All in the <head>

– Ponderings & code by Drew McLellan –

– Live from The Internets since 2003 –


Ideas of March

15 March 2013

In between the first and the second time I re-pledged my commitment to the medium of blogging, I posted just three times. This year, it’s four times, which represents a strong upward trend. Let’s say it represents a strong upward trend.

Last year, I wrote about the permanence of ideas, and the trend towards short-form fire-and-forget tweets serving as the only written expression of important thoughts and ideas. How 140 characters can so vastly over-distill an expression that perhaps all that is left is a bitter syrupy remnant of an otherwise complex and nuanced thought. Worse still, the distillation never occurs, the idea overflows and escapes leaving nothing but a curious smell and a slight unease around naked flames.

This year, my thoughts are turned to something much more fundamental. Chris writes about the shutdown of Google Reader and with it, the importance of not only capturing and expressing your thoughts and ideas, but continuing to own the means by which they are published. Ever since the halcyon days of Web 2.0, we’ve been netting our butterflies and pinning them to someone else’s board. The more time that passes, the more we contribute and the more we become invested in platforms that are becoming less and less relevant to current market conditions and trends.

Will it end well? It will not.

If content is important to you, keep it close. If your content is important to others, keep it close and well backed up. Hope that what you’ve created never has to die. Make sure that if something has to die, it’s you that makes that decision. Own your own data, friends, and keep it safe.

Well, this has been weird.

- Drew McLellan



  1. § Josh KG:

    Hah! Best way to end a blog post.

  2. § Nathan Pitman:

    This is why we should all make more of a commitment to services like :)

  3. § Andy White:

    @Nathan Pitman – As far as I know, is a proprietary network. Paid for, yes, and with ‘promises’ to be data-portable forever, but you don’t “own” it or the data you put into it.


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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.