Monday, August 22, 2005

Feeding The Blog

I have a whole ritual with the Sunday paper. Naturally, I read the comics first. But before that I sort all the ads that come wrapped with the comics. My wife reads Parade, so I set that aside. I also pull out the Best Buy and CompUSA ads so I can indulge in a little technolust. I usually set aside for later reading the Book Reviews and the Washington Post Magazine section to read after I finish the main paper. Articles in the magazine tend to be very long and more than I want to tackle on Sunday morning.

Lately though I have had to at least skim through it first. I have become a regular reader of Gene Weingarten’s Chatological Humor (Tuesdays With Moron) chat that appropriately enough happens Tuesdays at noon. Gene also writes a humor column in the back of the magazine and this weekly column is now syndicated trying to get it’s share of the Dave-Barry-is-on-hiatus-and-we-need-to-fill-that-newshole-cheap market.

As such, his column is frequently mentioned in the chat. To be current, I’ll quickly read the column on the back page of the WaPo Magazine before setting it aside and returning to the comics. The WPM is also where they hide the Sunday Dilbert, so I have to fan through the magazine to find that.

Yesterday I ran across a headline with the word blog in the title so I stopped and read that too. Joel Achenbach is another WaPo staff writer who keeps an honest to God blog called, either unoriginally or cleverly, depending on your viewpoint, the Achenblog. His article titled The Tail That Wags The Blog, which since it really saw print and thus technically narrowly avoids being a meta-blog post, is the funniest and truest thing I have ever read about blogging.

Keeping a blog current is insanely harder than I thought. At any given time, I have a half-dozen or more good ideas, but finding the time and energy to actually execute the concept can be exhausting. A blog is a ravenous beast that needs to be kept current or it falls into neglect.

I read a lot of magazines lately instead of books. It’s not that I think of magazines as being better than books; they just have a greater sense of urgency. You might as well not read a month old Time magazine, but that 800 page Neal Stephenson novel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

I probably post to my blog rather than other needed cyberchores out a sense of duty and compulsion. The Achenblog gets thousands of hits daily and regularly collects over 200 comments per post. Thank goodness I don’t have that sort of pressure. How about them sour grapes?

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14 comments:

srp said...

Here from Michele. Down in rainy, humid, Virginia beach. I have a teenage daughter....hmm, at least for ten more months, then 20 hits. This dawned on her the other day and she seemed almost amazed. I just feel glad to have survived the teen years.
Have a good day.

Ian C. said...

Hey, thanks for your comment on my blog. As much as I enjoy blogging, I'm sometimes surprised how much work it involves. I always thought I pressured myself to blog regularly because I didn't want to be one of those people who started out strong for a month, only to give it up when I got bored. (And I hate those "sorry I've been away for two months" blogs.) But maybe it's been the blog itself tugging on my shirt all this time.

Regarding Achenblog, I think it's an awful (and as you said, entirely too self-referential) name, yet I think it's funny coming from Joel Achenbach. Does that make any sense?

yellojkt said...

There's a certain ring to the "bach" vs "blog". It wouldn't work for most other names like Weingartenblog or Tony Korneisenblog. Joel just got lucky.

Anonymous said...

800 page Neal Stephenson Novel....I can relate. :D

kenju said...

No sour grapes here; I wouldn't want 200 comments a day either, as it would be too much pressure to perform on a high level for months on end. I don't think I have it in me! You might though - you really might.

Michele sent me.

kenju said...

I had to come back and tell you that now you have done it! I just read Achenblog and of course, it went immediately into my favorites list. All I need is another blog I MUST read everyday - but it seems I do. Thanks for the link. He is excellent.

deputyswife said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate your supportive comments on my job prospect. My dad always told me to wow 'em and work hard. They won't let you go if you do that. I don't know if that rings true anymore, but I am sticking with his philosophy!

As far as reading. Some days I don't even know where to begin. The newspaper, blogs, the books, magazines. Not to mention reading to my children everyday. Recently, I have started to listen to books on cd's. I have been really liking that. I can do my little things and listen to a great story. Though I feel guilty about not actually reading a book.

colleen said...

Personally, I'm technophobic (also known as tech-no-logic), so I don't even know what I'm doing with a blog. But it has kept me from reading actual newspapers as much as I used to. I loved the piece on blogging by Achenbach, and I'm glad someone is still reading newspapers and finding these gems. Thanks for sharing it!

trusty getto said...

I get all my news online (not only from the Onion, mind you). Blogging does take time, but it keeps me quiet, as I don't feel the need to spout off as much in my non-online life, if you know what I mean.

Dave said...

Hello, Michele sent me. It's the weekend meet-n-greet!

Technolust... great word! My favorite part of the Sunday paper (Boston Globe) is the crossword. Rarely finish it 100% but I like the challenge.

melinama said...

OK, this is a "Michele Sent Me," but I actually am reading your blog backwards (I'm in August now, as you see) with interest and pleasure. Looking forward to more...

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It will not really have success, I feel this way.
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