First an apology. To whom, I’m not sure. I turned off commenting on all the posts on this blog. I got tired of moderating spam comments. And, the fact of the matter is, I have never gotten anything but spam comments. So, I guess I’m apologizing to the non-existent group of non-spam commenters to this blog. That’s a weird concept.
Anyway, it’s New Year’s Eve today. I’m almost over the virus that has consumed the majority of the winter break. I have gotten next to nothing I planned to do over break done. I’ve spent the time with folks I love, feeling pretty bad. But I am hereby putting this behind me and leaving it in 2006!
Some of the neat things that happened this week:
- Pam won me a BOEbot for approximately half price on ebay!
- We found a Javelin Stamp Starter Kit on ebay. We’re still waiting to see if it will go for a price I can afford.
- I got Kurt his Christmas present from me and Pam, a cell phone. He and Erin can stay in touch easier now.
- I figured out which video camera I was going to buy in a couple of weeks. The Canon Elura 100 Digital Camcorder.
- I figured out which digital camera I’m going to get for Erin (about the same time). The Nikon Coolpix S10.
- I found a copy of Roger Zelazny’s The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 (Chronicles of Amber) which allows me to read the second half of the story! Great story by the way.
- I subscribed to a bunch more channels on YouTube (65 at the time I write this).
- I finally relaxed (2 days before I have to go back to the tension inducing grind but at least I did relax).
Enough for now. Happy New Year everybody!
My heart jumped a little when I saw that there were 3 comments awaiting moderation. Then I went to moderate them. All 3 were spam, probably from the same spammer with three separate addresses. The comments all read “Nice…”. I am so disgusted. Way too disgusted for the severity of the slight. If it weren’t for the fact that I feel like I’m getting some very good practice writing from posting to this blog, I’d give up. So much for a conversation. I probably just haven’t said anything very engaging yet. Yeah, that’s it.
I’m beginning to feel like I’m talking to myself. I’m not sure why. I’ve claimed this blog on Technorati and I ping them when I post. I haven’t checked the site stats to see how many hits I’m getting but there have been no comments since I started allowing them. If it turns out that the only comments that I get are spam, I’m going to be slightly disappointed. I’m writing this blog for practice writing but I wouldn’t mind if someone read it every now and then.
I remember when blogs were first gaining steam someone likened blogging to standing on the corner talking to the air. I just want to capture a small crowd of folks listening and commenting on what I’m saying. It’s lonely on the street by myself :-).
By the way, did anyone catch the reference to Dancing with Myself in the title of this post? I thought it was clever. I guess if I have to point it out, maybe it’s not so clever.
I suppose this question is as important as why do people read them. Hopefully, there is some commonality of purpose :-). A quick list of reasons:
- To practice writing
- To express themselves creatively
- To voice an opinion
- To respond to other bloggers
- To get attention (good or bad)
- To make a record of what they were doing and saying at a particular time
- To explore a topic in search of deeper understanding of it
- To entertain
- To inform
- To teach
- To be remembered
- To make an impression
- To get a job
- To inspire discussion
- To advocate action
- To persuade
- To woo
This question occurred to me while meditating one morning, originally in the very specific context of this blog but then in the broader case of all blogs. I started out by making a list.
- To waste time
- To laugh
- To read a good story
- To learn something new
- To hear someone else’s opinion
- To find people that believe the same things that they do
- To find other interesting sites on the web
Somewhere around here I started looking for a pattern. I noticed that most of these reasons could essentially be catagorized as one of three things:
Or else some combination of the three. In fact, as I thought about it some more, the more that you could address all three of these criteria, the more interesting your blog would be to more people. That was my theory anyway.
I propose to test this theory by attempting to increase these three components in my blog posts and see if my rating goes up any. I’m not sure which rating to watch though. I know that it would probably also help if I turned on comments and allowed a dialog. I suppose I’ll try that for a while and see if I start getting a lot of comment spam.
It was bound to happen. And, it will probably happen again. On many occasions. The day got away from me yesterday before I could write a post. I did, however, have a very nice lunch with Pam, Erin and Kurt. And I worked a little on editing a video that I made with my digital camera.
I discovered that editing a video with iMovie was not as completely intuitive as I would have thought. I am very disappointed in the footage that I took. I didn’t say anything that interesting and the sound of the traffic from the interstate made it hard to hear what I was saying. I am using this footage to learn how to use all the features of iMovie. That way, I will feel free to try new things without worrying so much about messing up my footage.
I was reading one of Paul Graham’s essays yesterday. He was distinguishing between writing essays where you polish the ideas for several weeks and the various types of ad-hoc writing like journals, diaries and blogs. Diaries are impromptu personal impressions. Journals are a little more subjective records of daily occurences.
Blogs, on the other hand cover a bit more territory. There is the clip blog that consists of short paragraphs that contain links to cool sites that the blogger has encountered while surfing.
Then there is the episodic blog that is more like a journal or diary. The entries are usually several paragraphs long. Beyond that, there is a lot of variation in content. Some are very personal and others or more like journals.
The third type of blogs are what I’ll call essay blogs. Essay bloggers often post much less frequently than the other types of bloggers but they typically have more to say. And what they say is much better thought out and expressed. Some essay bloggers probably rip an entry off like a long email but I suspect that most work on it for several days or more.
So, what’s the point of this ramble, you ask? I have been trying to decide what kind of blog this is going to be. I have pretty much totally rejected the idea of making it a clip blog. If you want to see what I’m reading go to my del.icio.us page. I’m pretty good about posting the cool things I read there. I’ll even try to beef up my descriptions a little bit.
I think the posts here will vary between being episodic and essay like, probably with the emphasis on the former. I rarely take the time to work on a piece enough to call it an essay. When I spend that much time writing something, it’s usually fiction. More on that later.