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What I’ve learned from blogging for an entire decade

Part 1: before the blog
Part 2: meeting other bloggers
Part 3: how blogging helped me as an entrepreneur
Part 4: The biggest drawback to blogging (you are here)


Blogging leads to unchanging opinions

As I told in the first part of this series, blogging is tremendously helpful for learning. Keeping this online journal has helped me learn about other languages and cultures, it’s helped me learn about writing and most of all it’s helped me learn about myself from a more detached point of view. But it comes with a terrible price—it has made it far more difficult for me to change my opinion.

Unfortunately, people are strongly influenced to believe what they write publicly. This bias is so strong that it was the subject of a full chapter of Cialdini’s classic book Influence. People will even tend to start believing things that they previously didn’t when writing them in public! I don’t know of any specific research on arguing, but I suspect people who publicly argue for a position become even more entrenched in their belief of it.

As a blogger who wrote multiple posts per week and occasionally ended up in huge arguments with other bloggers, it was an effect I felt acutely. Even when nobody disagreed with me, I could feel my openness to other points of view slowly decrease as I wrote repeatedly about various topics revolving around education, language learning, politics or blogging. This is the main reason I stopped blogging so much, even before leaving Taiwan.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say that blogging isn’t a fantastic way to get feedback from other people and get closer to the truth at any given time. Over the course of days or weeks, it’s great. The danger is that after you come to a decision based on all of the feedback and have repeated it for a few months, then it gets harder and harder not to influence yourself to stick to it and even dig in further over time.

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival


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What I’ve learned from blogging for an entire decade

Part 1: before the blog
Part 2: meeting other bloggers
Part 3: How blogging helped me as an entrepreneur (you are here)
Part 4: The biggest drawback to blogging


The good times for EFL teachers in Taiwan ended in 1999

Along with Japan, Hong Kong and Korea, Taiwan invested early and invested heavily in English education. By the mid 80s, foreign teachers were in such high demand that it was not uncommon for people fresh off the boat to be earning over $35USD/hour and without any prior teaching experience. Very, very few schools were foreign run and those that were had a big advantage.

Even into the late 90s, most competent foreign teachers who were bilingual or had a bilingual local partner could successfully start English teaching schools. It wasn’t like that in 2006.

Since Taiwan is a fantastic place to live and very open compared to other Asian countries, a relatively percentage of western English teachers decide to stay for the long-term and settle down in Taiwan. It’s far more common than in Japan or especially Korea. For most of these teachers, the best career option is to open a business that leverages their unique skills as a foreigner—generally either an English teaching school or a western-style restaurant or bar.

The number of foreign-run English schools (and restaurants) in Taiwan has exploded and the bar has been raised year after year for decades. At the same time, the number of Taiwanese children has been decreasing. Taiwan has one of the lowest birthrates in the world right now. The result of these two trends is that the market is brutal—the supply and quality of schools has been increasing while the demand has been falling. While it’s still easy in cities that foreigners don’t like to live in, the market was saturated in Taipei long ago.

Opening a school in 2006 in Taipei wasn’t quite as tough as now in 2016, but far, far more difficult than in 1996. Fortunately for me, I had a huge unfair advantage.

Starting without capital

As I wrote earlier in this series, I was a top-performing English teacher. I was earning over double what most foreign teachers did and I had a very loyal following of students, but (legally) opening a school takes some money. Finding a suitable local partner is also extremely difficult for most foreigners. This blog helped me avoid both of those problems.

I was getting about one serious contact per month from someone who had read my writing on this site and wanted to start a business with me. While some were basically looking for someone to do everything for them, I did meet one very agreeable couple who had been struggling for several months after buying a school with only a dozen or so students. But they seemed like their hearts were in the right place and they really cared about providing a quality education for their students. They had read quite a few of my articles on teaching and even better it turned out they knew my best friend Martin! It wasn’t clear what I could do for them that would make economic sense though, since I was earning over double what the average foreign teacher did and I lived out in Guishan, not Taipei.

In the end, they offered me something that was both a great deal and a bit crazy—for me to join their school, recruit students, use my teaching methods, write a curriculum and handle the entire academic side of a new program for them. I’d have no base salary, but take a set amount per student per hour that I taught personally and 30% equity in the business with no money down.

