Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

Permission to Write Stuff

One of my favourite ever pieces of tech was the original Flip camera. It came out at a time when the only way to shoot video was to dust off that full-size camera — the one you only took out for big occasions such as a wedding or a christening. Those cameras said "I am serious, only shoot serious things." The Flip changed all that. With it's 640 x 480 video and it's big red button it instead said "shoot any old crap — it doesn't matter if it's good, just shoot it." Of course it was doomed to failure once a phone could take video and share it to everyone, but for a moment it removed the pressure to only shoot so called important things. It very much reminded me of when I would run around with a Super-8 camera in the back garden of my Mum's shop, making rubbish sci-fi movies with my mate Ken and my brother John.

The Flip video camera gave you permission to shoot anything

I've recently seen some tweets expressing the pressure some people feel — understandably — of publishing their thoughts on a blog, fearing what others might say, wondering if it's good enough to be published on this wonderful thing called the web. I would say treat the web like that big red button of the original Flip camera. Just push it, write something and then publish it. It may not be perfect, but nothing ever is anyway. I write all sorts of crap on my blog — some of it really niche like snippets for Vim. Yet it's out there just in case someone finds it useful at some point — not least me when I forget how I've done something.

Right now there's a real renaissance of people getting back to blogging on their own sites again. If you've been putting it off, think about the beauty and simplicity of that red button, press it, and try and help make the web the place it was always meant to be.