Saturday, January 5, 2008

Best Of, Vol. 4

Tomorrow will mark four year's worth of blogging1. The latest one-year cycle generated 204 entries, five more than I posted the year before (the exams-encumbered season of 2006). From the most recent round, here are the best entries, as judged by a distinguished panel of loyal E.W.M. readers and enthusiasts2.

Best Titles

  1. Shar-Pei of May
  2. Michshapen
  3. Heeling Arts
  4. Picktaneous Bracketbustion
  5. Cliff Stitched the Lip

Profound Sentiments

  1. Walking the Walk
  2. Long Jump
  3. #0033BD
  4. At Seven Mos.
  5. Y.

Funniest E.W.M Comic

  1. Hearing, Jack-o
  2. Kibble Debacle

World-Changing Ideas

  1. Databasic Writing
  2. Did Bitzer Draw?
  3. Writers House
  4. How Far Can We Drift?
  5. Chreod: Alignment of Set-ups

1 The official and certified blogday of Earth Wide Moth is January 4, but because the first-ever entry is date-stamped January 6, the latter date is the observed blogday.
2 Due to a sharp drop-off in reader loyalty during the 2007 blogging cycle, Best Of Vol. 4 entries were selected more or less randomly, according to the whimsy of, well, me.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at January 5, 2008 8:00 AM to On Weblogs

Do you think it's really a reader loyalty thing? Or is it more of a lack of comment thing? It seems to me that many of the blogs I read regularly have fewer comments these days. I know mine does - which is largely, I'm sure, due to my lack of posting in the past several months. But I guess I'm curious about your take on blogging as a two-way communication at the present time.

Posted by: Chris at January 5, 2008 9:34 AM

I'm tongue-in-cheek with much of this (so many little jokes between me and my blog). I don't know whether reader loyalty is fading (or even if there is such a thing in the blogosphere, or even, if there is, whether it matters all that much to the blogging I do here). Comments are less abundant than they were two or three years ago, but so are certain types of entries. I notice less dialogue (far fewer trackbacks; fewer links to what someone else is discussing, unless it is a meme; I have not studied these phenomenon, so it is a casual observation). Often I am posting pics of the kids or the dog or a badly drawn comic. Blogging over the last four years has taught me to expect audience transience, and this phenomenon interests me at all scales. I would guess this is a part of the life of a scholarly journal (print or online), also. People continue to subscribe, but they are less excited when a new issue arrives. They glance titles, but they are better at gauging, in a quick impression, the relative sameness or familiarity of the content—its predictability. Something like that has gone on with blogs, too. I spend much less time looking for new ones to read than I once did, I add links to the blogroll only when someone else links to me first (this is almost always true), and when a blog goes through a long drought, I tend to remove it from my aggregator (Google Reader), so I am doomed to miss its return.

All of this is to say that much has changed. I don’t foresee giving up on it soon, but who knows. Another year, reach 1,000 entries: for now these will do as goals. Audience can come along if it wants to.

Posted by: Derek at January 5, 2008 10:53 AM

Something I recognized the other day is that read your posts on Bloglines. The entire post. Unless I have something to say about your post, I don't ever have to come here. (Sad, but true.) Is there an excerpt function on this server/blog? If so, you could utilize that, then folks (like me who read on Bloglines) could see the excerpt (or see that you've posted something), then we could jump on over.

Happy blogday, by the way! :-)

Posted by: billie at January 6, 2008 6:50 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I vaguely recall deleting or altering the RSS feed for excerpts a couple of years ago, in large part due to my own preference for full-entry feeds. But you're right that this would do better to corral readers and their statistized presence. Only, what if it had the opposite effect?

Posted by: Derek at January 7, 2008 9:20 AM