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The Longest Now

Taking the Steel Blogger Challenge
Thursday April 19th 2012, 12:29 pm
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang,citation needed

Much of my work recently has been about community creation, capacity, identity, energy, and relation to partnership-building and vision-setting. And how to listen carefully and plan well for that hindsight-enabled possibility-space we call the future. This affects everything from how we define the future we want to live, how we chart our own course in groups of all sizes, to how we raise funds, forge volunteer or sponsor relationships, and enable those around us to do work we’d like to see done.

I got excellent feedback on these ideas at last week’s OER meeting, where most projects wanted to be community-driven or maintained. A few people asked if I was writing a book, with varying levels of arm-twisting. So I’d like to get into better writing shape. Inspired by Cool Cat Teacher’s tireless blog and ideastream, I have been thinking about ways to publish thoughts and essays dozens of times a day. I enjoy writing short essays, and linking them to practical works or implications. I do this in some format – often on email lists or in response to private requests – every day. But I don’t currently do it methodically, publicly, in an archived or editable way. And there is a backlog of practical thoughts in my unintentionally-private tomboy notes about how my current communities could work better / internally and together.

So in the spirit of doing ten thousand times whatever you want to eventually do well, I am taking on a personal Steel Blogger Challenge – publishing a post for every day this year. Retroactively. That gives me a bit of catching up to do. I don’t know quite how to coordinate this with tweeting and writing essays of various lengths – the ideal length here would be 100-200 words to capture the idea, with a few links, but editable. And I’m not sure how to make my writing editable, though I would like to let you all make revisions and post updates and links and cross-references.

And for the first time recently I feel let down by my blogging platform. I want a better way to publish many times a day, in many formats at once. Including quick personal notes, 140-char summaries, blog posts, longer monographs. Preferably with wiki-style versioned editable backend for every format. If you have toolchain suggestions, please let me know.

If you use Emacs, just set up a website with Org-mode, publishing HTML pages from there (with comments with disqus) and put the .org files under git.

This is what I started quite some time ago with Worg (, it is the first dVCS-based “wiki” and it works well.

Comment by Bastien 04.20.12 @ 7:42 pm

Use ikiwiki. It is based on git, has a blog mode, and is a world editable wiki. It’s very configurable and I think it will do most of what you want out of the box.

Comment by Benjamin Mako Hill 04.23.12 @ 6:12 pm

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