I’m writing two articles today. One is super solid. I’m actually going to have a hard time keeping it to 1,200 words. It’s for that high prestige, low paying magazine. I’m predicting a lot of traffic on this one. The other one is for a not-yet-existing website that is going to pay me decently, but will probably have low traffic. I had trouble lining up interviews for that one, so I’m going to limp to the 1,200 word finish line.
I’m whizzing past the deadlines on both of them. Ugh. Other than a Red Bulls soccer match on Saturday where the other mom of many boys and I will be drinking, it’s going to be a work-y weekend.
It’s a lovely day here in Jersey. In the 80s and sunny. Everything is green and blooming. I did a few hours of work and a few more hours of wasting time with stupid video games. Between deadline whizzing and mindless games, I’m full of self hatred at the moment. So, let’s blog!
This profile of Rod Dreher is fascinating. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how blogging changed the lives of so many people who started way back when.
Does #vanlife sound appealing?
I’m semi-following Berkeley and Ann Coulter.
Food Trivia: This is the quantity of food consumed over three dinners in my house: 1.3 pounds of salmon, 1 box of quinoa, 1 head of cauliflower, 2 cups of rice, 2 cans of beans, 1.2 pounds of ground beef, 10 taco shells, 1/2 brick of cheese, 1 can of black olives, 1/2 container of salsa, 2 chicken breasts, 1 package of egg noodles, 2 containers of mushrooms, 4 carrots, lettuce.
10 thoughts on “SL 689”
#vanlife sounds a lot more fun than #documentingvanlife.
Food trivia: sounds typical, maybe even low with two teenagers
That’s the one nice thing about living by myself. I can make three meals worth of food and have it last three meals. With my husband, I’d make what I thought was at least 2 meals for 2 people, but it would get eaten in one meal. (Or one meal + snack later).
When my brother was in high school, he and his friend would go through an entire loaf in one afternoon making PBJ sandwiches as an after school snack.
In re campus speakers, have you read what Timothy Burke put up on his blog last week?
The Burke piece is a but thumb-sucky, but mostly correct. However, that plus ca change analysis generally leaves me unmoved. I know that already. “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne/Yet that scaffold sways the future, and beyond the great unknown/Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”
“bit” not “but”
“It’s actually kind of astonishing how little the basic structures of argument, the tropes and figures of speech, the particular positions, have changed. ”
Sing it, Tim.
No, I didn’t, but I’ll check it out. I’ve been writing first drafts of two articles this week, so I’ve been in a bubble. I hate thinking about anything that isn’t directly related to my work when I’m in first draft mode. I’m in editing phase right now, so that means I can be distracted.
So, I always think your articles are good: they explain complex topics clearly and well, introduce me to new information, are concise, and even when I know you have strong feelings, maintain a neutral enough tone that I am able to draw my own conclusions. It’s what I expect from journalism (and, at times, different people have delivered it, like Blaine Harden and Paul Krugman and, this morning on NPR, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. I look forward to the articles you are now working.
But what’s happening these days in journalism? I’m reading a lot of articles at places that aren’t straight fake news (like the “why isn’t Melania Trump moving?” answer, after several clicks and lots of words, because she is selling skin care products), but that use similar techniques. Click bait headlines (which are now common at the Washington Post) followed by articles that use 4+ X as many words as they need to, kind of like a required 500 word essay written by a 3rd grader who had only one idea. I’m guessing that part of the explanation is incentives — to generate a certain number of words and clicks. But, is the fact that words are so easy to generate (and I’m proving that right now) also changing writing significantly?
There are oh-so many reasons why content is degenerating.
1. The biggest reason is that we’re not paying the writers or the editors. They are all super young and working 80 hour weeks. You get what you pay for.
2. The only ways that newspapers are making any money is by online advertising that pays them based on page views. So, super SEO savvy articles, ala Vox.
3. Pageviews come in through Facebook now. So that means that the headline is everything. Nobody cares about the full article. Most people don’t make it past through the first sentence.
4. Usually good editors try to make you cut down on the length of an article. TLDR. A needlessly long article tells me that the editor isn’t doing his/her job and that the writer is right out of college and can’t write. Long articles don’t mean clicks.
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