— Jenny Neill

Backburning the Bots

Every so often life throws each of us a lot to handle all at once. The past four weeks or so have been one of those times for me. The behind-the-scenes events in my own life are nothing sensational. Or traumatic. There are, however, a number of shifts taking place that have required more attention than I’d expected to give. And so, I went quiet here for a month. Though I do not have a thrilling narrative to share, I still have a few things to say.

I am retiring one blogging experiment: Search Bot Gots. This short-lived feature grew out of my amusement at headlines delivered to me as I was researching a topic. My work habits, as dull as this sounds, are part of what has been shifting this year. I’m relying less on automated search notifications for finding ideas for pitches or sources to interview. Less reliance on ‘bots means I’m having far fewer instances of chuckling over the absurdity of how one result has little or nothing to do with the next despite coming from the same inquiry.

Instead, I’ve been using other means to find facts or people to interview. Much of my research starts, or at least wanders through, a variety of online social network sites instead of beginning and ending in Google or Bing. Those twists and turns can be as ridiculous or strange as the word salad my search bots would deliver to my inbox. I may one day bring back something like those posts as a blog feature. But, for now, to the back burner it goes.

Meanwhile, my list of published stories is growing, including two more features published in STiR tea & coffee industry bi-monthly and one in Today’s Chiropractic Lifestyle. I’m also summarizing coffee news from around the world for STiR. It’s far too soon to share other news (you never know when a story might get pulled or delayed, or a gig will fall through). I can tell you I’m looking for interesting tales where beverage (wine and coffee) meets up with business and technology.