Hello (again) world

New from the MySociety genii:, capsule the curiously-capitalised PlaceOpedia. Think Google Maps ? Wikipedia. Brilliant. Except that, as I write, all the links read


I’m going to try something a little different. I’ve been struggling to make time to blog over the last few months — years, story even — but I miss both the discipline and the practice of writing daily. So I’m going to start flowblogging. That is: using the utterly ridiculous writing application Flowstate to write a post, stuff ideally (though, doubtless, not actually) daily.

Flowstate works like this: if I stop typing for a few seconds, my words start to fade out, and are eventually deleted. I have to keep going at a reasonably steady pace for at least as long as the timer I’ve set (in this case, five minutes) before anything gets saved. The idea, I think, is that staying focussed and simply pressing ahead can, at times, be helpful. I can sort-of buy into that.

Back in broadcast (oh, how many of my stories start with ‘back in broadcast…’) we used to talk about the tyranny of the blank script. That ghastly moment when you stare at an empty page accompanied only by your notes and thoughts from the past few weeks. At that point, at that precise moment, right now you have to commit to something. You have to pick an opening line and follow your nose. Until that moment you could have gone one of eleventeen different ways, but once you start writing, you have to commit.

It’s good discipline. Not because it leads to the best writing, but because it leads to some writing. Perhaps that’s what I need right now.

Ten seconds to go. I’ll add a link to the application, then publish.

Point-of-view tourism

Slate: How the U.S. media would cover Thanksgiving if it were in another country.

Funny. True.

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