Friday, July 27, 2007

What should I do with this blog?

I have gotten annoyed and bored with my blogging. Vacation cannot go on for ever. Note the poll at the top of the right sidebar. Suggestions in the comments are welcome. The idea that I would write pithy little sentences to help us remember that sense of right and wrong that Carl Rove has nearly erased from American discourse was where I began this blog but nothing particularly valuable seems to have come of that. And I am getting long winded as I age here.

As I have hinted, I find steady engagement in the outrageous politics of our times requires personality traits I don't wish to hypertrophy by exercise. The focus on wrongs and problems is natural but life is too short for taking shortcuts to feeling righteous. Rather, I'd like to work in a more positive and constructive way. Building things, solving problems or at least fixing things...these have been the essence of my professional life as an engineer and my also of my most rewarding hobbies. The course I seem to have gravitated to in this blog, while within the rhetorical fashions of the liberal blogosphere is just not on a satisfactory bearing.

The time it takes to blog interestingly and frequently does not exist in my life at this time, so this is partly a way of deciding what will have to give way. The talent to blog interestingly at any frequency may be lacking but readers will know what they think I do better and what worse. This is your big chance here to get what you want with flattery.

Note: "Fold it up until it is all sharp corners and stick it up where the sun don't shine." is not one of the options. Neither is "give it a rest", though I am doing that a bit just now. I may nearly be over my withdrawal symptoms from my hit counter addiction.

I linked this blog into a few causes: Saving the environment, ending the dark age of bushes and neocons and staving off the many collapses that dark age has fetched neigh. These causes I remain supportive of and for that reason, the blog may simply emerge as a less random outlet and relay station for the news and views supporting those causes. But if so, I am looking for ways to make some contribution to those causes others have overlooked.

To all who have left comments, I am particularly grateful as many of you have been fairly tactful and helped me see things differently. You are the flickering starlight of common sense in a black void of silently suffering masses and mindless numbing noise the telly says is the news.


doomsy said...

I just voted for "more wit, less words," a goal that I can aim for as well.

Yep, I know about "blogging fatigue." Sometimes it just gets too deep - best to go take a walk amidst nature, engage in some other recreational activity or consume your beverage of choice from time to time. Good luck with that.

Ed W said...

I went for more wit and less words, too. It's hard to stay on top of the news especially since there are so many media sources and bloggers already writing about the same stories. I think we need people who can analyze the stories and provide background and context, rather than an immediate reaction.

bhfrik said...

I went with political complaining. You can incorporate wit into your complaints if you want a twofer.

I'm with you though. Recently I have gotten a serious case of blogger blues. There really is so much worthy of comment, but so little that inspires me to actually post. I can't tell if I'm feeling overwhelmed by it all, or I just don't care like I used too. It's weird.

Anyway... update your blogroll! Toss up club lefty, I'll do likewise and we'll send each other thousands of hits a day! It can't fail!!!

Sister Novena said...

The key thing to remember is that this is your blog. You own it, you can do whatever you want with it, anytime you like. You can update it twelve times a day or you can leave it idle for months on end. You can write about any damn thing you feel like writing. Don't feel like you have to do anything for any of us -- we appreciate what you do, but I don't think any of us would presume to make demands.

So, write when you feel inspired, and when you don't, don't. It's harder than it sounds, but it's the path to righteous blog authorship.

Gerry said...

I think you need to really figure out what you're trying to achieve with your blog. Your blog won't change the world. It won't change voting patterns.

But maybe it's part of the rattle and hum of the healthy political discourse in the blogosphere. Like, one voice at a mass protest is drowned-out and seemingly inconsequential, but if the owner of that voice goes home for those reasons, it's a sad thing for the mass protest.

Just keep ranting... at least until the Theromhaline Pump stops working...

Davo said...

Greensmile, I first became interested in this blog for its gentle, deep, articulate and literate wisdom and watched it change into a very angry political focus.

