Since I was 15, I have kept a journal of some kind. In a box in my home I have bound notebooks of all kinds that are full of scribbles I have done consistently since I was 17. In those volumes you will find poems and short stories, meeting notes, diagrams, skecthes, songs and chord progressions, diary enteries and grand aha!’s. Over the past nearly twenty years, I have kept a blog, a wiki, a facebook page and a twitter account. Actually, several of each. I have posted photos on Flickr and Instagram. I have a LInkedIn page that I never really use. All of these places represent a diffuse set of forums for thinking out loud.
And thinking out loud is how I’ve basically gone through the world. When I get passionate about something I write about it with only a passing thought about whether the whole enterprise is too narcissistic. It’s a kind of method of forgetting. I write so I can forget in a way; on the surface. Instead, writing seems to have the function of embedding something more deeply inside. I I am constantly struck by reading things in my writing that I forgot I had written but which are phrases or ideas that come out in my work all the time.
This poor old blog though. It has thousands of posts going back to 2002. It has been migrated between platforms and hosts to the point where it’s full of kludge and dead links and weird characters. I’m not too fussed because for me blogging was always just a place to think out loud. Everything here is rooted in time. I miss typos and spell things wrong and make mistakes. But the spirit of this blog is what I have always called “open source learning.” This is me trying stuff on, sharing things I’ve found that are helpful or interesting to me and might be so to you too.
I’ve also shared “takes” here too. Thoughts on what is happening in the world. Sometimes poorly informed, sometimes coming out of deep experience. I write those to remind myself about what I think and what I care about.
Over the past several years so much more of this writing has happened inside the guarded and proprietary walls of Facebook and twitter and that has been fine for the conversational tone of things but I find myself travelling deeper and deeper into these places. They are compelling attractor basins. Years ago I stopped really writing on Facebook and I mostly use that site now to participate in my local community conversation. Twitter is where all my action is. And as a result I’m not writing anything of substance much these days.
I’m not really writing anything of substance right now either, but at least thinking our loud here feels more spacious.
Back when we got started in blogging on platforms like Blogger and Typepad and yea maybe even LiveJournal, blogging was literally “web logging.” It was about documenting what you found while you wandered around the web. It was about compiling an archive of where you had been and what you liked. An annotated bibliography of things that you found neat and you thought your network might find them neat too. and we formed networks over shared interests and made web rings and blog rolls. Many of the folks on my first blogrolls from the early naughts are still friends and correspondents today.
This quickly for me also moved into real world things I found neat. like stuff happening on the little island where I live. Or the fortunes of the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Vancouver Whitecaps. Or music I love to listen to and love to play. Or different learnings about religion and martial arts, dialogue and facilitation, travel, all the various interesting people I get to work with and places I get to visit.
As my passions wax and wane, so too do the subjects. And in some ways the choice of media. And I ask myself now before I write here “is this something that matters? Should I share this? Will people find it useful?”
I can’t remember when I started thinking this way about this space. I don’t like thinking that about this space. I would rather share offbeat and incoherent stuff much more frequently here than worry about whether the thought I am having is on brand.
So, with the best of intentions, I’m going to try to constrain myself to writing mostly here now. Out in the open. Outside of the walled gardens built by a few billionaires who leverage our every word to improve their AI engines and deepen the attractor wells of outrage and separation that disable good thinking, trample creativity and threaten, well, probably the future of our planet.
I’m not leaving those other platforms, but I do want to have my own space again where I can be all of me instead of segmenting my identity into chunks that work for different media and different avatars.
If you are a subscriber to this blog I understand that you might be getting more emails from me. And if that’s a problem, just ignore or delete. This site also has an RSS feed and I still use feed readers to keep up with others writing. and if you only follow me on Facebook or twitter and you want to comment on these posts I ask you to do it here out in the open where anyone can read your insight and brilliant helpful comments without needing to belong to Zuckerberg or Musk or whatever billionaire owns our conversation.
That’s it really. A kind of non-descript blog post that lays down an intention that tries to carve out another attractor well of action, an adjacent possible for writing and talking together, for recording and logging what I’m doing as I step across this amazing web of life and living. Coming back to where we all used to write. Maybe just in time.
I have learned so much from this blog, and I am so excited to see all of you here!
Well! What a great reply to have right out of the gate!
Thank you for this great news! I was immediately excited to see your name in my inbox. Looking forward to receiving more of your musings. Yay!
Dear Chris Your Blog has helped me so much to understand the Art of Hosting in such a Powerful way. Thank you so much and please Keep writing and sharing your great ideas
Yes, just in time, perhaps! That seems to be in our hands, after all.
Welcome home, my friend. Speedy recovery from the social media sickness that has killed so many bloggers.
Nice to be back.
Please keep writing on your blog – whether you think it’s useful or not. I just enjoy your writing and now I know why – many years of practice ( :
PS Just as Google has a social/environmental counterpart in Ecosia, it’s time for value-based equivalents to FB and Twitter. Who wants to have a shot?
Hi Chris, I still feel that a personal page or blog is a bit like a virtual home where you can give it your touch and invite people and friends in. That does not diminish the power of the public squares (if they can be called public), but at least it is how I felt working on it over the years.
I fail to write as much as I could/should really but feel the same way, sometimes it helps to lay down the explorations buzzing in my mind. 🙂 I’ve always admired your notes and reflections and am glad you’ll keep sharing them. I’ll visit.
I miss blogging. I miss reading blogs. I miss the stuff I learned from blogs, and the people I met through blogging.
Hi Chris. I did wonder where this blog was going at first, but I like where it ended!
I find myself using the platforms to publicise events and new features in our ‘collection’ but reading fewer and fewer posts, except about my football club here in the UK. Perhaps I am one of the few but your blog made me realise perhaps others are thinking that way. Thank you.
Cheering you on from a little valley in South West Wales.
Love to hear your voice Chris
Appreciate your mindful meanderings.
I share a version of your journey in journaling on paper and on-line. for awhile even venturing into audio. I get attracted to one form for awhile and then get the itch to switch. No particularly rhyme or reason. Lately I’m journaling in Day One and am part of a Tuesday morning LinkedIn Amplifiers group. We each write a post and then comment on each other’s. It has nudged me to get more disciplined to put my current cares down plus I enjoy figuring out what the image ought to be to match the commentary.
I always like reading anything you write Chris. I can hear your calm, thoughtful, often passionate voice as I’m reading, and I find it deeply reassuring to know there are intelligent, deep thinking, caring people like you in our community who haven’t given up on trying to make this tired old world a better place, while also recognizing and appreciating what a magnificent place it already is.
Glad to hear you’re getting back into posting regularly on this platform! I always walk away from reading your posts with new insights or new questions – both of which are equally valuable. Looking forward to it!
With you all the way, Chris. I moved my own writing here, https://www.gettinglostmagazine.com/ for the same reasons.
Oh great! I was missing your voice!
…a place to experiment—get lost—with words
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