Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meta Blogging

In September, I started a series of blog posts on college courses that I've taken. I wrote a post every day and got through about four or five semesters' worth, depending on how you count it (one year was quarters, plus some AP classes from high school). I haven't stopped but have slowed way down. Between not wanting so spam my (3) loyal readers and not having the time to keep up a post a day, I couldn't maintain that kind of production.

I don't know how the NaNoWriMo people do it. Well, I do know that of the hundreds of thousands of people who sign up, the average number of words written per person is just under 15,000. They're supposed to write 50,000. About one in five finish, which means about two in three write nothing.

I did write a post for every day that one month, which is something I wanted to try, and I have kept up my streak of at least one post a month for the past four years. Interestingly enough, I pulled in a little over 15,000 words in September, which means I beat a lot of NaNoWriMo people.

Something else I have let slip is my RSS reader. I had close to a thousand unread posts in there from all around the web. I unsubscribed from the feeds for a MOOC I stopped participating in, which dropped a few hundred unread posts off. I marked the posts from the You Are Not a Photographer blog, because everything is in there twice and they keep doing weird things with their feed that makes old stuff I've already read show up as unread again. I may end up just unsubscribing, since it looks like they stopped including the picture in their RSS feed, so you have to actually visit the site to make fun of how bad people are at photography. I've been considering unsubscribing from the Freakonomics blog for awhile now, but every once in awhile a post comes along that makes it all worth it.

I finally unsubscribed from Larry Ferlazzo's blog. I'm sorry, Larry. I tried to keep up. I really did. I subscribed when I found several interesting posts related to Bloom's Taxonomy, which I was reading about at the time. Seven posts a day is too much for me, especially if I get a couple days behind. To give you an idea of the volume here, he has well over 500 "most popular" posts. I have no idea how many unpopular posts he has. I was going to maybe suggest that he try Twitter, since his blog posts are mainly lists of interesting site related to teaching a given topic, and Twitter is great at sending out links to people. Of course, I should have known; he's got more than 30,000 tweets. That means that over 3 years on Twitter, he averages 27 tweets a day. Given an average of about 12 words per tweet, that's almost 10,000 words per month, so he's not much off the NaNoWriMo average and doing better than most would-be authors just on Twitter.

One thing I do need to do is go back and fix the pictures in my September posts. I didn't add a picture to every post, but for the ones that I did, I got lazy. I just randomly googled images and grabbed stuff wherever I found it. Normally I use photos licensed with Creative Commons on Flickr. When I use their photo, I will link back to their Flickr stream and leave a comment on the photo I used with my thanks for their sharing and a link to the post where I used it. The bus up there is just a random openly licensed photo I found that kind of popped out at me. Thanks for sharing but not sharing too much.

photo by didbygraham


Dannon Loveland said...

It is not an easy task to keep up with an RSS reader. If people post more than a couple times a day, I have to unsubscribe. I have made a list on my twitter account for people who I would follow their blog RSS if they didn't post so much.

J.Chappelear said...

What a great thought.
I really appreciate your perspective.
John Chappelear