Tuesday, August 07, 2007

31 Days to a Better Blog: Days 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8

This whole 31 Days to a Better Blog exercise is proving harder to stay on top of than I had even imagined. But I do think some good is coming out of it.

Michele Martin is doing a fabulous job of keeping this little sub-group connected. See the list of folks who've signed up with her. And I've met some wonderful new bloggers along the way.

I have a bit of catching up to do. In summary:

Day 4: Interlink Your Posts. Go back to old posts and link to newer ones. I've been doing this off and on throughout the day and find it tedious. It seems a bit insincere to me -- has made me realize that I feel like it's morally wrong to go back and edit old posts once they've been published. I have been known to do that in the past in order to fix egregious spelling and grammar errors. But to go back and add links seems strange.

Day 5: Audit Your About Page.
Well, I didn't even have an About This Blog Page. So I created one. It's now a link in the top right corner of my sidebar. Feedback appreciated.

I also added an option to "subscribe via email". I realized my blogger's arrogance in assuming that everyone's using and prefers feed readers. So that's new. And hopefully "better".

Day 6: Email an Old Time Reader.
Be warned. One of you -- my two old timers -- will be getting an email from me thanking you for sticking with me and adding value to my blog content. I've sort of done that already today, but I think I'll do it again.

Day 7: Plan a Week's Worth of Blog Posts.
Already I can tell you that I'm just going to skip this step.
  • I'm not trying to make money off this blog.
  • I've got too much of my real work to do to be that organized.
  • I use this blog as my own learning tool and write about what I feel like writing about -- usually right when it hits me.
I do have a Google Notebook called "Blog Ideas" in which I've occasionally jotted down a future blog topic. I opened it up today and noticed it's been a long long time since I've used it. So maybe my unique take on Day 7 will simply be keeping track of things I'd like to write about.

That said, if there's a particular topic that you'd like to hear my take on, feel free to make a suggestion!

Day 8: Comment on a Blog You've Never Commented on Before.
Like Michele, I've been doing that all week, so I can check that one right off.

I used to have comment anxiety. I'd get shy. And I still do. But I've realized the benefits of commenting: you get a response (usually), you make a connection, you start a conversation. So I invite you to comment on this blog if you've never commented on a blog before. And we'll see what happens.

Well. Stay tuned.


Christy Tucker said...

For the interlinking, I think it's fine to go back and do updates as long as you are clear about what was changed. The links could be added to the end of a post and set apart with an Update: or something like that. Would that feel more ethical to you?

Then again, if it doesn't work for you, I think you can skip it. I did it for my ID skills series, but I had planned that all along and left the space for the links to other posts at the end of each post. I can see that it would be really tedious to do regularly though.

Cammy Bean said...

The whole question of blog and ethics is interesting. I mean, I wrote the entry originally -- why can't I go back and edit it and improve upon it? Why does a blog entry have to be this static thing that we can only update with the words "Update"? I feel like a part of the blogger's code, but why is that? It's my content, right?

Tim Davies said...

Hey Cammy

Just dropping a note of thanks for your comments as part of the 31-days :)

Your about page is really clear and concise. I think I need to go back over mine again reflecting on how well you manage to get across information... I think as everyone learns from each other on the about pages here we should be able to collectively evolve the almost perfect page... :)

Cammy Bean said...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your feedback! We are all evolving, aren't we?

alex said...

Hi Cammy,
Thanks for visiting my blog and dropping me a line. It's great to make all these contacts through this Challenge and it's really good to know that we're all busy and we're all trying hard to keep up!

Michele Martin said...

Hey Cammy--re: the interlinking, I think it's interesting that it feels unethical. I know what you mean--maybe it's because blogging is somehow supposed be like keeping a diary, even if it's professional, and you wouldn't go back and edit your diary, right?

What I decided to do was to either handle it as Christy suggested, by saying UPDATE or, in a few cases, I did swap things out. For example, I had an entry where I said that I was thinking about creating an About Page. I have now and a lot of people come into my site on that post, so I thought, I'll just replace that part with what I've done with my page. My assumption was that they're interested in the About page, not my journey to having created one, you know? I decided to focus on how to update my post to make it more helpful as my primary criteria. That's what made sense to me, anyway.

Sue Waters said...

Hi Cammy

I am really enjoying this challenge. I really love your blog header - the apples just stand out and grab your attention. Glad that you added the about page as it was interesting to learn more about what you do.

Reflecting on old posts - interesting. I use my blog for collected my thoughts and then expressing. Then when I have what I want I put the more finished polish version on my wiki (although it really needs some major work done at the moment).

I have also been thinking about Subscribe by email. The other thing I did was add notify of comments by email although it is not obvious enough.


Rob said...

I've revisited a few old blog posts to make updates to links that no longer point to a valid site address os such. I consider this just sorta housekeeping.

But I've also gone back to older posts to add a supplemental note at the bottom. In those posts, like my Me, metrosexual? entry, I've noted this with a red "Update" label.

I don't consider this to be disingenuous at all, but I do see where you could stray into the "George Lucas keeps tinkering with Star Wars" kinda territory fairly easily...

Cammy Bean said...


That's hysterical. Well, thankfully, I'm no George Lucas!

And thanks for stopping by and joining in. It seems like a lot of folks go with the "Update" format, which I have done in the past.