Monday, December 08, 2008
I've spent basically the whole day blogging, tweaking, widgeting and microblogging, and yet I'm just now getting over here to the Outpost for still more blogging. Most of my effort today was spent on St. Michael's-related pages. The latest announcements have been posted to the Life at St. Michael & All Angels news blog, newly-edited photos of the Advent International Bazaar have been posted to Picasa and the St. Michael's Arts blog, and a widget showing St. Michael's news blog entries has replaced a single static photo on the church web site's main page. I've also added a Twitterfeed for the second church blog and my other two main personal blogs, so that a new entry on any of them will appear on Twitter as a title, a first line and a link. And the fiction blog has a new entry - well, okay, most of it's over a year and a half old, but who's counting?
So what's with all the blogs? None of them are new, and they each have a different purpose. Father Smith started Life at St. Michael & All Angels over four years ago as the parish's first web presence, a place to post news and sermons. He soon turned it over to me, and I spun off a conventional web site and, eventually, a second parish blog for art, poetry, photography, etc. from parishioners. Unfortunately, I've been darn near the only person ever to contribute to it, but it's still a good idea.
Way back when I first started blogging in March 2004, my only blog was Musings from Mâvarin over on AOL. Nowadays that exists as an archived version on Blogger. I don't know whether I will ever post to it again; the Outpost basically replaced it in November 2005. By then I had started two more personal blogs. Messages from Mâvarin was for fiction, and for a while I was even able to keep up the posting schedule. Mâvarin and Other Inspirations was to have a LiveJournal account for commenting to friends' LJs, and secondarily for writing about writing plus the occasional meme. At the moment I'm using it to geek out on Doctor Who.
Keeping up with multiple blogs by one person can be a pain, including for the person doing the blogging. After successfully completing three long-running serials on Messages, I got stuck on a fourth one, fiddled with other, allegedly easier content, and then basically abandoned the blog for many months. I stopped doing quizzes and most other memes besides Round Robin, the Weekend Assignment and the Monday Photo Shoot, so I let Inspirations slide also.
But I've recently picked up the ball again, for a couple of reasons. A little over a week ago, I urgently wanted to write about Doctor Who not just in a casual reader, "you should watch it" way, but in depth, carrying on about stuff you've have to be a fan to have a clue about. I don't want to bore non-fans with that, so it went into Inspirations. Then on Saturday I learned from Scalzi on Whatever that AOL's Ficlets site was going the way of AOL Journals, AOL Hometown and AOL Pictures - which is to say, into oblivion. Ficlets are (or were) a sort of microfiction, extreme short shorts limited to 1024 characters each, including spaces, which you could sort of get around by stringing togher a bunch of "sequels." The darn site glitched every time I tried to log in with the OpenID under which I'd written my paltry five contributions, but today I managed to save all five to M.S. Word, and tonight I posted three of them to Messages.
Does this mean you need to start checking all my blogs to keep up with what I'm posting? Only if you really want to. Fortunately for us all, there are now a number of easy ways to keep track of such things withough email alerts or a blog feed reading service such as Bloglines. I love Blogger's "followers" function in conjunction with the blogroll sidebar gadget. If you follow a blog, you can see a snippet of its most recent post toward the bottom of your Blogger dashboard. The blogroll gadget will display the same thing on your sidebar. It's a fast and easy way to see what's new, and whether it looks interesting enough to rush off and read. Much the same thing is accomplished by Twitterfeed, which is now telling Twitter and Facebook what I've recently posted on all five blogs. More and more lately, I'm using Twitter or my own sidebar to get to friends' most recent and intriguing postings.
So that's how I'm getting around these days. How about you? Since installing yet another widget on my sidebar to track where people are arriving from, I've been fairly fascinated with the results. Many the hits it's recording are on archive pages from months or years ago, in search of an image seen on Google, or "Played Jimmy Bean in PollyAnna", or jobless toy maker begging street. (Huh?) A few people are looking for porn, and and disappointed. And I'm a little suprised to learn that my #1 and #2 all time entries are "Fairness to George, Part One" and "Fairness to George, Part Two." Apparently I'm far from the only person who still remembers and cares about poor old George Maharis.