Saturday, June 05, 2004

Diary of a Blog-Crazed Woman!

Well, the second week of my blog/onfac list blending is wrapping up. I thought I'd share my thoughts on both platforms (blog/list) as both worlds are helping me. I appreciate the coaching/feedback/welcome from my blogging friends and support from my ongoing list buddies.

Two Tools, One World?
I feel the inherent tension between groups of people who prefer different media. We have these preferences for very good reasons. Style, preference, habit are an intrinsic part of our trying to make sense of a group online interaction that is essentially experienced as individuals. Really an odd thought, eh? I wonder if there has to be some sort of sacrifice between one or the other, or if I can bridge between.

I have not been posting everything on both the blog and the email list. Yesterday I just posted a link to the list that I did not put on the blog. (So why do I feel guilty? Mamma mia!) I can't handle consistently doing both. I worry about spammish feeling, or at the least, fire-hose behavior of TOO much (which is typical of me!). Duplication seems, well, wasteful!

As a result of my inconsistencies, RSS readers get some here, some from the blog - both via RSS or the websites. I have to figure out is an easy method for feeding the blog posts to the onfac list IF that is desirable for the email only readers (I think there are RSS readers that plop things in your email box, but that requires each interested person adding a new tools. ) Guidance for you, gentle readers: If you want content, links, and leads, the blog may be the way to go. If you want questions, discussions and messy wonderful conundrums, the interactive nature of the list seems better suited. In any case, I'm having a bit of trouble juggling both. And where do comments and back channel email stimulated by either tool go in this classification scheme (I think about 40 so far)? Grin.

I have no idea how much the audience is duplicated. The blog main page has 649 hits as of May 31st and I put up the first post May 26th. 707 requests for the feed file. 3177 hits on files in the weblog directory. That compares with 55,000+ hits on the directory that holds my online community toolkit from Feb 28 - May 31 (hm, why do the stats stop on May 31? Call ISP!). I have no idea how many people read the pages, nor how many people actually READ the onfac list. We have over 1000 subscribers. I suspect a lot of deadwood. Then again, "getting hits" is not why I do this, so why am I worrying? Maybe it's because I'm good at worrying. And face it, it is really cool to know!

Keeping Content Organized
On the process side, I REALLY wish blogger had categories. I'm blogging about a range of stuff that is going to be a mess pretty quickly. I don't keep a very narrow focus. In my year long procrastination about blogging, setting up categories was one of my key demons. I think it was worth worrying about. I should have worried more. Will I regret going with blogger?

How Much Time am I Spending?

Don't ask. Too much!

Technology - Ease of Use and Features

The reason I started with Blogger was because it was really easy to set up. My main snags were getting the proper paths set up on my webpage (I am not using Blogger's hosting). A few wrinkled eyebrows. I needed a pointer to the feed information - it was easy, but not so obvious to me. (Thanks, Bill). But now I am getting into the many subtleties of blogging - plugins, formatting options, blogrolls, profiles, trackbacks. Although blogging is tagged as "easy web publishing," it quickly gets into a much geekier pursuit which requires more knowledge, skill and frankly, patience for some of us!

On the "Blogging Community"
I don't know how much of it is the network I already exist in or how much is the blogging community, but it has been "hella nice" (as my son might say) to experience the welcomes I have received and to see my blog on the blogrolls of some mighty find bloggers. I hope I live up to their trust. It makes me nervous every now and again, which is a healthy thing.

Next Lessons
I want to get my "blogroll" up - links to other blogs I'm following and build some publicly viewable blogrolls and link lists at and -- all sorts of interesting stuff out there. I want to get trackback working and hate to admit that I do want to know who is linking to my blog. I have registered at and as of Friday evening I have 23 links from 19 sources. Can I say it is research instead of vanity? Please?

I'm sure I'll find both tools and methodologies to make it better as we go, but YOU here, let me know what you want/think. You are the main reason I do all this!!


Blogger SusNyrop said...

Hi Nancy,

regarding eventual differences between postings in blogs versus discussion mail lists, that I've remarked comes through pretty obviously in your case; while the mail list has multiple active participants, posting at the same level as you (the facilitator), but in the blog format, even when messages are followed up by multiple comments, you will always see the blog owner's message on top, and then you will have to scroll down or click again to read other people's comments - so in a way, this is a more vertical way of listing messages. Only when blogs are interlinked using aggregates, they may begin to give this feeling of community-wise contributors, connected by a shared practice of blogging, reading others blogs, quoting from them and commenting upon them.

It is a procedural thing, I think. Now, I'm going to just post this message, reflect again, and edit it a bit to fit in my own fresh blog (or in the older one). Not sure which one to follow up yet, and which one to kill or leave as is. Having multiple blogs that are not active is not good. And I have some, experimental, created for the occasion, during workshops, to test tools and play with features. Unfinished thinking aloud is somehow embarassing to myself, making me feel exposed half naked or something - but when I read what thought fragments others care to share, they can sometimes be thought provoking.

Such as yours, Nancy. Very enlivening, actually.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Lee LeFever said...

Hi Nancy,
I've been thinking about a simple way to think about posts between something like an online discussion vs. a weblog (particularly inside the same community environment).

Lately, I've said that posting to a weblog is talking *to* the community and posting using an online discussion is talking *with* the community. Do you think that frames it in a usable way?

10:24 PM  
Blogger Lee LeFever said...

Nancy- Lilia at Mathemagenic has a post about the best way to find out who's linking to you. Blogdex worked best in her analysis...

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy

Re blog/community entries, I find it useful sometimes to post links to particular blog entries in the communities which I facilitate. Quite often I use my blog to make notes, and develop blog entries into static web pages for the communities. My blog is a kind of online journal, a place to try out ideas and I regard it as personal rather than professional.

I did a back up of my blog recently and found I'd written a lot more than I'd expected, its far too addictive!

Good luck with your blogging.


4:44 PM  

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