0: What is Picomac?

Blogging is just impossible — for me anyway.

Not because writing is impossible, or for lack of things to say. The issue for me has always been consistency. Blogs were places where I would write two or three thousand words at a stretch…and then nothing for months or even years.

Podcasting, on the other hand, has been different. I began Simple Beep, an Apple history podcast, with my friend Brian over a year ago and we've delivered episodes just about every two weeks since. It's not only given me confidence in my consistency, but talking about old Apple has given me an itch to talk about today's Apple. That's where this project begins.

Last fall, friends and acquaintances were gearing up for the ultimate challenge in consistent writing: NaNoWriMo. A quick survey of my time constraints and energy level was enough to know that it wasn't possible for me, then. Perhaps, I thought, I could do something smaller? NaNo aims for 50,000 words — I'd need to look at least an order of magnitude smaller. And I hadn't dreamt up any plot ideas, but I had plenty of comments on tech and Apple, and if they were too long for a tweet…well, they'd just vanish. There were the two halves of what I wanted to create: Pico. Mac.

Picomac is your daily bite of Apple. 300 to 500 words. Read or listen.

Picomac is not a news source — it couldn't possibly be in such a tiny package. For Apple news, there are plenty of great shows, like ATP and Connected, and blogs, like MacStories and Six Colors. You probably already follow some of these, and I plan to rely on that to cut to the chase and keep concise. If a couple hundred words seems too limiting, consider this: the best training in concision I ever received was in a science fiction literature course in college. We read a novel per week and had to write an essay on each one: maximum 350 words; anything longer failed. Explaining the story in any way, shape, or form put you in an inescapable hole. The goal was pure analysis, because the audience was our class: people who all knew the story! We shared common ground — that's seriously the linguistic term for it — that let us say things that might not make sense otherwise.

Another goal is for Picomac to be as convenient and accessible as possible, so every installment will have matching (although not necessarily identical!) text and audio. I want to plan and craft my words, but leave behind the bad vibes of my blog failures: so much text sent silently into the ether. This is admittedly something I've never seen — let alone tried — before, and I welcome your honest feedback on the format. I do hope you enjoy it. New installments will be posted Monday through Thursday, starting with number 1, which is out right now!