cafebedouin.org: 2020 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021

In 2020, I posted 418 entries with a total of 58,670 words (most of which are quotes of someone else). There were +8750 views by +6,400 visitors to cafebedouin.org. Most of the views are concentrated either on the main page or the most popular posts, these had 100 views or more:

My favorite posts of the year:

In 2020, I posted once a day, which seems like the right amount. It encourages me to write or find something new to think about every day.

As I wrote last year, “I still would like to move to a format where half the posts are in a Foucault hupomnemata-style, i.e., ‘to capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.’ It strikes me that the Zettelkasten Method is essentially the same thing.

Perhaps the evolution here is to use the WordPress format and write short commentary posts on a daily or weekly basis to capture ideas, and then try to thread them together into a more formal page that incorporate these bits into a monthly essay. Anyway, I think this is the direction I’m going to explore in the coming year.

cafebedouin.org: 2019 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2020

In 2019, I posted 931 entries, all post views were up to +14,000 views by +9,000 visitors to cafebedouin.org, roughly three times the level of last year. Most of the views are concentrated either on the main page or the most popular posts:

My favorite posts of the year:

In 2019, I went for a twice a day posting schedule that expanded to three times a day mid-year as I incorporated a review of my photo archive. Frankly, this is a brutal posting schedule. I could probably do twice a day comfortably, but I think I’m going to focus a bit more on quality and only commit to doing a single post a day and maybe do something original once a week in the coming year.

I still would like to move to a format where half the posts are in a Foucault hupomnemata-style, i.e., “to capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.” And I think some of the sources I have mentioned last year are still worth exploring:

  • I have been collecting rules and maxims for life over the last 1.5 years or so, and there are now over 400 of them. I could do a year just using these as writing prompts.
  • I still haven’t included very much material from the commonplace book I kept for years before starting cafebedouin.org. Adding in material from it with some reflection now that it has been several years might be interesting.
  • Open-ended stream-of-consciousness writing. However, it probably won’t be much fun to read. I beg your pardon.

Offline, I did Postcard Friday, on more of a monthly basis this year. And I think this was both good and something to do more of, perhaps with tie-in to the blog. Still thinking through how this might work, so maybe something for next year?

In short, expect some changes and fewer posts in the coming year.

Labor Day Break

Labor Day seems like a good day to start a break from cafebedouin.org. I’m thinking two weeks, maybe less. In the interim, pictures will continue to post every day because I scheduled them through September 15th already. Also, there’s a scheduled post for September 10th.

Enjoy the day with you and yours. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see more of, please feel free to leave a comment. I recently crossed a thousand posts, and views are near 10,000 for the year, which is already three times last year. Frankly, it seems crazy. It seems like a good time to think a little deeper about what I’m up to on this site.

cafebedouin.org: 2018 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2019

“In 2018, I would also like to get back to more original content. I’m thinking it would be good to post something original once a week, but spread it across different forms: poetry, essays, drawing, photography and so forth. Maybe also do more brief commentary of 250 words or less, sketches of story ideas or fragments, aphorisms, book reviews and the like. The goal still being to post something everyday, something that seems weird or interesting, just with some more originals.”

cafebedouin.org: 2017 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2018

I posted something every day in 2018. The top five posts were:

  1. Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor: Summary
  2. OpenBSD: Configuring mutt & gpg/gpg2
  3. Freedom & Limits: The ASUS C201 with libreboot and Parabola Linux
  4. Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1903) – The Public Domain Review
  5. OpenBSD & The Command Line

As of a few hours ago, cafebedouin.org had 3,314 views, 2,097 visitors, 522 likes and 36 comments in 2018. It seems like a lot for a little idiosyncratic personal blog that I never imagined anyone reading.

My favorite posts of the year were:

I think I did more original content in 2018 over 2017. Still, I’d like to do more.

So, I’m going to go with a twice a day posting schedule for 2019. In the mornings, it’ll continue as before with links to articles and websites with quotes and maybe some commentary. I often schedule these posts a week or more in advance. I’ll also keep Sunday reserved for music (or visual media) I’ve been listening to recently or find interesting for one reason or another.

In the evenings, the posts will be a Foucault-style hupomnemata, i.e., “to capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.”

I once read of the process of the French essayist, Alain, who set out two pieces of paper, kept a quote or topic in mind, and then wrote until the pages were filled. He did not edit, and the results—such as his book, Alain on Happiness—explore ideas with immediacy and occasional brilliance. Of course, this approach can also be repetitive, but the repetition can help bring out different facets of an idea.

I’m no Alain. But, then again, Alain wasn’t Alain at first either. Maybe Foucault is right that the writing process itself can be transformative.

So, mornings are for exploration of the new. Evenings are for synthesis, bringing the unknown into the known. This is the initial idea, at any rate.

Possible fodder for evening posts:

  • I have been collecting rules and maxims for life over the last six months or so, and I was thinking of doing a once a week series with that focus.
  • I still haven’t included any material from the commonplace book I kept for years before starting cafebedouin.org. Adding in material from it with some reflection now that it has been several years might be interesting.
  • It might also be worth doing open-ended stream-of-consciousness writing. However, it probably won’t be much fun to read. I beg your pardon.

The main goal is to keep evening posts short, immediate, and to keep the editing filter in check and see what materializes.

Also, I’m also thinking of trying to do some watercolor in the coming year. It might work as part of the Postcard Friday I mentioned in my year in review as a possibility for 2019. Adding a photo of my attempts might also make it as an evening post.

In short, expect some changes and more posts in the coming year.