All in the <head>

– Ponderings & code by Drew McLellan –

– Live from The Internets since 2003 –


Ideas of March

15 March 2011

When I started this site in 2003 — as best as I can tell it was 2003 — a individual’s personal site or blog was pretty much their primary method for joining the online conversation. If you had something you wanted to share, you wrote a blog post. Others would read it, and if they found it to be of value they might link to it in a post of their own. Or leave a comment. That’s how we all communicated.

At that time there was an amazing wealth of content being posted to blogs, and truthfully, it was the primary way I picked up information around the subject of web design, and spurred me to form my own opinions on subjects I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about. Because you can’t blog without an opinion.

One thing I’ve found over the last four-and-a-half years of using Twitter (where did that time go?) is that the opinions and ideas that I used to consider for a while and then focus into a blog post now get fired off into a 140 character tweet and forgotten. Twitter has in many ways replaced the role of blogs as the simplest outlet for the shared thought. Rather than going through the process of refining thoughts and reasoning into something (hopefully) coherent, we condense those thoughts into a single terse headline and move on.

Whilst I really love Twitter, I do think it’s a shame that we now mainly get to hear people’s opinions, but without hearing the reasoning behind those opinions that you would normally find in a longer blog post. Not to mention that it’s far easier to tweet without an opinion, and I think the conversation is fundamentally weakened that way.

We need a blog revival

This isn’t a backlash against Twitter, however. There’s room for both — for quick headline thoughts and for more reasoned posts. I think it would be a shame to have only the former and none of the latter. As such, I’ve been making a bit more of an effort to dust off my own blog and to post some of the things I would normally just tweet. Prompted by Chris, I’m making the pledge to post more for the rest of March, as I have already begun to this last week.

Here’s how you can join in the blog revival:

  • Write a post called Ideas of March.
  • List some of the reasons you like blogs.
  • Pledge to blog more the rest of the month.
  • Share your thoughts on Twitter with the #ideasofmarch hashtag.

Let’s see if we can tip the scales back a little and find a better balance between tweets and posts. Will you join us?

- Drew McLellan



  1. § Gustavo :

    Drew I agree with you, this year I have been trying to blog 2 to 3 times a month – something useful to the community and to my students.

    I think overall its been good for me and for the audience, not that there really is a big one but nonetheless I hope people get more from it.

    I haven’t written an Ideas of March yet but look forward to, well maybe at least in spirit.


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About Drew McLellan

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Drew McLellan (@drewm) has been hacking on the web since around 1996 following an unfortunate incident with a margarine tub. Since then he’s spread himself between both front- and back-end development projects, and now is Director and Senior Web Developer at in Maidenhead, UK (GEO: 51.5217, -0.7177). Prior to this, Drew was a Web Developer for Yahoo!, and before that primarily worked as a technical lead within design and branding agencies for clients such as Nissan, Goodyear Dunlop, Siemens/Bosch, Cadburys, ICI Dulux and Somewhere along the way, Drew managed to get himself embroiled with Dreamweaver and was made an early Macromedia Evangelist for that product. This lead to book deals, public appearances, fame, glory, and his eventual downfall.

Picking himself up again, Drew is now a strong advocate for best practises, and stood as Group Lead for The Web Standards Project 2006-08. He has had articles published by A List Apart, Adobe, and O’Reilly Media’s, mostly due to mistaken identity. Drew is a proponent of the lower-case semantic web, and is currently expending energies in the direction of the microformats movement, with particular interests in making parsers an off-the-shelf commodity and developing simple UI conventions. He writes here at all in the head and, with a little help from his friends, at 24 ways.