Stok Footage

Continually experimenting with new ideas and techniques — Reconstructing, Developing, Modernising.

Cinderella and Story Telling – Have a Point!

This is a story about a well intentioned but unskilled blog writer. Let’s call him Mike. He started blogging to learn about writing amongst other things.

Today’s lesson is to remember to have a point for each post if the post is meant to impart some useful nugget of wisdom. Some posts are less focused narratives, in this case the point of the post is to tell a story. For both kinds of post having an understanding of “the point” makes it easier to write and review the post, and might make the post more useful to readers, including himself. As an example:

Recently he wanted to tell a colleague how he had installed rvm on his mac. “No problem,” he thought “I’ve blogged about it, so I’ll be able to figure it out.” Alas no. Digging around in the blog posts revealed a mass of confusing detail which was not that enlightening in retrospect.

It might have help to outline the post:

  • What was the point?
    • To describe setting up up a development environment on a Mac which allowed for running rvm without requiring administrator access (with the concomitant risk of messing up the system).
  • What was the solution?
    • Install cider, now called cinderella, which itself installs homebrew and rvm all under ~/Developer.
  • Were there any problems?
    • Minor speedbump in the initial install from the cinderella (née cider) site instructions. He needed to add himself to the staff group using dseditgroup -o edit -u mike -p -a mike -t user staff
  • Is this likely to be reference material?
    • Hmmm, maybe he needs to add a page about his OS X development environment, rather than posts…

If he had thought “What is the point of this post?” and “If someone comes to this post in a few months will is be useful to them?” before hitting the Publish button then the post might have been a lot more useful. Maybe he’ll keep these points in mind when posting in future.

The point of this post was to record something I learned about writing on my blog. Maybe it will help me write better entries in the future.

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