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Stages Of A New Blogger

10/26/06

  11:34:15 am, by Nimble   , 468 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Internet, People

Stages Of A New Blogger

Not authoritative in the slightest, but this is what I've observed, from a huge sample size of two people and inferences from elsewhere. Footnotes be gosh darned :)

Curiosity

The would-be blogger is finally curious enough to wonder what blogging is all about. Perhaps others have suggested they get a blog, perhaps they have read blogs and wonder what it would be like to author them. This stage can persist for years, or an hour.

Installation

This can be signing up for a blog elsewhere, or it can mean installing one on their own domain. If the installation or signup goes awry, whether the blogging software can't connect to the database or the signup procedures or password get lost, it can take a lot of will to try to get past this stage.

First Post

The first post is made, and it's obligatory to mention that it's a first post, as well as to comment on the probably temporary state of the entire thing. Some bloggers come with a mission to say one thing in particular. In either case, this may be the only entry, or there may be a few entries.

Silence

It's almost obligatory to have a silent period. It's natural to expect this artifact hanging out there on the web to garner a few comments. Sometimes a few comments come from close friends; that you'd expect. In either case, it may seem like the topic well has run dry. Some bloggers give up here, particularly if the investment was very small.

Second Wind

All of a sudden, the blogger now starts finding a few things they have some thoughts on. There is occasionally a smattering of philosophy, which will often be less present later.

Despair

A sense of the blog not being paid attention to, especially after such thoughtful posts, will start to overwhelm. The blogger may wonder why they're doing this. A little soul-searching is in order.

Reprieve

Playing around with the statistics tools can lead to a sense that even though there are no replies, the blog entries are being read. Referrers and referring searches take on a particular fascination. "Don't I read a lot of blogs and never or hardly ever reply?"

Anonymous Maturity

The pace may settle down, or the pace may not. More of the blogs entries are short reviews, or links to other fascinating things, with or without comment. This is a pretty relaxed stage.


I'd consider both Adam and I on here to be at the Anonymous Maturity stage. Anonymous Maturity is a relatively stress-free spot to be in; most popular blogs I see seem to require a lot of care and feeding. I would posit possible stages like Small Community, Provocateur Arrival and Defender Arrival, and Popular Maturity, but then I'd, well, have to do some actual research :)

2 comments

Comment from: Adam [Member]  
Adam

I think there’s also the note as to what the blogger specializes in. Ritchie, for example, focuses on obscure and complicated phenomena in science that requires either a PhD in some area of physics or a diploma from the Correspondence College of Ritchie to understand.

I, however, do short, fluffy pieces. With lots of punctuation. Sometimes intact grammar.

As for the first post, take a look at mine. Anything there that suggests “Oooh, look, a new blog?”

Anyway, what I do find interesting about doing the blog-thing is that it’s great for smalltalk. Not about the blog or blogging itself – that would be dull – but as a result of trying to pull together ideas to express them in writing; of reading about various issues and trying to understand them enough to convey lucidly as to what’s worthwhile about them. The blog itself ends up being an entertaining byproduct.

This shows up particularly in political blogs. They normally start off focused on something fairly mundane and then move progressively further into the weeds. In the US, I’d guess that the majority of right-wing blogs began life simply to discuss “Star Trek".

11/01/06 @ 15:35
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

I think there’s also the note as to what the blogger specializes in. Ritchie, for example, focuses on obscure and complicated phenomena in science that requires either a PhD in some area of physics or a diploma from the Correspondence College of Ritchie to understand.

Well, that and short book, movie and restaurant reviews :)

I think you managed to skip the first post stage through a lot of back-and-forth discussion (presuming your real first post isn’t lost to the four winds :) when we were talking about what a blog entails and topics like that. We’ve managed to kill your regular e-mail list, though :)

I remember Bryan Ewert’s blog - its first post definitely fit the pattern ;)

Anyway, what I do find interesting about doing the blog-thing is that it’s great for smalltalk… as a result of trying to pull together ideas to express them in writing

I find that I learn a whole lot when it comes to try expressing on the topics I do. It slows down my posting somewhat, but I’m driven to make sure that whatever assertions I’m making are supported somehow, and that leads me chasing down all sorts of links and information that bring me up to speed. There have been a couple of postings I had started and then needed to just steer to the side because of things that turned out to be urban legends, or just not as bad as I had worried about. Mostly, though, it’s just been an added learning experience to track down what other people are saying.

As far as right-wing blogs are concerned, I think it’s split down the middle (at least as far as ‘real’ blogs go, as opposed to “astroturf” blogs) between those that grew there and those that started there.

Started out right-wing: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/2002_05.php
Grew there over time: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?archive=022001 (with things like Lego Porn and new evidence of life on mars) to current day http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/ (anti-Kerry, anti-Islam 24/7)

(It was interesting just browsing through the Right Wing Blog Reviews here: http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=2854)

11/01/06 @ 22:47

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