Thinking about a blog revival. Another one.

Thinking about how to deploy another attempt at reviving my old religion blog enterprise, which still draws Twitter followers and e-mail, even though the blog itself hasn’t been updated in months.

Is there a way to poke fun at religion of all kinds in a gentle manner, without drawing the physically threatening wrath of a fatwa or a Westboro-like group of crackpots?  My old approach was a lot snarkier than I want to be this time around. I’m weary of snark, but I also think religion is still way too important not to poke fun at.

There’s got to be a way to point at the foibles of faith without being a mean-spirited cynic or atheist about it. (Nothing personal to my atheist friends.)

Maybe I’m too late to make the old Holy Weblog! worth capitalizing upon in a financially meaningful manner, but I’m not sure I care about that so much anymore (no matter how much I’m itching to take my career in another direction and essentially create my own gig). Maybe I just need to create something and enjoy myself in the process — and if money follows, so be it.


Curious Cookbooks makes a comeback.

I had ambitions for Curious Cookbooks. It would be the go-to site for kitschy recipes out of those plastic spiral-bound fundraising cookbooks I love to collect, and it would make a little cash in affiliate and Google ad revenue. We would do a few demos, have some fun – and make enough to either become the next Dooce or just pay our GoDaddy bills.

Then a combination of limited time to blog and limited funds meant we missed a few renewals on the server space fees, the site content was wiped out, and all that was left was a couple of domains and shelves upon shelves of cookbooks.

Eh. I still love the concept of blogging from these little spiral-bound gems. (Here’s an earlier attempt of mine at this kind of blog.) But I’m not striving to make it a daily practice, and I’m not trying to make money off it. Not now, anyway … I might re-introduce Google ads at some point, but with no grand ambitions of Doocedom – let alone pay the server bills with whatever pennies we might get.

So Curious Cookbooks is back in a truncated, more casual form. (And the aforementioned domains will be redirected here.) But it’s purely for my own amusement. That’s as ambitious as I get with my blogging these days.


No expectations.

Take me to the station,
And put me on a train;
I’ve got no expectations,
To pass through here again.

I’ve done all this before: I’ve had a personal blog (well before the word “blog” reached even the fringe of the mainstream), I’ve microblogged, I’ve started a blog on Ash Wednesday.

More often than not in recent years, I’ve started a blog and faded quickly. Ostensibly I don’t have enough time, or I run out of ideas, or my energy doesn’t match my ambition.

But deep down, I know I should be expressing myself online in some capacity. (I don’t count Facebook and Twitter, which I’ve set aside for Lent. I write self-consciously for an audience in those forums, and I wanted to create a sandbox where I could play the way I want to play, so to speak. And maybe make some art in the process.)

Blogging is like prayer, among other things, for me: I want to and need to, but I don’t make the time.

This time, I’m making the time. But no fancy ambitions: No attempt to monetize, no hopes of deep, essay-length musings, no daunting marketing plan. And no overarching topic or theme that I have to stick with. I’m being very retro — for me, anyway — in being purely off-the-cuff and stream-of-consciousness this time around; this is what the first incarnation of Gratuitous Web Presence was, before the days of ProBlogger and the daily global launch of zillions of blogs.

It’s very simple this time around. This is my omnibus site, where I capture things that interest me or become part of my life — snapshots, quotes, articles and links — and maybe riff on something myself if I have something to say.

These kind of catchall personal blogs seem to be passe. But a few higher-profile ones seem to be thriving; think and Matt Mullenweg. So while I’ve no intention of trying to reach their stratosphere of popularity or influence, I’d be in good company.

So here I go. Like the Rolling Stones song, I’ve got no expectations.


Why I’m here. Sort of.

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.


— Cyril Connolly