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100 Days

100 Days to Offload: Day 1

I sat down approximately 5 hours ago to start writing this post. And then, as often happens anytime I write a blog post, I promptly got distracted making completely unrelated tweaks to how my website works. Therefore, I now have a new theme installed, updated my plugins, and cleaned up my blog post categories. And with that, I am finally starting in on the new post!

I have found over the years that some of the best changes in my life happen when I choose to do something somewhat at random, and don’t put a lot of extra research and planning into it. My switch to the keto diet a few years ago is one good example. Another was the choice a little over a week ago to join challenge to do 2000 lunges in 10 days (1000/leg) with my sister, which turned out to improve my workout habits some while working from home. And that brings us to last night…

100 Days to Offload

Yesterday evening, while scrolling through my Fosstodon timeline, I ran across this post from Kev Quirk:

So what’s the purpose of the challenge? Put simply: Just. Write. For 100 (ideally consecutive) days, write a new post for your blog. It doesn’t matter what you write about, or how great the content is. The goal is simply to write daily.

I thought this all sounded like a fun idea, and so I mentioned it to my sister, who immediately wanted to join in (you can check out her blog here). And so, with very little thought or planning (other than to make a note to start today on my to-do list), I decided that I would give it a try!

Day 1

With all of the introduction and explanation complete, here are my actual thoughts for today.

It’s a dreary, rainy day here in Central Illinois. I won’t complain much though, because I needed a day off to relax. I work in the agriculture industry, and this is one of our busiest times of the year. Even while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been staying at least as busy as normal, and perhaps busier. Most weekdays I’ve been working on projects in my home office for 10+ hours a day, and some on the weekends. Rainy days tend to bring a slight respite to that schedule.

So today I took a relaxing morning, enjoyed my daily dose of coffee, continued reading Console Wars, which I hope to complete this weekend (it’s really interesting, just rather long), and then began working on my website, and this blog post. Once this is complete, I will probably perform some tech maintenance around my house (updates need ran on multiple machines), and work on creating a playlist for my family’s next remote game of “Name That Tune”. We’ve been playing together using Zoom (my sister and I already had it for work, so it was the most natural choice), and so far it’s been a ton of fun, although it takes some preparation on my part.

I’m unsure of what the rest of the posts in this series/challenge will look like. Some days will probably just be passing on an interesting article I read. Other days may include musings on life, home projects, the news, or anything else that is on my mind.

To that end, if you have any recommendations on topics for me to write about throughout this challenge, please reach out and let me know! I have contact via email disabled currently, but you can reach me on social media (yes, I’m back on social media, I’ll explain that another time) using the links at the bottom of my website.

And if you’re super bored, check out the podcast that my sister and I host, Sibling Summit! We post new episodes twice a month, and discuss pretty much any topic that crosses our minds!

Final Thoughts

As I was reading through my RSS feed over lunch, I saw a post by Cal Newport (from today) entitled “Bring Back Blogs?“, which advocates for the use of blogs over Twitter for experts to publish long-form information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interesting timing, and I completely agree his assessment:

When confined to Twitter, pandemic experts mainly express themselves through 15- or 20-tweet long threads. Not only is this format cumbersome to consume, it also can’t easily be updated. To make matters worse, these threads are quickly pushed out of view by the downward pressure of the growing user timeline. A page or post on a blog, on the other hand, allows the expert to more easily write long-form content, including links to their articles and rich graphics, they can easily update as new information arises. In addition, a stable section of core articles can be maintained at the top of the site where they will be immediately visible and not pushed out of view by new content.

In this proposal, these experts wouldn’t abandon social media. On the contrary, they would continue to actively engage with these platforms to summarize their ideas and comment on events, while the platforms would continue to work their algorithmic magic to amplify the more impactful content. The big change, however, is that this short-form content can now be pointing back to their longer, more stable elaborations.

“‘Expert Twitter’ Only Goes So Far. Bring Back Blogs” by Cal Newport

I’m definitely not an expert on anything health related, but I would strongly advocate for experts (and amateurs) in a variety of fields to return to blogging for long-form content!

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100DaysToOffload.com.