A note/post on notes and posts
I’ve been publishing three types of posts on this blog for quite a while, namely, erm, posts, notes and links. Until about 2019 I was only publishing posts, so why the change?
Firstly, if you’re POSSE-ing you need to be able to publish anything on your site, whether that’s a novel, dissertation, essay, 500-word blog post, a tweet, a link to something or an image. Your readers may or may not be interested in reading tweets on your website (there’s Twitter for that), so it makes sense to separate the meaty stuff (what I call a ‘post’) from the ephemera (links and notes).
Linked to this is how you publish posts when you POSSE. For example, if you’re sending everything to micro.blog you can make it display the first 280 characters of any post or just a title with a link. This depends on whether you put anything in the
<title> element of your
xml feed; by differentiating what you publish you can automatically omit the
title from notes and links added to your feed.
When I trawl through my archives I’m amazed at just how prolific I was back in 2012. There were periods where I was publishing one or two longerform/essay-length posts every week. I just don’t have that energy these days, so the final reason is to allow less effortful posting – a note or a link doesn’t require a completely thought through argument. I’d add that this freedom is a really good thing – the more writing you do, the better you get at it.
But here’s an odd thing. The boundary between a post and a note can become blurred. An aphorism by its nature is a note, as is a photo or one or two paragraph effort. But then, when does a note achieve the solemn status of a post? Take this effort. There’s a kind of cogent argument and exploration of a subject. It’s about 350 words. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end. What do you reckon? I’m going to plump for a post.
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