May 06, 2011

let's make a sandwich

Last year sometime I switched up the tagline on this blog to "Let's make a sandwich." If you were following along with pop culture at the time, you knew the reference. A year later, people keep asking me "What's with the tagline? What kind of sandwich?" How quickly they forget.


The tagline has stuck because I think about blogging -- the way I do it -- like I think about sandwiches. There's a basic form, and a nearly inifinite number of expressions of that form. This particular blog is a mishmash of things that are interesting to me -- and because it's my sandwich, I avoid ingredients that I'm not fond of.  Like pickles. There are no pickles on this blog.

I just read two posts that are the roast beef and cheddar of today's sandwich. One from Tim Carmody (yep him again) while guesting at, and one from Paul Kedrosky. Both are about blogging; Tim's about structure and Paul's about content.

Carmody identifies the core ingredients in a blog post (title / link / pull / response, with comments optional), and then goes on to talk about the core value of blogs being watching what happens with those ingredients...

We've got officially-approved categorial mantras like curation and community engagement -- as if what mattered in great blogs was their arty taste, skill at embedding viral videos, or pushing out tweets to their followers. Rather than watching an agile mind at work, one attached to a living, breathing person, and feeling like you were tapped into a discussion that was bringing together the most vital parts of the web.

Kedroksy's post, titled, appropriately, "Bitchy Readers" is about what happens when an audience brings their hyper-vertical media expectations to a blog attached to a living, breathing person with an active mind. He has readers that want him to stick to finance. Fat chance.

To all of you feeling that way I have one thing to say: Piss off. I honestly don’t care what you’d like to see. If you want someone who surveys his/her readership and provides that content for them, go to USA Today. Or maybe some other blog. Here I put what I want, when I want, about the things I’m interested in. If that cuts across geology, finance, backcountry skiing, extreme sports and whatever else, that’s the way it goes. And it’s not changing.

There, I just made a sandwich for you...about sandwiches. Whoa.