01 December 2007

2 New Things and 3 Beautiful Things (or maybe that's 3 new things....)

Thing One:

One of the things I noticed about NaBloPoMo (yes, I'm still dissecting the experience, but stick with me here for a moment...) is that, while my overall blog traffic was increased for the month, on a daily basis, the number of repeat visitors was down. One reason for this may be that those who were doing NaBloPoMo (or the truly dedicated & hardy writers doing NaNoWriMo) were busy posting, and may not have been reading as many blogs as normal. I had less time to read since I was trying to post everyday. Was that your experience too?

During this time, I did the Blogging Roundtable (which was a great experience for me because 4 interesting bloggers participated). One of the items mentioned was a schedule for reading blogs some days and writing on others. Another point discussed was how one's best writing sometimes doesn't get the number of hits one would expect. Sometimes you can't predict when readers will land on your site; sometimes it isn't because of the writing. So, here is a new thing I would like to do on this blog:

I want to periodically feature posts that the blogger considers a great post. This isn't my evaluation that a post is great -- it is your evaluation that a particular post is great. I'll post a brief descriptive summary of the post & a link to your blog. This is like a blogging carnival, except there is not a common subject to the posts. The only qualification is that it be a post that you'd like to be highlighted for others to read, something that you consider worthy of a wee bit more attention than it may have received already.

Here is what you need to do to be included: Send an email to the address on the sidebar (Please don't leave a link in the comments to this post). Any emails sent before midnight (EST) 12/7 will be included in my post on 12/10. If you want to include a brief sentence or two about why you think this is a great piece, please include that in your email. There are no other rules -- your post can be funny or serious, long or short, a review of a book or movie, or just a slice of life story. I don't have a timeframe requirement for when you published the post, just that it be something posted on your blog in the past, recent or otherwise. If there is enough interest, I will do this on a periodic basis (maybe monthly).

Item the next:

I had a lot of fun with the Blogging Round Table Discussion that I did with Imani, Litlove, Smithereens, and Emily. When I came up with the idea, I hadn't thought through how it might work, how long it should be (I asked too many questions!), the logistics of sending comments amongst the participants. Overall, it was a great experience, and I would like to do it again (sometime after the first of the year). But, before I move forward with another one, I'd like feedback from you about what you'd like to see -- should the format be different? was it too long? did posting it over 3 days make it easier to read? Any topics you'd like to recommend for another one?

Third Item:

I love blog serendipity -- that experience of clicking on a link, which leads to clicking through to another site, which leads to an oh my gosh! this is awesome find. New to me -- but obviously not new as I found many sites doing this -- is this site I found yesterday: Three Beautiful Things. I find this fascinating, and so simple -- list three things that you consider beautiful, things that, as the site explains, "...amaze and delight".

Looking for things of beauty isn't always easy, especially when you have experienced a rotten day. But, recognizing the small things that we take for granted is surely an exercise that overtime could change your perspective on things. Isn't it better than bitching all the time about what is wrong? I know I do that far too often. So, here are 3 beautiful things I noticed today:

  • Removing the leaves from my koi pond was actually relaxing, despite the cold and blowing winds. The leaves drift slowly through the water as I move the net to capture them. The fish, at first startled by the disturbance of the leaf-blanket covering the pond, are curious for a few minutes, then continue on their graceful laps around the pond, swimming down towards the bottom, weaving in and out between the plants. I think I have a glimmer of understanding of zen gardens.

  • Occasionally long rambling phone calls with relatives who live across the country can be fun, even if you have to discuss unpleasant family things. Being able to chat, understanding each other enough to know when to make a wry joke, share a bit of black humor, is comforting and eases the distress of the things that aren't so much fun.

  • Apples on the verge of becoming mushy make great applesauce. I discovered today how easy it is to make: cut up some apples, add a little sugar, juice a lemon, sprinkle in ground cloves, and heat over medium flame for about 20 minutes until they liquefy. Stir about every 5 minutes so that you don't have a mess to scrap off the bottom of the pan. Hot applesauce = great comfort food on a blustery winter afternoon.

    (un)relaxeddad said...

    I definitely found that I read less and posted more - my normal routine is three or so posts a week (with the occasional extra short one) and a couple of 'binges' of reading of other people's blogs. Posting every day really put paid to that!

    Dorothy W. said...

    Great ideas! I'll be sending you an email soon. And I liked the way the last roundtable was posted over three days -- it made it easier to read and process.

    Emily Barton said...

    The roundtable experience was so awesome, I've actually been thinking someone ought to do a "roundtable" blog. Instead of memes, which are somewhat similar to roundtables, but whose answers are scattered all throughout the blogosphere, anyone who wants could join, and people could post one or two questions they'd like others to answer. Then all those who belong, could have a chance to post their thoughts on the questions and, of course, to comment on what the others were saying.