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It must have been subliminal

I’m not quite sure how to approach this post, maybe I should just dive straight in and disregard the consequences.

Yesterday there seemed to be a small blip on the bladar; it appeared that the blogworld (or at least the oestrogen driven half) had it’s collective skirt in a tangle over an incident that occurred between two bloggers in a public forum (one widely known blogger and one reasonably well known blogger). And while the whole sordid affair was interesting, and generated a lot of extra traffic for those who wrote about it (I’m not going to write about it because a) I wasn’t even there, and b) I think it was fucking stupid anyway). In fact  I won’t been mentioning names at all, because I don’t want the artificial traffic that would come from all the google searches being performed on it right now.

In keeping with my intention not to be picked up by errant searches, I’ll just change the name of the event to Blogwhore a) because it sounds similar, and b) because of the sexually non discriminatory, inclusive nature of the actual name.

While I was ploughing through the thousands of words written on the tens of blogs about the incident, there was a partially formed thought being conceived in the back of my mind…”there’s something familiar about all this”, but I couldn’t put my finger on just what it was (mainly because thoughts aren’t solid objects, and also because I can’t stick my finger through my skull without causing unwanted side-effects). However, head poking notwithstanding, the thought continued to gestate, and the more I read the more it took shape, a little hand here, a clearly discernible foot there, and just like it’s old man, a huge penis right in the middle.

There was something vaguely familiar about all the fervour being spewed across the blogoshpere; those who were attending were constantly obsessing about going, and those who weren’t going were just as constantly obsessing about not going. They all seemed to be consumed with the notion of assembling at a venue somewhere and interacting with a heap of others who were obviously consumed by the same notion. They sought companionship and understanding, they found the type of solidarity than can only be achieved when a group of like minded people who get it,  get together and discuss how sad it is that the rest of the world just doesn’t get it.

They were able to delve the depths of their distraction, hail the hallmarks of their hobby, ogle at the objects of their obsession. And then it struck me! Holy Fuck, Blogwhore is just a Star Trek convention in disguise!

PS. What ever happened to Blogging Chicks?

PPS. I almost forgot, the title came about becasue after I had the thought for the post, I went to the blog to click on the link to the dashboard, and saw the post from yesterday.

Who’s telling this story?

Hot on the heels of doing something I try to steer clear of (blogging about blogging), I’m now doing something else I haven’t done since NahBloMe, and that’s posting on a Sunday. The reason I’m posting today is to say that the next time I write a well thought out, incisive post, I’m turning the comments off!. Your comments made my writing look childish! Each one could have been a post in it’s own write (yeah I know it should be ‘right’, but it’s a pun, dummy!)

So, if you haven’t already done so, read the comments from yesterday, you’ll be well rewarded (giving credit to others is something else I rarely do). And for the record, Lene added the following, which I’m including because I thought of them all (except the last one) after I turned the computer off:

  • The first time someone sends you something
  • The first time you send a blog friend something
  • The first time you dream of a blogger
  • You talk in “real life” about a blogger as if they were a “real life” friend,

often followed by:

  • The first time you have someone less techy or unfamiliar with blogs look at you as if you’re a pathetic nerd for thinking your internet friend is a real friend.

And just so we don’t get too cerebral about it all…

**Updated: I just changed the title (I like this one better), so I thought while I’m here why not add a few more:

  • The first time you unintentionally offend someone (or in my case, intentionally).
  • The first poison pen email you get.
  • When you realise you’re suffering from commenting burn-out so you cut back on commenting.
  • You discover the consequences of cutting back on commenting.
  • The realisation you’re addicted to feedback.
  • Your first grovelling post pleading for comments.
  • Meeting a fellow blogger in person.
  • Your first marriage proposal.

Some thoughts about blogging.

As much as I’m loathe to blog about blogging, something came up today in conversation that I’ve been thinking about for some time now. I’m not quite sure where to start, this whole blogging phenomenon is really quite intriguing, where else can you have such strong relationships with people you’re never likely to meet?

The thing that’s been getting me lately is the sense of loss I’ve been feeling over disappearing blog buddies. I’ve seen this subject addressed a few times, in fact I’ve even seen it written about me! But he thing is, there are quite a number of bloggers who I’ve been friends with, who have either disappeared or simply faded away, and of course there are those who go and come back again, continually! What I don’t understand is how deeply you can be affected when a blogger that you’ve had a longish relationship with decides to call it a day. I think it’s because through words and photos you’ve been part of their life for a while, and now you’re not.

The more I think about it, the more a picture starts to emerge of blogging as a whole. Like any activity, there are always a certain number of people who start at the same time, and that in itself creates a common bond. And like any activity it seems to have a lifespan defined by those who partake in the activity. Those who are roughly in the same blass (blog class) go through shared experiences, and after a period everyone graduates. Some follow a different path and move away, some maintain friendships and some are never heard from again.

There seems to be two distinct types of bloggers, a) those who are interested only in writing their posts and, b) those who are interested in writing their posts and being part of the interaction they generate . While we all start out with visions of Pulitzer prize winning posts, many of us end up being attracted the community aspect that blogging can create, but it’s those in group (a) that seem to last longer.

So while I was thinking about it, I thought of the evolutionary process that I’ve I’ve gone through (mostly milestone events), I’ll list them, you may have had the same experience (although maybe not in the same order).

