April 18, 2013

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Alex Guyot of The Axx

It was a link, at the popular website Daring Fireball, to one of his blog posts, “On Teens and iPhones”, that I discovered Alex Guyot who writes about mostly-Apple technology at his blog The Axx. His diligent and thoughtful writing is apparent. He can be found on Twitter: @The_Axx.

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
I started a blogging website for a few reasons. I had been following technology news with interest for quite some time, and I felt I was developing a good enough base of knowledge on the subject that my own thoughts and opinions might be of interest to others. This was magnified because there are not very many bloggers of my age out there, and I felt that a teenage perspective was something that could benefit the tech industry. I also found inspiration in John Gruber’s website, Daring Fireball. I really liked the “link blog” style, and I thought that a combination between linking to important news with a few short comments and writing my own longer posts was a really cool type of blog to run. I mostly was feeling that I had a ton of ideas and thoughts about technology inside, and I really needed a place to put them all. Due to all the things I mentioned above, a blog seemed like it would be the best place to do that.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
I selected Squarespace as my blogging solution. I had first learned of Squarespace because it was sponsoring Daring Fireball and many other tech sites I visited frequently. After looking into it more, I found I really liked the design tools and that the templates automatically supported a responsive design. (I ended up disabling that feature due to a few issues I found with it, but it was a big factor that helped originally did draw me to the service.) I also liked Squarespace’s great support of markdown across all its pages, as that is my favorite format to type posts in.

What is your definition of a good blog 
and what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?
My definition of a good blog is one in which the author is honest and sincere, and simply wants to give his or her opinions in hopes that others can enjoy them and benefit from them. I think blogs that are simply people spewing out posts with the intention of angering others, or posts that really have no particular purpose, are a waste.

Three good blogs I visit frequently are Daring Fireball, The Loop, and A Very Nice Website. All three are technology blogs, which mainly just link to other sources with big news stories, but give their opinions alongside these links as well. Then every once in a while they write long posts of their own. All of them only exist to spread interesting news and serve new insights that people may consider to expand their knowledge of a subject. That’s the type of blog that I admire, and strive to create.

How do you create content for your blog?
I write all the content for my blog on my iPad in the app Drafts. I have been using an iPad as my computer for years, so I can type on the on-screen keyboard just as fast as I can on a physical keyboard. I also love the UI and UX in Drafts, and the lack of advanced multitasking on iOS helps me to concentrate without getting distracted by other windows and alerts bouncing around and trying to steal my attention. I write all my content in Markdown and use the official Squarespace app to post it to my site.

How do you stay organized and motivated 
to contribute to your blog?
I stay organized by keeping to the same routine of keeping up with news and testing out all kinds of apps. My motivation comes completely naturally, because any time I see a big piece of news or really enjoy a new app or update, I immediately feel urged to get my thoughts about them out for others to read and enjoy. I can’t quite explain it, I just like the thought of my insights being interesting to others, and very much enjoy feeling like I am contributing something to the world.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed 
of regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?
My advice is simply to stop aspiring and get it done. I spent months imagining starting a blog but not actually following through with it. Now all those months are just wasted time, and I regret not starting my website sooner. I encourage others not to make that mistake. If this is your goal, then I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to just jump right in and start doing something you love.

What is your quest in blogging?
My quest in blogging, as somewhat stated above, is simply to provide my own insights that others will find interesting. As a fairly young blogger, I think I wield a perspective that many older bloggers are not able to see. I really want others to be able to benefit from that perspective, and enjoy the things I have to say. I want people to be able to synthesize my thoughts and insights with those of other bloggers in the tech industry, and ultimately come to a deeper understanding of the subjects which we are writing about.

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Photo courtesy of Alex Guyot.

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Typeface of quote is Futura designed by Paul Renner in 1927.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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