About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
Scripture of the Moment 2 Nephi 2:27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
The views and opinions expressed herein are not attributable to my employer, Blogger, Google, those who link to me, or anyone other than the author (as indicated). Comments of visitors are the responsibility of the invididuals posting. No responsibility is taken for the content of materials linked to from this site. Any questions relating to the administration of this site or its content should be directed to Sarah Marie Parker-Allen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- If I mention something that's been published and is still available on the Internet, I will link to it. Well, if I know it's there, anyway.
-- Once I've posted something, I will not make substantive changes to the body of the post. Any changes will be noted with an "EDIT" tag at the bottom of the post in question, or will be noted in a subsequent post. Typos, stylistic errors, and link updates will occur, without time limit (though if it's been a while, I'll let you know). If I really really regret a post, it's likely I'll post about cats or something for a while in pennance. You've been warned.
-- If I find something through the efforts of another blogger (in fact, of anyone I can link to), I'll credit them with a link (the style of such a link is pretty much up to my mood, so don't expect consistency in that area).
-- My comment policy is listed below.
I like comments, and I'll keep them activated. HOWEVER, if you want to start a flamewar, go somewhere else. If you want to get me to start arguing with you about Ohio State vs. Michigan, whether Mormons are Christian, how stupid being spoiler free is, or pretty much anything else inflamatory (inflamatory is in the eye of me in this case -- if you don't trust my judgement, too bad), go somewhere else. All links to pornography, all instances of vulgar language, and anything else I don't think is appropriate for my sisters, brother, neice, and nephew to see (ages 1-18), or quite frankly appropriate for ME to see, will be edited as I see fit (probably with links to something else, or alternate words, or what have you). All spam comments, including blatant off-topic self-promotion, will be deleted. If you've been banned, feel free to email me; if you're uncivil, please know that I'm interested in finding out exactly how many people I can add to my killfile without bringing my processer speed to zero, and don't mind using your address in my experiments. I reserve the right to delete and/or ban anyone I want. If you need to say it that badly, go get your own blog. They're free, you know.
A Note About Chatting and Emails
I'm not what you would call an extremely social or extraverted person. As a matter of fact, I tend to test 100% introvert on Myer-Briggs and other personality profile tests. Therefore, please be aware that most of the time, if I don't already know you (either in person or through weeks/months/years of email contact) the chances are I won't be very talkative if you IM me. I like having a long time to consider what I say, and that goes double for what I say to total strangers. Please don't think me scary, rude, hateful, or even just someone in a perpetual bad mood, if chat efforts are unsuccessful. Quite frankly, it's probably better for you to go find someone else to chat with, unless you have something significant to say. And if it's that important, you should probably email me. Which reminds me to let you know now that if you do choose to email me, it might be days, weeks, months, years, or never before I email you back. It takes a lot of energy for me to come up with replies to random inquiries from strangers, and most of the time there's something I'd rather be doing instead. Your understanding is appreciated. I'm not saying don't try, I'm just saying -- have minimal expectations, okay? Thanks. Oh, and if you DO know me, don't treat this statement as an excellent excuse not to talk to me. You know who you are.
I LOVE CLAY SHIRKY,
Because he always manages to say something that makes a lot of sense and helps clarify an issue which (though it may be back in the recesses of my brain, in the "I don't have time to deal with this" section) has bugged me for a while. It's a little creepy, to be honest. Anyway, today he clarified the problem I think all bloggers (and all webmasters, of whom bloggers are a subset) face, and one of the problems that I personally haven't bothered addressing through gargantuan efforts to be either really interesting or really well-publicized:
Users are busy, they are creatures of habit, and there is significant
competition for their attention.
One would assume that the best way, therefore, to get them to come and use your site (in my case, read my blog, click on my links, and comment on my posts) would be to make such usage take very little effort, be easily adaptable into a set of habits, and vie for their attention in ways that outstrip one's competitors. Tools like BlogRolls and RSS feeds help on the first point; people like Howard Stern and Ann Coulter and Al Franken and so forth seem to be the benchmark for the third. But it's InstaPundit and eBay that really demonstrates solutions to the second point: being useful to one's constituents is the best way to ensure they make using you a habit. There's also being exceptionally talented and interesting (think Lileks, or SamizData), but at least in my personal case, those factors alone aren't enough to ensure consistent readership; if life interrupts, visits may be put off for days or weeks or (if you're really bad, like me) months. Moreover, if life really interrupts, they aren't the first ones to be checked when you start reading again; I started with Glenn Reynolds first, then as he linked to people and I remembered liking them, I would go back and read them. Right now I'm at about 25% of my pre-Christmas reading level -- my first visit back to Andrew Sullivan was this afternoon, as was my first return to Jeff Jarvis' site and SamizData. And I used to read them every day, as a matter of course, because they were interesting and entertaining; I returned to InstaPundit and Steven denBeste far sooner, because they are useful.
Which, of course, begs the question of whether I want to attempt to be useful, myself. I'm not sure at this point, but it seems like the sounder road to being a writer whose words are actually read, instead of merely posted. And of course, it'd also help if I actually put some content on the blog (yes, I am working on that essay -- it's going to take longer than I first thought, because I'm trying to answer a question that requires a lot of research). posted by Sarah at 10:16 PM. |