Monday, December 31, 2007

And so the year ends - 2008 blogging resolutions

  • Photo: Will Owen, Red Desert. From one of the blogs I have really enjoyed this year.

I was going to do a full review across all my blogs of 2007 issues and topics. Then I stopped. It turns out that I have written 762 posts this year, with a few more to go today.

A number of the posts are short. Others are simply entry posts. Some are cross-posts. Even so, I would appear to have written perhaps 500,000 words. That's a lot of words!

I have always had a frustrated desire to research and write. Blogging has provided the vehicle to do this, as well as the discipline - the requirement to actually post.

I made my first ever post on this blog on 19 March 2006. This was followed by New England, Australia (8 April 2006), Managing the Professional Services Firm (3 July 2006), Regional Living Australia (23 July 2006), what is now Management Perspectives ( 7 November 2006), New England's History ( 24 November 2006) and then History of Australian and New Zealand Thought (25 August 2006).

A lot of blogs, all with voracious appetites!

Blogging has been a release, a source of ideas and means of stimulation, of keeping in touch in a personal and professional sense. It has also been unexpectedly fruitful in terms of friendships.

It has, not, however, been a direct source of income. My total direct earnings in 2007 from blogs/web sites was $US210.25, equivalent (as my wife rudely points out) to about 4 cents per hour!

I suppose that many bloggers dream of becoming an A-list blogger, of joining that small select group who do make decent money from blogging. I am not totally immune to this . However, the mixed personal and professional reasons that drive me to blogging are simply not compatible with the approach and discipline required to achieve A-list standing. I do not want to pay the price involved!

That said, I do want to get best value for my time, recognising that I have mixed motives of which sheer enjoyment is a key part. Otherwise I do risk, as happens to so many bloggers, simply burning out. So what are my 2008 blogging resolutions?

The first is to continue to have fun. As part of this, to continue to contribute to discussion of other people's interests and concerns, the civilised discourse of the blogosphere, especially in the world of those I think of as my immediate blogging friends.

I say friends advisedly. You have become people to me with your own quirks. I many not agree with you, but I do think about you. The world would be awfully dull if we were all the same, duller if you did not exist.

I also look forward to making new blogger friends. Like all friendships, blogging friendships evolve through contact. You have to get to understand not just the thoughts, but the feelings.

My second resolution is to do more with the content that I have created. From time to time I write real rubbish. Other posts are ordinary. But some posts have, looking back, good content.

But what do I mean by doing more with the content?

When I look at the better content, I find themes. Some simply deserve re-publishing, and not just in blogging form. Others need extension. So I have a fair bit to do here. This really means spending a little less time blogging, a little more on research and writing off-line.

My third resolution is to try be more disciplined in maintaining the core focus of my individual blogs. Because my interests cross-over, I sometimes just post a story to the blog most in need of a post. Yet each blog or web site is different, serving different purposes and audiences. I need to remember this. Otherwise things get blurred, focus gets lost.

My fourth resolution is to do more with what I have.

To a degree, blogging is individual and private. We sit in front of our computers, composing. Yet blogs are also a window into a broader external world. There is no reason why we should not take advantage of this.

Because this will sound very obscure, let me illustrate by example.

I plan to buy a digital camera as soon as I can afford it. I am also going to print some new business cards. Then, armed with that camera and cards, I am going to allocate some weekends to visit some of the things I write about, to meet some of the people I talk about.

This will be fun in its own right. But it will also generate new stories and content.

My last resolution is to get control of my emails. I am hopeless here. I must do better!

Well, there are my blogging resolutions for 2008. What are yours?


And I thought that I was a busy blogger. I see that Neil managed to put up 1,314 posts during the year! Crikey, that really puts my efforts in the shade!


ninglun said...

Yes, but some of them were very short, while others were just YouTubes... And I blame the elections too.

Jim Belshaw said...

Not just one election, but two!Mind you, I'm not complaining about the volume. I do check several times a day, after all.

Have a happy new year, mate. I am looking forward to our 08 discussions.