I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Blogging Is Blogging

I’ve been want­ing to sit down and blog for a while now, and I’ve had that age old prob­lem of not know­ing where to start. As I sat here try­ing to think about why I’m hav­ing trouble blog­ging, the thought came to me that until I star­ted to use the off­line blog­ging tool MarsEdit I did­n’t have much of an issue.
So, I hear the ques­tion being asked, “Why don’t you stop using it?”.
The simple answer to that is I don’t want to. I like using the app, it’s a pleas­ure to use. When I’m sat on my laptop, hit­ting Cmd‑1 to post a link and a few thoughts about the page I have just read makes the simple posts a pleas­ure to use. Then there’s the advant­age that I haven’t always got access to an inter­net con­nec­tion (although I do have it at home now!), so being able to work on a blog post without it is nice. I think the prob­lem stems from a deep­er root.
When I bought MarsEdit, I think some­where a change in my mind­set occurred. I began to hoard a few titles in my loc­al drafts, some slightly fleshed out while oth­ers were just titles with a sen­tence to remind me what the post was meant to be about. Now when I worked purely in the Word­Press inter­face, I had the odd title but most of the time they did­n’t amount to much. But with MarsEdit drafts I felt this pres­sure to write a back­log of posts so that I can just chuck one out when the tim­ing seems right. But it was­n’t just the pres­sure to write a back­log of posts, it was a pres­sure to write a back­log of art­icles. Big long posts about some­thing. Now for many people this is what their blog is for, writ­ing big long posts about stuff. But I don’t work like that. Every time I try to do it, I fall flat on my face.
I guess what this post is doing is re-align­ing my focus. I’m not a blog­ger who can sit and write great long art­icles, I don’t work like that. I’m not the greatest writer and I’m the first to admit that. I’ll leave the big long posts to the people who are good at it like Shawn and Mr. Gruber, what I will do is bring my blog­ging back to me. If I’m in the mood to blog and have an idea then that’s it, I’m gonna write about it. I’m not gonna jot down a title start a post and then leave it for revi­sions to be made, for me that’s not what blog­ging is about, that’s journ­al­ism. I’ll just write when I want to and keep the links rolling.
With that I only have one more thing to say.
Happy 2008!

Tweaks

Apo­lo­gies if you are on the blog this afternoon/evening, I’m mak­ing a few tweaks and hav­ing a bit of a refresh so if you exper­i­ence a few bits of funky­ness they should only be momentary.

Going Commentless

Yep you did read that right. For the last few months I have been debat­ing turn­ing off the com­ments by default, in a sim­il­ar man­ner to John Gruber, Jason Kot­tke and many oth­ers. The debate has ranged from many dif­fer­ent angles, but in the end always returns to the same con­clu­sion, and I just wanted to tell you a little about that.
When I star­ted blog­ging I always envis­aged hav­ing a blog that’s pop­u­lar and has a lot of people read and com­ment on the posts. Over the two years I’ve been blog­ging, that desire has waned a little, well a lot. Yes, I would still like to have a “pop­u­lar” blog, but that’s not why I blog. I blog for me, it’s my hobby, but I also blog to try and tell people about Jesus and how my faith in HIm affects and changes my life. It’s a per­son­al blog that cov­ers a few dif­fer­ent interests in a bit more detail (but often not as much as I would like) and keeps a col­lec­tion of links which I find inter­est­ing and that I would like to share with oth­er people. I like to think that I do this reas­on­ably well, not amaz­ingly but I do enjoy it, and that’s what counts. Right?
Gen­er­ally it has­n’t bothered me that I don’t get streams of com­ments, in fact I only just have more com­ments on this blog than I do posts. But, occa­sion­ally I write some­thing which I think will bring com­ments and inter­ac­tion and it does­n’t. It’s this dis­ap­point­ment I am try­ing to avoid. I enjoy blog­ging, I want to keep it that way. I don’t want to con­tinu­ally feel dis­ap­poin­ted that no one is com­ment­ing on a post that I thought they would, nor do I want people to com­ment because they feel obliged. If people want to get in touch, and please do it’s great receive a response to some­thing I wrote, I want it to be genu­ine. This little fact is what’s tipped the bal­ance finally, and it was helped by a recent email from Wess Daniels.
I received an email through my con­tact page from Wess, because the com­ments wer­en’t work­ing on a blog post. It made the thought behind it, much more per­son­al and spe­cial and meant more to me and made more impact on me than I think a com­ment would’ve done. So with that I am clos­ing the com­ments on Elec­tric Week­end (but the con­tact page is still there!).

