I no longer like having blog posts that contain only a video or quote or single link around here, and although I've recently been distributing these types of items via my Twitter account, I think it's best I start moving the bits and pieces to Tumblr. I may find a way to feed my Tumblings into this blog, but since I'm slowly, painstakingly (no, not really painstakingly - just slowly) working on the design refresh of DP, I haven't determined the details yet. In the meantime, you can visit my Tumblr for random asides aplenty.
I love Tumblr, by the way. I've used it for a while to power my Alice in Wonderland online scrapbook, That's Logic, and recently threw myself into learning about developing custom Tumblr themes for a freelance client. So I whipped together a custom theme on a brand-new Tumblr for myself. The service is beautifully designed, and even though more and more features are always being added, I like its essential simplicity.
So, that's my unpaid advertisement for Tumblr. Tumblr: it's like Twitter, except with different letters between the "T" and the "r." Check it out.
The May Scientae blog carnival, with posts from women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is currently up at A Cat Nap. It's a really great collection about changing career goals.
P.S. - I will be hosting October's Scientae carnival here on DP.
Starting today, I'm posting a couple of times a week on the feminist blog DollyMix. You can head on over to read my first post, Bitter Ashes - Is Feminism Dead?
Disassociated asks if the current availability of free, professionally-designed blog themes are making designers obsolete.
It's a fair question, considering there are dozens of beautiful templates freely available for a variety of different blog platforms. But I don't think web designers really have much to worry about. Here's how it breaks down: if you need a website for a business, or to become a professional blogger, or for anything at all you want to be taken seriously - eventually you'll realize that it won't be taken seriously if you're using the same template a dozen others are using on their own sites. If you want a professional website, a free template simply isn't an option. The people using free themes are hobbyist bloggers who don't care as much about branding and selling their image as they do about a nice, simple way to present their content. They're not generally people who can afford to pay a designer for custom work, and I think it's great that there are well-designed templates available to help them do what they want to.
If a professionally-intended website tries to get away with using a free theme, chances are it's not going to be successful. It's like hosting a website on a free host instead of buying your own domain and host - it's a damning mark of amateurism. I think the real problem with people misusing free themes is that the web design field hasn't yet established the respect it deserves from average web users for providing a worthwhile and sometimes expensive service. I also think that will come, in time.
Just a note: the DeliberatePixel Feminism feed is now aggregated by Feministblogs.org, "community of weblogs by self-identified feminists, women’s liberationists, womanists, and pro-feminist men." Stop and and subscribe to read the other great feminist blogs involved.
io9, the new science fiction and futurism blog from Gawker Media, is live today. My first light perusal looks promising. Editor Annalee Newitz has an established talent for writing about technology in human terms, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that perspective plays out in blog form. I'll admit I read a vast majority of Gawker Media's blog network (although almost always with many large grains of salt) - but maybe this blog will end up being the one I can enjoy with a clear conscience.
Some blogs I've recently come across that seem worth mentioning:
- Repackaging Girlhood - "Rescuing our daughters from marketers' schemes."
- Noir of the Week - Apparently it's not a new idea. More noir for everyone! Weekly!
- The Beauty Brains - Cosmetic scientists give some straight talk about what's in your beauty products.
- Diana Eng - This is more of a rediscovery, but the lovely, geeky Diana from Project Runway is blogging with more regularity now.
I'm also a bit curious to see the forthcoming futurism/scifi Gawker Media blog edited by Annalee Newitz, which is supposed to drop any day now. I'm hoping it turns out to be worthwhile.
Over at Rifftrax, Michael J. Nelson now has a proper blog. He promises that hats are to be featured frequently.
I recently finished re-reading Sunshine by one of my favorite authors, Robin McKinley. She's one of those authors that, happily, has stayed a favorite author as I grew out of adolescence and into adulthood. Since I hadn't read any of her books in a while, I decided to do some Googling to see if I had missed any McKinley-related breaking news. Lo and behold, here she is blogging.
I really love to read my favorite authors blogging. Sometimes, I even love to read blogs by authors I'm not crazy about. Because they're still writers, and their blogs generally have an extra something special other professionals-turned-bloggers don't. Neil Gaiman's journal was one of the very first blogs I kept up with regularly. Sometimes, author blogs proved unique opportunities for me to see currents events as filtered through a talented voice, as was Poppy Z. Brite's journal during Katrina.
I think I'll now have to search out all of the other author blogs I'm missing in a new mass RSS-feed adding. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Back to McKinley, though - I recommend picking up one of her books if you haven't already and have any leanings towards fantasy material. Her books are consistently notable for strong, intelligent, complex heroines, and a beautiful, rich vocabulary and tone. Highlights:
- Beauty - A lovely retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I have large portions of this book completely committed to memory.
- The Blue Sword - A classic girl-hero fantasy story. There's an extensive preview of this at Google Books.
- Deerskin - A little intense, since it retells an old fairy tale that involves incest and rape. But it's very well retold.
Blog Morbid Anatomy covers the cultural, artistic, and scientific intersections of life and death. If you're bit squeamish at either the morbid or the anatomical, or both, you might want to skip this one. If not, sail on - it's fascinating.