There was a great deal of risk for me. The first class I opened only had 5 students. It was a huge, huge drop in pay and a lot more work but it was a fantastic opportunity. About a year and a half later, our business had grown and we bought out our closest competitor, moved into a bigger location and I took on 50% stake (for which I did invest some of my own capital). Yes, I was working far more than a full-time job. I was basically doing a full-time teaching job, plus writing textbooks, exams and exercises, plus recording CDs, plus hiring, training and managing teachers. But there’s no way I’d have had my foot in the door to begin with if not for writing this blog.

Hiring is really easy if you’re #1 on a relevant Google search

For years, I’ve gotten regular emails from strangers asking me about where to teach English or how they can upgrade their skills and get a better English teaching job in Taiwan. While running the academic half of a school, that second group of emailers was fantastic!

Job boards and classifieds usually suck, but blog readers who applied often had an idea of who I was, what kind of academic program I wanted to run and what kind of environment they’d be stepping into. There was still a lot of noise, and I probably hurt my negotiating leverage by having blogged about how much other more established schools paid teachers such as myself but the candidate quality was just head and shoulders above what I found on Tealit and other classifieds.

Blogs can help recruit customers

In my case I don’t think I got a lot of customers through this blog. It’s written in English (for the most part) and my customers were Chinese readers. That said, it might have helped a little bit in terms of credibility and retention for those who were aware of it. As with my business partners, customers could tell that I genuinely cared about teaching as well as possible.

A learning advantage

Much of the learning advantage from blogging came before starting the school. By writing about what I was working on and what I had learned, I forced myself to clarify my thoughts. I also connected with others who cared about the same thing and many of them shared their knowledge in comments. I’m not sure I’d have picked up as much as I did about TEFL or language acquisition if not for all the ideas, book recommendations and other comments from readers.

In fact it worked so well for me that when I decided to leave English teaching and try to gain the skills to break into a tech career, I started another blog to document my attempts. Like this blog, that one was a great learning tool and was instrumental in my success breaking into Silicon Valley as a thirty-something.

Self understanding

For me, the single best part of blogging has been the way it lets me view myself from the outside. This doesn’t work for all kinds of blogs. Many people I know tend to avoid revealing much of themselves online… for very understandable reasons. It’s also very natural and to some degree unavoidable present a false front to the internet—a more professional self or an idealized version of oneself.

To the extent that I’ve been able to be open and authentic in my blogs, I’ve found them to be fantastic tools for understanding myself. If I write what I truly feel, there’s a record to examine later when I feel similar things in the future and I can compare the feelings I had when I wrote and the things that happened. If I write what I truly believe will happen, then I can look back and see what I was right about and what things I was blind to. It’s not easy to do, but it does lead to more self understanding and the ability to make better plans the next time. And that’s good for business.

In particular, I’ve found it invaluable to look back at posts about major life decisions I’ve made and look at the reasoning I had at the time. There are often important things I’ve forgotten. When I was starting a software company in San Francisco, I went back and re-read everything I’d written when starting the English school in Taipei.

Interestingly, while all the other benefits in this piece required a blog to be public, self understanding is arguably improved even more by writing a private blog since it’s easier to be open and authentic in private.

What I’ve learned from blogging for an entire decade

Part 1: before the blog (you are here)
Part 2: meeting other bloggers
Part 3: how blogging helped me as an entrepreneur
Part 4: The biggest drawback to blogging


The first glimpse of a different life

When I was in college, blogging was new and exciting. As I was starting this site, other members of the Nintendo Generation were starting theirs, too. Some were like diaries, some were focused on personal interests many were mashups of both. I was enthralled by them. These blogs weren’t wooden news reports. They were often unfiltered and a closer look at what life was actually like for other people. One of the saddest parts of the growth of Facebook is that personal blogs have largely been subsumed by wall posts—nearly always a much less honest look at someone’s life.

I had become very interested in what it was like to live abroad. I couldn’t afford to and had actually chosen my school based on price. I desperately wanted to get out and experience life in a place different from where I’d grown up. It felt impossible at the time, but I knew that once I graduated I could go abroad to teach English. I’d heard that in some places, there was a tremendous demand for native English speakers and that with a language and literature degree I would definitely be able to find a job.

So I searched.

Google returned many links to blogs of Americans about my age who were studying or teaching abroad. I became a fan of one called A Better Tomorrow. It had Chow Yun Fat images in the banner and was written by a Swarthmore student studying in China. His Chinese was at a level I could only dream of and his stories of traveling around China were amazing! Another one called Sinosplice was written by an English teacher in China who had previously lived in Japan.

