About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: web craftsman, community leader, husband, father, and partner at Fictive Kin.

Ideas of March

We need a blog revival.

For the past few years, I've been a pretty active Twitter user. As a result, I feel very tuned into what's happening in the web design and development community. It's pretty cool. Recent events such as Twitter taking the @girlgeeks account and restricting how developers are allowed to use their API dampen the positive vibes, but that's not why I'm blogging today.

Most conversation has moved from blogs to Twitter, and although Twitter is more active than blogs ever were, there are fewer quality conversations and debates taking place as a result of this transition. I'm hoping you'll join me in a blog revival. It's pretty simple:

  • Write a post called Ideas of March.
  • List some of the reasons you like blogs.
  • Pledge to blog more the rest of the month.
  • Share your thoughts on Twitter with the #ideasofmarch hashtag.

If we all blog a little more than we normally would this month, maybe we can be reminded of all of the reasons blogs are great. Here are a few reasons why I like blogs:

  • Posts can be as short or are long as you want.
  • You don't have to use broken language to fit a complete thought.
  • Posts aren't immediately lost in a sea of updates.
  • Posts can be easily found later.
  • You don't have to know what's trending among the riff-raff of the Internet.
  • Posts tend to be more meaningful.
  • All conversation related to a post is easy to find.

There are some benefits to Twitter as well, but I don't think more blogging is going to hurt Twitter in any way. In fact, I think Twitter could benefit from more quality content being generated elsewhere, since it's a natural way to share that content.

I still actively curate a list of blogs I find interesting, and I enjoy reading it daily. I would love to read more posts from the blogs I follow and add more blogs to my reading list.

I pledge to blog more in 2011 than I did in 2010.

About this post

Ideas of March was posted on Tue, 15 Mar 2011. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:


1.Geoffroy Gaborieau said:

Hi Chris,

I completely agree with you even though i'm not a big blog reader everyday, but your post make me realize that twitter is good but has his drawbacks as well!

Thank you for trying to keep blogs alive!!


Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 12:04:57 GMT Link

2.Drew McLellan said:

I've posted my thoughts in my own Ideas of March post.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 12:17:47 GMT Link

3.Standardistas said:

Needless to say we're in 100% agreement (and thanks for the link to our Twitter commentary, we appreciate it). We're on it. We've just created our Ideas of March.text file, now to fill it with some interesting thoughts… watch this space.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 12:28:31 GMT Link

4.Sean Coates said:

Agreed! (-:

Here's my post: http://seancoates.com/blogs/ideas-of-march


Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 13:16:00 GMT Link

5.Jon Tan said:

Ace. And, done: Ides of March (not a typo). :)

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 13:39:52 GMT Link

7.Anthony Killeen said:

Excellent idea Chris. I've been thinking along the same lines for about a week or two now. Twitter's good but it has it's own role now.

And on that note, I've done an Ideas of March: http://mrqw.es/148

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 14:07:26 GMT Link

8.Chris Shiflett said:

Thanks to Jon for letting me know that the Ides of March is not the 15th of March according to the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar we use.

Read the Wikipedia article or his post for more.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 14:33:37 GMT Link

9.Clive Walker said:

Like the idea of more blogging. Have contributed my post here

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 15:21:39 GMT Link

10.Rafael Dohms said:

Here go my 2 cents for all they are worth:


Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 15:27:39 GMT Link

11.Nate Klaiber said:

I was just having this discussion with a colleague recently. I remember years ago when I frequented a handful of industry blogs and love the original topics and discussions. Then it seemed as though everyone just repurposed content or wanted to shout louder than other bloggers, and rather than get caught up - I turned away from a majority of blogs.

I've missed it.

I don't know that I have anything to add to a quality conversation, so I won't have a blog entry - but for me it's about getting back to writing book reviews.

Look forward to some more posts from you.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 15:45:32 GMT Link

12.Client Bucket said:

This is a timely post because I am just begining the process of setting up a blog. I will get one up and running and begin a post. Hopefully I can set one up in time to be part of the conversation.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 16:16:47 GMT Link

13.Nathan Peretic said:

Try and stop us. We've been wondering what happened to all the bloggers, maybe they grew up and had families and too much work and just got tired. We're happy to write big thoughts and little thoughts all the time, no special occasion needed. Anyway, good idea and if you want to read about mostly front-end development, you could mosy down to Full Disclosure. Maybe you might see something you like. My personal recommendation for today is Federating Twitter.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 17:36:18 GMT Link

14.Court Ewing said:

This is a marvelous idea, and I think it helps address a huge problem: when people blog less, it becomes more difficult for new people to get involved in existing communities. I wrote a bit about this in my own Ideas of March post in response to this "movement" you've started.

For the record, I do hope we all use comments a bit more liberally in the future rather than everyone posting their own blog article on a particular subject. That said, it obviously kind of makes sense in this case.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 at 18:17:09 GMT Link

15.Joe Leech said:

Hey Chris,

Great idea. We shouldn't forget that blogging actually takes a bit of courage. Tweeting as you say is easy and lightweight. You can make a mistake in a tweet and correct it quickly.

Blogging should be easy but it's also easy to criticise and complain - the trolls decend! Let's make sure we support #ideasofmarch by posting praise in the comments.


