The Inflection Point

There is a type of blog post that I love to find. It’s that post where you know the nature of the blog is about to change. It could come after months or years of reading, but when it happens the blog will be different forever. After years of seeing these posts and thoroughly enjoying them as an outsider I now feel I am at that point. I might know how these other guys have felt.

Seeing changes in blogs is a little like seeing the inflection point in a graph. If you stare at graphs daily they become a 6th sense. You have probably seen some kind of action sport like skateboarding. When you watch a professional skateboarder you can tell that using their skateboard is second nature to them. They aren’t thinking about how to manipulate the skateboard they are thinking about how to complete the trick. The board is just apart of their body. In a way graphs, especially graphs that you look at on a daily basis, become this sense that gets directly linked into your brain. You begin to react as if they are just another sense.

Blogs are little bit like graphs in this regard. You engage with blogs throughout the day and over time you begin to pick up on their patterns. In the same way I can sense when a graph is at an inflection point I can sense when blogs are about to have an inflexion point. It’s not all that mysterious most times they are banging the reader over the head with their changing nature. The first time I ran across a post like this was on Merlin Mann’s blog 43Folders:

A notebook is basically the creative equivalent of the NFL jersey you picked up at Macy’s; unless you fill it with a lot of hard work and sacrifices, you’re just a dilettante with poor spending patterns. Anaspiring something. A fan of the game. An existential cosplayer. And, that’s not what I want to help you to be. Even if you really love Moleskines or the Raiders, God love ‘em.
- Merlin Mann

It’s pretty clear that 43Folders wasn’t ever going to be the same. I suppose it isn’t so much picking up on the fact that they are going to change it’s more that they are announcing their intentions to do something awesome and because of that you should make sure to watch the closely; hopefully they are going to do something awesome. I found a couple of these posts recently.

For this reason, I feel ashamed to complain about any aspect of the web. If I have a complaint about anything, it’s actually a complaint about myself and the choices I’ve made.

If the web is so full of Internet marketers and lifestyle bloggers that I dread opening the lid of my MacBook, then it’s my fault. If all I see are played out memes and mindless platitudes, that’s my fault, too.
- JD Bentley

And another over at Curious Rat

These websites perpetuate a myth that they are well-informed, knowledgable news outlets that tell the world what it needs to know. What I’ve learned, however, is just the opposite: they’re ad-driven FUD machines that run on pageviews stolen from attention-deficient readers who would rather digest a shocking headline on a digital tabloid than read thoughtful commentary provided on an actual news site.

More importantly, the content here is going to change significantly. Actually, change isn’t the right word I’m looking for - my content is going to grow. The new Curious Rat is going to be a place for thoughtful commentary on a variety of topics, including (but not limited to) technology, music, magic, books, art, and writing.

I may not post every day, but when I do, there will be a purpose behind it[2]. What you see in your RSS feed will have thought and feeling behind it, not just a gut reaction to something stupid someone said on the Internet.
We see that every day and you deserve better.
- Harry Marks

I have written posts like this before, but I didn’t understand what these guys were talking about… Until now that is. I don’t want to care about piddly shit anymore. I want to focus on things that actually contribute to doing good work. Like the skateboarder I want to make my tools second nature. I don’t want to spend time fighting with my text editor or caring where I put semicolons. I will always have opinions on these things, but what I care about right now is getting shit done.