Halfway through the 30 day blogging challenge

For the first time ever, this blog has seen a dutiful rhythm of more-or-less daily posts, thanks to the 30 day blogging challenge.

I’m quite satisfied with that, and equally so with the improvements to the blog itself, in terms of how it looks and what the publishing process is like. It’s a lot of increased hours in front of the computer but sustainability is a topic to be chewed on after the time-boxed challenge.

For now, I’m just enjoying the ritual of sitting down and posting something on a platform that’s mine.

I started a reading list

Inspired by Frank Hamm’s Reading List, I dug through my Amazon and Audible history for the past six month to start a Reading List of my own.

Taking inventory from time to time is healthy… it’s clear I’m much better at identifying interesting books and buying them, than actually reading them!

Goodreads doesn’t really work for me (*), so I look forward to tending this list.

2015 Reading List

Oh, trying to work through my backlog of Audible credits has made my To Read list explode. </excuse>

(*) The data entry mechanisms aren’t suited for the data accuracy that I would want with how their app is designed. As in, the forms are very detailed, like Date Started Reading, but adding and updating the status is a chore and a bore. So I never feel like the data is clean enough to be worth it. </UX designer problems>

Photo taken July 3rd, 2008 at Kamogawa Sea World, a few hours from Tokyo.

Moving blog platforms for the 37th time

Loads of silly people change their blogging platform in the middle of a 30 day blog challenge.

“The publishing experience was getting in the way!”

“I’m a better writer on {new platform}!”

Actually, I don’t know if there are loads of people like that. I know of just one, and that’s me.

At 2am a few nights ago, I abandoned Tumblr, manually copied over some recent posts (“see, that article looks better already!“), and wrote my longest post in the past month. Great.

On the other hand, I haven’t gotten around to fixing the domain re-directs because I installed WordPress in the wrong folder… so I have similar blogs all over the place, none of which anyone is reading. It’s like being naked on the street but it’s okay because there’s no one around and it’s not cold and… wait, that’ not okay.

I’ll prioritize writing today and fix the domain over the weekend. It’s a promise.

At the end of the day, Wordpress has its issues as a CMS but for updating a straight-forward personal blog, it can’t be beat.

This photo was taken in Berlin on December 7th, 2011. It’s Borofsky’s Molecule Man on the river Spree, and I stumbled upon it while scouting the city for street art. There’s a much smaller one in Tokyo right outside Opera City, a fantastic complex of cultural institutions but I hadn’t known it was a series of works. The sheer size and audacious location of these “Men” absolutely caught my fancy. 

Chugging out of the harbor, smooth sailing ahead

“On⇔Offline in Tokyo” is the best experience that I’ve had with a new blog, a re-design or a re-boot.

Note: A re-boot is when you let your blog gather dust and then start by apologizing to the non-existent audience that you’re back.

I’d gone back and forth on whether to go with yet another installation of WordPress or taking the opportunity to learn another CMS. During this dithering, I was opening up iAWriter on my laptop during the commute and just typing, typing, typing. This happened half a dozen times in the last two weeks.

With a few hours before going to bed yesterday, I decided to take the plunge because my draft documents were piling up. I didn’t want anything to clog the writing that was happening naturally!

And you know what? The out-of-the-box experience of WordPress 3.2 with Twenty Eleven was so good that I spent five minutes installing WordPress and… went back to blogging.

Note: When I first installed WordPress way back in the day, I spent countless weekend installing and hacking at plugins and themes. While definitely fun and very educational, it took 6 months to start writing.

These were my somewhat arbitrary requirements, which WordPress brilliantly fulfilled.

  1. multiple formats for single blog entries
  2. big header images customizable per single blog entry
  3. pull quote styles
  4. adaptive to mobile devices screen sizes

My advice for a smooth start? Write 3 articles in your text editor that you’re happy with, before setting up your blog system. Content first.

Hello world!

There’s a word called imasara in Japanese. An English expression that captures this nuance is something like, “…now!?” For example, if someone came up to you and said, “I’m really digging the Harry Potter series!”, you could say “Imasara!?”.

All right, so it’s the year 2011 and after half a dozen years of blogging in various places around the Internet and manning more Twitter accounts than I can count, I’ve decided to start a personal English blog. Imasara.

Here are my reasons.

  • There are things I want to write about that don’t make sense for Global Voices or the AQ blog.
  • I believe that for a professional in the web industry, a content production habit more than pays off in insights and inspirations related to the online sphere.
  • I have a 30 min x 2 commute, mostly sitting down. Usually, I catch up on Instapaper (good days) or play Tetris while listening to a Slate podcast (pretending to be productive).
  • I want a nice home for my photos, and Flickr’s not it anymore.
  • I love blogging.

I’m pretty psyched, actually. Hello world, and welcome.

Read more about me here.