For the past week or so, I’ve been playing with a slightly different kind of content here at Subtraction.com. This is something I talked about in a recent post in which I rambled on about the state of several different blog tools; I’m now experimenting with Tumblr-style image blogging that in most cases is purely about the image, with only a short line of additional text, if any. Here’s one example. (There are still some kinks to be worked out, so bear with me.)
This might seem unremarkable to regular readers since I already publish short, image-heavy, posts with just a bit of text. On the back-end though, it’s quite different, or at least meaningfully different. With the help of my friend Adam Khan, we’ve customized an ExpressionEngine ‘channel’ that presents a much more succinct publishing interface than the one I normally use. In essence, there are fewer fields to fill out and the fields themselves are physically smaller, which dissuades me from writing at any great length. On top of that, we’ve cooked up a bookmarklet that drives a simple script for grabbing images and auto-populating the forms, so creating a new post when I come across something I like only takes a few clicks.
None of this is novel in the least, as plenty of Web apps already do this much better than what we cooked up in an ad hoc fashion. But it’s long been a struggle for me to post here as regularly as I’d like, especially as my schedule just keeps getting busier and busier, so anything that makes it easier for me is something worth experimenting with. It’s also a useful reminder that interface design does matter — having a simpler, more concise publishing U.I. directly influences the kind of content that gets produced.
To be clear, this does not mean I’m giving up on posting longer pieces of real writing here. I still enjoy that a great deal; it’s just a matter of finding the time. Hopefully this supplemental style of blogging will help fill the void, but if you have any thoughts on how successful — or unsuccessful — it is, please let me know in the comments.