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August 11, 2014

Blogging Test No. 2 - Further dribble. As it happens, my writing platform dilemma has grown even more complex. Hard to believe, right? Well, it’s true. I’ve found two more possible platforms straight out of the hipster’s closet enclave, namely, Medium, a space with more designer profile pictures and Mumford&Sons-loving web-app-CEO’s than an organic coffee-shop in Williamsburg; and Weebly, a drag-and-drop haven for any and all creative folk with an ambitious vision of sleek and effortless internet stardom, and who feel that the revolution of the web has developed in a way that takes the power away from the people, excluding the general populus through purposely complex and vindictive systems like hosting, domains, HTML, CSS, acronyms and profit, but think that taking a free course on coding on their $5000 iMac is “getting in the way of their creative flow” since those techies just have the “wrong energy, man.” So basically, me. (I jest of course… I don’t have a mac. That’s someone else’s I swear.)

image

Still - they’re simple and they look pretty. The children of the UI revolution, bringing modern web-based creativity back to the every-man in an avalanche of ethical sustainability pledges and sans-serif font.

Medium, supposedly, is where you want to be if you want people to take your writing seriously. And judging by the fact that the very first thing you see when you visit their website is an article on “How artists and museums can collaboratively crowdfund exhibitions to mutual benefit,” it’s not hard to see why. Medium is not your average blogging site, but rather a kind of independantly-published newspaper filled with short, pretty articles. The writers who use Medium are serious (even in their humour) and it seems the readers are too. Sure, it’s not on the mass scale community of the almighty WordPress, but it is a community none-the-less, and an active one at that, keenly following work and providing thoughtful feedback left, right and center. Think of them as one of those isolated, self-sustaining communes of ex-engineers and university professors who have left the trappings of everyday life and society behind to seek solice in a simpler life, or by learning to make their own butter somewhere in a forest at 2am in the morning, usually about 37 miles from a luxury golf-course in case one day they run out of loo-paper or those tiny individually-wrapped soaps.

Weebly, on the other hand, is famous for being, hand down, the best and most user-friendly free website builder out there. Its drag-and-drop design tool and multitude of shiny new skins and widgits make it perfect for the casual 20-something with an idea, be it a gallery, a graphic design portfolio, or selling little pot plants to similarly little old ladies in Sheffield. It even, the very indie and relatable introduction video assures us, works wonders for blogging, supposedly packed with ingenious stastistic tools from Google and free-reign on customization, along with access to countless gorgeous themes and plug-ins.

However, that beign said, there is an apparent dark side. A Weebly-based blog has no way of tagging, categorizing or generally organizing your various posts… And what an utter tragedy this is. Why does there always have to be something wrong? Some fatal flaw, some skeleton in its expertly bevelled closet? Why can’t there just be one perfect blogging platform that is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, practical and free? I’m sure they have one in those eutopian, self-sustainable hippie communes, why can’t us urban folk have one too? Oh yeah, we already do… It’s called paper. Heavy, home made, jasmine-laced paper.

10 August, 2014. Brown from the Sky.
Test: video embedded in blog post.
Subject: Brown University from the perspective of what can only be a very bored pigeon who also happens to be a massive Emma Watson fan.

August 9, 2014.

Dear diary.

It has recently come to my attention that I hadn’t, up to now, been living my life to the fullest. Fullest, not in the whole, entire sense of the word, but in a sense with rather more distance - that I hadn’t been documenting my reasonably fully lived life. So, about three months ago, I started keeping a diary, to some success. I was by no means diligent, no, I wrote only when I was bored, but still, the immortal nature of seeing your thoughts on paper can make even the most dull day seem profound. 

