A beginning

Every blog starts somewhere. This is where mine starts.

It is with great ambivalence that I write this first blog post on my new brainchild website, pongsocket. Do not get me wrong, I have looked forward to this moment for ages; finally having a place to put my colourful, philosophical—and sometimes odd—written utterings; even moreso when this is a place I have customized and polished to no end. But, on the other hand, this is something I wanted to start in the year of 2009. And now we’re in the year immediately after. I’m sure that if you look at your clock, it agrees with me on that. I’ve been so incredibly busy, but nevertheless I didn’t forget about this blog all this time—I’ve simply been pushed away from it by outside measures.

If you’re a newcomer, welcome! The point of this weblog is for me, Andy, to write about anything I please. That’s descriptive, huh? I love writing about things I find on my way and I love writing about things that interest me, but most importantly: I love writing. Everyone can share links and cool things they’ve found, and they can do it efficiently with Twitter—creating blogs solely for that purpose today ends up looking more like a Tumblr and not a “real” blog. I intend to create content on this blog, and not to link it. For the most part. Rather than being confined to 140 characters, this is the place I want to be creative. I intend to write.

Visual blog

While—as you noticed—I’m having a hard time pinpointing any subject I’ll write about, I will find it much easier to pinpoint a style. This is because writing is not my only passion. Y’see, whatever I like to admit it or not, I’m a perfectionist. Before I can even begin to write, whatever medium I happen to be writing on must look decent and the words must not be swallowed in a sea of blinking graphics or weird tiny line-height rules or odd graphics. I love to design and I love to program. These are my two main passions in life. That is why I want to make sure that no two blog posts look the same on this site. When I create a post, the visuals matter as much as the text. What you see on this particular blog post are the standard styles. This is how a blog post looks without any particular styling, apart from the site styling. But for most other blog posts, I’m always trying to strive for visual kick-ass awesomeness while regardlessly striving for the same when it comes to eloquence and linguistics.

Image of styled Song of the Now posts
Above are seen several posts of my already established Song of the Now music blog series, showcasing the varying visual differences.

This is why—and you may have wondered—I call it a visual blog in the little “about” text at the bottom (not to mention the teaser front page that was there for almost a year, goddammit). This place is not just for readin’. If you don’t have time to read, you can at least look at the pretty pictures. Or, well, graphics. Or whatever.

But I am not the only one with this opinion. New York graphic designer Jason Santa Maria has been writing (quite stunning, I might add) visual blog posts since June of 2008, back then calling it a rethinking rather than a redesign. Since then, the idea has gradually gathered more steam as more blogs of these kind started appearing. But the spotlight really turned in the direction of these kinds of blogs when Belgium UX Designer Paddy Donelly posted a grandiose and seemingly all-encompassing visual blog post on big-time web design blog Smashing Magazine, declaring “the death of the (boring) blog post” and dubbing this new technique the blogazine, referring to the everchanging layouts of prominent articles in magazines.

A backstory

While I’m excited to see progress in this blogging format, recent events undoubtedly seem to put me in the light as potentially just a guy that jumps on a bandwagon, when in reality, my story is a much different one. Journal entry on deviantART for Earth Day 2009 For many years, I’ve been a member of the online art community deviantART, and they’ve had blogging capabilities built in since before blogging became ubiquitous (probably also why they’re called journals rather than blogs). In 2006, they launched the possibility of adding custom CSS to your journals, and because I had been working with HTML and CSS before, with great joy I started joining the masses and started experimenting. While most people started to install certain styles that they had on their journals for months or even years, I couldn’t settle on one, and I started to change it all the time. After a while I began to realize I could code the CSS for the content and write the content for the CSS.

And that’s what a visual blog is all about. It’s a culmination of design and content. It’s acknowledging that they go hand in hand naturally and always will, at least for me. I don’t like the term blogazine because of its manifactured relationship to the paper counterpart; the magazine. This is not about anything else. I don’t want to be confined to anything. I want to write a blog, and I want to design it visually.

And this is what you’ll get here. Welcome to my visual blog. And welcome to 2010. May it be awesome.

3 comments

Payam wrote at January 2nd, 2010, 2:58 AM

A good read! I like how you have 'design' goggles on, even when writing. I can't wait to see more on the new blog! :D

Brad wrote at January 3rd, 2010, 2:20 PM

Loved reading this post! Really love the simplistic blog design. I am really looking forward to more from the blog, nice to have an in-look into your creative thinking process.

;)

Henry wrote at January 10th, 2010, 2:37 PM

I was wondering when you were going to get around to releasing your blog :P

As always, great work.

Shoot me a mention on Twitter if you want to comment on this post. Cheers!

pongsocket

Pongsocket is the visual blog and creative outlet by 26-year old Andy Graulund from Copenhagen, Denmark.

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