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Published: April 29, 2008. Filed under: Meta, Misc.

As a general rule, the things I write fall into two categories: long-form (for the medium of blogging, that is; the book is “long” in a very different sense), in-depth pieces which tend to be either tutorials on various aspects of working with Django or op-ed bits on web development and the Web in general, and short-form tidbits which mostly consist of a thought or two. Typically I never post the latter, because it always feels like a waste: if I could give it a more thorough treatment, I’ll hold it until I have the time to do so. In practical terms, that means I end up with a lot of short ideas and drafts which never see the light of day, which is just as irksome as not feeling like I’ve written “enough” to justify publishing something here.

Compounding this is the fact that lately the only long-form writing I have time for is the book, which has left me desperately wanting an outlet for things that aren’t the book. I’ve got a whole pile of draft ideas for longer entries that I’ll get around to writing once I’ve handed off to the printing presses, but even then I’ll probably end up scrapping a lot of them because there’s just not enough material.

What I want, and didn’t realize I wanted until just a day or two ago, is a medium designed for those sorts of quick thoughts. I detest the popular name for this, so I won’t use it; I’ll just say that I want something like it but with a moniker that doesn’t make me throw up in my mouth a little.

Now, the popular way to do this is Twitter, but I’ve been using Twitter for a while and I’ve decided that it basically sucks for this use case, since:

  1. Hey, sometimes I really do want to express a thought that doesn’t fit into a single SMS message. Crazy, I know.
  2. A bunch of people typing @ isn’t really a discussion, and can’t really be followed with any kind of coherence. I want real honest-to-goodness comments, all on one page.

Fortunately there’s an alternative: Pownce, which not only solves both of the above problems but is Django-powered to boot. Pownce can do a lot of useful things besides short-form text, but that’s the one I’m interested in, and that’s the one I’m going to start using, at least experimentally. So swing on over or grab the feed, and let’s see how it goes.

Longer bits will still appear here, once I have time to write them again, and when that glorious day comes I’ll also do some work to integrate my Pownce posts here as well. Just don’t expect any of that to happen much before the end of June…