Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Because I'm Nosy

Okay, so beyond my own Metablognition, I’m going to ask for a little from you guys. I’m curious about how y’all do your own blogging. So I have some questions for you, and I really honestly want to know the answers (some of these apply to non-bloggers as well, so don’t feel left out if you’re not a blogger!):

1. How many blogs do you read, and how do you decide what those blogs are going to be? Is it based on content, update schedule, writing style, connection to the blogger, combination of the aforementioned? Do you have tiers of blogs – i.e. some that you read every day, others that you check in with about once a week, others that you read only when you have a lot of time and nothing to do? How do you keep track of and/or organize the different tiers? Do you use Bloglines? Personalized homepage? Folders in your Favorites file?

2. Of these blogs you read, how do you decide when and where to comment? Are there blogs on which you always comment? On which you never comment? On which you comment only if you feel particularly compelled by the topic? Do you feel obligated to comment on any blogs? Do you ever shy away from commenting, even if you feel you have something to say?

3. If you are a blogger yourself, do you link to other blogs, either in your sidebar or in a blogroll somewhere? If not, why didyou decide not to? If so, how do you decide which blogs go in that list? Do you put all blogs you read in there? Do you put your favorite ten in there? Do you put all blogs you have ever read - even just once - in there? How often do you add people to it? When was the last time it was updated, and what prompted the update?

4. Again, if you’re a blogger, how do you actually blog? Do you type posts directly into the Blogger page, or do you draft them in a word processor first? Do you keep a list of potential posts somewhere for ideas? Do you draft posts and keep them for a rainy day or do you put them up right away? Do you keep stats on past posts? Do you file your past posts anywhere? Do you keep stats on comments? Am I the only truly crazy one among us who does all of these things?

Okay, I’m really very curious, so please tell me your blogging tales. In return I will, um, answer these questions myself in Friday's post. So there.


Day 16 of SaBloBoMo: Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut

Until I had to teach a subset of these stories to my classes at Elite, I had only ever read two stories in this entire book: “Harrison Bergeron,” and “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.” I read them freshman year of high school in my English class, and I loved them. I had no idea what satire was yet, nor did I understand any of the various rhetorical devices he was using. I just knew I loved those stories.

When I taught the book, I got to know even more great stories, like “EPICAC” (which has lead to multiple occasions of my writing “15-8. Oh.”), “Who Am I This Time?”, “Deer in the Works,” and “The Euphio Question.” The great thing about short stories is that you can go through a book of them in small chunks, because each story goes by so quickly. Vonnegut is a tremendous satirist, and has an amazing sense of irony. But beyond that, he has a point to his stories, he has a greater purpose than entertainment. Which makes the stories just that much more entertaining. Great book.


jittacatgirl said...

you know, i've never read any vonnegut... does that make me a failure of an english major?

ps - i'll take a picture of your ass anytime. :)

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Do you type posts directly into the Blogger page, or do you draft them in a word processor first?

I write them in a Word document so I can check for grammar, punctuation and good sense.

Do you keep a list of potential posts somewhere for ideas?

Yep. My file is called “Blog Starters.”

Do you draft posts and keep them for a rainy day or do you put them up right away?

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I post immediately. On a rare occasion, I save it for a day or two. And once in a while, I’ll toss the proposed post, realizing it wasn’t worth anyone’s time to read.

Do you keep stats on past posts?


Do you file your past posts anywhere?

All of my posts start as Word documents, so I have all of them filed on my hard drive under My Documents.

Do you keep stats on comments?


Ms. H said...

1. How many blogs do you read?
I have about 5 that I check on a daily basis. There were a few more, but those folks have closed up shop. *sigh*

2. Of these blogs you read, how do you decide when and where to comment?
There's not really a decision that's made...it's more like my gut says "GOTTA SHARE!"...so I do.

3. If you are a blogger yourself, do you link to other blogs...?
I have a blogroll where I've listed the ones I read semi-regularly. The list isn't so much for my readers' convenience...but my own. (I'm getting old, so it helps to have the links centrally located!)

4. How do you actually blog?
I typically compose in blogger and post right away. If I composed in Word, to post later...I'd never get around to actually posting the post! Sometimes, I'll read back through a previous post and decide I want to make changes. Most of the time these are cosmetic...but I have totally deleted a post here or there.

