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The POst MOrtem

Before I start, I must make it clear that this is not about NaBloPoMo itself, but rather it’s my feelings about it, yours may be completely different, and that’s a good thing.

"Why did I even sign up?" That’s a good question and it deserves an answer. Last year when I I was a relative newcomer (I had been blogging for about 6 months), it seemed like a big deal, but being fairly newish, I was too shy sign up. I did however post every day for the month, but it felt like even though I put on the uniform and turned up for every game, I simply wasn’t part of the team. So this year when Melissa joined up, I got all swept up in the excitement and signed up too.

But signing up in itself was a real pain in the arse! And it almost caused me to rethink my decision, "Do I really need another fucking account, on another fucking social networking site, that I’ll never be able to delete?" Hell I can’t even count the number of damn accounts I already have but never use, and can’t delete. And who the fuck is Ning anyway?

However I forged ahead and signed up, set up my page, and waited for the the big day to arrive. And arrive it did, with a flurry of mediocrity! I think that MaBloMe’s major contribution to the blogosphere was to lower the overall quality of posts by a factor of 3. By this I mean that there are a lot of clever, witty and insightful bloggers out there who post around every three of four days, and their posts are well worth reading. However, given the onus of posting everyday, there was a sharp spike in the number of "I’ve got nothing to say" posts, which means that when you apply the law of averages, we move from 100% of posts being good to around 35% (the rest being filler posts to comply with the post a day requirement), resulting in a lowering of the average quality of posts from very good to not so good (I hesitate you use the term poor). While it’s OK to say "I’ve got nothing" every now and then (hell I’ve done it myself), saying it every couple of days is not.

Which brings me to BloMe’s second contribution to the blogoshpere; the flooding of feedreaders with posts that would have been better left unwritten. It’s already a struggle to keep up with genuine posts, it was painful having to wade through mountains of "I’m only writing this because I joined PaBloMa and I have to post every day" posts. Now I’m not saying that all my posts are winners, in fact far from it,  I think I have a strike rate of about one if four being a decent post (but at least this is a constant on my blog, not a spike for a month)

Then there were the groups. What the hell was that all about!? People joined groups just to be in them, for example, Robin created a Fun Monday group that had thirty-seven members, fourteen of which had never posted a Fun Monday post, but better yet, didn’t post in any of the four that were held during NoMoPo! But hey, I even joined a group myself, something about dog lovers, it had over 40 members and despite my visiting some and leaving comments, I didn’t see one of them on my blog. And as for the friends list, mine was just a duplication of my sidebar links anyway.

So why am I so gripey about it? Well the answer is fairly simple; I post Monday through Saturday anyway, so the extra four posts shouldn’t have been a hassle, yet the mere fact that I had to post everyday (and believe me, I’m OCD about commitments) made me feel like all of the posts for Nov were an imposition, particularly since I had to go to the Coast three times in quick succession during Nov. That coupled with the sheer weight of unreadable posts in Bloglines, sucked the fun right out of blogging for virtually the whole month of November.

Given that I don’t advertise, and that I already have the best, most intelligent bunch of commenters on the net anyway, I wasn’t looking to increase my traffic, which as it happens, was just as well. Out of interest I checked my stats and found that for the month of November my traffic had actually dropped by 20% compared to the previous three months. I put this down to the huge number of extra posts people were having to deal with.

I’m not saying NaBloPoMo was a bad thing (but I have deleted my profile and the link on my sidebar, but I still can’t delete the account itself). I’m sure a lot of people got a lot out of it (and good luck to them), I’m just saying it didn’t work for me. And no, I won’t be doing it next year, in fact I’ll be holding a NaBloPoMoBo (that’s a National Blog Posting Month Boycott) and will not be reading posts written by participants while it’s on. It’s not sour grapes, it’s just too much work.

Wow! See how many words I can write when I don’t have to?

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40 Responses

  1. Thanks for writing this. I did not participate this year for the same reason you did not participate last year – too new to the whole thing.

    I hope this next month is less hectic for you. I do look forward to reading your blog and getting a little glimpse of life not as I know it.

  2. You’ve made some very good points.

    If I was entertaining any notions of doing the NaNoBloMo, or whatever it’s called, it’s totally waned now. Especially after reading my fav blogs (who participated) this last month…. Not that I didn’t enjoy reading some of the posts. I did. But there definitely were a lot of posts that weren’t nearly as interesting, entertaining or fun as they normally are.

