In January, fed up with what had become a pattern of procrastination and shallow thinking about new information, I made a grand commitment to blog every day for a 1000 days. This was meant to be symbolic of my challenges of thinking big but tripping over little things. The grand challenge serves as the direction but one so distant I have to focus on the little steps needed to get there.
So far, so good. Technically, I missed a day, but I posted twice the previous day, so I’m still on track for 1000 posts in 1000 days. Plus, I haven’t counted the few articles I wrote for Wired‘s GeekDad blog:
- Girls Benefit from Video Game Co-Playâ€”Researchers at BYU found evidence to support that playing video games are good for girls, when played with a parent.
- Five Year Mission: Boldly Singing Where No One Has Sung Beforeâ€”A fun interview with an Indianapolis band trying to create an original song for all 80 Star Trek episodes from the original series.
- Metropolis Reborn With Live Musicâ€”An account of my trip to see/hear IU musicians play a live score to the science fiction classic Metropolis in the restored IU Cinema.
For a while, the once-a-week pace is going to have to do. Eventually, I’d like to double or triple that output. Turning Snackr back on and setting up Twitter to stream to my desktop has been great for information flow. There is a lot of relevant Geek information that comes through those pipes that could become short pointer blogs, if not fodder for something bigger. Having survived several weeks of daily writing, though, I know I’m not ready to throttle up yet.
Before GeekDad gets more from me, I need to work SociaLens into the routine. My pal Christian Briggs has been carrying the load on content creation there, and I’d like to help. In addition to the geek content, Snackr also brings me a steady supply of relevant links to share about organizations and technology. One small but important step taken last month was when we hooked our diigo group into our Twitter account. One of my goals in March is to elevate one of those items into a blog post to get the writing train running on that track.
As for this blog, I have achieved the same eclectic production as I had a few years ago. Here are some of the topical highlights from a month of writing in February:
- Design Assignmentsâ€”One of my goals for an HCI design studio course I am teaching is to do the assignments I am giving to the students. I have tried to turn these into blog posts as a way of processing the content and sharing more detail about the information that went into the research or concept.
- Dissertationâ€”The biggest motivation for blogging was to help process and document my final evolution of a doctoral dissertation. The previous 18 months were so fraught with change and indecision, I felt I needed to be more committed to daily thinking on this important project. While I did manage to flesh out a number of thoughts on polarized political discourse, one big insight is that daily blogging isn’t going to magically produce my research by year’s end. I need to devote more time to this during the day, rather than waiting to think about things at 11p.
- Product Reviewsâ€”This used to be a staple for me a few years back. There is never a shortage of new websites and applications to examine and critique. I enjoy this exercise, but I’d prefer to limit this until my dissertation is fully developed. The best of both worlds are systems supporting discourse.
- Local Happeningsâ€”Since it is the season for basketball, a few posts focused on my Hoosiers. I also processed some thoughts on the Herald-Times paywall. The biggest local event for me, though, was the collapse of higher brain functions upon seeing Meg Ryan in person.
- Reflectionsâ€”Once in a while I will post something that is about me or my favorite things, but I rarely write about being a dad anymore. I’d like to revive the Papa Journal, just to continue to have some record of what my kids were like before they grow up.
My biggest challenge for March will likely be when my routine drastically change for a week during Spring Break. I want to have my initial dissertation research proposal submitted by then.
An overlooked part of the process of blogging is reflection. Each month, I try to look back at the artifacts I have created and look for patterns or insights.