Sunday, July 24, 2016

To post or not to post

It’s been nearly 2 months since I skipped a blog post, and we can’t have that, so I’ll be skipping this week.

Well, okay: to tell the truth, it’s only been a month or so since I actually skipped a post.  But it’s been 7 weeks since I posted saying I wasn’t going to post.  The other skipped post was my annual traveling-for-YAPC-and-just-spaced post.  That hardly counts at all.

So I’m posting here to say that I’m not posting, which is already both oxymoronic, paradoxical, and meta, all at once.  (Yes, that’s right: it’s all two of those three things.  I said it was paradoxical.)  And, while I’m posting about not posting, I’m telling you about my other type of not posting, which was not posting about not posting.  Now, often when I post about not posting about not posting, I post about posting, which makes my non-post almost a post, although it’s typically not as long as an actual post, so I often don’t count it as a post, but rather a post about not posting (which it also is).  But this is not that.  Rather, this is a post that is reflective of the collective of my posts about not posting.  See, my posts have labels.  All my posts.  Even the posts about not posting.  Those posts get a special label, “interstitial,” which indicates their non-postiness.  You know, in case you don’t want to actually read the posts about not posting, on account of their lack of postiness, you can easily skip them, because they all have the same label.  “Interstitial,” of course, means “between things”—in this case, it means the posts about not posting which are between the actual posts about things.

But there’s also a little “word cloud” over to the left (near the bottom), and, you know what I’ve noticed recently?  The “interstitial” tag is the biggest one.  That’s not really how I’d hoped this blog would turn out.  Now, on the one hand, it’s not particularly a fair comparison, because the posts about things all have different labels (22 of them, not counting the the posts which are not posts at all and the posts which are essentially just links to other posts), while the posts about not posting all have a single label.  So, it makes a certain amount of sense that that label has more entries.  That doesn’t make it any more palatable though.

There are 82 posts with the “interstitial” tag.  The next closest would be the “Perl” posts (i.e. the posts which are links to other posts) at 52, then the “fiction” posts that represent my ongoing novel, at 37.  The largest “proper” blog post label is “music,” which has 32 posts, primarily because I find those really easy to crank out, so it’s a standard fallback when I’m pressed for time.  But another interesting point about these labels is that any post can have multiple tags.  So many of the posts which are tagged posts about not posting are actually posts about things, but just not full posts about things.  So they get stuck labeled as “interstitial” when they’re really just ... short.

Like this post, for instance.  I’ll label it “interstitial,” and perhaps also “metablogging,” since it’s a post about posting.  Which is even more oxymoronic and paradoxical (and meta) because now it’s going to be tagged as a post about posting and a post about not posting.  Mildly bizarre.

Now, 37 of the 82 posts tagged “interstitial” are also tagged something else, meaning that only 45 of the posts about not posting are actually about not posting ... or at least only 45 are only about not posting.  I’m starting to think that maybe I need a different label for posts about things that are not full posts about things.  Perhaps “partial” would be appropriate.

Anyhow, this post about not posting has turned out not to be about not posting so much as about posting, and posting labels, and posts in general.  Not sure that makes up for it not being a “proper” post, but perhaps it’s still better than being about not posting at all.  I’ll let you be the judge.

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