    Now. Back to good, old fashioned Dingo Snark. M’kay?:).

    I think there needs to be a DingoSnarkAward. Whaddya think?

  3. You have made me realise that I was right to not participate; I do write a bit of rubbish everyday and did for the whole of November. I also noticed that there were less comments on some days but maybe that’s because I didn’t write anything comment worthy!
    I’m sure your fans would love to get a DingoSnarkAward~ in fact I expect to get trampled in the rush of those eager to have it bestowed upon them!!

  4. I like this post a lot.

    I started my blog the day after Nablopomo started and figured it would be a good way to start my blog. The only thing I didn’t like about it was exactly what you were saying. Most nights, I just stared at my computer trying to figure out what to write. It will be interesting to see what I and the other people I found on here have to say when we don’t “have” to.

    I don’t understand the groups really at all on the nablopomo site and I joined some but didn’t quite understand what I was supposed to do.

    I did find your blog there, so you gained at least 1 new reader from this experience!

  5. Very well said! I always learn from others as I had no idea those things were lerking about the web. I do enjoy your blog. Have a great week-end.

  6. I agree, WT. This is a wonderful post and I’d love to see more like this on your blog. It is thought provoking and beautifully written and a great stimulus for a discussion. I did not join the official group – but decided (on the 22nd of November, mind you) to do a NaBloPoWe(ek). I agree heartily that a bunch of posts about not having anything to post are a bit of a nuissance – of course for some people getting in to the habit of writing everyday is useful and perhpas just writing that they have nothing to post is doing them some good (although I would keep those in the draft folder myself). For me it has become a question of whether an inferior post is the best use of my time. (It’s not and I have decided to post only when I have something to share.)

  7. The Byrd and Darlene – Jeesus, you guys scared the crap out of me! Normally when I write a critical post and see unfamiliar commenters in my email it only means one thing, they want to tear me a new one. Phew! And welcome to the Dingo.

    Nutso – I wouldn’t go that far. If I didn’t post my crap posts I’d only post once a fortnight (that’s every two weeks for those of you who may be from non English speaking backgrounds, or possibly American).

    But I agree that it could be of use to some, and they should by all means avail themselves of the opportunity.

  8. quick, WT, post a gross video or something because your reputation is at risk!

    seriously, well said. i’ve been blogging less than a year, so i wasn’t entirely sure what noblopo was all about (though it wasn’t hard to figure out the gist of it). but it seemed like it must have been designed as a kick in the pants to people who neglect their blogs. that’s definitely not you.

    i toyed with the idea of joining, but since august i have been taking at least one weekend day off, sometimes two, and i like that freedom.

    during the week you can’t shut me up.

    so i’m probably not a good candidate for blowme.

    but i think all of the points you make are good ones–it prompts people to post when they don’t have anything to say (or don’t have time to say it), and sometimes that makes them cranky, and either way the quality suffers.

    i like your blog. i don’t think you need any outside forces prompting you to blog. as a matter of fact, i think outside forces prompting you to do something might be counterproductive.

    ok, more dog videos, please.

  9. Okay, Willowtree, you HAVE to continue doing NaBloPoMo FOR THE SIMPLE REASON that I have grown to live for your little twisted abbreviations at the end of each post. I seriously lose my lunch over those jewels.

    Good grief, that’s hilarious stuff.

    Love,
    PoWo Yo Ho

  10. I guess I got sucked into it too. I just scrolled through my 30 posts. There really weren’t too many that I wouldn’t have posted anyway and only one that was a ringer. I did try really hard to keep the same level of quality that I do regularly. Whatever that is, is subjective. What killed me was the pace. It was grueling trying to visit my usual haunts and also write a decent post every night.

    I don’t know that I would do it again. But I also don’t think it would keep me away from visiting during November if one of my usual reads wanted to give it a try.

    I’m glad you post as frequently as you do. Your’s is the first place I visit every morning.

  11. yep. I signed up this year and as soon as I realized it was an entirely separate account etc. – simply stopped. So that left me with 1 NoBlo post over there where ever it is, and 29 of my usual, which I posted because I post almost every day, and for no other reason.

