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Timeliness

There’s an odd component to this hobby we call blogging, more akin to conventional journalism than personal writing, called timeliness; the relevance of written work to the setting in which it is published. Sure, everybody loves a good old–fashioned reminisce, but the timescales involved in reminiscence are orders of magnitude greater than those in our online documentation of the everyday. Memories are to be savored, but tardiness is just plain gauche.

How is it that a week is just too late to describe a fine night out, sinking pints with other Perth bloggers? Or that five days is too long a break for me to regale you with stories of The Witches of Eastwick… the musical (awesome, incidentally. Sukie Rougemont is a stone fox). Hell, how can three or four days be too long to talk about the myriad DVDs I’ve enjoyed over the past, well, three or four days?

The answer, dear friends, is freshness.

And not just freshness–as–in–vegetables, either. It’s quite plausible to publish something, anything, a full week after it was written… if not more. Some of our best work is done after tediously careful revision —well, most of our best work is done after tediously careful revision— but our best work is often something instructive, or something enlightening, or something inspiring. But for everyday blogging, when you’re archiving an experience, it’s the freshness that counts; not freshness for the reader, but for you. Timeliness. Immediacy. Edit your post for a week if you must, but write the bulk of it as soon as possible.

This isn’t a rush to blog a big event first and beat the competition (mercy yes we got to beat that competition), it’s the rush to document an experience before the color fades in your mind’s eye. For every day that passes, your initially–unbridled enthusiasm is chipped away… and in two weeks it’s just a bunch of crap that happened two weeks ago. Try documenting that and you’ll end up sounding as bored by your subject matter as your audience will be.

Human memory is frightfully inaccurate and terribly subjective, getting even worse with time, but to blog something fresh is to freeze it in carbonite. This is why writers and comedians carry notebooks and pencils wherever they go, why we take photos at parties; this is why we’re bloggers, and not just amateur journalists.

These are our lives, and we’re blogging them one day at a time.