Me and my blog

Welcome

Welcome to The Outer Hoard, a blog I’ve been writing since 2006. I hope you enjoy it.

My name is Adrian Morgan, and if you browse this blog you’ll find any number of biographical facts, but here are some essentials. I’m Australian, born in 1977 and living in Adelaide. Other places where I’ve lived include four years in Scotland as a child, and school years in rural South Australia where my parents are. At university I studied computer science, with a sprinkling of linguistics, creative writing, and other things. Currently I work part time at a local graphic design place.

If you’d like to look for me elsewhere on the Internet, see the page about my other sites.

About the blog

This is a personal blog, unconstrained by theme or style. I may be thoughtful or whimsical, intellectual or creative, seeking to inform or entertain. I may write about distant memories, or about events that have just happened. I may share photographs, or ramble on a topic of interest with words alone.

The blog has changed over time. Sometimes I consciously experiment with new ways of doing things, particularly at the start of a new year (e.g. writing more about personal events in some years and less in others). At other times, new circumstances provide new possibilities or new constraints (my blogging is less prolific when time is short). Readers also influence the evolution of this blog, because if I know you’re listening, I might just bear you in mind when contemplating ideas for my next post.

Since the beginning of 2008 I’ve published regular collections of the most interesting, delightful or important articles I’ve read in the weeks preceding. This too has evolved. It’s shorter than it used to be — due to the need to balance my time — but look out for new installments around the 7th and 21st of each month.

Archives

The archives of a blog contain treasures that are as relevant years later as when they were written, and collectively they are as important as its most recent posts. My archives page provides a convenient way to explore.

On this blog, I go a step further and try to maintain the archives by occasionally putting them through a clean-up. It’s been a few years since I had time to do that, but (as part of a 2014 new year’s resolution) such a clean-up is currently in progress. This involves deleting posts I no longer wish to keep, merging two or more related posts into one, editing posts that in retrospect could be better written, and occasionally adding supplementary information or links (which may include links that didn’t exist at the time of writing).

I believe actively maintaining the archives helps the reader, because it means you can browse without wading through every little thing that seemed like a good idea at the time. It also saves me a few cringes.

When the current revision phase is complete, I plan to restructure the category system used on this blog. It will be a few months before I get to that, but meanwhile the current category system is an outdated and unmaintained mishmash. For example, when I first chose to publish regular linkfest-type posts I filed them in a special category called Interesting Stuff, but later I changed my mind and filed them under Recommendations. In addition, categories may refer to sections of a post that have been deleted: since I’m planning to restructure the categories anyway I’m not updating them in my current clean-up (but I am taking notes on what the new categories should be).

Comments

Reader interaction is one of the most rewarding aspects of writing a blog, and I’m delighted when people add their own perspective to a topic by posting a comment. If something on this blog inspires a thought you’d like to share, please do so, whether it’s prompted by a recent post or something from the archives, whether it’s a memory or a speculation or whatever.

I try to reply to comments within 24 hours — a policy I adopted in 2009 after realising how much value it adds when other bloggers respond to comments on their blogs. Usually my reply will be another comment, although there are situations where I’ll respond by email or some other medium instead. (This policy only applies to your first comment on a given blog post; I’ll respond to a follow-up comment only if I feel inspired.)

As much as I love comments, not all comments are equal, and I reserve the right to edit or remove them for any reason. Spam and other breaches of etiquette will be deleted of course, but I’ll also delete comments that fail the Turing Test or (in extreme cases) are just plain weird. Context-free praise (such as “Great post!” not followed by an “especially” or a “because”) is an example of failing the Turing Test: I acknowledge that these can be sincere, but it’s not what blog comments are for — namely engagement. Give me some evidence that you actually read it.

This blog is protected by the Akismet anti-spam system, and it’s possible that a genuine comment may be erroneously marked as spam. If you believe this has happened to you, feel free to contact me and I’ll sort it out.

I’ve always been opposed to Like and Share buttons on blogs. The former is open to abuse, and the latter smacks of consumerism: I am gratified if you decide to share a post with your friends, but copy-and-paste is easy enough.

Contact

If you’d like to contact me directly, two simple ways are to email me or send me a tweet.

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