What lies ahead, and a possible opportunity

It’s ridiculous really, how quickly time can pass. It is seven weeks ago today that I started the vacation/parental leave that I mentioned in A new phase of life. But I would never believe that if I didn’t look in my calendar.

Time passes quickly when you have a baby to take care of. I have to admit that I have enjoyed these first weeks of being a father. Most of the time, that is. Those few nights when she simply did not want to sleep I could do without. Luckily there haven’t been many of those. Yet.

Time passes too quickly though, and today’s date being August 7 means it’s time for me to get back to work, both at NetRelations and here.

There are some interesting projects coming up at work during the next few months. It looks like we’ll be pretty busy, but that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in doing more business. So if you’re looking for a web agency where everybody really strives to deliver high quality, accessible and usable websites, contact us and tell us what you need. Don’t know what you need? Don’t worry – we’ll figure it out for you.

For 456 Berea Street I also have several things in the pipeline. In fact, I have so many article and tutorial ideas jotted down in my notebook that I don’t know where to start, and I just don’t have enough time to turn them all into writing.

Some things I really hope to find time to write about during the next few months though:

  • HTML 5. The good, the bad, and the infuriating.
  • A few rants. I don’t want to come across as someone who rants all the time, but there are some things I really need to vent about a certain breed of designers and some software engineers. Besides, many of you have told me you like my rants and want more. I will try to deliver.
  • Book reviews. Yeah, I know. Some of you like them, some don’t, but I have a large pile of Web books related to design/development to get through and a couple of reviews written already.
  • Tutorials, techniques, best practices, dos and don’ts. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, accessibility. You know, the usual stuff.

And finally, and this is where the opportunity I hinted about in the title comes in, I’d like to just throw an idea of mine out there. What would you think about me opening this site up for guest writers? The topics would be the same, and I would be very quality minded about anything that gets published. I’m not saying I intend to do it, but I am honestly interested in what you would think. Pros and cons.

Posted on August 7, 2007 in Life, Site news, Site news


  1. inviting guest writers is a great idea. Collaborative blogging would take blogging to whole new level. Keep it up.

  2. Not only would I love it (provided the quality is up to par with your own posts), I would probably be submitting material. :)

  3. I am looking forward to your book reviews, thats for sure. What are some of the books you have been reading lately?

  4. I don’t know. I like that this site is just one consistent voice, rather than a group, and I’d prefer that you keep it that way.

    (And I like rants!)

  5. con: i come here to read what roger writes, not someone else’s writing (as good as it may be). even when you post links, there is commentary from the author.

  6. August 7, 2007 by Alejandro Moreno

    More authors likely means more content, but I’ll have to side in with the “I want to read what Roger writes” camp.

    And as Kevin says in #5, even the short posts in response to someone else’s article are interesting to read.

  7. As a relatively new father myself (though at 14 months I guess that’s pushing it, and yeah, time goes fast), and with a second already on the way, I can totally understand if the idea for guest authors comes from the new addition, because believe me, it gets harder before it gets easier.

    Not that I was to any level of your dedicated webdom, but between work and family, my personal time to write, read, or even just tweak my CSS files once in a while all but disappeared, and I’m still finding it hard to do much. Anyway, guest authors, why not?

  8. August 8, 2007 by Carmelo Lisciotto

    I agree with the Rogers Camp…

    Carmelo Lisciotto


  9. August 8, 2007 by Carolina F S

    I’m also looking forward to reading your rants. About the guest writers, well, I know I wouldn’t invite guest writers to my blog, because then it wouldn’t be mine anymore. If I wanted to do that, I would create another site, maybe like A List Apart.

  10. If you invited guest bloggers I wouldn’t be so interested, because like others, I come here to read what Roger wrote.

  11. August 8, 2007 by Mike Morales

    I’m torn. Like many others, “I’m here to read what Roger wrote,” but on the other hand, I like variety as well. Maybe something in a “monthly featured writer” flavor?

  12. I am happy to see that you have lots of ideas to write about and even some already finished articles. My favorite topic is HTML 5, I really have very mixed feelings about it. And I wouldn’t mind you ranting a bit at all.

    As for the guest writers question, in my opinion you should not do it. Even if you have less time now, this would probably change the flavor of your blog very much.

    (The comment preview doesn’t respect my layout cookie although I’m using High Contrast. Please fix that.)

  13. I look forward to the months ahead on this site, sounds very interesting. Congrats on fatherhood also. I think opening up a monthly guest would be a fine idea, if it were in addition to your existing writing then those who do not wish to read the odd non-roger post can easily avoid it. Im sure the guests would be of quality and point us in the direction of other great places on the web.

    Look forward to it

  14. Who doesn’t like your book reviews?

    I think they’ve been great, and I’ve bought a couple of books off the back of them.