Blogs can be blogs

I had a bit of a real­isa­tion today regard­ing my blog. Recently as you might have guessed with my little flir­ta­tion with Tumblr, I’ve been hav­ing a few issues with my blog and it’s dir­ec­tion. I’ve been con­sid­er­ing a lot of what I want from it, what I “should” be doing with it. I guess I’ve kind of been obsess­ing with find­ing a place in the big wide world of blog­ging. So many times I’ve read about hav­ing a niche, a spe­cial­ism if you will, that in order to be a “suc­cess” you need to be a bit of an elit­ist. I’ve always struggled with that concept, I’ve nev­er been able to carve out a niche, or devel­op my blog into some­thing that can be con­sidered a “suc­cess”. Today I think I finally real­ised why that is. It’s not me.
This morn­ing in my RSS read­er I came across this post from Khoi Vinh of Subtraction.com fame. He has this repu­ta­tion for design, for his blog design, for speak­ing about design for know­ing about design. I added Sub­trac­tion to my RSS because of that, but what’s kept it there is his writ­ing. It’s not always about design, heck today’s post was about base­ball. I know noth­ing about base­ball. But I still enjoyed it. Which is when it hit me. I need to stop try­ing to be “someone” and be me.
People like me for who I am in real­ity, so why with my blog am I try­ing to be someone and not just being me. It’s not what you write about, it’s how you write it. So, instead of try­ing to give my blog a niche, try­ing to make it “some­thing” I’m just going to let it reflect me. It’s going to be a nat­ur­al reflec­tion of the per­son who owns it. As long as I am able to write well, and in an inter­est­ing way that I enjoy, then that’s all that mat­ters. I hope that you guys who read, will like my blog and me for just being nat­ur­al. I hope my writ­ing will grow because of it, but this is my hobby, and if I’m enjoy­ing then that will reflect in what I write. That is, after all, the most import­ant reas­on to be doing it.

IE 6

GRRRRRRRRR! Why is it that IE 6 won’t dis­play webpages how the oth­er browsers dis­play them. If you know CSS and are able to hack it so that webpages dis­play cor­rectly can you help. The site I am build­ing is found here and I am hav­ing issues with the search bar and text updates no appear­ing. Any help would be greatly appre­ci­ated, please drop a com­ment or email via the con­tact form.

The Formal.

Intro­duc­tion that is. I’m just going to explain how this blog works, what to look out for and to request design feedback.
You will notice in an earli­er post I made a com­ment about only hav­ing 3 cat­egor­ies. Now the keen eyed ones amoungst you will notice this is sig­ni­fic­antly less than my pre­vi­ous blog which had around 10. Now the idea behind this is that each post will be either classed as ‘con­tent’, ‘notes’ or ‘note­worthy’. The ‘con­tent’ posts will be the main blog posts. They are most likely to make up the meat of my blog. The ‘notes’ will be little snip­pets of info, they maybe a link to a site I have vis­ited which I want to share with the world or just a gen­er­al post that does­n’t quite war­rant being classed as ‘con­tent’. This leaves just the ‘note­worthy’ cat­egory. Posts with­in this cat­egory are posts which I feel deserve a little bit of extra mer­it, some­thing to make them stand out from the crowd a little bit.
Ok, so thats how the cat­egor­ies are going to work. You might be won­der­ing how the heck am I going to find some­thing about a piece of design Phil has done? Well the simple answer is this. Each post will have a list of tags. These tags will help you nar­row down your search. For example, if I make a post about the pro­ject I handed in on Tues­day, it will con­tain tags along the lines of “design, my design, cal­en­dar, pro­ject, uni”. You could then go to the search, or the tag cloud on the archives page and select maybe cal­en­dar. This will then show you all the posts that have been tagged with this.
Whilst over the next few weeks you may see the appear­ance of my blog change, some of it is already nailed down how I want it to look. The over­all look of the blog for instance is likely to stay in this single column view. The flickr stream (those pic­tures at the bot­tom) is also likely to stay where it is. You can see the com­ments mod­ule as well just above the flickr stream. Its likely this will stay here, although its appear­ance is likely to change. I can­’t get the feed­link icon to move next to the com­ments head­ing at the moment, very frustrating!
Any­way, I will sign off now as this post is get­ting long. I hope to give you more of an insight of what is in store for my blog over the next week.

Welcome.

Wel­come to electricweekend.com. This is my offi­cial blog. It is under a peri­od of test­ing at the moment. It is likely to go through a lot of changes in the next 2 or 3 weeks.
Since this is my first post of the blog, I have placed it in the note­worthy cat­egory. Although it does­n’t say alot, it still rep­res­ents an import­ant mile stone in the life of this blog.

The Last One…

Well not the last one ever, just on this blog. I’m mov­ing you see. Here is the link
NEW BLOG
so as a small request, those of you who read this, have it book­marded, or have links to this blog please update them to my new one. You see the new one is more inter­est­ing. It’s more Phil. So every­one rush over HERE and read that one instead.
Thanks