Today marks the most significant change in this little blog since I first set up shop here a little over three years ago. Some of the changes are cosmetic or technological: I've switched over to Typepad (fingers crossed that their recent troubles are behind them), cleaned up the design a little, polished the biographical material, and so on. I'm still tinkering, but this is the basic look. As you can see I continued the tradition of having a beach picture on the front door, for some totally arbitrary reason. But at least in this one I'm looking at the camera.
More important changes are on their way, though. As many long-time visitors know, my posting rate has been slowly, but reliably, declining since I started this thing, with occasional bursts of energy usually following the release of a new book. (What can I say? I can't help reviewing the reviewers.) That decline is a normal fact of life for those of us who don't blog for a living, but I think it has been accentuated by my primary posting genre: the mini-essay, somewhere between 200-600 words, with some kind of coherent argument, not always fully-baked, of course, but usually in the oven.
Don't get me wrong -- I love that genre, and I plan to continue to post in that mode at the (erratic) rate that I have up to now. It fills an essential hole in my writing and thinking life: a way to tinker with emerging ideas in public, try things on for size. But it takes time, and emotional investment, not to mention a reliable supply of interesting ideas. So I'm going to try to add another category of posting, inspired largely by Kottke's links with one-sentence commentary and by the new Flock browser's quote-and-post tool. (More about Flock in the coming weeks.)
The idea is to create more of a bridge between the way I use the blog and the way I use Devonthink, the research tool I wrote about in a Times Book Review piece earlier this year. So there should be more brief, untitled quotes -- from web pages and from books I'm reading -- with a line or two of context from me. I'm hoping that will make for a mutually beneficial situation: I'll be better about grabbing and commenting on snippets for my own private research library, and you'll find something interesting in watching me curate that library in public. We'll see how it works. But for now, thanks for the last three years, and let me know what you think about the new direction...
P.S. I know all the old links to individual articles -- at least via Google -- are now broken, and I'm working on a fix. Any tips about automatically redirecting from Movable Type URLs to Typepad URLs would be greatly appreciated.