Blogging is a two way conversation – even though it often doesn't feel like it. I've been getting some very nice comments and feeling like perhaps I'm making headway in developing a style and content that has value to you – my reader.
I'm not setting the world afire with my incomparable wisdom and wit. But that's ok, I'm not really trying to do that. Some have asked me how often I update this blog. Honestly, I don't have a routine schedule…I normally try to write something at least once or twice a week….sometimes more, sometimes less. It depends on all sorts of factors in my life right now that are unpredictable.
Others have asked where I get my information. That's a bit more challenging to answer. I've been on this planet for more than 65 years now – seen a few things, been taught a few things, had some successes and made a lot of mistakes, too. I read a lot and pay a great deal of attention to life around me. I've been criticized for being too laid back for my own good. My experiences as a writer working for businesses, newspapers, schools, and others has taught me a great deal about how communications and the media work. And, the Internet has opened many doors to understanding beyond my wildest dreams.
Being a student of philosophy I find myself accepting guidance from such as Rene Descartes who said "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am.) Beyond that I take joy in the ability that technology has given us so I talk about whatever I'm thinking in the current. time. I figure I'm not the only person who sees things like I do….But, I'm also not hell bent on convincing anyone that I'm right and they're wrong, either. I welcome the opinions of others who may have different views than I do. And that is primarily where I get my ideas…from others who share their visions and wisdom with me.
There are serious challenges with the internet in general and with blogging specifically when it comes to trying to use these tools to their maximum potential Those challenges fall heavily into areas of relevancy, accuracy and effectiveness. .:
- I am conscious, therefore, of the importance of maintaining dates on everything in this blog. And, I deliberately seek out the dates on all websites and internet posts. Some believe they should not use dates…They think it gives the appearance of fresh content with less work. .But I believe following this practice we water down the value of the materials we're sharing with each other. I'm highly suspect of anyone who does not think that's important. I don't suggest that we just delete everything that's old. Sometimes that information is critical to our understanding of what''s current and new. But, I do maintain that all information needs to be put into context – that's a whole lot more important than just putting it into sterile databases Even "evergreen" materials need to be reviewed from time to time.
- Selection of content is very important. This blog is aimed at being relevant to others who are much like me – normal people living and working in a rapidly changing world. The topics range from topics that I think will appeal to writers (and would-be writers), people who live in condos in big cities like Chicago as well as those who prefer the wide open spaces like you'd find in Colorado and New Mexico. I talk to those who like to work with their hands, do crafts, garden, play music. Occasionally I'll get off on a tangent and rant about injustices and what I perceive as foolishness in our current political and economic society. You're not normally likely to find out what I had for breakfast or other trivia in my life unless I think it can be useful to my readers.
- I get a huge number of comments. That would seem to be impressive, but I have become more and more meticulous about what I accept and am willing to post on this blog. It's not that I don't value feedback. I love it. But too many comments are shrouded by dummy emails and websites that simply can't be traced. I check out websites and email addresses on all comments. And, I frequently try to respond directly to anyone who takes the time to comment. But if the domain and the email fail or if they lead to places on the internet that don't even remotely contribute to the conversation, then I am not willing to share them with my readers…no matter how wonderful they might appear on the surface. I'm getting a whole lot more selective as time goes on – just a word of warning.
- Technology and sources of information come and go so fast that we really have difficulty keeping up. It's still much too easy to get stuck sometime in the past with a lot of useless baggage trailing along with us. Some have just given up trying to stay up with changes. I believe that change can be a good thing, and I do try to keep up – but admittedly, I do fall behind from time to time. Broken links, resource pages that have been pulled down for one reason or another need to be cleaned up from time to time. If you find things like this, I appreciate your telling me.
That said, I welcome you and encourage your serious feedback. We're very, very fortunate to be living in a time and place where have tools that make it possible for us to become friends and share ideas and dreams with each other, growing together in spite of how many miles apart we might be.