The Very Possible End of this Blog

In the ’60s I had a friend is Santa Barbara, a highly-skilled gardener, tell me this about the growth of his pot plants: they’d not grow much for a week or so, then suddenly in 24 hours they’d grow like crazy. We talked about how knowledge was like that. You’ll take in information and ponder something over a period of time and suddenly—eureka!—you’ll get it. You get the whole picture. You see the way forward.

Well here’s my growth spurt of the last few days. It may be premature to write this, but I think I see a new way to get out our “content*”) out to (more) people.

I’ve been pondering mostly Instagram and Twitter, but also Facebook (ugh!), Pinterest, maybe Tumblr as a better way than blogging. I’ve done almost 5,000 posts now, some 7 million page views, I think it’s time to hang it up, or at least quit trying to do a post a day. I’ve been running it like a mini-newspaper, and I love doing it, but it’s taking too much time. Maybe I’ll just do my own material on this blog and not keep posting interesting stuff from other websites.

Small Homes

I’m laying out about 2 pages of this new book each day. Once I get the photos and text on the design table, it seems to assemble itself. Oh this fits here…I’ll put the pull quote here…Line this up both up and across…I love doing it—watching the birth of a book. A lot of material came in today—photos and stories.

I need to put more time into the book now, less on the blog.

Plus it’s occurring to me that blogs may be less significant these days, what with these super-sized phone screens and the fact that people are checking Instagram and Facebook daily whereas one has to go to a blog. I only look at blogs occasionally.

Lloyd’s Change of Direction

The iPhone 6 Plus! Holy shit! What a tool. I’ve run across 3 of them in the last 5 days. Yesterday my friend Jeff said, “Have you seen the billboards with photos shot on the iPhone 6?” I’ve kept saying I’d rather shoot quick photos with my many-featured Sony Cybershot RX100 II—raw files, tons of options not on any phone. But the camera seems v. good on the new iPhone and it’ll allow me to post stuff immediately, without having to shoot pix, load them on computer, use wi-fi, blah blah blah…Just zap from the phone. Immediate communication.

It’s gonna be fun, because I run across so much interesting stuff out in the world.

Looking forward to doing Twitter again. Forced to edit self.

*I have probably 15,000 (film and digital ) photos from 50+years—maybe half of them on homes, builders, building, architecture, most of it never used.

Live Broadcast of Small Homes

We’re going to try publishing excerpts from this book as we lay it out. Need to figure how to do so efficiently…hey, what about publishing quick photos of rough layout like this, along with a paragraph about the builder/homeowners? Would that work? The above layout:

“Jes Nelee’, musician and world traveler, designed and built her own small home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the help of her 80-year-old grandfather and friends.”

We could do that real simply. Get out on theshelterblog plus other social media.

Just sayin…

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

19 Responses to The Very Possible End of this Blog

  1. Well, Lloyd, I have / do much enjoyed this blog.
    Much enjoy the diverse community it has created.
    Much enjoy your posts, of diverse nature.

    Having said all that, of course I understand when life/interests/time takes you in a new direction.

    Hoping there will still be some way to keep up with your exploits, look forward to what is ahead.

    Thank you for your time and care you have invested in this.

  2. Well, if you go to Instagram, I guess I'll just have to finally use that app! I always look forward to the blog, and would second your notion of just doing your personal stuff here, if that pleases you, and not bother with reposts, etc. For me, it is your unique perspective on tools and what you observe in your daily rounds in the neighborhood, as well as journeys farther out, that makes this such an engaging read. Your voice is always one I can rely on…may it ever be thus.

  3. I think you're right, blogs may be less significant these days, when up against Instagram and Facebook. I write for my blog Vegans living off the land, about my progress with gardening, sustainability pursuits, building cob houses, and I find that it barely draws a big audience.

    But good luck to you, you are very inspiring, and I have always enjoyed your posts on these same subjects.

  4. I hope you don't go, but if you do….

    So Long, Its Been Good To Know Yuh
    (Dusty Old Dust)
    Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

    I've sung this song, but I'll sing it again,
    Of the place that I lived on the wild windy plains,
    In the month called April, county called Gray,
    And here's what all of the people there say:

    So long, it's been good to know yuh;
    So long, it's been good to know yuh;
    So long, it's been good to know yuh.
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin' my home,
    And I got to be driftin' along.

