Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Looking Back

This blog is soon to be a year old. My first post was at the end of last August. At the time I committed to myself to maintain a weblog for a year, then decide if I wanted to continue. Anything less than a year seemed to be less than a serious commitment.

Here are my observations as the year ends.

***Daily blogging is a lot of fun, and Bloglines has been a life saver. Without an aggregator, blogging is really a grind. I am reading more than ever before and have exposed myself to a variety of ideas and opinion that I would never have experienced without blogging. There is a built-in discipline to blogging that makes the blogger work at getting and staying informed.

***Traffic is a great ego trip. The few times that I have been linked by a high-traffic site my hit counts have multiplied impressively. It is clear, however, that my basic traffic is lackluster. The forty per day average is deceptively larger than it really is since half or more are the result of search hits that did not aim to read Hoots' Place but were searching for something in particular that I just happened to have mentioned.

***Looking back at the archives, a lot of the material now seems pedestrian. My impulse is to delete the whole thing and start over, but at some future point I might want to look back at something and it wouldn't be there, so I'll hang on to what I have like that collection of junk in basement, file and closet storage. "You never know when you might need..." You know the drill.

***Beginning soon I plan to start reducing the number of posts to two or three times a week. I think the result will be more thoughtful, less "Me, too!" and qualitatively better than the Boing-Boing approach I have been using. I love Boing-Boing, by the way. I couldn't go without it. But that approach, like 3 Quarks, is not my gift.

***I am very frustrated with the dropped sidebar and haven't figured out how to fix it. When I look at last September and October archived the sidebar is properly aligned to the top with the content, but for some reason last August, and all the other months, as well as now, the sidebar hangs down past the body. Very, very frustrating. (Wouldn't you know! As soon as I published this post the sidebar floated to the top! I have no clue why! I did look at a couple of archived months and they were still hanging, but st the moment the thing seems to be in place. Go figure...)

***I treasure comments but most readers seem to be lurking without commenting. Catfish and a couple others have felt okay about leaving comments, but I know the people apart from the blog, so that really doesn't count. My hope for blogging was to cultivate a little group of people of similar but not necessarily identical opinion with whom I could dialogue. I have observed that kind of community only rarely. Most comment threads tend to run to argumentative tangents rather than group conversations, so maybe that is a hope best left to dreamland.

I expect to add to this post as I think about it over the next few days.
In the meantime, thanks to the faithful few who have been reading. I am thinking about posting on Mondays and Fridays. The Monday post would be the result of weekend reading and a post mortem of the week before, and Fridays would be a compilation of what might have been scrappy little tidbits the reset of the time, but hopefully better organized and with the fluff blown off.


Anonymous said...

This blog has been a joke and a disaster since inception---R.I.P.

Hoots said...

At least one person is reading.
Thanks for your input.
Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

I would like to add my 2 cents worth! I have no connection to Catfish, so you may count this reply as the real mccoy. LOL! Concerning the anonymous poster. From whence does he hail? Is he, perhaps, a carryover from a now defunct message board? Signed: Bo Regard!

Hoots said...

Thanks for your comment. And yes, I think whoever it is must be someone carrying deep scars from something that happened in the past, perhaps by something I posted but probably by something else that my very existence and opinions represent. It's very sad.

I wrote about trolls elsewhere, speculating that he (or she) may have followed me from the Piccadilly Cafeteria Yahoo message board. I'm sure some clever hacker could discover where any post comes from, but I don't have the expertise or interest to go in that direction. Anynomity on the internet is really a myth.

I'm still pondering the next step with blogging. I need to have a better blogroll, but I'm still technologically challenged by html tags. Blogger is not user-friendly with the sidebar. And there should be a better filing scheme than having Google search my own site to find something!

Thanks for reading.