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Location, Location, Location: Blogging in Place February 23, 2006

Posted by Yvonne in beginner blogger.

I’m having a problem. I want to blog. I can think of a million things to write about. I have ideas. I have brilliant notions. I want to share and connect and see what others are writing.

And I’m not at the computer.

I’m on my way to the shower because my schedule says I’m due somewhere in a few hours. I’ve got emails to respond to. I’m on the BART train. I’m walking in downtown SF. I’m doing the laundry or headed to Starbucks. I’m parking. I’ve got my hands full, and the handbag slung over my shoulder is stuffed with stuff to deal with on the way to and from wherever my Almighty Agenda tells me I will be today.

Now I wish I had a Blackberry – but that would take two hands. I suppose I could voice mail it somewhere. Or maybe I need a voice activated techno-something or other.

In the midst of reading Naked Conversations, (yes, nude this morning in bed), I got to Chapter 8: Blogs and National Cultures. The authors talk about how different countries are showing markedly different blog rates likely mitigated by cultural biases and varying degrees of openness to openness. The French are ahead of the Germans, the Japanese ahead of the Chinese, the US is ahead of lots of folks …

But maybe it’s because we’re not doing anything else.

Or maybe we have mastered delegation, like Leclerc who dictates his daily posts to his secretary. Or maybe we’re more disciplined and, having had a balanced breakfast, chewed every bite 50 times, and flossed all our teeth, we sit dutifully to blog for 30 minutes a day.

My real problem is that the blogbug gets me anytime, anywhere. It especially gets me:

  1. when I’m in conversation with someone about something new or intriguing, or
  2. when I’m walking about, wandering and wondering.

And I’ve got to say, those two things take up most of my day, despite all the other checkbox items that are regularly scheduled and do mostly happen.

Yup, my blogbug bites frequently.

For instance, yesterday it was the conversation with my mechanic, then the elevator incident, then the “oops, was really productive but now too late for the parking lot guys – no key for the car now – are you going to leave it in downtown SF all night?” walk-BART-taxi-BART-walk-whew-drive home way later than planned mini-trauma drama that only officially ended today when I returned to the scene to retrieve the properly protected key … all great stuff for a blog.

I’m finding there’s so much to reflect on, inquire about …

Maybe bloggers blog because they are awake. And listening.

There’s obviously something going on in their heads. There’s obviously something wanting to be said, brought forth into conversation – global, open, accessible conversation. And those folks who are blogging are simply giving themselves over to that. For me, it’s a discovery, an exploration, an unending inquiry. I never know what’s coming. I’m just typing the thing that’s here, and after that’s out, there’s some next thing coming behind it. That’s all. Like my friend Bob Muson, the fine artist, says: “All you have to do to be a painter is move the paint from the palette to the canvas.”

Bottom Line: So I now have a blog-o-problem about managing when and where and also about keeping track of all the possible whats … so, to start, I’m going to take on the 30 minutes a day strategy and see how that goes.

Future Potential Inquiries: Tools and Best Practices for Mobile Blogging


1. Omar from Texas - February 24, 2006

hmmm have you thought about bringing an audio recorder with you? or *gasp* idea notebook to *write*… i know it’s old school.

2. Yvonne - February 24, 2006

Yeah, that’s what I’m doing now – idea book for a capture device. But I end up with bits and pieces, and piles of not yet done blogs ideas. Ideally, I’d be able to blog (including idea development like editting and looking at it and all the things I mash and slash before editting) and then also post on the run …

Maybe the audio recorder would be an improvement – then I’d need some way to post immediately … but that would be a audio clip – not so editable, I’d guess. It would certainly be a new medium for me.

3. dorai - February 26, 2006

I go through a similar problem. While driving to meetings, listening to NPR, showering, walking, exercising.

While driving:
I wait near a traffic signal, jot down a few blog ideas.

In most of the other cases, I hold on to the idea, repeat it to myself and when I get to my laptop, I just put into my Google Scratchpad. This gets promoted to blog-ideas folder. But you are right, it is filling up faster than I can empty it.

My blogging is mostly reactive. I read or hear something and I go and make an entry. But I an trying to slow down. Think deeper and post less frequently. It is not the writing part that takes time, but choosing which one of the topics I have to blog on.

Right now I am saved because my reading (blogs) to writing ratio is about 50 to 1.

4. Yvonne - February 28, 2006

And it happened again this morning … driving back from breakfast with dear friend Stephen, and he’s talking about a topic that I just recently blogged. It was brilliant – 2-3 blocks of blog-extending conversation … and then … I got home … he helped troubleshoot my cell’s handsfree headset … and then was gone … and then I handled a client thing and setup Thursday’s meetings and … now, darn if I can remember what that conversation was? (Perhaps he’ll post and we can all remember.)

Dorai, I’m encouraged by your Blog Reading Ratio … since I’m so new I’ve not yet setup RSS feeds – but learned about that with Next Now folks last Friday.

And so I’m going to institute a new measure: height/weight/number of entries in the “Not Blogging Now” pile! Problem is, right now I keep this stuff in 3 places: the physical folder/pile/snippet notes, a Task List in Outlook, and a bunch of draft Posts in WordPress. I think what I will have to do is pick one place to keep ’em, and then set a threshold that triggers dedicated BlogTime (or at least dedicated clean out the Not Blogging Now pile).

Also I’ve found that blogging about the past doesn’t really work. For instance, I had a really cool couple of topics at the first of the year, but now they are a bit musty; my energy has moved on. For me, blogging is very much a “right now” phenomenon. Even if I’m writing about something that has already happened, I’ve got to feel it, re-member it, in the present for the writing to be even the least bit interesting. And then there will always be an element of aliveness.

So maybe that’s a clue … I have a calligraphy I did some years back, a quote from Picasso: “If a work of art cannot live always in the present, it must not be considered at all.”

Perhaps the only thing worthy of blogging is that sort of conversation, artful expressions of self – which maybe only exists now.

5. dorai - August 2, 2006

I realized that the way I blog changed a bit. I realized that when I was doing an entry for a group-blogging workshop. For the first half of the year, my blogs were reactive. I would see some news or read a blog and post.

Now I am more proactive. I think about a topic, a set of related topics and settle down to write one. I still react to books and blogs I read but now I no longer rush to blog about them. I think a bit during the week and do some burst blogging during the weekends.


This a blog where I talk about why currency of information does not matter for all blogs.

6. Conscious Connections » Tossing the Sofa: Productivity for 2006 + 8 months - August 11, 2006

[…] After reading today’s Best Blog’s Unconventional Blogging Advice and Dorai’s post on subject blogging just now, I don’t feel so bad skipping out for the last two months! […]

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