#FridayFive: 5* Interesting Stories I’ve read recently on Medium.

So I have a confession to make: I use the “bookmark” function on Medium entirely too much.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Medium is a free public blogging platform in which anyone can submit articles. (And I mean anyone.) If you subscribe to certain people’s feeds or click that you are interested in certain topics, you can get a daily (or weekly, I imagine) digest email from the site with links to articles that might interest you. And you can even “bookmark” things you want to read later.

What happens when you bookmark a whole lot and don’t actually read that much? You get a backlog of articles that may number into the several hundred. Or so I’m told.

So I figured, at least for a few weeks, I was going to go through this backlog and pull stories to tell you about that I found interesting, informative, funny, and/or generally worth reading.

Disclaimer: I will try to warn you in advance, but in these posts I will link to articles with bad language from time to time. I’m going to trust that you and your conscience will make good choices, based on your convictions. If I link to the article, it’s because I think the content is worth reading, despite objectionable verbiage.

So here you go–5* stories I’ve read recently that I thought were worth sharing:

I Envy Your Fake Life — Stephen Altrogge talks about the confluence of social media and comparison. I appreciated his honesty, and the reminder of how God’s sovereignty speaks to our contentment.

The Only 3 Types of Writing People Actually Want to Read — Okay, so a lot of the stuff I read on Medium has to do with content creation, writing, publishing, etc. This piece by Ayodeji Awosika was a very useful and direct reminder about what people want to get out of online content (or really, any written content).

Read Like You’re on a Diet — Okay, this one hit a little close to home, as Cody Musser describes the glut of reading material online, the temptation to try to catch it all, and how overwhelming it can be. He’s also frank about how writers’ motives can cloud how good or useful content is. And he emphasizes the need for creating, not just consuming. Worth considering. (NB: language)

23 Ways to Immediately Get more Traffic to Your Blog — Okay, this post is SEO’d to the max. Unsurprising, since it’s Jeff Goins, who’s a pro at platforming. BUT it’s also got some good and useful ideas for boosting the number of eyes that land on your writing, so if you’re into such things, this is a good one to read.

Reading to Learn: Why You Shouldn’t Read Beginning-to-End and What You Should Do Instead — Michael Motta discusses what looks like a very effective method for reading non-fiction (especially textbooks) with an eye to better retention and comprehension. If you’re in school, this may especially be worth a look.

BONUS:

Jesus Took Away My Freedom of Speech… — Couldn’t wait until next time to include this one. Billy Schiel reminds us in this great article about the implications of being servants of Jesus Christ, including how it affects the way we speak (or blog or tweet). Don’t miss this one.

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There you go: the first “Medium” edition of the #FridayFive. If you are already on Medium and are so inclined, you can follow me there. No, I don’t have much content up at this point, but I will be rectifying that in the next few weeks–both with cross-posts from this blog and some Medium-exclusive content as well. Looking forward to that!

Have a great weekend, do something fun, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day if you’re a believer, and I’ll be back next week (hopefully).

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I can name that tune…

Random story, because why not:

More than 20 years ago, when I was in ninth grade…

[Pause to wipe away silent tears as I type those words]

…I had a friend named Chad who was a year behind me. Chad was into much cooler music than I was–though I should quickly clarify that we were both on that “Christian music ONLY” tip, at least at that time. So, Chad was into cooler *Christian* music than I was. In those days, I was still rocking out to early DC Talk (DCT fan since “Nu Thang,” y’all), Carman, MWS, and some of the late-80’s/early-90’s Christian hair-metal-type bands like White Cross, Petra*, and Whiteheart. I know–REAL hardcore.

Meanwhile, Chad was into the nascent Christian alternative scene in the 90’s, as well as other random fun things. While I had heard of this strange beast called “ska” not too long before, Chad bought me my first Five Iron Frenzy CD. He would sometimes mention bands I would pretend to recognize.

Well, Chad made me a mixtape of stuff he thought I would like, and while I remember some stuff on it (FIF, MxPx, Dime Store Prophets, etc.), there was one song I REALLY liked. It was a fun, silly rocker, no deep meanings, just something fast and loud to jam out to on your Walkman. (Remember the Walkman? Classic.)  I probably wore that part of the tape out, rewinding and replaying over and over. (Remember tapes? Remember rewinding?!? Good times.)

Fast-forward to maybe ten years ago. I was trying to recall the song. I could remember random lines of lyrics, but despite my best google-fu, was unable to find the song. We were now in the Youtube era, and I was hoping to find it SOMEWHERE. I had no idea who the band was, and I could only assume on the title. Well, a few years ago, I found it. And as it randomly came to mind today, I pulled up the video.

So, here you go. Please to enjoy, “I Take U Everywhere I Go” by Pushstart Wagon (and I recommend you turn it WAY up):

Is there a point to this story? *shrug* Not really. I just like this song. Maybe you will, too. And if you don’t, that’s cool.

[*Yes, yes, yes, Petra started much earlier–I’m talking about the John Schlitt, “Beyond Belief” era Petra here.]

The irony isn’t lost on me.

My last post, over a month ago, was talking about waiting. Since then, gentle readers, you have patiently waited for more content (or, more likely, forgot about the blog and moved on to other things).

I’m not “back” yet. But I’m coming back to this…sometime. Still trying to figure out what the new normal looks like. Nevertheless, I’ve got some stories, lemme tell ya.

Here’s the bare bones version: We had a baby! And she’s great. And I miss what a “full night’s sleep” feels like. And there was a hurricane, but we’re okay. And now it’s mid-September, and the year has flown by, and there are pumpkin-flavored things being sold, and I can’t quite keep up with life. So. Blogging was bumped down below the cut-off line for “things claiming time and attention” (sorry).

Back soon-ish.