Notes on Blogging III

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Text Dump Method

I may have found a way to continue producing blog entries regularly despite my time crunch.

My ability to produce three entries yesterday was in part due to a blogging technique I came up with that I will probably use often. For all I know, it's what every other blogger already does naturally. Tomorrow, I'll discuss how I now manage to transport myself using only my lower two limbs.

I normally browse the news over lunch anyway and have even tried blogging over lunch a few times, though actually producing a whole entry is pretty hectic. I'd prefer to relax over lunch. So I decided yesterday to take advantage of my already existing habit to address the problem of having less time during the day to blog. I realized that I could just dump a few news stories into a text file along with any relevant URLs and take this home, avoiding modem hell almost entirely. (I'm sure this would make Glenn Reynolds's teeth curl!) The technique still needs refining. Based on content, I thought I had five entries, but only the submarine entry went according to plan. The entry on exploding Moslem women was an unplanned gut reaction to something I got from my mailbox upon getting home. Much of the rest I ended up compressing into a list-with-notes type of entry.

Though my work in a lab gives me lots of small bits of unproductive time, blogging with them has not only been unsatisfying in some ways, it has proven much more distracting than I thought it would be. Furthermore, since there is still a small chance I might actually be able to change jobs in the near future, I think I'd prefer to get used to blogging as if I were already working that kind of job. This way, whether I end up blogging in the evening or, as I sometimes ponder, begin getting up earlier to blog in the morning, I will have already gotten used to it.

Lessons from Others

Martin Lindeskog has some interesting observations and some useful links in his first two "Annual Blog Reports." I found Steven Den Beste's article on network traffic particularly interesting. That essay leads to this lesson by counterexample: you don't ever want to sound like this guy, except for comic effect. (Read the Den Beste article for context.) Other things I've noted from other blogs and my thoughts on them....

You don't want to end up like this guy or this gal. (I never use "gal!" But it seemed right here.)

I like the idea of being able to have trackback without having to move my blog! I'll implement it some time in the next couple of months.

I'll probably give Pico Search a whirl. It's gotta be better than the search engine on Blogspot. I've tried terms I know are in my own blog and have come up empty too many times. I can't walk back through the archives every time I want to find something I've said before....

I don't care much for Site Pal, and that's with the sound turned off on my computer. Not really good for a blog, in my opinion.

Feedster is a really nice blog search tool.

And this is part curiosity, part interesting observation, and part smack talk to my good friend, Raymund. Tom Meyer got a link from a major blogger (Wait! Make that two!) despite a somewhat -- shall we say -- "transhumanly" low and irregular output! Get a load of this guy's entire output for December 2004! The South Park article is quite good, but I wonder how it was ever found? Is this a triumph of viral marketing? Or did the entry turn up in the right search engine at the right time? Or did having the same name as someone more famous give him a leg up? Maybe I'll find the time to write the guy and ask.

Time to call it a day!

-- CAV

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