This is my 350th post according to WordPress, and so I thought this felt like enough of a milestone to consider writing a post that reflects on my blog as whole, a sort of meta-post. Its now almost 2.5 years since i began posting, and the range of topics I’ve covered is now huge, but above all, its been enjoyable thus far.
So there’s possibly a few things which are worth picking up on. First, some of my topic selections. I use an “RSS Feed” reader so I don’t have to visit individual websites every single day. Everyone should have a feed reader, probably not quite set up like mine though. Google provides one, but I prefer Bloglines as its less commercial, though its gotten more so.
Any website that I find myself visiting regularly I check to see if they have a “Feed” and then add it to Bloglines, which monitors it for me. This means most of my trips online involve just three websites: WordPress, Bloglines and Facebook (plus email via Thunderbird). This doesn’t mean I don’t see other websites, but with around 60 BBC headline snippets to read each day, I have to do some fast reading and very fast decision making on possible topic-material.
Obviously, this doesn’t account for all my posts. Many posts are just spur-of-the-moment, or things I’ve been pondering for a few days before eventually getting them down “on paper”. I try to vary topics, avoiding putting too many things under Climate Change or Activism, and did at one point aim to have one religious and one activist post a week, though I mostly just forgot about that idea.
So what makes me decide to write on a topic. Sometimes its spur of the moment, a reaction to an event either in my life or “out there”. Occasionally the post I write has very little to do with the issue in my life that caused it, but if I sound pissed off its often because something completely separate has happened and I’m taking it out on an issue. Sometimes its something on saved (“kept new” on bloglines) that I’ve only just got round to writing about, often meaning its the second or third time I’ve read the news report.
I tend to be particularly keen to write about things where I feel the BBC has put two sides to a story, neither of which takes into account the experiences of the poorest, or where I feel I might have something specific to offer. Other times its just because I feel there’s an injustice going on. I try not to write on topics just because I know lots of people will want to read about them, but there’s a few topics (like when I blog about the BNP or British National Party) that are bound to get people viewing my blog, though mostly because people are sad enough to spend their days looking for an anti-BNP blog post to troll-comment. Its a sad fact of life that if you don’t cause controversy, a post is unlikely to be appealing to large numbers of people.
On average I must write about 3000 words in a 5-post week, down to 1800 in a week where I only post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I aim to write something like 600 words per post. You may have noticed they get quite long. This is because I usually over run, often going to a thousand. Believe it or not, I often edit down posts and occasionally decide not to publish a post I’ve written, though usually if this happens, I don’t write the whole post. Occasionally I start writing on a topic with no idea if there’s a viable post to be written, just because I’m short of ideas.
Anyhow, suggestions are always welcome, but as ever, I’ll decide whether to use them. Its been great having so many people spend so much time reading my stuff; sometimes daunting, sometimes embarrassing and often humbling. Here’s to another 350 posts!
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