Archiving & Stats: I have set blogger to email me a copy of each new post...at which point my inbox files it in a specific folder. I don't keep stats on comments...I do have a stat counter for visits...but that's about it. I teach English, and that's as much interaction as I want with math!! ha!

Anonymous said...

I read only your blog (and not on a regular basis I'm ashamed to say). I comment when I have something to say or a question to answer. I don't see any of my own blogs in the future because I don't enjoy the suffering process of creation in this manner. (This lack of mine increases my admiration for those who write so well).

Anonymous said...

1. I read probably fifteen blogs with which I keep up regularly. Five or six others? I check back when I remember. Strangely, I read a ton of Mommy Blogs. I just use favorites in Firefox to follow.

2. I comment on the ones that I either relate to, or on the ones who show me comment love and have thus become my friends in the computer box.

3. I link to other blogs, yes, in my sidebar. It's usually bloggers whom I admire, or those whom I consider friends. I am terribly picky and also terribly lazy, so it never seems to be updated.

4. I used Wordpress, and generally type my entries directly into the New Post box. Sometimes I'll do them in Word, other times I'm copying handwritten notes I've made throughout the day, but mostly it's all done in the template.

I've never read that collection of Vonnegut, but I did have to teach Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle to eleventh grade AP students. I had a blast doing it. "So it goes..."

Caffeinated Librarian said...

1. How many blogs do you read? - As many as I have time for and/or as many as I feel like on any given day. I'm always looking for new and interesting blogs and I also have a bloglines list, which is how I keep up with who's written something new...right now it has 46 feeds. There are four folks I read every time they post (The Big Four, I call them in my head: Cara, Chris, WHW and Mocha), because we all started blogging at the same time. They're kind of like my Blog Graduating Class, I guess you could say and there's some history there.

2. How do you decide when and where to comment? - When I feel like I have something to say.

3. Do you link to other bloggers? - Ummm, have you heard of this thing called the "Tour de Blog?" Things get on the Tour because I like the post and I think my friends will like it/find it interesting. I was worried, in the beginning, that that would be a problem and that people's feeling would get hurt if they wrote something that didn't show up one week...but luckily I'm not that popular. *grin* Sometimes I don't link to things because, even though I like the post, I think they're too personal to send a host of people to invade that person's space (like when Loofa was deciding whether or not to separate from his wife). I know that's counterintuitive, since these things are meant to be read and are public after all, but still…I would feel like I was exploiting them otherwise.

4. How do you blog. I write directly in Blogger, cut and paste into Word for Mac to spell-check, cut and paste back into Blogger, and press "publish." I try to keep lists of things I want to write about and I have a little book, but don't do that as regularly as I should so I'm sure I lose a lot of ideas along the way. Quite frankly, most of the things I write I kind of feel compelled to write. They aren't really planned...they just flow out and then I futz with the grammar, phrases, etc. as long as it takes for it to feel "right." That's why, sometimes after I post something you may come back later and find that I've changed something that you've read previously. Usually, I stop futzing if I get comments on the post. After that I only change grammar and spelling-errors, I tend to miss a lot of those on my first, second, third, fourth, fifth trip through (esp. in my comments).

5. Stats? - I have a free service that compiles them daily. Sometimes I check, sometimes I don't...depends on my mood. I'm particularly like to know how how people find me (it's the librarian in me).

Anonymous said...

1) I use bloglines for the blogs I read most often, though there are only 8 on my list. In addition to those I have a feed from BoingBoing and the SF Chronicle. There are maybe 4-5 other blogs that I read when I looking to the internet to distract me =)
2) I tend to not comment very much. Mostly I comment when specific solicitations for comments have been made (like this post), or when I feel compelled by the topic. A lot of times I want to comment on serious stuff that people write to lend my support, but am not so good at what to say. I think I'm still getting used to the medium.
3) I don't think Livejournal gives me a sidebar. They assume all the blogs I read are within LJ, and so my "Friends" page assembles those, which are mostly holdovers from high school.
4) I usually type posts directly onto the page. For some of the more serious ones I've drafted first, or sometimes I start a post online and don't have time right then or whatever, so I email it to myself so that it's saved. I don't keep any stats. I think I would have to blog more seriously to make that worthwhile for me.

Anonymous said...