    I think my post there said something like – “what the f? Another site? I don’t get this NoBlo stuff, I already have a blog” but I used a lot more words.

    But I didn’t go back.

    I kinda’ understand – if you’re a writer, you should write every day, period. It’s like a writing circle, encouraging each other to sit down and write. You need to work on your chops. BUT. You shouldn’t expect others to read it.

  12. Laurie – I had the same thought. Expect some vintage WT in the next few days. Can’t be tomorrow (I don’t post on Sundays) and it can’t be Monday (FM), but I’ll fix my reputation soon.

    Ree – You’re so easy!

    Gawilli – Hey, you know me, there’s black and there’s white, there is no grey.

    Hayden – Your last paragraph says it all!!!

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog and many thanks for the calendar info. I really appreciate it. I’m going to see if it works for me:)
    Have a great week-end

  14. WT, you have written an insightful critique of NaBloPoMo. I think that I have read and enjoyed all of your November posts. I cannot imagine writing an entry every day. Although I enjoy well-written meaningful or entertaining posts, my favorite part of blogging is the camaraderie amongst the bloggers. Here at A Dingo’s Got My Barbie you have created a haven where many bloggers enjoy visiting. You never fail to entertain and/or educate. Thanks

  15. Don’t be shy. Tell us how you really feel…

    Very good points and I heartedly agree. I thought briefly of joining, but was apparently far enough away from Australia and NZ that I escaped the contagion and phew! am I glad I did (Melissa’s from NZ, right? I hope so – this joke only works if she is). I know my “quality” would’ve gone into the toilet if I did. And the pressure – nervous breakdown, I tell ya.

    That said “I already have the best, most intelligent bunch of commenters on the net” was the best point of all. So true. 😉

  16. p.s. gotta agree with PoWo, though – the abbreviations were the best!

  17. Well I have to admit to NOT checking the whole thing out. I joined Robins poetry group and then started getting emails etc. I immediately thought Shit do I have to do this thing now? But then thought I was a week late anyway, so I did not bother with it. Hopefully, my name does not get drawn out for the prizes because I do not believe that I will be eligible at all.

  18. It’s interesting to know how you felt about the whole thing.
    Enjoy the days off!

  19. Anything becomes a chore when you HAVE TO do it. Relax and enjoy the breathing space.

    Will you still do Sunday Sermons now and then, just for fun? Please?

  20. I was going to say something about reading crappy posts during Nanoblomoponemo but decided not to. ha ha –

  21. I was guilty of having to post those “I’m posting because I have to” posts a few too many times this past month. And posting became a chore or task…like at work.

    There are just some nights I don’t feel like posting but would rather just read and catch up with my “regulars”. I don’t have a physical type job. My job is to “use my brain” and sometimes it just needs a break because it becomes mentally challenged…as some of my posts prove.

    I get more out of Fun Mondays than I did out of NaBloPoMo.

  22. Dear willowtree. I’m going to miss the Sunday service.

  23. Geez Willowtree – it’s Saturday, and this post is too serious for weekend reading. Plus, it’s all, like, intelligent, so I can’t make a relevant comment because all the reading boggled my brain. So I’m just going to leech off other commenters, and say that a) like Ree, I really enjoyed your interpretations of Nablopomowhatsit; and b)like Little Miss Moi I too shall miss the Sunday Service.
    Make sure you have your FM post up early (like, Sunday night?) okay??

  24. Can you repeat that?

    At this point in my non-blogging career for the past 2 months, I don’t even know what NoBloMe stands for, and I’m not sure I care. The only thing in that post I dare to disagree with is about Fun Monday. Didn’t Vicki accidentally start that by telling us to create a post with what it looked like from our front doors? And then you followed up with some other type of “requirement?” Then Eric the Butter/FireFly followed and I joined it at some point? I just can’t remember, but now, after writing this, the longest comment I’ve written in 65 days, it really doesn’t matter. So, go back to sleep. As for me, I’m sitting here waiting on 3 feet of snow to fall between where I am now and where I should be.

  25. Last year I found out about nablo after it began and felt like I had missed out on something (the prizes at the end;) ). This year I saw it EVERYWHERE prior and I think I joined right before it began.

    My blogging has been inconsistent ANYWAY since the spring…nablo increased consistency. That being said, the b’sphere HAS been flooded with mediocrity (mine included at times :/) and the biggest drawback is I’ve had little time to read elsewhere–I doubt I’d win any committed commentor award beyond a handful of friends (and as you know, I (used to) love that part of it).