    A dust storm hit, an' it hit like thunder;
    It dusted us over, an' it covered us under;
    Blocked out the traffic an' blocked out the sun,
    Straight for home all the people did run,


    We talked of the end of the world, and then
    We'd sing a song an' then sing it again.
    We'd sit for an hour an' not say a word,
    And then these words would be heard:


    Sweethearts sat in the dark and sparked,
    They hugged and kissed in that dusty old dark.
    They sighed and cried, hugged and kissed,
    Instead of marriage, they talked like this:


    Now, the telephone rang, an' it jumped off the wall,
    That was the preacher, a-makin' his call.
    He said, "Kind friend, this may the end;
    An' you got your last chance of salvation of sin!"

    The churches was jammed, and the churches was packed,
    An' that dusty old dust storm blowed so black.
    Preacher could not read a word of his text,
    An' he folded his specs, an' he took up collection,

    So long, it's been good to know yuh;
    So long, it's been good to know yuh;
    So long, it's been good to know yuh.
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin' my home,
    And I got to be driftin' along.


  5. I personally think that comparing blogs to Instagram is like comparing chocolate to steak (or a haiku to a magazine article). They don't fulfill the same function at all.

    And ultimately, most Twitter and Facebook posts of any consequence wind up pointing to articles on a blog or website. The little stuff is for hooking interested parties. But then, hooking them to what?

  6. Lloyd,
    Your blog has been an inspiration to me over the years and one of the few I check almost daily. Reading your blog actually made me want to start a blog but with that said I became active with an Instagram account 6 months ago and it's opened up a new world. Instant communication, pics are already on the phone and you can keep your explanations to a minimum and let the photos do the talking. Everyone I follow in a continuous feed via an app in one location that I can dip in and out of. So much more time is gained which leaves more time to experience the awesome stuff you aim to share in the first place. Thanks for sharing on this blog it's meant more then you know.

  7. Lloyd;

    Ya know, I've been thinking about this on and off all afternoon. You've been threatening to kill your blog for over a year now, but you don't seem to stop posting messages. If you ~really~ are tired of this format, then trying to keep you engaged is pure selfishness on my (our) part.

    If you had decided not to publish and more print books, whose business is that but yours? I decided not to put my web site back up after it was torpedoed, and aside from a few whiners who couldn't let it go, I didn't notice any significant sorrow over it's demise. I got over it.

    If this really is the end, and you are finally going to pull the plug, I'm going to preemptively stop reading it NOW, rather than be left feeling deprived when you stop delivering content and I check a static page over and over. It's like expecting Rob Gray (Wotthahellisat motor home) to magically update his web page, but being disappointed each time I check in.

    So, no more encouragement. As of this evening, I'm deleting the bookmarks to your blogs. Cold turkey.

    Thanks for writing all those great books, have a nice rest of your life in social media.


  8. well now. You need to hear it from someone that has all your books and has built her house from your inspiration and that's over 30 years worth. Social media. hrumph….. seeing all this that we all look at once a day in a little tiny phone….just is NOT THE SAME. frivolous is F.B. and I've not even gotten into tritter or that other one mentioned. but time is time and you want to use it the best you can … we get older and think," What can I use my time left for?" I know I'm not only speaking for myself, but THANK YOU, MAHALO, GRACIOUS ETC….for all you've put on this site. We all have been enriched by your thoughts, words, pictures, extra sites. I will be looking forward to your new book, but how will I know it's out? much aloha, irene

  9. sigh………………

    me, I most assuredly will continue reading/relishing whatever you choose to post. whenever.

    if you should post once a month I will read it.

    having said that, if anyone should have any contacts,
    and could get Lloyd's books into

    School Libraries
    Public Libraries
    University Design Courses

    how about as Corporate Gifts?
    (often hear about companies order in thousands of one item for handing out to customers or Christmas gifts)

    how about as coffee table books for fancy offices?

    historical societies as a record of housing?


    any contacts folks which might help out the financial situation here?

