Playing In The Sandbox

I’m going to be doing some radical experimentations with my site over the next little while to test out a concept I’ve been thinking about for some time. If things work out then I’ll make the transition fully. If they don’t then I’ll probably just revert back to my last style and design layout. During this entire time though, my journal will still be accessible at the URL below (as well as via my RSS feeds), even though it may no longer appear on my navigation bar.

http://nollind.whachell.com/journal/

Update: Things aren’t feeling "natural" with this approach, so I’m giving up on it.

5 thoughts on “Playing In The Sandbox

  1. Perhaps it’s not flowing naturally because you don’t have a suitable context for your writings atm. No thought sprouts in a vacuum. Given the proper habitat of associations, thoughts flourish. My .02 cents.

  2. > No though sprouts in a vacumn. <

    True but coming up with stuff to write about isn’t so much the problem. It’s more of how best to structure or organize the content I’m writing and have written already. When the right structure is achieved, everything just "flows" and has a sense of connection and relationship to each other. Right now, I’m just dumping my thoughts in a big refuse pile (my journal) that people have to sort through to find what’s interesting to them.

  3. Ty, just reread what you wrote. What you said does apply but only after I’ve written my content. I’m frustrated that it doesn’t have a "suitable context" or "habitat of associations" to "sit" within. Part of the problem I think is that seeing "patterns" or "associations" is more easily done after you’ve written the content. Still even when you see them, how to best define, word, or categorize them can be another problem altogether. For example, I see a handful of patterns in my writings. How best to define what these patterns are is the problem.

    It’s funny. Knowing that they exist is the easy part. Trying to communicate what they represent is the hard part. Things would be much easier if I could just mind meld with people and transfer my thoughts. 🙂

  4. "Things would be much easier if I could just mind meld with people and transfer my thoughts. :)"

    I know! But isn’t that the whole point of a blog? To invite others to surf the synaptic highways of your own thought process?

    I understand where you’re coming from because, believe me, I’ve been there a million times before. My personal feeling is that in trying to conceive the perfect structure your blog your forgetting about something much more important, your purpose.

    That’s why you feel like your running around in circles.

    Structure follows organically from intent. In all areas of design, Web design, architecture, desktop publishing, engineering… the purpose of something informs and puts parameters on its design. It’s like the golfing student who focuses so hard on the mechanics of the shot, that his game winds up worse than before he started taking lessons.

    Once you nail down your purpose, your website will organize itself. Once your intention is clear, the mechanics fall into place.

    Btw, a single web domain can’t possibly encompass everything that defines you as a person. Not in any logical way. People’s interests are too assymetrical and diverse for that.

    I love tagging, because it mimicks the way people actually organize their thoughts. Organically, in semantic buckets. They’re also an incredible accurate way to represent to the world what you spend most of your time thinking about. Too bad squarespace doesn’t enable tagging yet.

    When I talk about context, I’m talking mainly purpose and intent. I should have been more concise with my wording, but my thought processes ride mainly on generalities and principals.

    Anyways, this is highly reflective post and I applaud you for being so transparent with your thinking.

  5. > Structure follows organically from intent. In all areas of design, Web design, architecture, desktop publishing, engineering… the purpose of something informs and puts parameters on its design. <

    True and I’ve said the same thing to clients before. Don’t waste your time on design until you define what your site is about, even writing your content first to help solidify this. And I think you could say, that’s what I’ve done. I could care less about visual design and structure at this point in time, as long as I get my words out.

    Yet after getting those words out, I don’t see the progression or flow that I want to see in my content. I want my words to build upon each other instead of just disappearing the following week when the post disappears from view. I want some form of structure that can take my existing single pile of content and organize in a meaningful streams of content.

    > Once you nail down your purpose, your website will organize itself. <

    I’ve heard this before from someone else and it doesn’t just magically sort itself out (at least the way I want it to). 🙂 Actually the person’s own site who said it, has the same trouble even though they’ve tagged their content.

    > I love tagging, because it mimicks the way people actually organize their thoughts. Organically, in semantic buckets. <

    I dislike tagging for exactly the reason you stated earlier. Tagging normally doesn’t focus on purpose but generalities. For example, the purpose of my post could be about culture yet I may talk about technology, Web 2.0, a movie that relates to culture and more. So do add all those tags to the post? Not at all. Most services like Technorati will find them without my help (i.e. if I say Web 2.0 then it will show up on a Web 2.0 list in Technorati).

    Put another way, tagging focuses on creating general global connections. I’ve focused on more local meaningful connections that matter to me. For example, if I want to find people who are researching the same things that I am interested in, tags are completely useless. Actually if anything, most of the time I stumble across site’s related to my research by the "degrees of separation" approach. I may click a link off of a site I usually frequent and then click again off the next site to find something by chance that relates to my research. That’s how I discovered information on permaculture. I click a link on David Weinberger’s site that lead to another person’s site where I then clicked on a link that lead me to permaculture. Neither David’s site or the site he pointed to, having anything to do with permaculture though.

    > Anyways, this is highly reflective post and I applaud you for being so transparent with your thinking. <

    Hmm, well I love to be more transparent then I am now but I’m not sure if people would be interested in what I have to say. I mean I like sharing my thoughts but only if someone gets something from it. To be honest, I have no problem dumping my weaknesses on the table because usually in sharing them, discussions arise that shed some light on how I can use them to my advantage.

    Still the biggest problem I have is how best to communicate these thoughts I may have. For example, I may get stuck in my research and I would like to share this with others. Yet how do you describe concepts and ideas that require a paradigm shift to fully understand. Put another way, my intuition drives a lot of my research. I may know something is leading me down a correct path but how to describe that to someone else to get their feedback on the idea is next to impossible. It would be like me time traveling into the future a thousands years and coming back to describe what I saw. Most often than not, people will just look at you as though you’re crazy. 🙂

    As I said before, I’m more of an pioneer explorer. A lot of the times, I’m not even sure what I’m seeing myself but my intuition still tells me that I’m heading in the right direction, so I trust it.

Comments are closed.