Top of the Heap

No-one reads these, but I’d feel awkward not having a proper introduction. So, hello, I’m Caoimhin (pronounced “Caoim-hin”), and welcome to The Heap. It’s a blog about writing, fiction, politics, games, and a whole bunch of other stuff all thrown together eponymously. I determined that the world required another blog, and it is my solemn duty to deliver.

Alright then, what the hell is this?

I guess the question you’re actually asking (rude) is: why oh why in 2017 are you making a blog? The answer is simple: because the blog format works. I’ve tried this before, several times, and every time it failed because of my efforts or lack thereof. The Internet has changed and so has how we interact with it, but what hasn’t changed is that a blog remains the best place to write short-form pieces, long-form, post shameless pictures of cats I like, and everything in-between.

So that’s what it is! A place for me (and others, hopefully) to write short-form pieces, long-form efforts, everything in-between, and enjoy ourselves while we do it.

Why not social media? And aren’t blogs dead? I heard they were dead.

Well, sure. Maybe. There was a blog explosion in the early/mid-2000s, I would know because I was a part of it, and it’s since dwindled as Internet users have streamlined and the app environment has appeared. Why freely browse the Internet when much of the Internet is now served in bite-sized app form? And how would you find this if you didn’t know it already existed? Not to mention the sheer difficulty of keeping up a blog. Blogs of yore, even big ones, have come and gone. A Dribble of Inks death hit many of us hard. I’ve personally started and shuttered three blogs, and one can only guess how many innumerable webcomics and mommy and foodie blogs have called it quits.

But there are stalwarts who are still kicking. Whatever will keep going until the heat death of the universe, while Making Light will probably go on until the Big Crunch. Besides, what media would I put it on? Twitter, which seems to be in its death-throes every year? Tumblr, which has been dying and resurrecting for years? Facebook (I’d rather eat and then pass broken glass, thank you kindly(and please ignore the irony that I’m definitely linking this to FB))? Or let’s think of the platforms that died, taking with them works of equal and often far-greater value: MySpace, Orkut(?), Angelfire (yes, I was there too), and what else? Considering venerable (by our standards) Twitter is facing a rough death, what’s next?

Finally, I took a quick look at the most popular social media these days. Outside of Facebook, the next 14(!) had strict content standards or didn’t even allow posting of text. If you’re posting a video or images online, there are a dozen places to do it before/in tandem with a blog. Text? Especially long form? Good luck. A site, while not the most visible, is better.

Also, I can swear here, so that’s a benefit too.

Fine, I get it. But isn’t this just another writer’s blog? Don’t we have enough of those?

 Nope! We could never have enough! I think one of the greatest, if not the greatest, values of the Internet is that it gives everyone a platform. And yes, while that means a whole lot of people we don’t want to have a platform now do, it also means that we can use it to make wonderful things.

The only sin when writing (aside from not using the Oxford comma) is assuming that someone doesn’t have a story worth sharing. It’s just up to them to make it good enough to be worth the reader’s time.

Yeah, but between Netflix, Steam, and maybe reading the occasional book, there isn’t enough time out there. Sorry, you’re cut.

 And that’s a totally fair attitude to have. Hell, I’m still behind on Stranger Things. Between work and family and life (remember that?), if I’m perpetually behind on everything then I’m guessing we all are. Time is of the essence these days, and despite what they might say on Queen Street, time might be money, but money is certainly not time.

But if your argument is that that means I shouldn’t try, there’s the door. Or the little “X” at the top right of your screen. Either way, you can take a hike.

What that does mean, though, is that I have to prove myself with my work. More on that later, but I agree: I’m not here to waste your time. If you deign to give it to me, then by all that’s holy it’s up to me not to spend it frivolously. That’s a judgement for you to make, but if I can at least keep you reading this long, then that’s a start, isn’t it?

Alright, alright. I guess that all makes sense. But oh! One more point: are you at all ashamed you stole this format directly from John Scalzi’s dialogues about Trump?

 Nope! And if you’re real clever, you’ll see what I did there.

So that’s that! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you again!