  10. Instagram!!! Bite the bullet, buy an iPhone, get Instagram, and start posting. It only takes seconds. A picture is worth a thousand words, though you can also write as much as you want. It more fitting for people's attention span these days. #hashtags are the key. Do a search for the most popular tags first. #tinyhome might have a million hits while #tinyhomes has many less. Add a lot of relevant tags as that's what get people to find you. You can even go slightly off topic or more general to draw more people, like #california. You'll get the hang of it. It's better for networking than Facebook. Facebook tends to just connect to people you already know while Instagram's hashtag seachability connects you to new people from all over the world. You don't even need to share the same language to appreciate each other's photos. It's been the best platform for spreading my business/hobby, which you greatly inspired. Spoon carving. @michigansloyd

    Best of luck.

  11. Yeah. Well, whatever, it's your time, your life and your journey and I've enjoyed most of your posts,but life goes on and the only thing certain is change.

    See ya….

  12. "Fare you well my honey
    Fare you well my only true one
    All the birds that were singing
    Have flown except you alone

    Going to leave this broke-down palace
    On my hands and my knees I will roll roll roll
    Make myself a bed by the waterside
    In my time, in my time, I will roll roll roll

    In a bed, in a bed
    By the waterside I will lay my head
    Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    To rock my soul

    River gonna take me
    Sing me sweet and sleepy
    Sing me sweet and sleepy
    All the way back back home
    It's a far gone lullaby
    Sung many years ago
    Mama, Mama, many worlds I've come
    Since I first left home

    Going home, going home
    By the waterside I will rest my bones
    Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    To rock my soul

    Going to plant a weeping willow
    On the banks green edge it will grow grow grow
    Sing a lullaby beside the water
    Lovers come and go, the river roll roll roll

    Fare you well, fare you well
    I love you more than words can tell
    Listen to the river sing sweet songs
    To rock my soul …"

    Oh, Lloyd! My little heart is breaking at the headline of this post. There are lots of us who will miss you posting here. I'm only 50 (not young, not old) but I'm still of the old-school blog world and this has become my morning routine to wake up with coffee, sit down at laptop, and check here mostly first. I appreciate all you've done on your other sites, and I've bought your books, but it's the personal touch you add here that makes me feel like you're a friend and I'd miss that so much. The stories of driving up to Louie's and what's playing on the satellite radio and dips in cold swimming holes and what you caught at the beach to cook and eat. The kayaking and road-tripping and pictures of birds alighting in your back yard and stories of what's being prepared in your kitchen … I'd miss all of that. I've been living vicariously through your Marin life ever since leaving California and finding myself stuck up here in the frozen tundra of Maine. Oh, go if you must … but know that we'll be waiting here for you to check in every now and then to delight us of your latest cache' of firewood you've chopped from felled trees and hopefully not injured your shoulder or your skateboarding shenanigans … you rock on, Lloyd! Love on ya!

  13. I add my encouragement to continue posting. Blogspot is better than the alternatives for it's ability to hit on google searches. People should find a RSS reader app and or a homepage that uses RSS if they use a PC which will be automatically updated when a new post arrives. Many other bloggers use facebook and instagram to feed readers to their blog.

  14. sad if this is true but you should go with what you need to do,have really liked this blog and check it often ,love seeing what your up to .As for the other medias you mention never have checked em out ,seems like you need a cell phone ,also cell service which living out in the mountains doesnt work as we are too far away from service,anyways you have and are a constant source of inspiration with your beautiful books and this blog !!!

  15. Steve Jobs quote, "My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time." I hope you will decide the blog is one of your favorite things…it's certainly one of mine.

  16. No way Mr. Lloyd
    I have been looking forward to read your blog after getting home from Work ( I`m a museum
    Carpenter) for many years. It gives me so much plessure to read about the real values in life. and to see how much a "grown up " guy like you loves to live and tell about it. I`m only 64 and find it so uplifting to see the many good Things in life you want to share wit us.. so don`t you dare………
    Keep up the good Work Llyod. Yous Bjarne Skov Denmark

  17. Oh yes, blogging be SICH a waste of time!!! Noone kin reed enymoh de wans de peecher wats says meny so much meny moor' don du no mor ridin peeshers bee bombass

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