I read both with interest and started devouring everything I could find about language learning, language teaching and where to live. I decided to go to Japan if I were accepted into the JET program. After being rejected, I chose Taiwan.

redbeanyum

Moving to Taiwan

I had a really hard time when I first got to Taiwan. I wanted to learn Chinese, but everyone else wanted to practice English. Further complicating things, Mandarin was the second language in Chiayi (嘉義), the city where I was living. There wasn’t a language school for foreigners either.

Additionally, I was only the second American at the English school where I was teaching and the Canadian teachers completely shunned the other American… and me. It was during the 2nd Iraq War, anti-American sentiments were strong amongst many Europeans and especially Canadians and I was surrounded by young, ideologically motivated Canadians who literally believed discriminating against Americans (or at least those who pay taxes) was the morally correct position. Yikes.

I did manage to win over some of my coworkers after a month or so, but still it wasn’t the right environment for me. I didn’t believe the school was that effective. I loved the city and how I bicycle everywhere and I loved how friendly people were, but I just wasn’t learning any Chinese or advancing my career.

Moving to Taipei

Taipei was like a different world. Even then, the MRT was amazing and the city was incredibly walkable. Everything cost 20% than I was used to, except housing which was at least triple. There were tons of schools for learning Chinese. It was a stretch to afford tuition on part-time work but I did it.

The teaching methods and materials are the subject of another post, but in the end I was able to make some good progress despite them. I credit the many language learning blogs I was reading at the time for giving me both the inspiration and the know-how to succeed in such a difficult environment back in the days before language learning podcasts or apps had arrived and we were all looking up Chinese characters by radicals and stroke order in paper dictionaries.

My learning was <a=”http://www.fluentinmandarin.com/content/the-7-chinese-learning-mistakes-that-cost-me-a-year-of-my-life/”>incredibly slow and I couldn’t afford to study every semester. I also wasn’t making any forward progress on the work front. I was doing a marginally better job of teaching my students, but at its core it was unskilled work and the structure of the curriculum and business prevented me or any foreign teachers from making significant improvements.

Choosing to invest in new skills

I realized my work was essentially a commodity. I might get a slightly better wage through negotiation or becoming a popular teacher, but I was a very easily replaceable cog in a huge machine. There wasn’t much possibility of advancement either—to best of my knowledge the company didn’t tend to promote non-ethnically Chinese people.

The best opportunity I saw was to gain more skills that would make it possible for me to land a much better paying teaching job. There was also the option to pursue credentials, such as a TEFL certificate, but TEFL teachers are also largely commoditized and as I had learned even back then the TEFL training is highly opinionated but poorly backed by research. Some ideas, such as not using the students’ native language at all are clearly driven more by market prices of employing bilingual teachers than they are by what’s best for the students. Unsurprisingly, a TEFL certification is worth almost nothing in terms of increased earnings.

The climb

I worked hard at learning classroom-related language and started coming in to work early and watching my local co-teachers when they taught their half of classes. Within a few months I was able to get a job at 750NT an hour as opposed to my original 550NT. I had to prepare some materials for class and grade homework but there was a lot of latitude in terms of creating supplementary materials and learning how to be a better teacher when not following a very structured system from a large chain.

About six months after that, I got a job at a larger school with even more stringent requirements at 900NT/hr. I left that job months later due to a stupid contract they wanted me to sign that would have given them broad ownership of things I created on my own time. Their top teacher from the previous hired me at 1100NT/hr with a 50NT raise every 6 months and profit sharing if I stayed long-term. I moved out to his new school that week.

My blog

At this point, I had been living in Taiwan for two and a half years and was earning more than double the average foreign English teacher. I was 26 years old and I could speak two foreign languages very different from my native one.

I’d read dozens of books about language teaching and language acquisition and was teaching well over a hundred kids and doing it vastly more effectively than I’d seen at any other school. As my life situation improved, I became increasingly focused on helping others—my students, language students in general and other language teachers.

I’ll be honest. I felt I had something worth sharing.

So that’s what I did. I wrote about what I’d seen in the job market for foreign English teachers, I wrote reviews of my Chinese text books. I spent an entire day using my virtually non-existent programming abilities to hack together a tool for adding tone marks to pinyin. I even shared my investment ideas and every single trade I made.

Looking back on it, it kind of amazes me how enthusiastically I wrote about everything and how much time I spent on it even back when it was such a tiny group of people reading.

