State of the Blog—August, 2011

It’s been a long time since I’ve pressed pause on Pressing Pause.

I’m assigning myself an “F” in terms of my goal of creating a “virtual seminar”. Consequently, I’ve updated the tagline and “About This Blog” link. It’s okay because I understand people’s passivity since I rarely comment on the blogs I read. Nor do I write reviews of anything I purchase, actively participate on forums, or ever reply to the annoying “Is this advertisement relevant to you?” pop-up. I don’t find the Facebook execs (or Peter Singer’s) argument that privacy is obsolete the least bit convincing. Apart from this blog, I’m net-passive, so lurking be cool.

Sometimes people email me comments and talk to me in person about my posts, both which I really appreciate. Even if you don’t want to comment publicly, don’t hesitate to email thoughts, suggestions, or ideas for posts. Whatever. Any feedback is appreciated.

I’m focusing more on the process of writing substantive stuff and thinking less about readership stats. However, I have to confess to sometime envying (what commandent is that?) the five or six bloggers I regularly read when they receive more comments per post than I receive readers.

The bofo blogs all leverage social media in ways my Facebook-less self doesn’t and they tend to fall into three categories with some overlap: 1) non-stop bloggers that post several short, smart, informative, sometimes provocative posts every day; 2) bloggers without boundaries who grab you by the collar and pull you into their daily lives through truly excellent, highly specific, deeply personal writing; and 3) photog bloggers that skillfully use pics to compliment their substantive, solid writing.

Why don’t I just imitate them more?

I don’t want to blog fulltime while eating cake frosting because then I’d get dropped on Tuesday/Thursday night training rides and the GalPal would leave me for some hunkier dude. Then I’d have to join an on-line dating club which would preclude non-stop blogging.

I would like to self-censor myself less, but I don’t want to try to be provocative just for the case of being provocative because that would defeat the purpose of being more authentic. Also, I don’t know how to write more personally on-line without sacrificing the privacy of family and friends who never signed up to be blogging fodder.

And that leaves photography. As you can tell, I’m pretty hopeless there. Saturday I rode up the back of Mt. Saint Helen’s via Windy Ridge and Norway Pass roads. 57 miles, 5,577′ of climbing. Truly off the charts beautiful, even by Mt. Rainier/Cascade standards. It reminded me of Grindelwald in Switzerland. At the last minute, I tossed the camera in the gym bag in the car because I was already carrying three water bottles and some nutrition and I didn’t want the extra weight. Selfish I know. I think the minimalist in me is partly to blame. Even with the simplicity of digital data storage, the degree to which some people document their daily life via cameras and cam-corders strikes me as an odd, modern form of clutter. And I wonder if my ride may have been slightly less special if I had been thinking about documenting it for you and therefore stopping more frequently. Obviously there’s a large middle ground and I regret not having taken a few pics to share. I’ll try to do better.

To summarize, feedback in any form is greatly appreciated and I’m going to continue focusing on the process of writing as much stuff I want to go back and read later as possible.

Wednesday. . . another birthday tribute (of sorts).

Thanks for lurking.

9 thoughts on “State of the Blog—August, 2011

  1. I feel your pain Ron. I struggle often too with the issues you pointed out. But what you do post is both thought provoking and easy to digest.

    I read so much now that I am almost at a point where I can absorb no more. I’ve started being selective with what I read and write with little thought to attracting “hits” to my site. I’ve always wanted to write and lay things out that better summarize how I really feel. This is self-gratifying but if someone else enjoys it too then that’s icing on the cake.

    Best wishes

  2. Jim Valvano said it best – “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!”

    Love your blog – keep up the good work (at your chosen pace of course).

  3. Lurking. Just so you know :-)

    I think the odd modern form of clutter can be quite inspirational (granted: at best).

    Will look for you on facebook.

    :) anna.

  4. Ron, just thought you needed to know this. I read your blog on my not-so-smart phone. I download it on my computer at 3 AM, and then a few times a week, I sync it with the phone. Therefore, I find that it is impossible to leave replies at the time I am reading your blog.

    That said, I love your blog, and I read every post, though quite asynchronously. I love reading about how you are dealing with specific family issues, as my family is going through the same things. I’m an amateur teacher of medical students. Your insights on teaching are appreciated. I even also have a labradoodle. I have gotten away from following sports, but your occasional Tiger update allows me to feel that I’m somehow keeping up on the important stuff (well, maybe). We even just saw and LOVED Midnight in Paris, I believe, at your recommendation. Awesome!!

    You mention other successful blogs. I am a regular reader also of Penelope Trunk’s blog, for several reasons. I’m interested in hearing your review of other blogs that you have found that are highly successful, and may also be worth reading.

    Your blog has become an important and regular part of my reading routine. I READ YOUR BLOG, I just don’t know if my reading even comes up in your stats.

    OK, I’m done with the gushy stuff…just so you know…less interested in your exercising routines.

    • Lorne, Greatly appreciated. I thought it was cool when B told L a year or two ago that you were a reader. Thanks for taking the time to provide a boost and specific feedback. Ron

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