Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy Blogversary to Me!

Happy Blogversary to Me!
Happy Blogversary to Me!

Yes, you can join in the sing along. I don't carry a tune very well but will do my best to hum along with you.

I find it really hard to believe that a full year has gone by. The first posting here was followed by quite a few more as I cruised around the blogosphere, reading, exploring, learning and writing.

So what have I learned this year?

Blogger is good and free.
It doesn't do categories but that provided me an opportunity to expand to write multiple blogs.

I write on my work passion, creating a good customer experience at Passion for the Good Customer Experience.

I write on running and coaching for athletic (and life) performance improvements at Passionate Runner.

I write on discoveries in the blogosphere at The Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere, a joint venture with my hitchhiker buddy, Troy Worman.

I write on team work and synergy at the newest venture with some great team mates from around the blogosphere The Blog Synergy. I am very pleased to join my partners in this venture: Troy Worman, Rosa Say, Felix Gerena, and Trevor Gay.

And I write on everything else here.

Blogger has been slow with improvements. It finally added comment validation to avoid comment spam. I added Halosan early on to manage comments and my trackbacks. Blogger what are you going to do about trackbacks? Why does your posting tool behave so differently in Internet Explorer and Firefox?

I use Bloglines as my primary RSS reader although I like the RSS Reader better it does not work within the firewall at work. While I restrict my blogging time to off work hours, I do like to do some cruising during lunch, when I happen to be stuck at the desk.

I still have not figured out how I should best spend my time blogging. I do manage to obtain about 2 hours a day during the business week for this effort. Prioritization of my time is always a challenge. I started by building my blogroll and then reading, commenting, and writing within that realm only. But I kept following links that took me outside this realm to other equally interesting places. What fell aside to enable this? Commenting. I did a lot of reading but very little commenting.

One reason why is very few blogs are enabled for an RSS feed on their comments. I would leave my two cents here and there and try to remember to go back and see what if anything developed from my comment but I would loose track of what I said and where I said it. If any one has a solution for this, please let me know. I have not found one yet.

My explorations were worth sharing so I started posting those. A side conversation developed along with way with Troy and we went into the Hitchhikers Guide with this common interest, to share our discoveries with others. Even there, keeping track of what we have discovered takes time. While we jointly have over 150 postings to date, I find myself spending time checking to see if a discovery has indeed been posted about or not. Fortunately, we have mostly managed to avoid duplication. Trivia question: what one blog what hitchhiked twice? (The winner will receive the intense self satisfaction of being correct and this will be reinforced by a special posting to announce this factoid. Actually, I know of only one. In case of multiple winners, the prize will apply to all.)

The blogosphere is full of good writers and bad writers. The blogosphere is also full of spammers. So it takes time to shift through it all to find the gems. But the gems are worth it. Who are the gems? In addition to my Blogroll, you can review my Quotes & Links posts to find them.

Why do I do Quotes & Links? Well, much of what is written on blogs is a re-write of something else. Everyone wants to have their say. I respect that but understand that not everyone (like myself) wants to read that. I find too many people spending hundreds of words droning on and on about this or that nitpicky thing. I'm sorry I don't have that much time. And I figure, if I can not add some value to the discussion, the original will do. So maybe I minimize my value by saying it is "my two cents". Maybe, but it is a catch phrase. One, I have found myself saying frequently through out my life, hence being myself, I write what I am comfortable with. Besides, I know there are good writers out there, some way better than I, and they deserve the recognition for their craft. The recognition in my Quotes & Links is deliberate.

While the Cluetrain Manifesto's point is that all markets are conversations, I have found only a few real conversations in the blogosphere. There are clearly some "within the circle" conversations. Within the circle, that is, a somewhat defined group of people who over time link and comment amongst each other's blogs. How much they venture outside their circle is hard to say? How many conversations are there outside of these "circles"? The Blog Synergy will be one attempt to find out. Can this new group come together on this topic and generate a real conversation with others? Check us out and help us answer the question.

I learned that there are a great deal of helpful people out there. Many are free to share information and links. There is nothing like a companion along the road! The road trials and troubles become less so with good company. Thanks to all of you who have helped along the way. Whether you are an old friend or a new friend, it matters that you are a friend!

This has meandered enough for now. I'll pick up the thread on some of the blogging tools and technique items later and continue to expand on the year's learnings in Part 2. Stay tuned!

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