Sunday, November 20, 2005

7 blogs 7 days begins

7 Blogs 7 Days

A while ago, I announced a project called "7 Blogs 7 Days", which would be a way to examine and interact with blogs that were selected for their special purpose, rich content, unique style, or practical relevance to this audience and the aim of Vaspers the Grate.

A lot happened next, and the 7 Blogs 7 Days project was suspended, put on hold, while unexpected events, reactions, priority shifts, changed interests, extra work, disasters, opportunities, questions, problems...resulted in a different environs of action.

Here again are the 7 blogs, in no particular order, that I'll be visiting, posting comments at, and blogging about, during the next 7 days:

(1) Blog Business World
Wayne Hurlbert

(2) Jeffrey Veen

(3) Zeldman Daily Report

(4) Chris Pirillo

(5) Portals and KM
Bill Ives

(6) Blogger Buzz

(7) Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog

I will be analyzing, complimenting, questioning, and sharing the best of these blogs with you.

Now, how about you?

Are there some specific blogs you feel you ought to be visiting more often, but keep forgetting?

Can you think of 7 blogs you could start going to, and learn something from their good qualities and their mistakes?

Join me in 7 Blogs 7 Days.

Start whenever you are able.

Interact with the blog, the blog author, and the blog fan base, as much as possible during your 7 Blogs 7 Days experiment.

Even if your function is attentive lurking and transmitting information in non-blog channels, try something different. Post a comment and be prepared to engage in discussion of the topic.

Mention the blogs in your own blog.

Even a simple citation like this is perhaps:

"I've been reading the Tom Peters blog recently. If you're in management or marketing, you could learn a lot about success attitudes and innovation over there."

Let's go visit some new blogs and cheer up the blog authors.

If you see a lot of (0) comments on their posts, for God's sake, please think of some intelligent remark to post. Let them know that somebody out there somewhere is reading what they write.

It can get really lonely and depressing for a blogger to put a lot into their blog, but never get any reaction from anybody. If they suck, maybe they should stop blogging. But in many cases, valuable, interesting blogs are languishing from lack of comments, lack of interaction.

Agree, disagee, argue, praise, question, joke, do something. Make a little noise. Put your opinion on it. Enrich the content of a blog you enjoy. It's not hard, and there is no further obligation, no matter how anyone responds to your comment.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Zafufilia said...

Well, good luck out there.

Personally, I have ost some interest in blogging, particularly the "personal" blogs that are a dime a dozen out there. These blogs offer little insight into anything other than their (often too emotional) owners, are seldom written or produced in an interesting way, and very very rarely have anything new and refreshing to say. Boring.

Another way blogs annoy me lately is that even when the content is sorta interesting, blog owners are constantly reminding the reader of their presence. I mean, come come... I may be interested in what Chris Pirillo has to say about technology, but do I really want to hear about his snorkeling vacation and his relationship with his girlfriend? No. I simply don´t have that level of interest in Chris´personal life.

I still want to hear a "voice" in a blog. Just as I want to hear a voice when I read Chekhov or Joan Didion. And that´s the thing... A blog is not exempted from having to be "good reading."

Blogs need mission statements, and good management, even if they are run and produced by a single Joe Schmoe from his bedroom.


Dennis Howlett said...

Well said - there's a lot of what I call Paris dog shit blogging. It turns up during the day, has a brief whiff of fame and then gets hoovered up at night, never to be seen again.

Having said that, I couldn't start the day without reading the nutty stuff that Scott Adams admits to or that Zoe from in Belgium kindly inflicts on the blogging equivalent of The Daily Mirror readership. (That's a complement Zoe...if you can work it out <:>)

carrie said...

different blogs for different folks, is what i say. i personally enjoy blogs that are very random and personal. i am not interested in reading blogs that have "something to say" in general. for me, blogs are entertainment and a glimpse into the human psyche. i don't want to be educated or informed by blogs... just entertained, amused and sometimes confounded.

steven edward streight said...

Some like funny blogs. Others like political blogs. Somebody else likes spiritual personal blogs. Another likes gardening tips blogs.