However, while a black book was sufficient for my short stint at the University of Cape Town, it is no longer enough, apparently. With the undeniable sense of occasion carried by my looming trans-Atlantic adventure, and the subsequent strange happenings of Ivy League America (my so-called education) the people back home have requested that I keep them up to date. All of them. Practically every adult who has laid, or not laid eyes on me since the day I was born. And seeing as there’s no way I am squandering my hard-earned wages on manila envelopes and stamps, they have left me no choice but to start a blog…

Now, I must admit, I have been eyeing the whole blogosphere for some time now, wondering whether the goings on of my every-day life, the colour of my underwear, and the obscene amount of time I spend taking pictures are things I want the entire world to know about. And turns out, yes. I do want everyone to know what I want them to know of I want myself to know of what goes on in my head. It seems ludicrous, these layers of self-realization. The blog - above instagram, but not yet a diary. Like facebook, but more personal. And at the same time less personal. Because everyone can see it. I guess that’s what you have to prevent people from realizing. (And by the way, my underwear are almost all bright pink. In case you were wondering.)

Anyway, I digress. The real reason for this post is to see how suitable Tumblr would be for blogging. And by that I don’t mean reblogging, I mean proper, WordPress level stuff. This is like, serious nonsense, yeah? “Ah, but why not use WordPress then? The clue is very much in the description.” Well, yes. And no. From what I’ve gathered, WordPress is beautiful, functional and powerful - a text based version of Tumblr. However, it is limited to those of us who aren’t planning on spending any money on this venture. I mean sure, many of the premium tools are for super website geeks starting a company, not college freshmen blogging to aunts they’ve never met, but no matter how conservative your daily drop into the internet whirlpool is, if nothing else, your allocated 3GB of storage will eventually run out, and you will be forced to either upgrade, relocate or say goodbye to either your exciting future, or your beloved past - a decision one would rather never have to make. 

Now, WordPress is by no means the only platform. Blogger, by Google, is a powerful and worthy competitor - it was first on the scene, after all. And while WordPress may be boasting with the depth that comes with years of third-party developers working on themes and tools, Blogger carries its modest lunchbox of templates with a childlike innocence across the writer-monkey playground - it is both free and fully customizable. What it lacks in initial skins, it makes up for in freedom of creation, if you know HTML or CCS, that is. Compare this with WordPress’s limited space and minimum range of customization, and it is clear that Blogger is almost definitely the more practical choice with which to make an entirely free and sustainable, albeit ugly blog. The stray dog of websites - disgusting and uncontrollable to the public, but unconditionally loving to its owner. 

However, unbeknownst to many, there is a third option, a compromise of sorts, between the aesthetic brilliance and historical momentum of WordPress and the loving, hippie-child persona of Google’s Blogger, a friendly Labrador between the loving scrat and the ominous Rottweiler. It is — Tumblr. 

Tumblr is friendly, yet thorough; free, yet customizable; social without being overbearing and with enough boundaries to ensure that even someone who’s dress sense is stuck in the 70’s will be able to have a blog that won’t blind the fourteen bored teenagers who actually bother looking at it. 

That being said, I have started a Blogger page, an endevour that has frustrated my perfectionist self to such an extent that I find myself here. The proverbial ‘sleeping on the couch.’ So, I would like to test the blogging capabilities of this largely gif orientated medium. 

For example, how well does it handle long, written passages of rubbish? Answer, see above! Do hipster pictures of liberal arts colleges fit well within the ongoing overall narrative? Well, let’s see:

Yes! And while getting the word-manufacturing line, ” | “, to the end of the post was a witch-hunt, the precise spacing and gorgeous upload bar more than made up for it! But, how about video? One problem I had with my Blogger page, one of the reasons I am here in fact, was that whenever I posted a video off YouTube (I don’t think Vimeo is not supported) the resulting work was a date, with a tiny cube underneath it - or rather, my video. It looked like a rather confused and disorientated goldfish in an endless, empty ocean, this morsel of media among endless minimalist white space. But, can old Tumblr do any better? Let’s have a look…at Brown University from the point of view of what appears to be a very bored pigeon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DXR9Q3Ld1w