Part 2: meeting other bloggers

The last few times I’ve come back to Taiwan, I’ve found myself in a recurring situation—I’m out at a bar celebrating something or at a coffee shop using the internet and some random person comes up to me and says, “Hey, you’re the guy that writes Toshuo, aren’t you!”

It’s a bit odd having online fame in a very limited niche translate into the real world in a social context (especially at a bar), but it’s been mostly positive and has even lead to a few new friends.

I don’t really want to be known publicly outside of my work, so I’ve felt the desire to take down the entire site. On the other hand, I can’t deny the numerous ways writing has helped me over the ways or the ways it still can help me with my future goals. On the whole, it’s definitely been a net positive, but strangers, employers and even certain governments have been getting increasingly vindictive about punishing viewpoints they disagree with. This is often the case even when those views were written a long time ago.

One of the best things about writing—especially writing online—has been how it helps organize thoughts, so I think I’ll write it out here and publicly for now at least.

Part 1: Before the blog

Happy holidays, those of you reading from the US! I’ve just had my first Thanksgiving in years, and also my first experience with a weird holiday called Black Friday. I actually didn’t know what that was until last year when my Swedish co-worker told me about it, surprised I didn’t know the holidays of my own country. I guess that’s what I get for moving abroad for a decade! It must have existed when I left, but it was much smaller then and I’m sure my home state of Colorado was far from the epicenter of the tradition.

One more thing about language learning

Speaking of focus, I hope some of you have already started to benefit from the language learning experiences and strategies I shared in the last newsletter. Language learning was one of my biggest hobbies in my twenties and definitely a major focus. One thing I didn’t mention was how important it was to believe that I could learn a foreign language.

All through high school, I took French classes. Even though I passed them, I didn’t really acquire any useful skills. I couldn’t understand French movies, I couldn’t understand Le Petit Prince, I couldn’t understand French people, and for that matter I didn’t even know any French people. Had I gone to Taiwan directly from that experience, I wouldn’t have gotten very far with my Chinese. What made all the difference in the world for me, was one of my girlfriends in college. She was a good language learner who had already learned Spanish well, and the two of us took an intensive Japanese course together. We studied together every day, and I had a chance to see first hand the kinds of strategies she used. With the moral support and extra motivation from working on it together, I ended up being the most successful student in the class except for her, and then making numerous Japanese friends at school and eventually completing a whole B.A. in Japanese in only two years. That win under my belt was invaluable when I got to Taiwan. I had all kinds of frustrations trying to differentiate Chinese tones, learning traditional Chinese characters and even just getting people to talk to me in Chinese instead of just practicing English with me. But I also knew I was capable of learning a foreign language… because I’d done it before.

Seeing great career opportunities

Thinking you can do something isn’t always a guarantee, but thinking you can’t reduces your odds of success sharply. I saw one of the saddest comments on my blog this month. It was off on my article titled The Lowdown on Teaching English in Taiwan. This is what he said:

“I can tell you the current situation in Taiwan is not good at all for Teaching jobs. I have 5 years teaching experience here. I have all the qualifications and speak Chinese at a conversation level. The bottom line is you will never save money here. I have seen people flying here expecting jobs leaving with nothing. Those jobs mentioned in the article are a fable legend or they have changed because of the economic and student situation. Coming off the plane your first year you will be lucky to get a job. Never, never expect to make over 1000nt its never going to happen probably ever. If you are lucky enough to get a job it will probably be 8-14 hours a week at the most 600nt per hour. YOu might as well work at mcdonalds. This article is out of date, do not read on the internet about teaching here its not a good place to teach at all. Good luck the truth even if its hard to swallow”
-David

This commenter clearly felt frustrated by his 5 years of essentially working an entry-level job. None of his friends had ever worked at a school like mine or like those I’d worked at, and hadn’t ever had contact with that sort of English teaching environment. He didn’t believe it was possible to get that kind of job and figured that they had all been destroyed by changes in the market.

And that belief BLINDED him!

Since I’ve only been gone from Taiwan for 2 years and still have a ton of friends there, I knew things weren’t nearly that grim. In a cursory 2 minute search of a single classifieds board (Tealit.com), I found a job opening offering 900-1200NT/hr. Not only that, but it was Modawei, where I had worked before and written about on my blog! Literally all this guy would have had to do to find the opening was to take one look at the biggest English Teacher job board in Taiwan before sending me his depressing comment. He probably could have found the job just by googling what I read in the very blog he was on!

