Friday, August 25, 2006

Blogging for mere mortals

Earl Moore shares his typical day and the fractions of which he uses for blogging. He finds it difficult to imagine how someone with a full time job manages to do multiple posts per day. He asks others to share their own stories and tips. Here is a rundown for you Earl:

Before leaving for work in the morning I normally get iPodder (it's still called iPodder in Linux btw) to run through my podcast subscriptions and then plunk those on an mp3 CD for the drive to work (I keep 3 CD-RW's in rotation as I described in this previous post). I then do a quick check of my RSS feeds (on Bloglines) and my Gmail. If something catches my eye I flag it. Normally I don't do any posts before work unless it's something that really grabs my thoughts. If I do find something I've just got to comment or post on, then I'm late for work like Earl. Then it's 50 minutes of back road commuting with a nice mug of coffee and an MP3 cd full of podcasts.

If I manage to get in a bit early, I usually read any posts I've flagged previously. If there's something that I want to write a substantial post about (like this) I sometimes start a post in a simple text editor or in GMail. When I've got a good chunk of it out of my head and onto the screen, I save it, even if it's incomplete, depending on the time.

I normally do one of two things at lunch. If I have lunch at my desk, I spend the time finishing any post I might have started or checking/reading any interesting blog or news posts. Other times I head out for a quick lunch (nothing fancy - we're talking a double-whopper combo or the like, mmm). I keep a hardcover notebook with me to jot down notes on while I listen to other podcasts and munch away. This book contains a variety of things. I make notes on potential blogposts, reminders about things to do and check out, diagrams, project related sketches and notes and generally try to get at least some of the stuff meandering in my brain out onto paper. It's absolutely amazing how much I can forget if I don't jot things down. I have a Palm, but the notebook and pencil is far more natural to me.

After that, it's work until 5:30 or 6:00 and then another 50 minutes home. The computer at home normally doesn't come on again until 9pm or later. Those 2-3 hrs belong to my daughter and wife. I normally spend an hour or so before bed crafting a post, reading a blog, downloading pictures or something else PC related. The downside is that this usually ends up being midnight or later, and I'm getting too old for a huge string of nights with 5 hours or less of sleep. TV watching is getting very sparse these last couple of years. Not a bad thing IMO.

I simply don't normally have the time to do multiple quality posts per day. I'm not sure I've got it in me anyway. I tend to latch onto an idea for a post and it might take me a few days to fill out the rest of the idea and generate the actual post.

That being said, one of my problems is that lots of times I don't take enough time to prepare and edit my posts. I'm trying to fix that. Ideally, for a substantial post, I'd like to write the post, sleep on it, and then look at it again. But I tend to hurry things. For instance, my last Photography Concept post was generated with no previous notes, and in one sitting with 2 cups of coffee. Sometimes it shows I'm afraid.

Two things that I find very valuable:

- The hardcover notebook was one of the best purchases I made - it's so useful to jot things down and go back to them later for fleshing out. It's nothing fancy really, just a Blueline NotePro book . Very cheap, very sturdy and nice paper.
- I've recently discovered (although it's not a new feature) that I can compose blog posts in my email program - GMail in my case - and email them in to my blog. For some reason, I occasionally have trouble accessing my blog from work and doing it via GMail is very convenient lots of times. It doesn't let you do images but it works quite well otherwise. So I am using GMail as my blog editor more and more lately.

Hopefully you find some of this interesting. Share your own views and point to Earl, I'd like to read about others opinions on this as well.


Earl said...


Lunch time and I'm reading blogs again...

Thanks for sharing your daily experiences with blogging. It's helpful and interesting to hear another’s similar experiences.

I should definitely get a notebook. I also have a palm but it's never convenient to get it out and write a note with it.