Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Blog about blogging

I'd been thinking about blogging for a while and had started putting together a post in my head about why I blog: what is it that makes Café Chick who she is, and why does she bother? And then, along came Donna with a meme about blogging from Sunday Stealing. A perfect place to begin!

1. How did you come up with your blog title OR what does it mean?
I like the nature of story telling, so I wanted my blog to reflect this in some way. Whether the stories were long or short, I felt that the word tales captured this well. As for Café Chick, I played around with a few names and thought that this one sounded funky, yet multi-faceted enough to blog about whatever I wanted.

2. What are your general goals for blogging?
I originally started blogging about places I'd been to and stories I'd encountered along the way. Some of my early posts are almost reviews of cafés or restaurants; I now use Dineout and Menumania to review food and dining experiences, but often relate the stories on my blog. In July 2008 I started the Day Zero 101 goals in 1001 days project and use my blog as a way of documenting this. I generally aim to have one main subject per post, and to try and cover a range of topics. My purposes are multi-fold and incredibly self-indulgent; I blog partly to document/diarise events in my life, partly to explore things I find interesting, but most just because I can. ;-)

3. Do people “in your real life” know that you blog and do they comment on your blog OR is it largely anonymous?
As far as I'm aware, there are two 'real life' people who know my identity. One is my sweetie, who reads almost every word I post, probably to check what I write about him. :-P The other is a former work colleague, whose blog I enjoy following. I enjoy the anonymity that being Café Chick allows; she is a small, but fun, part of who I am as a person. She probably also gets away with sometimes saying things that the real me wouldn't be bold enough to come out with in real life. (See notes re self-indulgent, lol.)

4. How often do you post (x per week)?
I aim to post every day or two, depending on what I've been up to. I think I average about five posts per week.

5. How often do you read other blogs (x per week)?
Heaps. In addition to the many blogger blogs I follow, my RSS feed is full of blogs related to work (education), blogs written by my colleagues, blogs about blogging, blogs maintained by a couple of my real life friends, and Post Secret. I try to read through them daily.

6. How do you select blogs to read (do you prefer blogs that focus on certain topics or do you choose by tone or…?)
See above. I believe that many people blog for different purposes, and some bloggers maintain more than one blog or may cover a range of subjects. For the most part, I choose the one that's most relevant to me to follow, or one that has simply caught my interest.

7. Do you have any plans to copy your blog entries in any other format, 0r do you think that one day, you’ll just delete it all?
I don't think I'll just delete it all but, having said that, I did end up deleting most of my professional blog from a few years ago. I suppose I didn't need to; I just didn't feel that it was relevant any more. I also don't think I'll use my blog entries for any other purpose, although I sometimes enjoy browsing back at earlier posts and thinking, "wow, is that what I was doing around that time?" etc.

8. What are the things you like best about blogging?
I like to write. I like to read. I am also interested in people. Blogging, for me, brings together all three of these aspects, and I have got to know some amazing people from all around the world via their blogs. I find this to be one of the most valuable benefits of blogging.

9. What are the things you don’t like about blogging?
Nothing, really. The day I find blogging to be a chore is the day that I'll stop.

10. How do you handle comments?
I enjoy them, but I don't necessarily write for the purpose of eliciting comments, even though I am mindful of my potential audience. I don't see a comment-less post as being less successful than one which has sparked a whole screed of comments; as an educator, I know that so-called lurkers are still a valued part of any online community. Heck, I'm Lurker #1 in many instances, as I certainly don't comment on every blog or post that I read. I don't necessarily respond to comments I receive, even though I read every single one; I see comments as a valuable part of the blogging experience, but one which helps develop a wider blogging community, and not just a 1-1 relationship between me and the commenter. I love tracking visitors to my blog via my Clustr map (those little red dots are so exciting!) and my Flagcounter (ditto for each new country that pops up). It's amazing to think that people who don't know me and who live in more than 70 different countries have visited my blog!

11. Do you have any burning thoughts to share on blog etiquette?
Not really, although I get incredibly annoyed when people attempt to bypass my word verification and make a generic comment like "I like it" for the purpose of posting advertising links to dodgy websites on my blog. Grrr. I sometimes find it hard/annoying to read a pale font on a dark background, but mostly read posts via my RSS feed, which removes all the formatting. Oh, and writing all in CAPS or with Random capital Letters annoys me. (Yes, I was a teacher. Don't get me started on apostrophes.)

12. Any desired blog features?
I quite like the Blogger format, but occasionally would like a bit more flexibility re layout etc but don't feel motivated enough to develop my own template from scratch. I may do this eventually. I experimented with a new background this week; I'm not sure it will be permanent.

13. Have you suffered blog addiction?
Maybe ...

And how about you? What burns your blogging fires?

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