Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Writing on my iOS devices

The last couple of blog posts have been written on my iPhone. Before that (and this) was composed on my iPad.

Sure, adding links seems to be quite difficult. Alt/Mac+Tab is generally quite handy when it comes to sitting by my laptop.

The new workflow feels very much like writing on Facebook. I just write. Let the words flow. It doesn’t matter where I am, I take it all like it’s being a status update. And then when I hit publish, I come back to it later on my laptop (the reality is that I sync it with MarsEdit and edit on the desktop client) to add relevant links.

This kind of method probably works well when I’m not doing a technical blog post, but something that resembles a status update or a story.

I still have to work out how to automatically post the posts to Twitter, and if possible post to Facebook as a status update (I recall that we could sync Notes back in the day, but that feature was removed). I’m thinking either the body makes it, or the first 2 paragraphs or I make use of excerpts wisely.

It’s not that writing on a laptop is a bad idea. It’s just that when I’m on my laptop, I’m usually online and have other work to do: emails, terminal, etc. I’ve used my iOS devices mainly for consumption of content (WSJ, NYT, FT, New Yorker, The Economist, Instapaper, Kindle, NewsBlur) — but with a lot of dead time, it’s not a bad device to also be a device to create, to some extent.

The WordPress apps are pretty good. They don’t handle images well, i.e. They don’t resize them to be sensible for web. Plus I very much like my images to also be on Flickr (I can live without that though). But posting 3MB photos in the main body just seems silly.

I’m sure I can eventually improve this workflow by posting items as a draft first, so they don’t reach the public till the links are added. It’s all an experiment, but I’m already liking the new additional ways to push content to this site.

Evolution of expression – have blogs really changed?

Apple PensLinkedIn allows blogs (a publishing presence – read LinkedIn Builds its Publishing Presence). Medium is a place to read and write things that matter (a curated blog). Svbtle is a new kind of magazine. There are networks like Read & Trust, that eventually make magazines out of content.

WordPress requires setting up. It means you’re serious about writing something. WordPress.com is hosted and eventually you pay for it. Tumblr just got a billion dollar exit, for what? Allowing you to easily express yourself.

Have blogs really evolved or have people just found different mediums to get published? All mediums come with different levels of control. Discovery is crucial. Will end users ever get RSS or do dashboards need to be built?

Are future generations going to forget to write?

StackAs someone that spends a lot of time in front of a keyboard, many get a kick out of the fact that I always have a notebook with me (usually a moleskine or field notes of some sort) and a battered up montblanc pen.

I did learn to write cursive back when I was in junior school, but it never lasted and my scrawl basically took over and this is what I write with till today. Yet I write a whole smattering of things from TODO lists to meeting notes. Yes, I am one of those people who go into a meeting room not to tap on a keyboard or touch a tablet’s virtual keyboard – I usually write long form notes recording all sorts of information, which I then review later. I’m no Richard Branson, but you can be assured I always have a notebook & pen handy. (additional reading: Pocket Notebook of 20 Famous Men, What’s in Richard Branson’s notebook?)

Today’s FT Weekend had a column by Gillian Tett: Handwriting: a joined-up case (read it!). The takeaway quote from that: “It is keyboards that really matter now in the global economy, not penmanship”. It seems teachers are suggesting that its better to learn keyboard-skills over writing. 

There’s much wrong with this. For one, default keyboards are QWERTY which exist to slow you down (compared to DVORAK layouts) during the times of typewriters. Yes, that’s how old keyboards are – they’ve not changed since the days of the typewriter.

Writing is a life skill. You don’t always have a keyboard/touch keyboard all the time.

I however do feel that we’re in yet another midst of a digital native vs digital immigrant. I myself might be a digital immigrant compared to kids of today. Generations are made every 10 years (at minimum in this fast paced tech world), in my opinion (though Wikipedia suggests its a minimum of 20 years). Will we see the future forget to write? How much will be lost to digital rot (remember 5 1/4 disks? 3 1/2 floppies? Older hard disks, etc.)?


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