(Late) Happy Thanksgiving

So yeah, not much activity here lately. I've experienced a pretty awful bout of blogger's block. It just has felt to me lately that I don't have much to say - at least not enough to write a whole blog post. And it's not just blogging: even in conversations and tweets I've been inarticulate and disengaged. There is a subconscious cycle of inspiration, I believe, and one of the things I like about blogging is that the platform is there for me when I need it. Were blogging ever to become some sort of duty it would quickly lose its appeal.

All the same, the blog is something that I recognize is more than just my personal project. So while I apologize to my handful of regular readers that I've been absent, I find it really liberating that I can tune in and drop out from the ongoing conversation at my leisure. I'm convinced that in order to contribute to this ongoing conversation I need to be more careful about how I allocate my attention on the web.

That means, for instance, not getting bogged down in unproductive / excessively emotional online conversations. I'm not swearing off Yahoo! Groups and forums, but I think I need to better regulate how my attention is spent online. If a debate on a forum is important enough to pursue with the kind of doggedness I sometimes do, it's important enough to at least warrant a post on my blog. And often, doing so really crystalizes my argument - or makes plain its sloppiness.

While blog posts have been light, I've been really busy on twitter and del.icio.us. Both of these services have proven to be as important to my online experience as blogging. Therefore, my top priority is to bring tweets and bookmarks out of the sidebar and into the main flow of blogposts. I'll be experimenting with that shortly, so don't be alarmed. The key thing to workout is how to strike a balance between the flood of short messages on those services and the importance of the more thoroughly composed content on the blog. But I've come to the conclusion that having them in the sidebar just de-emphasizes the importance of these kinds of posts and artificially separates them from my blogging in a way that doesn't really reflect how I use them.

Personal life has been pretty bland. Saw Mates of State with Tasha and Matt a few weeks ago. Thanksgiving was great - Wednesday with Tasha's family, Thursday with mine, and Friday to recuperate. Still contracting, although I've moved on to a different client as my main gig. I'm not doing ruby full time, but I still have some side gigs going that engage my dynamic language side. I've had some other opportunities come my way, but to be honest the economic climate is a little scary and unless I get a really good feeling about a gig I'm sticking with my current arrangements for income.

I participated in the end the fed festivities around the country and made a great sign. The RLLA has produced some new pamphlets, and I even ran some up to Red Emma's when I was there the other weekend. I'm also hot and heavy into getting the software that will drive leftlibertarian.org written. The Radical Richmond project I'm doing with some area anarchists may also leverage this software - hell, part of me wants to find a way to completely segregate content from presentation engines and have my blog be an "aggregator" of my online activities.

The syndication engine for the software project, tentatively entitled "Aggropolis", is basically done; I just have to add on the parts that will improve upon other aggregators (rating and tagging by the community, and making sure I can squash bad formatting in the feed input). Over the long term, I want to have it so that the community can post directly to it and use it to power their own blogs. I'd even like to reach my old dream of levelling the field between the blogger and the commenter through a couple of ideas I've had recently (though I've isolated these old Threadspinner ideas into a new blog platform that is called "Forkable Type" right now).

As we exit the Thanksgiving holiday and enter the Christmas madness beyond, just wanted to give a shout out to anybody who still reads this thing. Hope you enjoy turkey day! By the way, if anybody wants onto my blogroll, let me know - it's been a hell of a long time since I've updated it. The last time I did, I was probably getting the majority of my traffic from Right Thinking Girl, ick.

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Written on Sunday, November 30, 2008