Well, it didn’t take long for Alex Hayes (and others) to cotton-on to the fact that I’d started a new blog.
I’d hoped to have a bit of time to find my blogging feet before I entered into the fray of the blogosphere, but it was obviously not to be!
I was keen to keep up my blogging momentum, hoping to blog at least every couple of days and I was getting anxious wondering what I would blog about next. It now appears the blogosphere has already handed the topic to me!
My blogging endeavours have been mentioned on not one, but two posts by Alex.
These posts raise some issues about how I’ve set up my blog. These are issues I’ve been thinking about myself. So it looks like, for a while at least, I’ll be blogging about blogging, which is not unusual for someone new to blogging, although a bit ironic for someone who has taught others about blogging in the past!
Hopefully I’ll get to blogging about the work I’m doing with virtual worlds and Second Life soon too.
Linkblog and Google Reader issues
In Alex’s first post – Blogging Paradigms or e-Ciphering in Lagtime – Graham Wegner asks: “So is Sean’s linkblog a collection of everything he contributes to on the web?”
Just to clarify… I set up the linkblog at a time when I was still looking for a blogging solution. I come across a lot of links that are relevant to the research I am doing into virtual worlds that I’d like to share with others, and instead of trying to blog about each of them I would just add some brief commentary in the item’s notes field, tag them with ‘mylinkblog’ and make the RSS feed for that tag available.
Also, I added the RSS feed from mylinkblog to a folder in my Google Reader called ‘seansthoughts’ along with RSS feeds for posts on other people’s blogs I had left significant comments on, links to things I had written and posted to my wiki and my blogHUD (blogging from within Second Life).
I then used the Google Reader’s sharing feature to create a reblog of all my publishing output at that time called ‘SeansThoughts‘.
But it turns out that entries in Google Reader aren’t shared until I’ve marked them as read, which means I have to regularly go in and do this manually before they will publish – obviously not a sustainable position!
Now that I have this new blog, I’ve been using del.icio.us’ daily blog posting tool to post daily links anyway, so the value of maintaining a separate linkblog is in doubt.
The other issue is that there are things that I post to my del.icio.us purely for my own interest, and aren’t relevant for other people or suitable for sharing, but the problem is that the del.icio.us tools publish everything, which means I have to either add notes for everything or even not post those links which I think may not be of interest to others.
I believe with a self-hosted WordPress blog it’s possible to have plugins that post daily del.icio.us blog posts that can be restricted to individual tags, in which case I just post items tagged with ‘mylinkblog’ to my blog. But that’s not an option at the moment, so I’m not sure what I will do.
Will I continue to blend my Bloghudding?
In Alex’s post he also mentions that he likes the way I’m drawing all of my output into this one blog: “I’m liking his new blog mainly for it’s ‘core’ value – one-stop.” To be honest though, I’m already wondering if this is such a great idea.
I’ve been blogging from within Second Life with blogHUD for some time now. I get my avatar to wear the blogHUD (a ‘HUD’ is a heads up display) and this allows me to post text and pictures out to the web.
I can also cross-post from blogHUD to my flickr account, and to one external blog. In this case… here.
I’ve had a lot of fun bloghudding. In fact my blogHUD was the first time I’ve been motivated to blog consistently. It’s also the first time I’ve really used my flickr account. I’m not much of a photographer and prior to bloghudding I only used my flickr account for demo purposes and for the occasional moblogged snap (cue sound of chirping crickets!)
Some of my blogHUD posts like – Checking out Ohio Uni’s Learning Kiosk – are ‘serious’ and relevant to the work I’m doing, whereas others like – Waiting for a burger at Big A’s – are just a bit of fun.
There is a strange disjoint between my more confident, established bloghudding and my confident del.icio.us posts with comments on one hand, and the occasional nervous new blogger posts like this one on the other.
An even greater concern is that between my daily del.icio.us links posting, my bloghudding, and my regular blogging I could be pumping out several posts a day and I’m wondering if people will choose not to subscribe to such a busy blog, or whether they will subscribe but not be able to tell which are the longer, more ‘considered’ blog posts – the ones that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into – as they browse headings in their RSS readers.
So there is another argument for not cross-posting my bloghudding here and instead let people choose to subscribe to only that feed if they want, leaving only my daily links and ‘serious’ posts. After all, I do include the RSS feed to my blogHUD in the sidebar of the blog, and the images are also coming in through the flickr widget.
What do you think?
One blog or two? What should I do?
This brings me to Alex’s other post – Blogging : For The Greater Good – in which the issue is raised whether it’s a good idea to combine professional and personal blogging into one space, or whether we should have separate professional and personal blogs.
I am still divided on this one. There is much to be said for a blog that is focused on professional material only. Do people interested in my work in emerging technologies want to hear about my more personal musings (or indeed my lengthy ruminations about blogging)? Are people more likely to subscribe if the blog is focused?
Or should I chuck it all in the one blog and rely on people to filter, either by skimming my RSS feed (if they are subscribed), or by subscribing to only those categories they are interested in?
This is a vexed question, and raises all sorts of issues about the breakdown of the walls between the professional and the personal as a result of online personal publishing (but that’s for another blog post).
I just want to be sure my ‘one-stop shop’ doesn’t become a ‘one-stop flop’! 🙂
(Image by Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches)