. I think, however, that it kind of did a bit more. It got the gears turning, and I now, at the end, just created a bit of an editorial calendar of things I’d like to work on through the end of the year (30 more days).

The first is to post a bit more activity from one of my other fun activities, Saberguild. Also on the calendar is a game review, which is a bit scary because I’ve never written a lot about how I feel about any particular thing and I used to hate book reports in grade school, so this’ll be interesting. Last, but not least, I might try a few challenges, starting with the weekly photo posting challenge, the One Word Photo Challenge.I want to take, and post more photos as well, so I’m challenging myself to do that more. Having a goal is helpful and sometimes tricky. I mainly wanted to achieve something, though.

All this should hopefully lead into the next phase of learning and growing in the new year. Here’s to a fun month had, and to come!


Dear Anime,

Thanks for being such a fun form of entertainment, anime. It’s because of you that I can’t sometimes find some pretty unusual stories and even situations that would be highly unlikely to occur in real life. Even when you get a bit heavy on the fan-service, you still manage to have some grain of pretty unique situations. I also like your associated art forms, such as Manga and the cosplay that inevitably arises. Continue reading

Stipula fountain pen

I love it when a blog post not only exactly what it’s title says, but also when the entirety of the information you want to both retain and share at the same time.

pen and paper

If you want a handy list of a few good tips on writing, this will probably be the post to bookmark or add to your favorite clipping service, by Belle Beth Cooper, on :

6 of The Best Pieces of Advice From Successful Writers.

This post’s hit the points well. I’ve seen all the advice noted here scattered around and repeated by quite a few great, prolific bloggers. There’s even an infographic not only referenced, but included inline.

I think 1 through 4 are the ones I need to focus on for myself, but maybe all of them in the long run. Right before I wrapped this post up, I found a post I had saved a while back, by Maria Popova related to writing.

Mary Gordon on the Joy of Notebooks and Writing by Hand as a Creative Catalyst

I’m not sure I’m sold on the “handwriting as the way to start writing” concept, but I might try it to at least keep my writing muscles in good shape. Importantly, there’s quite a few links to even more fairly well-known authors at the end of her article.

The list might not be complete (this I’m fairly certain of). Leave any missing or similarly useful tips in the comments or even write a post of your own.

Photo by Rick Payette on flickr