So I’ve been pecking out this blog for about two months now, with mixed success. Mostly I’ve just been trying to find my voice so far, and also to learn by doing, which generally works for me. After some reflection this week, I’ve decided the way I’ve been doing things doesn’t work well for me – and it seems like it’s not working well for you either.
My hope for this space is to create vibrant discussion, opportunities to learn for my readers and myself, and enthusiasm for action. But I think I’ve become caught in the trap of the daily news cycle, to an extent that probably would have surprised me when I launched this project.
For those who don’t know me/know what I’m up to these days, I work full-time as a cook at an all-day breakfast restaurant. My hours are super-regular, and I always have evenings free, which is one of the reasons I love cooking breakfast, and which is also the reason my posts generally go live pretty late in the evening.
The disadvantage, though, is the relentlessness of the news cycle, which chews up and spits out dozens of stories in the eight hours I’m flipping eggs. If the story I think is most deserving of comment broke in the morning, my chiming in at eight p.m. is pretty irrelevant. By that point, nobody cares.
Which is silly, because important stories are important, regardless of the time of day. But that’s the way the news cycle works. And it’s a game I’m not going to be able to win.
So I’m gonna opt out.
In the weeks to come, you can expect less current-affairs commentary from The Alfalfafield – at least in terms of immediate-reaction pieces, like the fun-but-ultimately-not-that-relevant Bono article I threw up yesterday evening. What I have to offer instead is (a) more posts, (b) more regular posts, and (c) more in-depth posts. Sounds like a lot to promise? Believe me, friend, I know.
But another thing I’ve learned is that I really like doing this. I look forward to it. I think about it literally all day sometimes.
And I want to get better at it. What better way to get better than by committing to more?
So here’s the brand-spanking-new The Alfalfafield posting schedule. Please hold me to this and shame the hell out of me if I miss a post.
You, dear reader, are gonna get FIVE POSTS A WEEK – and to keep me out of the cold icy grip of the corporate news cycle, I’m gonna theme them.
My work schedule is Friday-Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday off. My partner has the same schedule, and we like to use our days off to do things together, so I’m gonna post the same days I work. (Cue some major headaches…)
So here’s how it’s gonna go down:
FALLACY FRIDAY is going to be devoted to pointing out fallacious, illogical, and glaringly inconsistent news coverage. It will give me an opportunity to comment on current events, with a focus on media criticism.
SOLIDARITY SATURDAY will be my weekly opportunity to give props and respect to people fighting the good fight, often outside of the spotlight. People are fighting for all kinds of rights and causes all the freaking time and it usually gets drowned in a sea of electoral politics and celebrity scandals, and I personally feel like the more attention activists get, the better off we’ll all be.
My SUNDAY SERIES will be an opportunity to explore a complex issue in depth over a series of several weeks. Some thing defy trite summary in two thousand words – most things, in fact! My first series, to be run over the next six to eight weeks, will focus on the question of voting. Is it a worthwhile exercise? How should you decide if you should vote/who you should vote for? The beauty of this is that I’m not entirely sure what the answers to these questions are either – reader feedback will be especially appreciated on this!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT MONDAY is for those important stories that get gobbled up by the news cycle. Granted, there are lots of these – probably the hardest part of ICYMI Monday will be picking a story to highlight – but my goal here is to unbury these stories and give them the thorough exhibition they deserve.
OFF-TOPIC TUESDAY is a recognition of the fact that I think about more than Canadian politics and activism. It’s an opportunity to talk about things outside the self-imposed focus of this blog – although if I feel like talking about Canadian politics and activism five days in a row, then I will, because who’s gonna stop me? You?
Expect the new schedule to launch this Friday.
A couple other blog notes – at the prompting of reader Al, I’ve set up an RSS feed, the link to which you can see on the right of pretty much every page you visit on the site. If you’re an organized reader like that (and I’ve been meaning to become one of you), feel free to RSS it up and get all my posts automagically fed into your feed.
Also, for those of you who don’t know, I’m on Twitter. You can follow me @thealfalfafield. To date I’ve mostly been tweeting just when I post, but I’m hoping to replace the as-it-happens commentary I’ve been doing on this site with as-it-happens commentary on Twitter.
Lastly, if you have anything to say – literally anything – please please please feel free to comment! I often joke to my partner when I’m blogging that I’m going to mumble and rant to myself on the internet – feedback would be sweetly self-vindicating, if nothing else. If you want to communicate with me privately, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!
– Matt Alfalfafield