Of course I empathize with David. The better offers don’t stay open that long, but the truth is there are great opportunities showing up regularly, even on classified boards. (And sorry, that position I saw that day isn’t open anymore!) It’s hard to care. It’s hard to believe something you want is possible because that opens you up to rejection. I know from personal experience when I first got back to the US, the job hunt was driving me absolutely crazy. But the last thing you want to do is auto-disqualify yourself. If you believe the thing you want is only a myth, then you’ll be blind to the things you’d have to notice to make it your reality.

Of course the “apex teaching jobs” as I call them are all more work to find, harder to get into and take more training than the jobs anyone can get right off the plane. Other, bigger, opportunities such as opening your own school have even higher barriers to entry. But unless they’re recruiters for a school, people who are telling you about the better EFL careers are generally doing it out of a genuine desire to be helpful. I wanted to at least.

Why I started blogging about teaching way back when

When I first started my blog, in 2005, I’d just emerged from two years of work similar to David’s and I was thrilled to find so much better of an option for longer-term teachers! Not only that, but I hoped that as more foreigners got drawn to the better schools, they’d be building the skills to make those schools successful and gain market-share against the incumbent English schools in Taiwan. I also wanted to promote extensive reading. I’d read a ton research about its benefits for language learners and hadn’t seen a single schooling using it. It was just this side of heartbreaking to see so many Taiwanese parents spend so much money and so many kids to spend so much time for so little in terms of tangible benefits. I wanted to see the market change and for hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese kids to be learning better English as a result. I know it sounds a bit far fetched, but that was my dream when I started blogging.

And rigorous foreign-run schools like my old one have been proliferating all over northern Taiwan in the past few years… and nearly all of them have started incorporating extensive reading into their curriculums. When I was an employee at Modawei, my ideas didn’t get very far. I was a trainee, and they had a conservative culture. But I won over some of my old co-workers with my passion, my blogging and a steady stream of research papers and TEFL journals. After I left to go to the next school some of my old co-workers started becoming managers and started using extensive reading materials! After I was co-owner of a school, even more people started paying attention. I think it’s fair to say that my blog and my work changed the conversation for foreign English teachers in Taiwan, especially in Taipei. And yes, I did profit from my work. But that was hardly the main motivation. At no point did I earn what someone putting in a similar level of effort would have in the US… or in a lot of other fields. I only had a fraction of the impact I’d aimed for. But NONE of it would have happened if I’d just said, “Well I’m just a trainee and I can’t really prove my ideas about language teaching to management and the market can’t be changed anyway.”

If you’re really passionate about something, that intensity can take you a long way. Even if you’re not truly passionate about something, but you feel stuck and you really just want to make progress, you owe it to yourself to believe what you want is more than a “myth”.

A lot of people are happy to help

If you’re one of those readers still stuck at the 600NT/hr in Taiwan (or 100RBM/hr in China or 240,000yen/month in Japan) and you don’t know how to get something better, ask people! Unfortunately, I get a pretty crushing amount of email due to my blog and can’t help everyone, but there are many, many others who are more than willing to share advice. Your network of friends’ friends is probably the most trusted source, but even asking people on a forum, such as Forumosa or Dave’s ESL Cafe is easy and often pays off.

Probably the number one thing I was thankful for on Thanksgiving is all of kindness I’ve received from strangers over the years. Sometimes those strangers have even become good friends!

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written anything here. Part of the reason is that I’ve made some fairly big changes. I moved away from Taiwan, where I’ve spent half my adult life, and I’ve moved on from EFL. When I first started this blog back in 2005, one motivation was to keep in touch with friends and family back home, but it also served as an outlet for my interests of learning Chinese and teaching English to others.

Why I stopped

I’m not teaching English anymore. My former students meant very much to me and I’d love to hear of their progress from time to time, but I don’t have the same passion for teaching that I did 3 years ago. Similarly, I’m not so as interested in studying Mandarin as I was before. I’m still interested in languages in general, but it’s way more exciting for me to learn a few phrases in a language I don’t speak everyday, like Swedish or Cantonese, than it is to study more Mandarin. I’m not in Taiwan anymore either, and a large chunk of this blog has been about living in Taiwan. I miss a lot of things and a lot of people in Taiwan, but it’s not home anymore.

