Dec 8, 2022: Welcome To The Daily Run Down Our Street

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Posted: Dec 8, 2022   2:37:52 AM   |
by Pascal-Denis Lussier

Bridging the Gap Between Crazy and Categorical 

I must admit that I prefer long-form expository writing to express what I aim to transmit, and I do get a kick out of subverting the conventions and rigid structures established as the proper journalistic forms. I'm not trying to emulate any outlet, I don't wish to parrot anyone, quantity isn't how I wish to appeal to an audience, and I certainly want to have fun doing this, but I do want to stay within the realm of the factual even when serving up bits of fiction in what should be viewed as non-fiction, nonetheless. Making sure that, without pointing it out, readers are able to discern when I'm being ironic, delving into the bizarro, and not communicating actual beliefs or events, is a far bigger challenge than most would assume; I do believe that this aspect becomes crystal clear after reading several posts. Acquired taste? 

Having done quite a bit of technical writing in my younger years and rapidly reaching a point where the tedious, mind-numbing writing one must absolutely produce in concordance to strict, highly-regulated standards sapped any joy I could find out of writing; at the time, that or translations were virtually the only paying writing gigs, the Internet having temporarily convinced everyone that free user generated content was a good idea... Perhaps rebelling against the rigidity that turns every aspect of 'creation' into a formula, from phrasal to document structure and, eventually, to one's thinking, killing creativity, is why I always end up deviating from producing what qualifies as a proper journalistic piece. 

Keep in mind that form has its limits; reproducing a journalistic form is what gives too many any credibility when none is deserved.

Plus, this is my space; I wanna be me. But serve a purpose, too. Not just post stuff.  

I kinda like the format I seem to have naturally adopted, which lets me touch on many topics that may appear to be unrelated, yet, under the surface, if not explicitly clear, contain a shared throughline that underscores the message I wish to impart, or the reflection I hope to trigger. I believe it should be readily discernible to users that merely generating content in order to attract traffic, ad views and clicks not being anywhere near my aim. Though they probably should be(?).

In terms of site experience, nothing infuriates me more than trying to read something, only to have the text constantly jump up and down with ad loads, as well as having videos I don't care to watch pop up in my face and force themselves on me if not follow me around the page as I try to read. And how many sites offer content-less posts split into two-line paragraphs in order to maximize ads — not the info, obviously — in between each waste of server space. Too many. These people don't give a hoot about what matters, in my opinion, and certainly don't merit my time trying to read filler for their flashing, ad-decorated Christmas tree they try to pass of as information.
Info blocks

Content will always dominate on our street. You can count on that.

However, that 'PDL' format leads to fairly long posts — not sure people realize that many of my posts are over 10,000 words; 5,000 is considered super long — and I always feel that there's much that I've left unsaid as I usually don't approach each as a focused topic, but as a reaction to events, whether immediate or spread across months. Separating those events/stories that I want to comment on very briefly into "Quickies" at the top of a post isn't ideal, and I sometimes lose focus between that and the actual post as I find myself deviating from my usual goal as I try to provide what is required to see the link between what was meant to be an unconnected, brief mention and the post, which leads to a Quickie evolving into its own post; this can at times feed a sense of discouragement.

I've reintroduced the "Daily Run Down Our Street" section, having killed off the original version and rebuilt a new one that provides greater flexibility and reusability of the data through info blocks, each story being a sub-entry of the main one, and each sub-entry containing its own metadata, reduplicating the schema structure within the 'content' of the same, main structure, allowing sub-entries to be called up as independent posts within the DMS&UY blog or within other site areas or posts. The goal is to let users create on-the-fly docs per their search topic or country, as well as to aggregate info that gets spread across several posts.

Using a different format that forces brevity and doesn't impose what I feel is a need to tie all to a longer piece will be a good companion to the main blog, this shorter format also allowing me to cover more, thus allowing me to connect more dots across more stories.
Daily Run Down Our Street in sidebar

The aggregator that I initially developed is tailored to business needs, and it was created using the Python programming language, an aspect that's complicated by my current hosting package, which, relying on a shared server, doesn't give me the full freedom I need whilst providing something I can afford. But the more I looked into implementing it during my first year, then having a pricy hosting, the less I actually wanted to aggregate news, not wanting to facilitate access to far too much material to justify having it appear in any format on DMS&UY. Perhaps from select outlets, but, otherwise, The Daily Run Down, offering original content, never a copy&paste job or RSS fed stuff, is how I aim to offer users an overview of events around the world.     

I'll try to post daily but, while a full time job must be my priority, that's my priority... The latest entries will be automatically displayed in the left-hand sidebar, or accessible through the blue "Open" button if on mobile. The front page will be redone entirely, but will also appear there.

Expect a fair bit of tweaking in the beginning as I generate content here; your suggestions or criticisms are always sincerely welcomed, ditto in regards to potential collaboration that maximizes results through unshared skills coming together.

And, with that: Up Yours!.  



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