My Blogging Practices

Martha’s last post raised some very interesting questions about blogging practice. Here are my responses (in italics):

Generally, are you an impetuous blogger? Or do you mull over an idea or post for hours, days, weeks before hand? Do you draft a post and then let it sit until you’ve had a chance to revise it multiple times, perfecting your language and point?

What I wanted to say is I write my posts in multiple drafts and think them thru before I post them. But more often than not, when I do that, they don’t get published for a long time if at all. I guess I have three kinds of posts:

• Those I collect in draft usually because I’m tied up with school work and don’t have the time to finish them until after the semester. Many of these are still worth posting.
• Those I may think about for a few days, but then draft and post within 24 hours. Most of my best posts are in this category.
• Those short ones that I write and post impetuously.

Do you “collect” the references in your posts before you write them (if so, describe your system)? Or do you blog with 15 windows open, copying and pasting quotes and URLs, as needed?

I track down the references from memory as I write, opening windows as needed.

Do you blog in the admin panel of your blog? Or do you use some third-party tool? If you use a tool, what features does it have that hooked you?

The admin panel works fine for me. I’m not really aware of any third-party tools.

Do you automatically consider placing images in your posts? Or does this not even occur to you, usually?

This is something I wish I did more of. I think images enhance the look of a post, but honestly I rarely think about that when I’m blogging. Once and a while I’ll see an image that moves me to blog about it.

Do you write posts and then delete them before clicking “Publish?”

Only when they’re old and stale.

Or, by extension, do you have draft posts that have languished for days, weeks, months waiting for you to pull the trigger?

Yes, see above.

Do you feel compelled to blog on a schedule? Do you feel guilty when you don’t?

Nope and nope. I blog primarily for me. If I don’t feel like it, I don’t blog. That said, I do feel bad when I have things to blog about during the school year, but I can’t find the time.

Do you “craft” the experience of your blog, adding sidebar widgets and custom graphics to lure readers into your space?

I’ve occasionally thought about it when I’ve seen cool widgets on other folks blogs, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

What’s the point? … Not only does it make us potentially more thoughtful about our own blogging, I think it might change the way we talk about blogging to others — particularly students? How often do we talk about blogging in the context of a class but not talk about the practice. It’s easy to assume that blogging should come naturally — after all, it’s just “writing online.” But, I don’t think it’s that simple. Blogging often represents a presentation of oneself (sometimes personal, sometimes intellectual, sometimes both) that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And it occurs within a networked context.

This point deserves more thought. It may be a response to my previous post. I’d love to be able to include a discussion of these issues, especially that there are a diversity of blogging styles, when students get introduced to the mechanics of blogging in my courses. Martha, would you care to summarize what you’ve learned from the responses you’ve received?

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