1. I read about 10 blogs regularly. I try to hit them all daily, but with a new job, it's a little more difficult. I usually keep coming back if I can relate to the blogger. I especially make an effort if they have visited my blog. There are a few "big guys" (ie Dooce, Amalah) that I read that seem to go in flows. all the blogs I read are 1) either in my comments so I can click on them or 2) I know the url by heart. :) Is it really sad that i like reading blogs of people who are pretty? :)

2. I try to comment daily on the ones that I read most often. Of the big ones, I rarely comment because I don't think they read them. I never shy away, it's not in my nature. ;)

3. I do link to other blogs. I link to those who I've read for a bit and who I've emailed with or who have commented on my blog. (speaking of which, I need to add you. lol) I add people as I meet them and as I like their blogs. Most of them are ones I read weekly, if not every other day.

4. I usually type directly into the blog service provider window. (I'm on typepad). If I'm at work, I'll type it in an email and then copy and paste (don't want to be on typepad too long). Or, if I don't have time to post, I'll email it to myself to post later. I almost always post as soon as I write it...unless it's nablopomo. LOL
I have no ideas. LOL I try to remember them and I usually don't. :)

Hope this helps!

Natalie said...

1. I have, in theory, an eighteen-blog circuit that I read daily. Lately though I've only been hitting that circuit every several days, because I've been busy with other things. But the circuit is not tiered. I generally have two complementary criteria for reading a blot: how edifying the content is, and how attached I am to the author. Half my circuit I access through Tpiggy's links; the other half I just remember.

2. I generally don't comment on blogs that I read. Sometimes that's because I disagree with the philosophy on the blog in question so much that I don't know where to start, and sometimes it's just because I'm lazy, and someties it's because I read my circuit in class and I can multitask reading and paying attention a lot better than I can commenting and paying attention. But most often I think I don't comment because I feel like I talk a lot in real life, and people don't always want to know what I have to say. And I try not to comment if I don't have something edifying to say. I don't like to argue with people in comments.

3. I try to keep my blog as link-free as possible, and I never link to other blogs. At first this was because I had a philosophy of my blog being about sides of me that didn't get a lot of play at school, so I just didn't see how any of the links I would have linked to had anything to do with that. Now that I'm looking at starting my career it's just part of trying to keep as clean a web presence as possible.

4. I keep a mental list of things I'd like to blog about, but I don't write it down anywhere, and I feel no particular compulsion to blog on a first-in, first-out basis. This means oftentimes items on that list don't get blogged about because I think of something else instead. I compose my blogs depending on where I am. If I have an internet connection then I type them directly into the blogger page and then copy the post before hitting "publish." If I don't have an internet connection, I'll type it into Word and then copy and paste later.

Lara said...

jittacat - no, it doesn't. because i don't believe the fact that i haven't read othello or anything by james joyce to mean that i'm a failure of an english major. (and thanks for the offer, but i'll just keep staring at the picture of yours.)

california teacher guy, ms. h, mom, teacher jane, CL, tali, aimee, and eric - thanks for your answers! i really appreciate knowing what different bloggers / blog-readers do and don't do when they read / write. my answers will be up sometime friday night. :) (and a special welcome to ms. h, a first-time commenter!)

Ms. H said...

HEY look!! I got a special shout-out!! WOOP!!

Thanks back for dropping a comment on my blog -- welcome to the land of H!!


dancing dragon said...

Commenting on an old post... I know I'm disrupting your system of replying to comments two days later, so I'm not expecting a reply! If you're still nosy...

I've been reading 0-10 blogs variably at any one point in time. I read for content, and writing style is a plus. I read according to update schedule. Yours is definitely the most frequently updated. :) As a software engineer, I probably should use a more technologically-savvy way of seeing when blogs are updated but I don't. I just click around or type in the url to see if it's been updated, when I feel like reading.

I comment, hm, when I feel like it... Sometimes I'd like to but I feel I don't have something useful to say, or feel intrusive because the topic is too personal and I don't know the person well enough. I'm even more tempted to comment when the blogger makes an invitation.

I link to my friends' blogs. I link to strangers' blogs if there's something I really like about the blog. I read blogs of acquaintances and people I know, and don't link to them, since I don't know if they'd want me to. I figure the strangers don't care.

I do all of my blogging directly into Blogger, and it's usually just putting down some thoughts of the day. Not enough people read my blog for statistics.