hollidazed.co.uk -

For the love of the blog

This site (hollidazed.co.uk) has been live for something like 13 years. It’s an often neglected WordPress installation that I’ve enjoyed tinkering with and updating during that time.

At the start of the year, I said I was going to try an experiment – only publishing new posts on my Medium account. I then planned to publish monthly updates here instead.

My theory was that this would help me to blog more frequently on the basis that Medium is an easier platform to write on remotely and on mobile. I also reckoned it might make me worry less about what I published. And that this would result is shorter and more instant blog posts, rather than more long tweets (thinking prompted by Twitter’s character increase at the time).

I’ve ended the experiment.

It hasn’t worked. I’ve still shared plenty of blog posts over the past 9 months on Medium, but I don’t believe my patterns of blogging and publishing have changed significantly.

Occasionally someone gets in contact with me about my blog. This is usually to say something encouraging – how they’ve stumbled across it and found it useful. Early this year a designer I respect got in touch along these lines to say something similar. He also challenged me – I had recently written about what might be lost when we fall for the promise of convenience. He made the point that defaulting to Medium for publishing fell squarely into that category.

I’ve thought about this a lot, and I now think he’s right.

I missed my own blog because it is so much more for me than a convenient publishing platform.

I’ve grown up here in terms of my thinking and my ideas, all shaped by my experiences over the past 15 years. I like the fact that it’s mine, the tweaks to the design, and how the content maps together over time is a reflection and record of me.

It worries me now what platforms like Medium might become in the future. Thinking specifically about how we seem to have lost sight of the early promise of Twitter and other web-based services that offered so much potential in the earlier days of the web.

So I’m going to publish blog posts here again. Everything I’ve written this year has been migrated back to this site and it feels good. Over the past month I’ve tweaked a few things on the site as I do every so often – it’s a rare chance to write some HTML and CSS (and even PHP) code. In a lovely way it reminds me of my early design jobs 15+ years ago, and learning to code when building early digital products that I worked on.

I’m still going to publish posts back across to Medium (maybe not everything). I have found a broader, and, possibly, a new audience on Medium – it just didn’t feel like a forever home. It’s more somewhere I think I should keep visiting or stay touch with.

So what’s my goal for blogging now? I’d like to take the opportunity to broaden out what I write about again. My early blog posts here were about trips to New York and even to places like Portsmouth, as well as early web conference experiences.

I now place so much value on how my blog is a record looking back over these years. As I’ve got older and busier (family life etc.) I feel that I’ve lost sight of this a little – creativity is born from experience and a blog is a great place to document ideas, and your thinking as you continue to experience the world around you.

I also plan to continue to write the monthly updates (I’ve some catching up to do). Here’s to another new phase of writing!

Ben Holliday is an experienced design leader, writer and speaker. This is his blog (started in 2005). You can follow all of Ben's blog posts by subscribing to the RSS feed, or follow him on Twitter for more regular updates.