Sunday, November 18, 2007

357 Magnum Meme

Heidi from Virushead has tagged me with the 357 magnum meme. It asks some basic questions about blogging. This tag was welcome because I have been suffering from blogger's block and these questions are a lot easier than the ones I am currently wrestling with. So here we go:

1. How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging since December 2005. At that point the blogosphere was growing like mad and the basic technology had matured to the point where I could jump in relatively painlessly. Like most successful new technologies the new ideas were simple, and now look obvious, but anyone that posted material on a website before the advent of blogging knows that posting is a lot easier than it used to be.

2. What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

I enjoy writing and as I watched blogging mature I realized that it was a good match to my writing style. I tend to run out of gas on any subject after about a thousand words, which is about as long as you can expect any blog reader to hang around for. I have been a journal writer for a long time and I saw how blogging can be on-line journaling. Being in a public forum constrains me a bit, but it also motivates me to refine what I am saying. Regarding mentorship, my son Trevor preceded me in the blogosphere with In The Space Between, providing some much appreciated advice, encouragement, and for a long time was my only reader. He tracks the Web 2.0 technology closely and we enjoy speculating on what will happen next.

3. Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?

I’m definitely not in it for the money. On my Tickets Passports Money blog I plan to add Adsense and do an affiliate link—to learn the technology.

4. Tell me 3 things you LOVE about being online.

  • The creative aspects of posting are really fun. When I post something that works (at least for me) I feel the buzz of creating something that somehow transcends me, and perhaps is more enduring than myself.
  • Blogging is a new, unique communication medium. It’s not just an essay or a link. Unlike email it is a broadcast medium where you don’t know who you will reach, but the comment section provides the potential for the give-and-take of email or a forum. Through it we have the potential to tap into the energy and knowledge of millions of people.
  • Finding like-minded people. C.S. Lewis said, "We read to know we are not alone." The blogosphere is the same way. I link into really interesting people that I would never find in real life and through their writing feel an immediate connection. Their knowledge and their openness astonish me and motivate me to be better.

5. Tell me 3 things you STRUGGLE with in the online world.

  • Anyone that has a significant presence online must deal with truly scary people. I am thankful that I don’t have to deal with this, but anyone that followed the Kathy Sierra Story, or reads through the comments of popular blogs has seen that there are some real creeps out there. The misogynist element bothers me the most—for the most part I live in an environment that is supportive of women. The hatred of these guys is truly disturbing.
  • I struggle with writing for general interest rather for my self. I installed Google Analytics on my blogs mostly to see the technology in action, but now find myself checking it almost daily to see how many people have visited. I know that if I really wanted to build readership I should blog daily, but fundamentally that is not why I blog, and I need to stay true to myself in that.
  • I don’t want to be boring. I suppose I should also worry about being impenetrable—but I don’t. I’ve seen those looks in real life where the people are wondering what planet I came from, but I'll take that any day over being boring.


Heidi said...

Very nice post! I love the idea of your working with your son. What a treat.

Vance said...

Thanks Heidi. I think one of the biggest challenges of parenthood is needing to change the way we treat them essentially everyday as they grow up. It is really fun when they surpass you in things.