Please note: This blog is no longer updated and has moved to a new location: Scott Mark.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cumulative Thoughts on the Blogosphere, Blog Tools, Podcasts, and the 26-Hour Day

I actually dislike the term blogosphere, but it is an unavoidably convenient term to capture a variety of things related to public conversations. I have been blogging for several months now, and thought I would share random thoughts.

The Wanderers

I have had some amusing visits from searchers - I'm sure these positions have changed, but here is what I was when I saw them come through:

  • Second hit for an MSN search on "scott fertilize". I have a feeling this person was looking for a lawn product... unfortunately all they got was ramblings about EA, but would probably be just as helpful (if not more) for their original intent. ;-)
  • Hit number 5 for a Google search on "Management" + "ivory tower syndrome". Trust me - it's because I'm cynical, not because I have it (have blogged to prove it).
  • Second hit for a Google search on "strangler pattern" - I feel kind of bad, like I stole this spot from Martin and Mike, who got me started on that idea...
  • Hit number 7 for an MSN search on "content tagging aggregation"
  • Hit number 4 for a Google search on "gut and replace refresh cycle" - I kind of like that one.
  • Hit number 10 for a Google India search on "mashup architecture".
  • Hit number 21 for a search on "great architects" from Google South Africa!! Not sure what to make of that...
  • Hit number 21 for a Google Blog Search on "social software in the enterprise"
  • Hit number 13 for a Google search on "difference between application architect enterprise architect job" Probably a disappointed visitor... I don't think I'm helping clarify that at all.
  • Hit number 3 for a Google search on "leadership resume points"
  • Hit number 5 for a Google Blog search on "coaching youth baseball" (I noticed that I was a couple spots behind a post entitled "Confessions of a Bad Christian" - I thought the Vatican cleared youth sports under JP II ?)

My Friend Blogger

I am glad to see that IE hits on my site are down to around 25% - the lame Blogger templates have a IE bug that cause the right nav text to get hosed up, and I'm too lazy (and not HTML savvy enough) to fix it. But a friend is giving me hints.

This is my first blog, and I chose Blogger just because it was easy, but it's missing some pretty basic things that would make it way better.

  • Why do I need to use HaloScan just to get trackbacks? Trackbacks seem fundamental to blogging IMHO.
  • Why not have categories? (not that I really want to spend time categorizing my posts... I have thought off and on about starting to use Technorati tags, but just haven't started - I supposed that would pay better dividends that categories local to my blog.)
  • Why the display bugs in the OOTB templates?
  • Why freak people out on the comment form with the default "login to Blogger"? The simple forms from TypePad, etc. seem to encourage commenting...

The Problem With Public Conversations

Generally, why does Roller seem to be the only blogging platform that let's you subscribe via email to be notified on updates to conversations that you participate in? One of the worst parts procedurally of blogging in my opinion, is trying to keep up with conversations you participate - but it's really the most valuable aspect. Maybe I would get overloaded if all of the platforms had that, but I still appreciate the occassional email update on old comment threads from Matt's blog. Cocomment is a cool idea and might help, but seems to be experiencing integration woes, and I always forget to use it when dropping a quick comment. So for now I mark posts keep new in Bloglines and check back periodically. I would appreciate any suggestions on this.

Podcasts

I am going to bite the bullet and replace my toy MP3 player sometime this year with something that actually has capacity - but where are the podcast-friendly features? What do you mean I can't reliably bookmark MP3s - how lame is that? Sure I am an eMusic addict at this point, but the fact is that I use my player for podcasts more than music at the moment. I can't belive I can't reliably bookmark in Winamp, either... If you have a suggestion on a podcast-friendly large (20GB+) player, please share. I feel like there are many blog-style features that could be rolled into desktop media players (adding footnote style hyperlinks, bookmarking segments for note taking) but aren't - don't know why someone hasn't come up with a meta-data / XML solution for those.

Stop the Clock

Blogging has proven to be a time commitment. I suppose if I just shot out brief posts and didn't ever create that Bloglines account, it wouldn't take quite as much effort. But the gains for me have been the exchange of ideas and making some great contacts, both of which require a time investment. I seriously wonder how some peole crank out posts - between trying to keep up at my day job, working some side efforts (writing mainly), and spending time with the family, I'm thinking I need a 26-hour day to keep doing this! But I will keep at it, because I'm learning constantly, doing better at my job because of it - and it's fun.

A big thanks to those on my blogroll, and to those who have me on theirs - it's been a fun ride and it's not over.

4 Comments:

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Anne Zelenka said...

Yeah, Blogger pretty well sucks. The commenting/trackback situation is horrendous. I'm using HaloScan but it has many problems of its own. I'm not thrilled with TypePad either. That's why I'm going to switch to WordPress soon.

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Robert McIlree said...

I've been using sitemeter on my EA blog and the largest number of hits I've had recently was from my 'resume' post where I made an indirect reference to Mini-Microsoft (without linking to him) and he/she mentioned it in a post. Quite a traffic generator....:)

I don't know if I should be amused or nervous when readers from sites such as 'cia.gov,' and 'sec.gov' show up...well, at least it isn't 'irs.gov' or 'fbi.gov'...yet anyway...:)

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger scott said...

Anne - I have heard that WordPress is the place to go - I need to check that out. I am also learning that using my own domain name would have been a smart idea - might be switching to that, too.

Robert - I actually noticed traffic from MM through that thread too, very interesting. I think that title had a lot of click-through appeal; not sure if everyone was happy when they got there. ;-)

I am seriously interested in MP3 player suggestions from anyone... I just learned my commute will be dramatically increasing, so podcasts will play a more significant role in my life.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Cote' said...

The iPod works for me, and I have a really old one. If you rename your files to mp4 or something, you can use the bookmarking in the iPod. It's documented somewhere ;)

And you should definitly switch to WordPress. I switched DrunkAndRetirecd.com from blogger to WordPress last year, and it was well worth it. There's a little hassle to setup, but other than that, it's easy. You can also run it at wordpress.com, though I don't know the free/feature set low-down on that.

 

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