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Four Weeks and Counting


I have now made a new post every day for the past 30 days. Wow.

As usual, not much to see here unless you just like reading about my process, for some reason.

I still have a logo being developed. I am reluctant to move forward with publicizing this blog until I have a good visual identity for it. I don’t even have a favicon or anything right now.

It has been quite an experience so far, though. I’m not used to writing essays, even short ones, several days a week. That’s not the kind of thing one tends to do even in college. Of course, I’m also not attending classes or taking tests–just work.

This past week also saw a modest spike in traffic. There is an upward trend, if only a small one at this point. I suppose that’s not bad considering I’ve only posted the link a few times on my Facebook page and given it directly to a few people. I think if I made more earnest efforts to publicize it, it would spread further. At that point, I would like to have more guest posts.

When I am ready to do more publicizing, I can take advantage of WordPress’ “publicize” features. It can post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path, and Google+. I imagine I will use all of those except LinkedIn and Path. I don’t even know what Path is, and this blog is not something I would care to publicize on my professional LinkedIn account. Maybe at some point in the future.

In more topical news, I found myself disappointed in the outcome of the elections and votes this past Tuesday. It was decidedly a mixed bag. Kentucky went full Tea Party. Houston rejected a perfectly reasonable anti-discrimination law after a vicious campaign to demonize trans people was launched to attack it. On the other hand, socialist Kshama Sawant held onto her city council seat in Seattle, and the city council itself is now more than half women for the first time in its history. Unfortunately, odd-year elections have abysmal voter turnout rates, even though it’s when many local and state-level elections are held. Such elections can have a much greater impact on one’s daily life than anything the federal government does, and yet barely anyone votes in them. Turnout rates in odd years are typically in the middle to low teens, which is just pathetic. And a concerted fearmongering campaign, like the one in Houston, tends to see much more success than any kind of positive or genuinely issue-driven messaging. I suppose that’s all I have to say about that at the moment.

A final note for today’s post, though. I’ve been giving some thought to the purpose of this blog as well as its audience. One of the things I find unhelpful in much writing on complex topics is the heavy use of insider jargon and academic terminology that are presented without explanation. If one is addressing an insider or academic audience, of course, this is perfectly appropriate, but general audiences are unlikely to have much patience with it. To that end, I try to keep the language simple–only as complex as it needs to be to communicate the point. Second, I try to think about what my audience is from a demographic perspective. It’s not like black people need me to explain to them what it’s like to be black, any more than I can tell women about the issues they face, or autistic people about their own difficulties. That’s not my role, nor should it be. What I do want to do is highlight those perspectives for people who may be unfamiliar with them. In other words, my goal is to educate and provoke further thought and discussion, whether it happens here or in one’s personal life. I’m a straight, white, cisgender male in my mid-30s. I work in the software industry. I’m an atheist. I am the precise target demographic of Men’s Rights Activists, white supremacists, libertarians, militant atheists, and other forms of reactionary opposition to a culture that is grasping at genuine diversity and equality. I can understand the impulses and thought processes that lead one to identify with one or more of the movements mentioned, though I do not share them. I suppose I can hope that someone who is on the fence might stumble across this blog, do some reading, and go in a different direction than they might otherwise. If what I write here manages to make someone think more about the world they live in, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

I realized in the course of writing some of these posts that my style is a bit spare. My sentences follow established patterns. It’s unlike the fiction writing I do, where I employ much more variety in both vocabulary and sentence structure. I am still uncertain whether I should mix up the style more, at the risk of making it less accessible, or keep it like it is so it might reach the greatest number of people, even if that means the writing itself is not technically exciting. It’s possible I will settle into a more specific style as time goes on. I suppose we’ll see.

In any case, I’ve been doing this for a month now and I plan to keep going! I feel a little bad about not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I’ll live. Perhaps next year I will give it another try, and find some way to integrate it with this blog.