This post is the second time I have “taken stock” of how I feel about my blog so far. I have interspersed today’s comments (8/11/05) in bold throughout. What I posted on 6/26/05, the original “taking stock,” is in the normal font:
- Today (6/26/05) I reread my S/SW posts, “taking stock,” which is part of the fun of keeping a journal. I had a number of objectives with this exercise: (information written in this font is from “taking stock” on 8/11/05).
- Looking for any emerging themes. These came out: anxiety about the state of the world; ambivalence about contentious issues; interest in synchronicity; returning often to the classic existential questions of finding meaning in suffering and purpose in my life. Recent themes: What is the government doing to keep us safe, free, with privacy intact? What are Democrats doing? Is there hope for peace, for less senseless violence in the Middle East and Great Britain? Good writers still rule; the web still fascinates me as does space travel. There are some things going on that are flat WRONG (blurring of church and state, reasons for Iraq war, denial of global warming and Iraqi casualties, Bolton appointment to UN, “outing” of Valerie Plame, . What is the world like . . .Primers on Flat World, Neo cons, Iraq casualties, bibliography on Middle East peace process.
- Editing small typos: rather rare, which is good. Minimum mistakes these days.
- Reading to assess my ability to be clear: I found that I sometimes assumed familiarity with a subject when it may not be there for a majority of readers. This continues to be a problem, particularly when I rely on links to make my main point.
- Checking for interesting prose: the writers I like reveal themselves, write in “active” voice, have fresh and original ideas, and have a sense of humor, for example. I am more involved with images as both reading and writing activity for me.
- Seeing how well the blog invites further actions from the reader: a good blog will entice the reader to follow any links, to read further-by giving adequate clues-and perhaps even to comment. This is a value to be continually upgraded. There is a danger that a primer with a bunch of links will just overwhelm the reader, and he/she will move on. Remember readers SKIM.
- Evaluating how well I did at regularity with posting: that’s probably a B+; travel and technological ignorance impacted my ability to be consistent. I AM POSTING REGULARLY.
- Getting an impression of my overall writing tone, my “voice:” it is rather clear what worries me; it is not so clear what I celebrate. My tone these days may be less angry, more teaching, giving info. Celebration is still missing, to some extent.
- Noting my technical progress made along the way: learning to link, for example, made my posts much more topical and connected to current thinking. Now I have learned to include images. And I try to avoid certain private copyrighted material.
- Assessing my ability to avoid clichés: not so good there. Resorting to a cliché to make a point is just lazy thinking. I certainly have the ability to be more original. We all do. I am doing a bit better at this, though it is still something to be avoided.
- Attempting to make an objective critique of my ability to be authentic, to keep good boundaries, and to add something of value to the Blogosphere: I surprise myself at times. Any writer just loves it when something just seems to “write itself.” If once in a great while my muse appears like that, and I am in awe. Ideas for blogs come easily to me; I like that!
6/26/05: To summarize, my online journal is just that so far. It is not yet a dialogue. We’ll see where it goes from here.
8/11/05: Today, this second look at S/SW has been helpful to me. But I would like my readers to let me know what I have missed. I would welcome any feedback.