  15. Welcome back! The idea with guest writers is interesting, but I hope that it would be somewhat limited, e.g. once a month. The personal voice of the author is what makes a site unique. Multi-author sites often tend to lose their identity. But why not give it a try and see?

    And speaking of personal voice, please bring on the rants!

  16. I would cautiously welcome the idea of guest writers. While I think that the majority of people come here for “Roger’s ideas” (and jolly good they are too), I think the majority of us would be willing to give an occassional guest posting a shot, if it was someone you thought was a good enough writer.

    After all, anyone who doesn’t like it can just skip it - I’ll admit to skipping most of the book reviews, ‘cos it’s not really my thing - but that doesn’t mean I object to you having them.

    Quality is key. An occassional guest post by someone with something useful to say, who is a good writer, would be welcomed warmly. Flooding Berea Street with guest posts of inferior quality, no…

    …but at the end of the day, Roger, it’s your website. You do what you like with it, mate!

  17. I think it will be a good idea. I like a lot your website, and your book reviews are, of course, fantastic (also your texts). But, like other people say, is interesting to know the opinion of other professionals.

  18. Welcome back Roger. I come to this site to read your posts and they are always interesting. Saying that I think I agree with others that a monthly spot for another writer who’s views you value and can provide, perhaps, an alternate view on things could be good. Why not give it a go and see how people react, you can always can it later!

  19. Welcome back =)

    I like the idea of more authors. It can be more productive for all.

  20. I’m glad to hear that you’re back. I look forward to seeing what you have coming out of the pipeline.

  21. I wouldn’t open your blog to guest writers (or I’d at least be wary of it). You have a certain writing magic that is best left to you. It’s what draws me here. That said, if you’re really keen on the idea of getting info out there from yourself and others, on a single site, I would consider starting another site for web articles from you and other writers. Think ALA. I imagine it would be a huge success. Just my thoughts on the matter.

    Welcome back.

  22. I like the idea of a group blog but I agree with Mike about this being your space. I do enjoy the group blogs I do read and would definitely like to see something like that on the markup/design side. But, unlike Mike, I’d prefer to see a blog not another article site. ALA is great and all but I find blogs much easier to get through - great content without all the reading :) I still have a couple of unread ALA articles sitting in my RSS feed from months ago (!).

  23. August 8, 2007 by Laura

    Hey, Roger. So glad you are back. You’ve been missed here and in the HTML5 WG.

    456bereastreet = Roger to me.

    I come here for your wisdom.

    But as others have said it is your site. So if you give your stamp of approval to a guest writer, who you deem worthy, I’d still come :-)

  24. August 8, 2007 by Jeff L

    I’d have to side with the ‘keep it your own’ argument.

    Nice to see you back!

  25. August 8, 2007 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Thanks for welcoming me back, and nice to see several people asking for more rants ;-P.

    About the guest blogging idea, I’d just like to clarify that if I go ahead with the idea it will not be a daily thing. Once a month, as some have suggested, sounds more reasonable. And you can bet anything that I would be very picky about the guest articles that I publish ;-).

    I haven’t decided yet though.


    My book pile currently consists of the following:

    • Ajax on Rails
    • Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
    • Dynamic HTML The Definitive Reference
    • Designing Interfaces
    • Ambient Findability
    • Web Development Solutions
    • Web Standards Creativity
    • Designing Type
    • Beginning PHP and MySQL 5

    A couple more are expected to arrive shortly.


    The comment preview doesn’t respect my layout cookie although I’m using High Contrast. Please fix that.

    I’m aware of that. Not sure how to fix it though, since the layout switcher is PHP based and the comment preview is CGI.

  26. Congratulations on your baby … recently, the same as you 7 weeks ago I have also became a father of 2 (twins, yes it was I surprise for me too :-) ) beautiful boys … I am enjoy reading your blog … keep it up ;-)

  27. looking forward to the new stuff mate :)

  28. August 10, 2007 by Michelangelo

    Anyone good enough to contribute to Berea Street would already have their own blog anyway, since there are hardly any barriers to publishing. I would keep this as your own thing.

  29. Don’t let them rants accumulate for too long. Get’em out of your system.

    I love’em!

  30. I agree with the wish to hear your point of view but as a new-ish mom to a 7 month old daughter I can understand the notion that time flies. When faced at the end of the day with the choice between posting a new article or spending some time with the bean it really isn’t much of a decision at all.

    As you say though time flies and the need to keep content coming is a must so the once a month guest contributor sounds like a great idea. At least that would give you a bit of a break!

  31. August 21, 2007 by Jennifer

    How about sharing the byline? Or, dividing and conquering? Have someone explore a specific angle while you explore another. You could do a pros/cons or compare/contrast article with someone else. A liberal vs. conservative approach article. The list goes on and on.

    And, like many others, I visit the site for your viewpoint, but I understand where you are coming from.

  32. Guest writing might be risky… What about co-writing instead? And, if/when that happens, you would clearly state that at the beginning of the article.

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