29 November 2008

10 Things I've Learned From Blogging Every Day

What I've learned from NaBloPoMo participation this year:
    1. Writing every day is damn hard work.

    2. I am not content to just throw anything on my blog. I am too much of a perfectionist to not write, rewrite, edit, proof. And then go back to make adjustments if I don't like how the paragraphs align on the page. And then edit some more. I realize that sounds just a bit compulsive.

    3. I spend less time reading other's blogs when I'm posting every day. I think that others participating in NaBloPoMo have less time to read blogs too.

    4. I didn't have any time to visit the NaBloPoMo site and see how others were doing. If I read anybody participating, it was only because I already had them on my blogroll. I want to spend time in December visiting some sites of participants I haven't read in the past. I hope to post about some of them in the next month.

    5. I didn't have any problem coming up with ideas to write about, and wrote about a variety of topics. I don't think I could have selected a theme and written about it for 30 days.

    6. I had difficulties finding the time to write.

    7. Since I made the commitment to do this, I was unwilling to not post on certain days and found a way to do so despite two trips, bone-aching fatigue on a few days, work and family commitments. This dedication meant that there was more than one evening where I found myself falling asleep at the keyboard. If only I had the same commitment to other areas of my life!

    8. I think my visit stats increased (I hadn't checked them in a long time), but only because there were additional hits from random, odd queries (see below).

    9. I like writing longer posts and I hope to continue to do so in the future. I'm considering creating some sort of regular writing prompt that others can participate in by contributing longer, more essay-like posts on their blogs, perhaps on a monthly basis. More details later.

    10. I will be making a donation to Water Partners International for at least $80, based on the 80 comments posted this month. This may increase based on additional comments I receive in the next few days on my NaBloPoMo posts. I want to continue to have some sort of charity tie-in to my blog and am working on something that other bloggers can participate in as well. Details to follow on how and for which charity. This may possibly be a lending team on Kiva and I'm leaning towards something related to reading and education. Emily has already indicated an interest. If you're interested too, email me or leave a comment.

After participating in NaBloPoMo for two years, I don't think that I will do it again. However, I hope that I will post more regularly. There have been a few months this year where I only posted two or three times. I'm hoping I can stay motivated to post two or three times a week. This was a beneficial exercise and helped my blogertia, that condition of lack of motivation to blog as named by Bloglily a few months ago.

Here are some stats from this month:
  • Posted once every day, and three times posted additional posts.

  • Used 26 different tags:
    • using one tag five times
    • two tags four times each
    • Four tags three times each
    • five tags twice.
    • Most popular were: miscellany, food, politics, art, books, blogging, life, NYC

  • I linked to other posts 57 times.

  • Posted one you-tube link and 19 pictures, but only one post was dedicated to photos with only minimal words.

  • Had 669 unique visitors according to StatCounter, with an average of 23/day.

  • Only did one meme, but I wrote a lot of commentary on it, which was not part of the meme. Did one quiz.

  • Hits:
    • Oddest hit from google query this month: Toss up between ounces in #2 cam and black and white picture of Paul Newman in bath.
    • Most frequent hit query: concept that heaven is 3 feet up.
    • Query I found the funniest: someone in Denmark who returned to my site a few times with the query I peed my pants.
    • Seven queries took the inquirer to landing pages from last year's NaBloPoMo.
    • Queries that most pleased me: Four related to the opera Dr. Atomic and the aria from that opera based on John Donne's sonnet Batter My Heart 3-person'd God

    Congratulations to all who undertook the NaBloPoMo Challenge this month. Give yourself a round of applause!

    Charlotte said...

    Well done to you, Cam! I am a bit like you and try to post quality, which is why I didn't do the NaBlo this year - it takes too much out of me and my family.

    However, it is interesting to see what we learn from posting every day, and I look forward to hearing your voice more frequently now that you have decided to do so. I am also interested in those essay posts. Well done also for linking your blog to charity - it is something I am going to think about too.

    Kay said...

    Well done Cam. I look forward to reading what eventuates from your plans.

    Cam said...

    Charlotte, your posts are always very articulate, well-thought out. I don't know how you do it! Check back here for info on the essay posts.

    Kay - I've appreciated your comments all month!

    Dorothy W. said...

    I've enjoyed your daily posts, Cam! I loved the way I came up with idea after idea for posts when I posted everyday, but it's not something most people can do for long. It's good to know I'm capable of it, though! I'm looking forward to your longer posts and your prompts.

    Erin Swanson said...

    We caught wind of your post and that you were going to make a donation - in advance, thank you! Thank you for mentioning us, sharing with others about the global water crisis and our organization, and for wanting to support those we serve with a gift of clean water. Blog on!

    Best regards,

    Erin Swanson
    Communications Specialist
    WaterPartners International