Saturday, May 14, 2005

Like Making Sausage

Since my first post in March of this year... Ok, I actually started this blog last year and my first post was about drilling in ANWR (IIRC), but all that was cleared away and a new start was made in March 2005. Anyway, in trying to figure out how to enjoy my blogging experience AND my voracious appetite for research, I have made a few changes to the blog since beginning in March.

One problem I have with blogging is with my writing skills themselves. For as long as I have been writing, way back in high school (before dropping out), I have had a problem with maintaining a uniform tense and person. I have been fighting this problem in my blog entries, especially the really long ones that were written over the course of several days. In addition to this technical issue with my writing, I'm continuing to try and find what I call "my voice". I want to express a bit of my personality with my views and not simply offer a redundant presentation of reporting or analysis done by someone else. I have done a significant amount of technical reporting as part of my work and sometimes fall into a flat, dry recitation of data. I also want to tone-down the excessive sarcasm I have used for online message boards, but I'd prefer my snarky smart-ass side to my wonkish fact-checker side if I can't find the middle ground.

Finding the right pace and style of entries can be a bit of trial and error. The effort involved in the monumental posts, such as those on Social Security or North Korea, is fine once in a while but are unsustainable on a regular basis. These posts require a much greater effort as a result of the double and triple-checking required by the problems mentioned above. So, I think I am going to save that kind of work for days when I can sit down and write a complete presentation without significant interruption. I'll save them to my personal Road Runner web-space and link to them from an entry here. I'm having much more fun knocking out a couple of posts a day on the topics I find most interesting.

For those that have been around for awhile, you may have been noticing some gradual changes to the facade. I've added the "Kudos" section of the sidebar in a self-mocking copy of the Reviews sidebar-section from the Belgravia Dispatch. Instead of Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times, and Glenn Reynolds; I've got Mike, Terrie, and Alan (who I appreciate very much). Yes, the comment from the Indigent Girlfriend is real and unsolicited, and it was delivered via email with a job lead attached.

The blog-roll has been added, formatted, and edited several times. When I discover an interesting blog, I'll bookmark it in a "Watch" sub-folder and revisit the site periodically. Basically, any watched blog that isn't updated at least once a week gets cut. I may have found common interest with particular entries from some blogs that were on the blog roll, but deleted them as the subject matter of the blog as a whole really didn't mesh well with Vagabondia. I don't want my blog-roll to become a huge clearing house for various blogs. I want it to be a list of blogs that I actually visit and read on a regular basis.

I have just recently began permitting anonymous comments, which is how my friend CODArmageddon was able to post anonymously. Therefore, it has already produced benefits. I certainly can imagine a scenario where anonymous comments are again disabled, but we aren't there yet.

I have added Haloscan trackback functionality while retaining Blogger comments. I have had no trackback links at this point, but I use the trackback feature on other blogs whenever it is appropriate.

A traffic counter has been entered into the footer of every page and has been active since about 10:00 PM on May 12. As I am typing this, I see that I have 213 hits. I want people to read this blog, but I have not decided on whether or not I ever want this blog to generate income. My inclination at this time is to avoid blog-ads as some can tend to be distractions from the total presentation and message. I know reading blogs is not really an immersive experience, but I'd prefer to keep the facade as clean as possible.

I think that's about it, for now. I'm enjoying myself and can already see improvement in my own writing skills just from doing it everyday. I'm also learning a lot. I appreciate the comments and email feedback, and Yes... I will put a link to my email address in the sidebar.


Blogger Mike said...

Luv you too, man! If I'm ever in San Diego, we're going out for a beer. If you ever come to Philly, let me know.

6:02 PM  

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