Things To Act
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Postblogging the BlogTalk
My wife and I decided to go to a physics department seminar on chaos and complex systems for our weekly date this week. This might sound even more atypical than our "do our taxes" date.

Fortunately, this wasn't a technical lecture; instead, Ann Althouse talked about blogging and the self-organizing aspects of millions of writers forming a community. It seemed like an interesting audience to prepare a talk for--there were obviously people there who read (and write) blogs, but the talk also had to cover enough basic material that people who don't know much about blogs could get an idea of what this is all about.

The talk itself was quite interesting; there were a lot of questions about everything from why people bother writing to how blogs gain readership to the possibility of isolating oneself in a sea of similar opinions. The answer to most of the questions was (as it is with most generalizing questions) "It depends," followed by a list of possible answers. There are enough people with enough different reasons for writing that giving short answers about "blogging in general" is difficult.

It was interesting to hear how her blog went from 40 readers a day or so to its current 4500, although wide readership is not always what people want in a blog. Even though I think my coblogger's suggestions about voting should be widely discussed, improved, and eventually enacted, some of the other posts here assume a knowledge of LDS culture and practice that a wider readership is not going to have. And, as Professor Althouse pointed out in her talk, playing the "increase readership" game can make you lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place.

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