Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Wishes

As we track into 2007, I just wanted to wish you all a happy new year and to thank you for your support or for just visiting.

Way back on 27 September in conversations, I reported on the pleasure that this blog had given me. This remains true 64 posts later, although there have been a couple of times I have felt very stale, where it has been a very real effort to post.

Sometimes with bloggers it all becomes just too much. Here I have noticed the expiry of BiblioBillaBong with a degree of sadness because it was a blog I visited.

When I wrote conversations back in September my focus was on my regular visitors, those blogs I visited regularly. Since then I have acquired some site stats. This showed me that I while I did have regular visitors, search engine traffic was far more important than I realised. To what extent, then, should I try to take this into account?

To some degree I have done this by trying to give links in stories, by running some shorter stories on particular topics that simply provide an entry point. But my main focus remains on that group of regular readers that form this blog's very small community.

I no longer have a problem in finding things to write about. Now my problem is the opposite. Too many topics.

When I look at the pattern of posts, the blog has evolved from a post every couple of days to one nearly every day, several on some days. Even then I have things I had meant to say but did not.

Over at Ninglun's (Neil's) blog, I see that he has been making his new year's blogging resolutions.

One of those is to write less. Now this is a resolution I am not sure about, nor am I absolutely sure about his comments on focus, limiting himself, although I do agree that with so many blogs it may not matter if one does not say something. I have watched the growth of Neil's blog this year with admiration. For better or worse, he has created a blog (a monster on his back he might sometimes feel) that people do check on a daily basis, some like me several times a day!

When it comes to voting for the best NSW blog, I know where I am voting! Maybe a few shorter posts, a little limitation, just to ease the load.

For my part, I have made three but only three new year's blogging resolutions:
  1. Contribute more to other people's blogs. I did this a lot to begin with, then it dropped off because I was too busy writing myself. Conversation is conversation, not parallel but completely separate streams. Here I note that Lexcen has begun putting up some rather nice posts on Australian heroes.
  2. More short posts just to balance my longer posts while also making things a little easier for me.
  3. Focus a proportion of my posts on previous posts to ensure follow up and help build depth.

I have made no resolution in regard to actions to increase readership. Increased readership might be nice, but that's not my primary aim on this blog.


Lexcen said...

Jim, blogging is finding your voice, expressing yourself in whatever way you feel, writing about whatever you please. There are no rules except those you impose on yourself. If you want to increase traffic to your blog, then commenting on other people's blogs will draw readers to you. Search engine hits will also draw attention to your blog. Whatever you do, as long as you enjoy it, that's what matters.
Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I agree with lexcen about the purpose of blogging. Questions of integrity and autheticity have exercised me lately. A few years ago I would sound off about all manner of things. These days I am a little more discriminating -- partly your influence, Jim.

By "writing less", I meant resisting the temptation to comment on every issue as it arises in the media. By confining myself to what I know, I didn't mean to narrow the range of what I might do, but to consider whether I actually have something interesting or useful to say, or some angle that derives from my experience or reading and is perhaps overlooked by others.

I'm an addict, so don't expect too radical a change!

I have however been trimming a few of the less riveting posts from the 2006 archives. That still leaves me with Posts: 710; Comments: 863 Tags: 25. So I think I can afford to write less. In addition there are 19 "pages" -- a unique feature on WordPress.

The new English/ESL blog already has Posts:31; Comments: 2; Tags: 29 and 18 "pages"!

I trimmed Blogspot last year too.

And speaking of Blogspot: "You tried to access the address, which is currently unavailable." I have learned, Jim. Always make a notepad copy before posting to Blogspot! Mind you, the problem this time may have been that Unwired did a major update at the moment I was posting this comment. I should be grateful, as things are now faster. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!!!

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, all, for you comments.

Admin said...

Hello Jim,

Just to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year, and thank you for the interest you have shown in DM.

On the substantive point I pretty much agree with Lexcen

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Edward. Nice of you to drop by. I have witten some material relevant to Demography Matters. I will do a brief post listing this material across my blogs and then cross-reference on DM to make it a little more accessible.