Blogging is not for sissies

According to the statistics on my blog site, I’ve been writing this blog for a little more than a year (one year and 2 weeks, to be exact).  I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the joys and sorrows of writing a blog in this forum.

On the plus side, it’s nice to write a blog in a forum that gives you instant credibility and where someone actually promotes you.

I’m guessing that for the same credibility and promotion reasons, some people feel more inclined to respond in a sponsored forum because some people have replied to my posts with links to their own blog sites, most of which are really good.

I’ve actually made some new “friends” by writing this blog and that’s kind of cool.  A few have shared insights and approaches that I’ve added to my “bag of tricks” and that’s really nice.  I’ve learned a lot from these exchanges.

Plus, writing allows me to keep in touch (one way, for the most part) with my current and former clients.

I’ve also found a brand new way to embarrass my children, which is a plus and a minus all wrapped in to one.

On the negative side, writing under someone else’s umbrella is really hard.  Do I have something interesting to say this week?  Will the folks at Network World think this is appropriate?  Will they “fire” me?  Sometimes I just don’t have anything profound to say.  I do read several other blogs, however, and it seems that not every blogger does.  If I don’t write a post at least every week, like when I was on vacation in March, I get a friendly reminder from Julie at Network World that I need to post more.  It’s hard enough to try to be clever on a weekly basis, but when you add guilt to the stress of trying to be clever, it’s just one more reason I don’t get enough sleep!  If I did this blog on my own web site, I would definitely not nag me (at least I don't think I would).

The WSIWYG editor for posting in this forum doesn’t live up to its name, especially for a non-techie like me.  Bullets never format correctly and look terrible in the final post.  When I add a hyperlink and try to be helpful and test it, the whole post goes away and I have to start all over again.  Moreover, paragraph marks in Word do not translate so when I write in Word first and try to copy into the posting tool, I either have to copy paragraphs one at a time or carefully review each post to make sure I put them back in the right places.  It sure would be easier if I could really just cut, paste, and go. 

And my final insight – I think that short is often better with blog posts – at least for the all important “above the fold” first paragraph – but short sometimes takes too long.  I’m reminded of a quote that I always thought was from Mark Twain – “If I had more time, I’d would have written a shorter letter” – but a lively internet discussion forum I found seems to definitively confirm that the originator is actually Blaise Pascal, who said Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte" - I haven't made this [letter] longer because I haven't had the time to make it shorter."  So, I’m sorry if I don’t have enough time to write more succinctly. 

I’m not making any “new blogging year’s resolutions” because I know what happens to the other kind of resolutions, but I will say thank you to anyone who actually reads and gains value from what I have to say each week-ish and a special thanks to those who share their insights back, which makes this feel more like a conversation instead of me pontificating, which is what I was hoping for when I agreed to do this a year ago.

Preview: next week, I plan to write about all the recent noise about Windows Vista and share a personal experience (of pain) that I’m hoping to resolve before the week is out.

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