Hmm… that’s odd… Not only is the video not as crisp and cleanly integrated as I expected, but there seems to be no video embedded at all! What an utter tragedy! Perhaps, if I settle on Tumblr in the end, I will be forced to post video’s and other such media seperately, and blog in their descriptions. This balance could wreck havoc with the typography of the various content, leaving it a mess of weirdly-sized words, rather than a continuous, flowing entity of narrative, and thus compromising the very fundamental characteristics through which I would like to communicate - a seamless and simple streaming of information that is both easy and pleasurable to follow. There needs to be clean lines, clear boundaries, intuitive organization and no clutter. Nothing should distract from the story and the information therein, which, if it is to be enjoyed and experienced to its fullest, must be immediately available in its full, ephemeral beauty, where HD is a given and pop-ups, ads and new windows are nowhere in sight… 

If only Apple had a blogging platform… ‘Till then, I’m staying here.

thevelvetundergr0und:

gootie:

nyx-alexandra:

adamninelives:

grahamstarr:

The Clash helps some of their fans to sneak in before a concert.

this is how you do music right.

I love this so much. Like how stoked would you be if a band you loved helped you sneak into a big show of theirs?

I’ve heard this story before and love that they did this. Stop me if you heard this other one:
The Ramones were playing in England and before the show they were hanging out in the dressing room when someone tossed a stone at the window. They looked out to see some young punks who wanted to get into the show but didn’t have money for tickets. The Ramones reached down and pulled the guys up and got them in. Those young punks without tickets were to become The Clash.
Good to hear they kept it going.

I can never just scroll past this without reblogging

(via officialtwinpeaks)

likeafieldmouse:

Alejandro Guijarro - Momentum (2010-)

"The artist travels to the great quantum mechanics institutions of the world and, using a large-format camera, photographs blackboards as he finds them. 

Momentum displays the photographs in life-size. 

Before he walks into a lecture hall Guijarro has no idea what he might find. He begins by recording a blackboard with the minimum of interference. No detail of the lecture hall is included, the blackboard frame is removed and we are left with a surface charged with abstract equations. 

Effectively these are documents. Yet once removed from their institutional beginnings the meaning evolves. The viewer begins to appreciate the equations for their line and form. Color comes into play and the waves created by the blackboard eraser suggest a vast landscape or galactic setting. The formulas appear to illustrate the worlds of Quantum Mechanics. What began as a precise lecture, a description of the physicist’s thought process, is transformed into a canvas open to any number of possibilities.”

"When The Beatles were depressed, thinking, the group is going nowhere, and this is a shitty deal, and we’re in a shitty dressing room…I’d say, 'Where are we going, fellas?' They’d go, 'To the top, Johnny!' And I’d say, 'Where's that, fellas?' and they’d say, 'To the toppermost of the poppermost!' and I’d say, 'Right!' Then we’d all cheer up.” - John Lennon

(Source: onlypaulmccartney, via drive-my-rubber-soul)

goppetan:

I played (Mick my solo) album, but he talked all the way through it. The only time I got any insight from him was when I went to take a pee. I come out of the john and he’s dancing around the room. For a minute I watch him, and he’s just enjoying it. So I went back into the john and slammed the door and walked out again, and he’s just sitting on the couch. But that’s Mick. I know the bloke. I guess I saw him liking it when he didn’t know I was looking. So that’s cool.
-Keith Richards 1988.

goppetan:

I played (Mick my solo) album, but he talked all the way through it. The only time I got any insight from him was when I went to take a pee. I come out of the john and he’s dancing around the room. For a minute I watch him, and he’s just enjoying it. So I went back into the john and slammed the door and walked out again, and he’s just sitting on the couch. But that’s Mick. I know the bloke. I guess I saw him liking it when he didn’t know I was looking. So that’s cool.

-Keith Richards 1988.

(via officialtwinpeaks)

"When I first saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew."
- William Shakespeare

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