Cory Doctorow explaining his blogging method

Wednesday 21st February, 2024 - Bruce Sterling

*It’s a lot of work.


Blogging has always been a part of this project. For nearly 20 years, I posted nearly every day on Boing Boing – 53,906 posts in all! – taking note of everything that seemed important. Keeping a “writer’s notebook” in public imposes an unbeatable rigor, since you can’t slack off and leave notes so brief and cryptic that they neither lodge in your subconscious nor form a record clear enough to refer to in future. By contrast, keeping public notes produces both a subconscious, supersaturated solution of fragmentary ideas that rattle around, periodically cohering into nucleii that crystallize into full-blown ideas for stories, novels, essays, speeches and nonfiction books. What’s more, those ripened ideas are supported by a searchable database of everything I’ve thought about the subject, often annotated by readers and other writers who’ve commented on the posts. I call this “The Memex Method”:

The Memex Method

Pluralistic marks a new phase in my deployment of the Memex Method. With 50K+ notes in a database, I’ve gradually turned Pluralistic into a forum for far more synthetic, longer-form work that pulls on threads from decades of research into nothing in particular and everything that seemed important.

Pluralistic is also an experiment in retaining control over my destiny – but not my work. Rather than hitching my ability to reach an audience through a platform that can be enshittified at the whim of a mercurial, infantile billionaire or their venal, callous shareholders, Pluralistic is published web-first, on a site I control, and then syndicated to every platform that matters to me. It’s a process called POSSE (Post Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere):

Pluralistic: 13 Jan 2021