    Anyhoo, I’m with Ree, sometimes I read ONLY your little “bloblo” tags at the end ;)…in a case or two, that was the best part of your post.

    J.U.S.T. K.I.D.D.I.N.G.

    maybe 😉

  26. I did it, barely scraping by, and I was one of those who just didn’t have anything to say for all of the 30 straight days. I was wondering of it’s purpose too and sorta figured it was for meeting new bloggers. It wasn’t?

  27. Anything in life that you HAVE to do becomes painful. I’m glad I didn’t sign up for the thing. I get nasty and resentful when people force me to write on demand. For me, it’s either there or it isn’t!

  28. I flunked out of NaBloPoMo. I made it all the way up to the last day, but yesterday was just too insanely busy. Once I finished a post at like five minutes till midnight, but until yesterday I had it. Oh well.

    I do think having said I would post every day made me more committed to blogging. I don’t think I did any (or at least too many) lame posts just to be posting. I felt I couldn’t use any of those little blog goodies like the celebrity look alike or what alcoholic beverage are you for posts. I thought there might be some new readers in this and I had better write at least halfway decent stuff. I think I had ten or less new people check out my blog from this. More new people come to my blog from comments I leave at Ree’s, and that’s when I’m #300 on the comment list.

    The whole new social network thing was too much for me. Forget finishing my little page design or putting up a cast of characters so all these new people would know who I was talking about. Oh well. Back to making birthday invitations and then I’ve got a gymast hair-do to do.

  29. I did the same thing you did last year. I pretended I was in on it, sort of like having imaginary grandchildren I guess. I even made myself an award because I missed one lousy day because of Hurricane Noel’s impending arrival. Anybody who missed one lousy day, just let me know and I will send you the award.

  30. I have to bring something to your attention.

    “And as for the friends list, mine was just a duplication of my sidebar links anyway.”
    I can not go to your friend list on NAblome to point out all of the people on it that are not in your sidebar, but it was not a duplication of the links on your sidebar.
    You are so perfect and brilliant and pay attention to detail that I had to point this out. Love ya!

  31. It never even occurred to me to join in on this little project and I think you’ve just summed up why. You can take a lot of the fun out of things you really enjoy when there’s a clock ticking or a feeling of obligation hanging over your head.

    My only quibble is that I absolutely think your success rate is FAR higher than 1 in 4. Jeez. If you need your butt kicked call any of us in. Don’t do it yourself. It takes all the fun out of it.

  32. KT – So I guess that in the absence of any evidence to prove otherwise, what I said was correct 😉 It’s too bad I deleted my BloMe profile isn’t it?

    Oh, wait a minute, I get it! Hang on a tick…there, you’re in the sidebar. All better now?

    RC – You’re too kind, no seriously, I mean it!

  33. Sorry you lost me at the “I was too shy” . . . I’m choking, can’t read more. . . 😉

  34. Oh good, you’re back. I missed you.

  35. Sheesh .. at this rate yer beginning t’ sound like a cynical pissed orf old aussie .. perish the thought .. heh.

  36. I am so glad that I don’t even know what this NanoBloMeMo thing is. Sounds like a real hassle to me. I post for myself, and if other people read it and react to it…great!

  37. Ha! I just noticed your little wisdom thingy below your header. “Kinky is using a feather. Perverted is using the whole chicken.” Excellent!

  38. There should be an award for what you just said. Yes, I know, I’ve already posted a comment here, but I’m back, a little more focused, or perhaps, a little less focused since the first time I waded through all those words. Amazing what I found the second and third time I read this post. Also, I came back to alert you to a new blog:
    http://nekkedlizardadventures.typepad.com

    Thank goodness, it’s not a BloggerBoogerBlog !

  39. Well, it was good for me – and believe it or not, I actually didn’t write crappy posts! And got the most traffic EVER on my blog!! You’re just mad b/c your traffic went down. And you resent authority. Rebel.

  40. yeah, i’m not into the nablomo, or whatever it’s called. i know people who participated and then produced some pretty crappy posts because they had to and couldn’t think of anything good to say.
    it’s annoying to have my blog reader lit up with stuff i don’t want to read.

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