Obviously a follow-up to my last post, Why
Like the Why Blog? post, this is partly a repetition of something I
posted before, at least once. But some of these points bear
repeating, if only to remind myself.
One thing is that I always use an free-standing editor
to write posts. The reason is simple: it lets me save
frequently, and to save to my own disk. I’m less likely to
lose something I’d rather not lose. Of course I also use
Firefox, too. No need to elaborate on that. Plus I
use Linux, usually Sabayon.
That stems from the belief that one should not use something
expensive if something inexpensive will do, and not use something
inexpensive, if something free will do. And, for that matter,
to not use anything, when nothing will do. But it is hard to
blog with nothing, so I have to use something.
More importantly, I try to remember to poke around and see if anyone
else has posted recently on the same topic. I used to use Blogpulse
to do that, but now I am more likely to just search ScienceBlogs.
The advantage to that is that I am less likely to post something that
is ill-informed, or that is merely repetitious. The
disadvantage is that I often find that someone else has already done a
decent enough job on the topic, which has led me to post less
frequently. Or, instead of posting something that is really
detailed, I will just add or highlight one or two points.
Another part of how I blog, is that I make an effort to survey some
other blogs before I start writing. This is not necessarily
an effort to review the topic I am going to write about.
Rather, it is a habit developed from the observation that in
order to write well, you have to read things that are well-written.
The last point to make, something that had not occurred to me until I
P’s comment to the last post, is this: from time to time I
have to re-evaluate what motivates me to blog. Greg noted
that the posts that got the most comments were “populist stuff,” things
he avoids blogging about now.
There is always a tension there, for me. It is nice to get
comments. But is is a bit frustrating that the more work I
put into a post — the more carefully thought out it is — the fewer
comments I get.
So the last part of how I blog is this: from time to time, I go around
and try to thing of meaningful comments to posts that people have
obviously put a lot of work into. I think this sharpens my