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pencil talk 2.0

Hello all,

It has been three years since the ‘Final Post’ at pencil talk.

After announcing the end, I took the blog offline for several reasons. I don’t really like seeing blogs floating around that don’t function as blogs, with no new posts, no commenting, no interaction. The hosting costs seemed to only be going up. And, it just seemed appropriate to turn off the lights after leaving.

I’ve continued to keep in touch with many people interested in pencils, and appreciate the queries from readers. These interactions have been persistent enough that I feel the impact of the blog was quite significant. From the other side, going offline didn’t cause costs to decrease by much. Using a prominent hosting company, everything is metered, and maintaining virtual servers, storage, etc. seemed to cost more than the bandwidth – i.e. there were few savings found by turning the blog off.

The last three years have been an adventure. I’m from Toronto and started the blog there, but lived in nearby Kitchener many of pencil talk’s nine active years. In 2013, I accepted a job offer in the US, and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area until two months ago. I’ve just returned to Canada.

I brought the blog back online for a couple of reasons – I didn’t really want the content to be lost – it lived inside the WordPress database on an operating system too old to get updates – and, at some point, a revival would become unfeasible. But more importantly, the blog isn’t solely mine – discussion with and between readers was one of the things the blog did well, and the many thousands of comments deserved to live on. The blog never reached first place in search engines, but it always seemed the be the place for people to talk about pencils.

This post is about a revival – I want to bring the blog back. I’m still thinking carefully about this. The online landscape has changed. There are a lot more stationery blogs and websites now. Many are decidedly commercial. The three blogs I mentioned in ‘Final Post’ have all continued to thrive, and I’ll note in particular that Contrapuntalism has risen to unprecedented heights – featuring interviews with both the late Count A.W. von Faber-Castell and Eberhard Faber IV that have delighted and amazed me.

I want to carry on the exploration of the art and science of pencils, and hope you’ll join along!

Stephen

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