Yes, you have the other outlets, but this one seems to held the readers.

I don't have any answers, just keep doing what you feel suits you.

Best wishes, D

Mick said...

1. Second doomsy concerning blogging fatigue. That's as good a prescription as any. We all get it, all suffer from it at one point or another, and as a writer I can tell you categorically that most writers suffer from it - that's where "writer's block" comes from.

2. Second sister novena. She's got a point. There are no rules here. There are bloggers who post six time a day and bloggers who post six times a year. That's what RSS readers are for - to tell us when somebody we like writes a new post.

Of course, if you are as you suggest a hit-slut, you'll have to prepare yourself to lose the casual readers and the readers who will only visit sites with frequent or at least regular posting. It seems to be some sort of law that when you post less frequently, your readership deteriorates, and once it's gone, I can testify that it's very hard to get it back.

3. Second - and third - gerry. It sounds to me as if you're expecting too much from blogging. There are definite limitations to its effectiveness that we all eventually understand and have to accept. However, there are things you can do to expand your influence and your audience, such as commenting on heavily-trafficked sites or starting a diary at a community site like dKos or Talk to Action that concentrates on your main focus. You don't need to write new posts, just copy-and-paste your favorites. It's called "cross-posting", and it can enlarge your audience significantly with zero extra work as well as give you new energy and broaden your personal scope.

4. Let the wit slide. As far as I can tell, it's not your forte. Anger can be exhausting, yes, but it's also the most appropriate response to what's going on. If you're not angry, you're an enabler.

Ride the anger instead. See where it takes you. Remember, Tom Paine was pissed off, too.

GreenSmile said...

I am listing intently.

I value every word put here so far, even if I can't follow all the advice and still one blogger be.

Y'all seem to know the territory though by different paths than mine.

Gerry said...

I believe the Bismarck was listing intently too... Just before she went to the bottom... :-)

etbnc said...

My impression from both the poll and these comments is that different readers come here seeking different things. Sometimes one size doesn't fit all, I guess.

I was just thinking about my poll vote and my earlier comments and my personal enjoyment of this blog, and whether those things overlap. :)

We bloggers write to fulfill a need. Or needs. (Well, don't we?) We readers read to fulfill a need. Or needs. Sometimes those various needs intersect and overlap. Sometimes, not so much, huh?

I'd like to see Greensmile continue to write because I'd like to continue to selfishly enjoy reading it. But that's my need as a reader, not Greensmile's need as a writer.

I enjoy the epigrams and the bits of poetry and the offhand thoughts. I enjoy the raw political rants, too, but they don't really influence me. I already agree with their motivation and I have already allocated my time and effort toward particular world-changing causes. But that's just me.

My own blog is deliberately aimed toward an apolitical audience (as best I can manage). So I probably won't link to political rants, much as I enjoy them myself. I might link to the green-living experiences, if I ever get my act together about such things.

On several occasions I've clicked through to something linked here, and been glad I did. So that's another source of value. I seem to recall the original format of the weblog was just to log interesting web sites. Sprinkled liberally with Greensmile's trademark commentary, that might be another approach to continuing the site with somewhat less commitment.

I'll wrap up this meandering comment by agreeing with sister novena. Do what you need to do, GS.


jack said...

You write too well to quit. Write less if you have to, but don't cure yourself of this mind virus just yet. For me, I'm taking the cure. My version of the virus caused my divided mind to argue with its parts until, battle weary, they stopped and decided intercourse was better than discourse.

You do perform a service for those who read your words by provoking thought. We who like to be provoked enjoy that, but those who sleep generally avoid the annoyance by moving to a quieter spot. So thoughtful provocation never helps them much.

Writing about problems too much sometimes twists the mind to see the world and life itself as a problem. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a wine to be sipped, a mountain to be scaled, and a tale to be shared. So pick a new mountain, climb it to see a different view, sip the wine generously, and share the tale -- hopefully here.

The best