Monday, December 05, 2005

How do I blog?

Good question.

I usually sit with something to say (hence my 2 cents), or I find something that spurs some thought and a reaction (yes, that 2 cents thing again).

So much is out in this wonderful internet world. So many opinions. So many voices. I am exploring my own voice. Sure, I have been talking since early on. I mean in finding ways to express my voice in my writing. Ways that hopefully, others will appreciate. Ways that will help to add my view to the matter in a constructive fashion. I get very easily turned off by the flaming attitudes that arise from some people over the least little thing, nevermind getting into the tough subjects like race, religion and politics. I quickly say to myself, "Take it down a notch, or two, folks." and move on to something else.

I recall Joni Mitchell's live album Miles of Aisles. In one of her song introductions, she talks with the audience who have been calling out suggestions of songs to sing. She says something like: You know that is one of the great differences between arts and the performing arts. No one ever said to Van Gogh, "Hey, paint a Starry Night" again man!".

Blogging is so ephemeral. What we write today rolls over into the archives shortly thereafter. Unless it happens to trigger something with someone and come back in a search result, it might never have been written. I have already written about audience so I leave that aside for now.

How do I blog?
I have only a couple of hours of time with which to do it so I need to be focused. As I started with, I generally come to Blogger with something to say. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, I have my running to write about.

Most days, there is something about a good customer experience to write about. Life after all is an experience. Having been in customer service for many years, especially on the technical end user support side, I usually have plenty of opportunity to share in this area.

Exploring the internet turns up many good blogs with a variety of interests. Some better than others. The better ones, the Hitchhiker Team write about to share with others.

Troy Worman gathered up some like minded folks to discuss synergy so my thoughts on team work and other topics in that area find a home.

Troy also recruited me for the recent 100 Bloggers effort. I'll admit he did not have to try to hard. I jumped in and have posted there a couple of times.

My writing about parenting, growing older, caring for parents who are growing older, caught some eyes and I have been participating in the ThirdAge Blog Carnival.

Every other topic finds a home here at Steve's 2 Cents.

Will I ever be an A lister?
I do not expect to be. The long tail is good enough for me.

I attempt to keep track of the various blogs I discover, read regularly, read occasionally with Bloglines. I did use and like one of the free RSS readers but the RSS feed is prohibited at work so the odd moment I could use at work (during lunch of course!) wasn't very effective that way, hence Bloglines.

I do review Google News at least twice a day. This tends to serve up the major headlines so I can stay current. The Boston Globe, my other daily read, is continuing to shrink so I tend to get less opportunity to find some good things to write about from there.

As for other print subscriptions: Runner's World, Worthwhile, FastCompany, National Geographic are the only paid ones. I get a free copy of InformationWeek, but that gets recycled quickly as I prefer the web version.

Some of my readers have asked if I have time to shower?
Yes, I do, regularly. I really try to focus during the couple of hours I have. I guess if they are asking, then I must be making some progress (if volume is any indication of progress).

Which raises the question on how frequently one should blog?
I like to do it almost daily. But there are a number who do so less frequently. And a number who do it multiple times during the day. So much so, this must be their full time activity. Either that or I should look into their job as an opportunity.

And then there is the quality of writing.
I hope I write quality stuff. I know I only attempt to do so when I can add my 2 cents. So this should be somewhat different from what else is out there. And if the discussion has already touched the major points or taken a turn in another direction, I'll take a pass on commenting. My blogroll contains the folks whom I read daily, many of whom I admin greatly for the quality of their writing. I am an eager learner!

I'll make notes during the course of the work day, or in what book or magazine I am currently working though to serve as an inspiration for when I sit later. But tonight, those notes are still sitting there because I got consumed with this "How I blog?" question.

The time will come tomorrow.

Unless someone says:

"Hey Steve, write 'How I blog' again man!"

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