Thursday, June 3, 2021

Flow: blogging in the creative zone

A painter is focused as his hands flick the brush over the canvas

If you blog regularly enough that your tools become an extension of your mind, you may experience flow

the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. (Wikipedia)

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who invented the term, says flow is characterized by a sense of timeless absorption. 

So, what happens when the tools break?

Software tools change all the time. Even beneficial changes break flow, but the flow state returns as we master the new version.

Changes that are not beneficial may break flow permanently. 

On January 20, Blogger disabled the quick-edit tools that allow bloggers to revise published posts quickly and directly from the blog. 

The Blogger help community erupted, users developed creative workarounds, and Blogger restored the option on January 25.


When do things get better?

It has been a bad year for usability and Blogger. 

We've seen a rough transition to a new version of the platform. 

Bugs persist for inserting images, and the new interface is fadish and confusing.

There are workarounds for almost everything, but workarounds break flow. By definition.

Timelessness yields to tedious hacks. Blogging is harder and less productive, and ceases to be joyful and fun.

No wonder people are grumpy.

Looking ahead

Last summer's changes at Blogger were driven, in part, by changes to old technologies at Google

In theory, this transition has created new opportunities to improve the platform. 

So far these have been minor, but here is an old wish list of mine.

Unfortunately, another technology is on Google's chopping block. That could lead to a new round of flow-breaking loss of functionality.

And no, I don't mean the end of subscribe-by-email, which is driven by a change at Google's Feedburner service.

Woe is us

It has been a really tough year for Blogger bloggers. I hope we see some bug fixes, and some new features, before much longer.

In the meantime, hang in there!

Try to go with the flow.

Image: Pixabay

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