Blogging, state of

I had this really great week with my Times Union blog at the end of August. Thrice, a post was one of the highlighted posts. I say I do the blog for myself, but it’s also true that I have enough ego to enjoy when my efforts are appreciated. And the matrices are quite varied: visitors, of course, but I really appreciate it when people who’d NEVER commented before are moved to write; it says I hit a particularly responsive chord. I also like it when folks repost my meanderings on Twitter and Facebook.

This also made me happy: “Just a quick thanks for the work you do on the NYSDCA blog. I had someone asking for religion data today, and I thought, hm, I remember seeing something about that on Roger’s blog. Popped over to it, did a quick search, and got what I needed. Many thanks!”

For that Data Detectives blog, the numbers are usually minimal, but one day last month, it spiked. The week: 9, 18, 31, 329, 110, 43, 28. It was my piece on the government shutdown; I never know what will generate a response.

But I had some technical problem with the DD blog in October. One day, I’d visit, and the posts would appear briefly, then disappear, with only the header showing. I put this info out on a couple listservs. Someone suggested removing the last post; maybe it was interfering with some code. This made sense, since when I enter an ABC Wednesday blog post, I must be sure the code of a photo is not too near the code for the links that people submit. Both DD and ABCW are Blogger blogs.

Removing one post didn’t fix it, but removing the last six did the trick. Then I put the most recent post back in, and it was no problem. One of my colleagues joked that maybe it was the now redacted post about the NSA that whacked out the blog. Hmm – am I THAT paranoid?

One of my fellow bloggers wrote this on my Facebook page: “Roger – you’re a good man, you are a heckuva blogger, and one of these days I want to be the next ‘TU blogger that makes it onto a national game show’ so that you’re not the only one that can say that with a smile. :)”

The piece on Literally drew a lot of comments, almost all favorable, on Facebook. Of course, Dan sent me this cartoon to keep me humble.

I felt badly that Cheri had a break in her blogging in early September, especially since she used ME as an example good blogging behavior; “I’m continually impressed with people who can manage to post day after day, year after year. People like Roger. It’s because he’s more organized than I. (Probably they all are, but I can’t say that for sure.)”

Well, if by organized, you mean I write a few days ahead, just in case the power goes out, or lest I become ill, then OK. The key is that what I do is find topics to write on, and throw random thoughts in an electronic folder until the ideas start writing themselves. You ever read about a writer on a TV show or a novelist talk about dictating itself to them, rather than the other way around? It’s sort of like that. It’s like some Queen lyric (title song of the album Innuendo) about surrendering your ego, which is playing on the headphones even as I am writing this. I wasn’t even thinking of that reference when I started writing this.

Also, writing on deadline gives me agita. I can’t write a Christmas blog post on December 23. Too much pressure!

I’ve said this before, but it bearing repeating, I suppose. I’m virtually NEVER bereft of topics on this blog. Am I lucky, overly opinionated, crazy? The reason I sometimes steal from my other blogs are essentially 1) to clarify copyright and 2) because I’m too busy to write. Which is a problem because the THINKING about what I want to write almost NEVER goes away.

What sees the light of day isn’t always what’s most important to me, but rather what allows itself to get written. I’m just the conduit, and I’m more surprised than you are.

6 thoughts on “Blogging, state of”

  1. I remember how psyched I was when you started blogging, Roger. I remember telling you at a Saratoga Springs Comicon how impressed I was by both your quality and consistency, and how I envied your ability to be there every day with something worth reading. All these years later, I’m thrilled for you that it has given you such pleasure, and that you’ve maintained and even grown your efforts.

    I think I speak for a lot of your readers when I say you’re an important part of my regular reading. It’s always a pleasure, it’s always informative and entertaining and thought-provoking, and it’s always THERE. Thanks for your passion and commitment, and for sharing your gift with the world.


  2. I love your blog. I particularly like the ones on politics, culture or history, but I also like the little personal ones about things like family photos.

    I don’t know how you do it. If I did it, it would be boring, but you make it very interesting.


  3. There’s a reason why (a) I really try to visit your blog every day, and (b) I feel guilty when I realize I’ve gone three days WITHOUT visiting your blog. (The latter tends to happen when I get wrapped up in what I’m doing, and is never your fault.)


  4. Roger, it is because of your blog that I was able to find you! I read your blog every day, and I always find it interesting!


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