Vox Love

From an interview with Jason Kottke:

When I first started putting my thoughts online in the mid-90s, there was little about my life that I wouldn’t put online, but now it’s almost the opposite situation.

What he said.

A year or two ago I realized I didn't really feel like sharing everything going on with my life anymore. It's got its upsides, but the drawbacks are many. Not to mention all the people that said too much about something or someone and later had it bite them in the ass.

After a few months of not blogging every little thing on my mind I realized I was missing something by no longer doing it -- writing about your thoughts and life's little triumphs and tragedies helped me work through my thoughts or understand the problems better. So I started blogging privately at LiveJournal and a dozen or so friends also did and I got a lot out of it. But LiveJournal has its limitations and all the little things I disliked about it eventually turned me off from frequent posting there. It's a pain to login all the time. A pain to add friends. It used to be a pain finding the "write a new post" link anywhere on the site.

Vox came out and I've been playing with it for a couple months and enjoying it immensely. It's still pretty streamlined and straightforward but it's got the UI that never gets in my way (unlike LiveJournal's UI). The friends and family blogging is the key feature and I've read a lot from people that don't understand what all the hoopla is about.

It's kind of like TiVo in that you have to try it out first, live with it a month or two before you realize it's the greatest thing ever. Or think of it as an iceberg -- it seems simple and not very useful at first but my god is that one little feature hiding a great deal of utility. I'm blogging at Vox now and a couple dozen people I see in real life and hang out with several times a year are also on it and on my friends list. If I want to ask them something or share an intensely personal tidbit, I can post it there for them and I don't have to IM or call anyone and I don't have to tell the same story 15 times as I see them throughout the year. And I don't have to read about how I'm the biggest dumbass on earth on another blog as a result of the post. Don't get me wrong -- I have skin as thick as leather but after seven years of this, it gets old when someone that doesn't understand you or your tone misinterprets something you've said. Blogging to friends means never having to explain the joke.

I kind of wish the functionality was built into my existing MT install I'm blogging with right now, but I'm ok with having a half public/private life on my vox site. I'm also a fan of the non-technical approach at Vox. If I never have to edit another blog template by hand again, I'll die a happy man. Same goes for tweaking inline styles in a HTML view. Vox is great for writing and not having to worry about template tag attribute documentation or having to add a style="text-align:center;" to an image ever again.

It's funny how things come full circle -- when I started out I hand coded blog entries, then I wrote my own CMS, then eventually I moved to a commercial CMS package and now I would prefer to never have to maintain a server or backups and I don't really feel like designing my own blog templates anymore.

I just want to write and not have to worry about all that other junk. And I'd rather keep the personal stuff to a few close friends. Vox is perfect for both of those things.