Another reason I stopped blogging is that I’ve been weighing the upsides and downsides of having an online presence. On one hand, the vast majority of the contact I’ve had with others through the internet has been good. I’ve even made some good friends through this blog. On the other hand, there are a few truly nasty people and it only takes one to ruin my mood! Beyond them, there are a lot of people with various axes to grind that just get tiring to deal with. Worst of all, I noticed that arguing with people online has a tendency of locking me into whatever views I hold at that time, potentially retarding my personal growth.

I never made a conscious decision not to blog… I just started writing more an more in my paper journal. This was good in some ways. I’ve been more comfortable writing things I wouldn’t necessarily want on a fairly high-traffic website. One example was a dream journal. I’ve been fascinated in Lucid Dreaming ever since high school. Keeping a daily log of dreams is a basic tool in lucid dreaming, but it’s not necessarily the sort of thing that others would get much value out of reading. As I wrote more and more that wasn’t appropriate for toshuo.com and got busy with other things, weeks became months and now it’s been nearly an entire year.

Why I’m resuming

Despite its drawbacks, writing online is worth it for me. I organize my thoughts more clearly when other people will be reading them than I do in my paper journal. People drawn to what I write are self-selected and often have something to offer me in return. Some of the most interesting ideas I’ve encountered for language learning (and learning in general) were due to John‘s various now defunct blogs. In personal terms and even in professional terms, the good has far outweighed the bad.

Also, while I’m not in Taiwan and I’m not teaching EFL anymore… I am still me. I’m living in Beijing and I’m working at a tech start-up which has built the largest platform for educational iPhone/iPad apps. So there is some continuity. Even if I were to move to California or enter an entirely different career, I expect that an interest in technology and a love of education will still be a very important part of me.

Posting older journal pieces

I may post some of my paper journal entries here. My initial struggles adapting to standard PRC Mandarin, my visa run to Mongolia, my thoughts about Taiwan after leaving and a bunch of other entries fit the site well. If I do that, I’ll probably post them, and then after a week or so, update the date of the entries to the true date of when I wrote them.

I’ve decided to start recycling older entries on this site. I don’t know too many people doing that, but there are a few reasons I find the idea appealing.

When I started writing on this site, I had a lot of things I wanted to write about, many of them already written in paper journals. There was a steady supply of things to write about, and I had a fair amount of time in which to write it. Now, though, things are different.

This blog already has nearly five hundred entries, some of which have been useful to me or interesting to my friends, but others which haven’t. Still other entries were very useful, but have limited shelf-life. It only makes sense to update them. I may be able to improve them, too.

I’m no fan of posts about the Top 5 thisses or Top 10 thats, but even I can hold out against the tide for so long.

The Top 5 Top 5 Blog Posts EVAR!

  1. The Recycled – this list will be comprised of only of points that you’ve seen in other lists, almost definitely in the same order. Under no circumstances will credit be given.
  2. The Obvious – One mind-numbingly obvious point after another, with an “ooh aren’t I so helpful” attitude suffused throughout.
  3. The Infuriating – makes claims of being “The definitive top five ____ ever!”, while replacing several absolutely crucial entries with whatever the uninformed author sees fit.
  4. The Anti-funny – not only is this list not funny, but it’s trying so desperately that reading it is like losing a piece of your soul… to Carrot Top.
  5. The Repetitive – a rundown of slightly different wordings of the same point that even a ward of OCD patients would disregard as just too damned repetitive. In other words, each item is pretty much the same, but worded slightly differently. Or you could say they’re repetitive.
  6. +1!!!

  7. The Neverending – has useless extra items tacked on at the end, prolonging the suffering even further.

Related Post: Good God are There a Lot of Morons on Digg

For the first time in a few weeks, I have a little bit of free-time, and I don’t feel like going outside, either. Typhoons have that effect on me.

I’ve been thinking about pruning my blog. This blog is a mish-mash of personal entries, ideas I’ve been thinking about, news, and other things. Some posts are more transient than others. Posts such as NY Teacher of the Year Against School or Geeky, but Efficient: Firefox Tweaks are just as relevant now as they were when I wrote them. Others, such as iDrone isn’t dead, are completely useless (especially considering that iDrone is dead).

A part of me resists the idea of deleting anything, but a louder voice tells me that sometimes more is less. I’m not sure how extensive it will be, but the pruning begins soon!

Writing online for the past year and a half or so has introduced me to a lot of new friends. But beyond that, it’s also had a certain way of dredging up the past.
continue reading…