What the blog?!

Love/Hate. That’s the relationship I have with my blog these days. I still ‘write’ plenty of blogposts in my head, just don’t get to writing them down for real when I have the time to do it. And that annoys me a little to be honest. Although the blog is not the only part of my online presence anymore since there are also Posterous, Flickr, Twitter and numerous other initiatives it still is sort of central to all initiatives and I’m not ready to turn it off yet.

I still believe strongly in having a central landing page, for people and for brands, around which all the other initiatives gravitate so to say. I don’t agree with Steve Rubel’s view on the concept of the siteless web for that matter. It’s clear that sole focus on your own website is a bit short-sighted today, so extending one’s web presence in social for instance is crucial. What I don’t want to do is put the center of my presence on a service that gives me only limited control, that I don’t own 100%.  But hey that’s me.

So enough stuff to share, I’ll be making time again to write them down. Cheers.

This place

This place is now almost 5 years old. And it has outgrown itself a bit. When I started blogging it was the center of my online presence, it was pretty much the only place that allowed me to ventilate thoughts as well as share the things that I liked. Over the last 5 years that has obviously changed quite a bit and over the last few weeks and months I’ve been feeling more and more unhappy with how this blog fitted in the total picture. With regular activity on Delicious, Twitter, Flickr, … and plenty of other places I’ve come to the decision that I need to make some changes to this blog that are beyond what WordPress.com allows me to do. That’s one reason.

Another reason why there’s a lot less activity here has something to do with planning. During my trip last weekend to NYC I came to realize that most of my blogging activity in the past was organized around the frequent trips/flights for work. With an average of one trip per 10 days or so, you can imagine that all the time at airports, planes, hotelrooms, … where ideal to organize your thoughts and do some writing. All that changed some 9 months ago when I left Microsoft, but it was only during that flight last week that it hit me how much I was organized around all that travel. And as such why I found it harder to find the time to write stuff recently.

All of that made me decide it’s time for something new. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what that might be, but not yet by who and when I can change it all. What is certain is that crossthebreeze.com will always be the center of my online presence, that it should be a place that connects everything in one location. Some kind of Friendfeed but then on my terms, or like Tumblr/Posterous but then with more options and where I can be in full control, or like… well you catch my drift :)

Care to help me out in developing that place? Let me know.

Been a while…

I know. Over the last few weeks every once in a while someone would ping me or come up to me and ask me if I had stopped blogging, if I had enough of the writing already and moved on. And of course, nobody needed to come up to me to realize the blogging was at a very low (to non existent) pace the last few weeks and months. And like I told the people who asked before I can tell you as well it is not my intention at all to stop blogging.

When you read some of my last blogposts you know my professional life has had a bit of a shake up (to say the least). I rather unexpectedly spent my last day at Microsoft in May, thus was forced to start jobhunting just before summer in what are probably some of the toughest economic conditions out there. And although some interesting leads came in quite rapidly, supported by some of you… it doesn’t really create the right setting to be thinking about much else than work, life and family. There were some things at that time I did want blog about but they were to closely related to the job interviews, so I decided against doing so.

Luckily for me I found a new home at Duval Guillaume where I was offered the right new challenge in what interests me most thinking about communication in all it’s forms. Next to offering me the right new challenge, DG also offered me a lot of work :) hence why getting back to blogging wasn’t on my immediate agenda either. Always when you start at a new company it takes you about 100 days to get to know ‘how they roll’ and how you can become a part of it. I’m exactly in the middle of that right now and it’s pretty interesting so hopefully I can share some of that during the coming weeks as well. Last but not least they’re all good people as well so it doesn’t feel like I’m alone in this either.

And let’s not forget it’s summertime so I’ve been on holiday for a while as well (like all of you I suppose), first to Umbria where I had one of the most enjoyable family holidays and just last week I went to the Provence for a few days with friends to climb Mont Ventoux with the racing bicycle, another memorable event :)

Does this mean I’m back? Well kinda. I still enjoy blogging etc. a lot but time will always be an important in making this happen. I used to write most of my posts the last few months and years while on travel for work, something I don’t really do anymore right now. Suffice to say I need to rethink when is the best time to write. I do think about a lot of posts I want to write while driving to work, but that’s kinda like playing air-guitar… nothing really happens in the end ;). I also want to change my blog to a more central place of everything I share online and not just lengthy blogposts: favorite videos on Youtube, links on Delicious, … you know the story. I have an idea of what I want to do to change this, now someone need to tell me it’s possible. Let me know if you can be that one!

Begun this clone tool has

Just found this image and many more on a new blog called Photoshop Disasters, a destination I would recommend to all designers to bookmark. If ever you’re finishing some late job, tired, … take a look at this blog and you’ll get some energy back to finish in style. And not like how some of the work you’ll see here.

PhotoshopMadness

[Via Adverblog]

Blog design

I find myself slowly getting tired of my actual blog design these days. Looking back at when I actually changed to the current theme it seems to be almost a year ago, so I guess this is a yearly recurring thought. The biggest difference between now and then is that back then I really had it with the design, today that’s not the case yet. I just notice I’m getting ready for a change.

Together with this yearly design question, the self-hosting question pops up as well. I’m not a techie so I like the fact that I don’t need to care about any updates or hosting issues. That said, there are only that many themes you can choose from on WordPress.com and the limitations on adding code for widgets and tracking can be annoying from time to time as well. I understand the balance between the 2 current options you have with WordPress, it’s just that I’m not sure where I should go for today.

What do you think? I could use a bit of help on this one. Should I just leave all as is? Should I stay on WordPress.com and just get a new theme (like I did with my other blog a few weeks ago)? Or have someone do my own design and host the whole thing myself as well? I don’t know, you?