This weblog is an experiment in developing a book online. I let it rest for a little while because I wanted to think about the feedback I was getting. A number of people seemed confused by some of the chapters — they felt the chapters were incomplete, or they weren’t sure what the point was.
I realized the problem was my fault. To adapt the book content to a weblog, I was taking the draft chapters and splitting them into digestible chunks, posting one chunk a week. Unfortunately, web posts are typically much shorter than book chapters, and have a different structure. In a book, a chapter is usually a fairly long essay. It constructs an argument in segments, like a gourmet five-course meal that builds from appetizers to soup to salad and so on.
A good weblog post is more like eating bon-bons. Instead of building a structured argument, it makes a single point concisely and then gets out of the way. By chopping the chapters into bits, I was giving you the worst of both worlds â€“ you didn’t get the full argument you’d expect from a book chapter, but you also didn’t get the single clear point of a good blog post. Too many of the online chapters felt like fragments â€“ because that’s what they were.
So I’m going to structure the writing a little differently in the future. Instead of trying to replicate book chapters, I’ll just write about the ideas that I want to cover in the book, roughly one idea per week. I think this will make the weblog a little easier to read, and I hope it’ll also encourage more discussion.
As always, I’m very interested in your comments and suggestions. Please don’t be shy!