  • Discovering what blogs are.
  • An interest in blogging.
  • Initial participation through commenting.
  • The creation of a blog.
  • The first post.
  • The first comment you get.
  • Someone links to you.
  • You’re added to a blogroll.
  • You’re tagged for a meme.
  • Someone sends you an email, as opposed to a comment.
  • The first time you get an award.
  • You send an email, as opposed to a comment.
  • The first time you give an award.
  • A blog buddy stops blogging.
  • You think about stopping.
  • You get a big response saying you should stay.
  • Your head swells to the size of a basketball.
  • You keep posting.
  • The first time you’re dropped of a blogroll.
  • You wonder where all those people who begged you to stay have gone.

There was a group of about 20 or so people who started blogging around the same time I did, of that group only about 5 still blog regularly, some have gone forever while some post every couple of months. Sometimes I just can’t help but feel like everyone has left the party and I’m still sitting here, left behind and wondering what the heck happened, and where did everyone go; and feeling rather melancholy about it all.

Of course, there are the other, newer bloggers that do come into your little corner of the blogosphere, and some of them become good friends too, but it’s just that little bit harder to relate, because while they’re all excited about being tagged, and in turn are eager to tag you, you just can’t help appearing to be a little arrogant or a little aloof by giving a big ‘ho-hum’ to it all.

Now before the comments start… this is not a post telegraphing my intention to quit blogging, nor is it a post written to elicte sympathy comments, it’s simply a post outlining what I’ve been reflecting on lately. If there’s anything that this post was written for, it is to expresss my surprise at how deep the sense of loss is when a blog buddy calls it quits.

Then of course there’s the blog buddies that you used to have a relationship with, but for whatever reason doesn’t seem to be there anymore despite both of you still blogging regularly, that’s a different kind of sadness. And a different post…

Who was that masked man?

Is it just me, or are there others who would like to know who the hell this Equoni is?

Let me be clear about this, Equoni is not me, she is an actual, 3D person and not a filament of my vivid and over active imagination (yes I know it’s figment, but I wanted to tie into her post). So here’s what I propose, let’s take a vote to see if there’s enough of us to form a majority, and demand she give us a short history of herself.

So, are you with me? Do you want to see Equoni’s Bio? If so vote now.

Oh, I’ve made it easier for all you indecisive people, you can choose more than one option, and you can vote more than once (you can also add your own option), so now I’m sure you will all screw it up completely! But hey, we could get a result…

The diferrence between TypePad and Booger.

We are all well aware of the spam fiasco that happened here over past couple of days, I’ll repeat that last bit "over the past couple of days". Bearing in mind that I’ve been listening to people complain about Booger® for a year and a half (and personally, I’m at the point where commenting on Booger® blogs is almost more trouble than it’s worth), I guess two days of stuff ups on an otherwise unblemished service record from TypePad isn’t all that bad.

But here’s where they really shine. Not only did they listen to their customers, and not only did they treat it as a priority, they took their customers’ advice and backed out the change. When was the last time that you saw Booger® overcome it’s arrogance and do that? But that’s not where it ends, here’s something else you’ll never, ever see Booger® do.

The following is from the "Everything TypePad" blog, which keeps customers up to date on product development (as opposed to the ‘Six Apart Status‘ page that constantly informs users as to the availability of Six Apart products. What? Booger® doesn’t have one of those? What a shame).

December 20, 2007

Spam update: We messed up, but we’re back on track

We’re sorry. We messed up, the anti spam system got way too aggressive, and we were trying to dial it back in small increments instead of what we eventually did, which was flipping all the way back to a setting that we know works for most people.

The truth is, making a system that learns from spam over time is
tricky. we’ve been seeing a lot of success overall, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the overzealous spam filter has been interrupting your conversations over the last day or two. Put simply: We’re sorry, and we think we’ve got it fixed now.

Just as importantly, we’re putting in place some processes to make
sure that if the anti-spam system tries to get too aggressive again, we can dial it back more quickly. Please do let us know how we’re doing, and get in touch using the help ticket system if you need any
assistance.

Sincerely –
The TypePad Team

I appreciate that Booger® is free, but as they say "you get what you pay for".

I’ll show you what was in Gawilli’s box later today.

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?

Mofo pet update

Before I begin, I’d like to reinforce what Molly said in her comment about yesterday’s mofo delurk post, I’m not telling anyone to do anything; a) because I have no right, and b) you wouldn’t obey me anyway. It’s just a list of some things that in my experience I’ve found useful, and Claudia, yes they are all my own thoughts.

Ok, on to the post…Man I just have to tell you this!! I have just had the best blog hopping session ever! I went all over the blogoshpere and only came across two Word Verifications, it was heaven on a stick! Now I’m not suggesting that WV should be banned forever, occasionally you will write a post that attracts a lot of spam, I once wrote one about all the spam vi..gra emails I was getting and got flooded with spam for a few days so I just turned it back on for a couple of weeks until it died down again.

To show my appreciation to you all (well at least to the pet lovers out there) for putting the fun back into commenting, here’s a couple cutesy clips. They are a bit long (both are around 2 min) and the first one is pretty boring, hmm long and boring, I could be describing my life so far.

Anyway, please take your seats, the show will be starting shortly (oh, and before I get the obligatory fart reference, that was a leather recliner making that noise towards the end)…

   

Just to show it’s not all peace, love and harmony around here, this clip was taken the day before the one you just saw…

   

And finally, for the bandwidth challenged out there, who can’t see the videos, here’s a photo. This will show why it’s so important for you to make it as easy as possible for me to comment, as you can see I’m already battling against significant inconvenience when it comes to typing…

Beau_comp_004

I actually took this photo just now while I was waiting for the videos to upload. If you’re trying to read what it says on my sweater, it’s Cooperstown. Oh, and don’t make fun of my pudgy little hands, it was the camera angle.