Wed, 16 Mar 2011 at 08:53:00 GMT Link

16.Chris Cornutt said:

If anyone wants the (hopefully) complete list of the "Ideas of March" posts, I've tried to keep up over here on PHPDeveloper.org: http://phpdeveloper.org/news/16047

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 at 12:51:36 GMT Link

17.Andy Walpole said:

My contribution to the revolution: Ideas of March

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 at 13:52:13 GMT Link

18.Nate Abele said:

As usual, I didn't really follow the rules. Here it is anyway. :-)

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 at 14:25:09 GMT Link

19.Jeremy Cook said:

Great idea. I've written a little about why I think blogging is important to get started and am looking forward to writing more this month.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 at 02:15:52 GMT Link

20.Esin Isik said:

I think it is a bit ironic that you need a twitter connection to comment on a 'blog strengthening' post (I am not saying anti twitter but).

Yes I tweet, not everyday but I do tweet and I am so not good on online things, but I am active in the both ends of the stick 140 to limitless characters.

Here is my post http://ilyailyic.blogspot.com/

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 at 07:09:56 GMT Link

21.Chris Shiflett said:

Hi Esin,

I don't think using Twitter for comments is ironic. I like Twitter, and like I said, I don't think more blogging is going to hurt Twitter; I think it can help.

Others have said it better than me. Drew says:

This isn't a backlash against Twitter, however. There's room for both.

The Web Standardistas write:

A well-rounded content mix can take many forms and needn't involve days and nights chained to the keyboard. With a strategic approach that encompasses shortform commentary, mediumform curated content, and longform, in-depth content, you can create an indispensable and invaluable resource that others will cherish and return to often.

I'll continue to enjoy Twitter, and I look forward to reading more blog posts as well. I might even discover them on Twitter. :-)

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 at 12:02:16 GMT Link

22.Joel Caton said:

Hey, A blog where I've got to have twitter to leave a comment. Good thought provoking post Chris. I'll have to make an Ideas of March post now. Anyhow, I don't think that twitter and blogs are in any sort of competition. It generally doesn't take near as many brain cells to put together a tweet as a post. The process of writing the post is often times just as good for the writer as the reader because it makes us really evaluate what we are thinking about and what we'd like to say. It seems that when tweeting we often times just put forth short excerpts of thoughts that merely scratch the surface of topics. One process feeds the other I guess.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 at 23:40:04 GMT Link

23.Samantha Warren said:

Brief, but hopefully enough to put me back on track: http://badassideas.com/ideas-of-march/

Thanks for this, Chris!

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 at 15:04:15 GMT Link

24.Chris Cox said:

I'm joining the revival. I'd wondered what felt like it was missing for the last few years, and I think this is it.

Of course, I too have noticed the irony of a Twitter-powered comment system, and that you've reinvented the hashtag in blog form for this post.

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 at 15:32:28 GMT Link

25.Elyse Holladay said:

Great post, Chris. I haven't blogged in the past, because I have a tendency to feel that there's not much I could contribute to a community with so many great designers and developers already in it. I'm afraid I'll just contribute noise.

That said, Ideas of March, SXSW conversions, and the need for an inspiring side project have gotten the gears turning, and I'm working on a new blog/site project with my developer boyfriend. I'm hoping that we can post more about the big picture of developing and designing a site or an app, and how to collaborate with designers/developers, instead of just posting tutorials and freebies. That's the kind of stuff I prefer to read, at least :)

Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 at 16:03:13 GMT Link

26.Matthew Setter said:

Hey Chris,

Thanks for some great inspiration for continuing blogging. Here's our contribution: http://www.maltblue.com/2011/03/blogging/ideas-of-march


Wed, 23 Mar 2011 at 18:11:35 GMT Link

27.Eriksen Costa said:

Better late than never. A commitment to blog.


Fri, 25 Mar 2011 at 04:06:42 GMT Link

28.Matthew Pennell said:

In between packing I managed to write something over the course of about five days - finally finished editing and published it:


Wed, 30 Mar 2011 at 12:47:00 GMT Link

29.Christopher Butler said:

Right on! As far as I know, blogging is alive and well. Thanks for putting out a worthy challenge, Chris. Here's my response: http://chrbutler.com/post/4213703910/ideas-of-march

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 at 20:33:32 GMT Link

30.Simon Clayson said:

Some really great points well put here. It's inspired me in conjunction with my recent twitter breakdown and realisation to update my own site: http://www.simonclayson.co.uk/reportage/ideas_of_march/

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 at 10:54:37 GMT Link

31.Jon Tan said:

I just realised, commenting on Simon Clayson's #ideasofmarch post, that I also miss conversations in comments. I think I'm going to try and contribute more in comments, too. They're like lubrication and encouragement to post more, certainly for me.

I disagree with those that suggest receiving blog comments are purely about ego. I think those that think that have confused a social media marketing view of the world, which sees comment count as proof-positive of value, with real conversations, where an even one speculative thought is of more value than any number of "likes". In passing thoughts lie the seeds of inspiration.

So, I undertake to have the courtesy of acknowledging a post with a comment, when I feel I can add something useful, and even when mine may be the most cursory thoughts. After all, who doesn't like to be acknowledged, engaged, and even disagreed with (if done gracefully). If that provides even a minuscule bit of encouragement to the authors I miss reading, it’s worth it.

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 at 11:12:24 GMT Link

32.Jonathan Morgan said:

I added my own Ideas of March post late last night - in the final minutes of March!

Thanks for the challenge!

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 at 08:23:31 GMT Link

33.Giovanni Tiso said:

Late to the party - and circumventing the rules of the game somewhat to boot - but I thought you might be interested in a review of one of the most inspiring and form-defining blogs around, Poemas del río Wang.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 at 23:10:20 GMT Link

34.Gustavo Atar said:

I wish people would realize that blog posts are supposed to be quick and informative, not this long ass dissertation. I always do best with video or with short posts. How do others feel?

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 at 19:04:28 GMT Link

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