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Saturday, 02 March 2024


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I still think you should start a mostly off-topic substack, get it out there. Link there from here if you think you have a good one. You can call it Off TOP. I've waive my usual consult fee.

It seems a shame that you keep drafting posts that never get seen. And I, for one, enjoy the off-topic posts as much as the on-topic ones.

But I also sympathize with peoples' need for a photography-centered "space", and how that need might be threatened by off-topic posts. This was highlighted by the recent (and welcome) posts about actual photographs. I also understand that not every draft meets your standards for publication.

Possible solution? My understanding is that Typepad accounts allow for both a home blog and secondary blogs. What about a secondary blog for such "iffy" posts, for those of us who enjoy your off-topic meanderings? If you're worried about the added workload, turning off comments on that blog should preempt a great deal of it, as well as the phenomenon where a handful of readers goad you deeper into particular rabbit holes that interest them.

It would help "Keep TOP Weird" while the home blog satisfies the purists.

Though I have to disagree with the notion that movies are off-topic. Movies are a gold mine of photographic idea and examples, problems and solutions. Personally, I would not consider appreciation of any kind of 2D art off-topic, but especially not an art form that happens to be made of photographs!

Off topic posts are, to me, more interersting than the on-topic posts. Go figure!

I miss Putin and porn in this list, though admittedly these are dangerous and controversial subjects.

I for one would love to read the keyboard/typing article! I also hunt for the keys but should really learn touch typing properly to get more speed.

Maybe let the Patreon supporters read the article? Please?

I’m unsure whether the ratio and length of off-topic posts are a sign that your photography world and interest in it have shrunken, but I know mine has, and I suspect I return to TOP each day out of habit. I highly valued your considerable insight on photography, but it all seems like another era now. You’ve earned the goodwill of many of your readers because of your contribution to the culture. You're at the helm of TOP. Maybe some of these posts signal an ill wind brewing, or maybe we're in new waters with new challenges. You have the trust of your readers, but you could do with a couple of big lands, Cap'n.

Count me in as another who greatly enjoys your off-topic posts, sometimes even more than the photography-related ones (keeps things from getting boring).

As someone with a variety of non-photo interests I tend to get obsessive when researching something new, and (fortunately or unfortunately) I am just getting into a new obsession -- metal detecting. Man, now THERE'S a rabbit hole, and one similar to photography in that the equipment is an integral and enhancing or limiting factor to the hobby itself.

Anyway, I've gotta get back to YouTube and spend the next few hours watching people metal detect on the beach (the question of "what is the best sand scoop" is still unanswered). :)

Yeah, and this one was the worst of the lot!

On the other hand ... this may just be the reason for your being a writer for the New Yorker. Yes, you can claim that, even with only a couple articles.

Talk about rabbit holes and trivia. Those guys will write about ANYTHING, and make it interesting. They make NPR look like a bunch of pikers. 10,000 words on the technology behind Yale locks, with a sidebar on the Yale name? Notta problem!

You do generally recognize when enough is enough. So I say, keep at it.

As for QWERTY et al., I'm surprised that you've never delved into Reverse Polish Notation.

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