Speedblogging

My usual blogging style is notoriously sluggish. I’ll start with an idea, write a paragraph or two, futz with some photos if I’ve got any, surf the web and get distracted, search for a relevant link, lose my train of thought, reread what I’ve written over and over again, check my email and feedreader, find some food to eat, clip a hangnail that’s bothering me, check out Google News, reload Boing Boing…

Even a short post can suck up 2 or 3 hours like this. It’s ok, I figure, at least I’m not watching TV. But during our trip to Utah, I didn’t have that luxury, so I had to be as efficient as possible with only an hour or so of internet time per day (I know!).

I’ve also been wanting to post more photos than was practical with my paragraph-photo-paragraph-photo format, since some photos really deserve no more than a few words intro, if that. So I started structuring my posts with the bulk of the text at the top, and the images at the bottom. That way I could write the way I wanted to write, from start to finish, without forgetting any juicy details, and then afterwards I could mentally shift to my non-linguistic cortex and work on the photos, without having to break from the narrative or write redundantly descriptive, captain-obvious filler between photos.

Once the writing is down, I immediately go to work on the photos, in the order they were taken, maybe with one quick preview of the set ahead of time. At this point my Gimp Web Photo Editor extension is a crazy time-saver. In most cases, I just tweak the settings for the first photo and use those for each one that follows. After that it’s a quick ls -cr in the terminal to list the photos in order of last modified date, which I copy and paste into my blog post, wrapping each with <img src="/images/ and " alt="" /> and filling in the alt description.

Then I start the revision process, adding relevant links, correcting typos, improving flow, with minimal distraction. After I’ve read it through once or twice without making any changes, I hit Publish, and I’m done with it—ok, maybe I read it through once again on my blog. It’s always amusing how a slightly different context will expose errors and that I missed a dozen times before.

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