And so it goes, stretching out through military blogs, mommy blogs, art blogs, philosophy blogs, marketing blogs, and sheet metal blogs.

I like Seinfeld, She Spys, Related, The Larry Sanders Show, Judge Judy, Blotter, Mr. Show, Miracle Pets, and Montel.

You like Oprah, Sex and the City, King of Queens, the Oblongs, Mad TV, Nova, and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Even the dumbest marketing blog and most boring personal trivia drivel blog is still an Individual Voice rising up revolutionarily against Corpo-Religio-Political-MSM Information Hegemony.

zafu said...

My comment was not meant as a critique of blog themes. I don't care what anyone blogs about. I am as curious and open to having fun, learning, goofing off or being set straight as anyone. My comment emphasized quality and "value" in a blog, since I only have so much time/patience to search through the personal minutiae of a blog author's life in search of the good stuff. Of course there are exceptions. For instance, I read Carrie's blog precisely because it's an interesting, dreamy look at what's going in Carrie's life. And as for the frivolous and confounding, I regularly head over to "Go Fug Yourself" to catch up on their b*tchfest.

But if I visit a well-known tech guru's blog and I find five out of seven entries devoted to stuff about his dogs, her chicken farming side venture, or to ironic takes on his GF's newfound love of knitting... whatever... well, to be honest, that makes that blog hard to read, search for relevant content, and enjoy.

I only have so much time in a day, and as much as I love to meander and stop and smell the roses, if I am looking for offbeat commentary on someone's life, I already have many friends, online and off, where I get that. I don't need to know how my tech guru/business heroes/scientific icons are liking their new toaster. Sorry.

zafu said...

Put it this way:

Would I go to Ted Koppel's blog to read about his penchant for butter pecan ice cream or bicycling? Hell no! I can't think of anything more ridiculous. But would I go there to read about his experiences as a journalist? Hell YES! And on the other hand, would I subscribe to podcasts of "Zen and the Art of the Triathlon"? You bet! The person who puts that podcast out manages to make that extremely interesting, even though I'm no triathlete and I've only ever had a passing interest in cycling.

You must admit, there is a monotony to reading blog after blog after blog talking about our boring lives. A good blog is hard to find.

steven edward streight said...

I agree.

The bloatosphere has become an unweildy, obese, overly populated glutfest of nobodies yakking obsessively about nothing.

Ever since the Blog Revolution of 1998 or so, when LiveJournal, Blogger, and other factors came into play, and basically anybody could have a blog.

Anybody could. Anybody did. Anybody does.

There's a lot right and a lot wrong with that.

I think a blog, as Jakob Nielsen remarks in a recent usability alert box, should be tightly focused.

But also: every new voice that enters the blogosphere could be a voice that benefits another person, or even changes the world.

Even personal trivia drivel blogs can revolve around certain basic themes (romance, chocolate, beer, music, videogaming, web design, chess) that the blogger is most interested in or involved with.

There are too many blogs to care about more than a few, but who reads every magazine at Barnes & Noble?

I now hear tell of Roger L. Simon and others ganging together as "Pajamas Media" aka Open Source Media, to try, I guess, to make the blogosphere a traditional media venue, with digital "enhancements" and "totally credible" cyber-journalists...

...what a load of crap.

zafu said...

That smells of rampant opportunism to me.

I think a blog should be an individual´s conversation with the world.

I am friendly. I talk to a lot of folks. I´m interested in what they have to say. But if someone gets all crazy or stupid or repetitive or self-obsessed for their part of the conversation, then I am likely to want to tune that out after a while. That´s why I only rant on special occasions myself :p

Seriously, blogging IS fun and I am thrilled to see so many people writing and expressing themselves, just for starters.

But looka here... A couple of months back I was prompted to visit a "literary blog collective" by one of the lit blogs I read regularly. When I arrived at said blog collective, someone had plastered a "welcome" intro heading that read something along the lines of "Where the leading literary blogs come together for the purpose of promoting books that are not well represented in the mainstream." Even though I think there´s a noble mission there, I just couldn´t get past the self-importance of that intro. The discussion has its highs and lows, and I probably could give it a second chance, but I just cannot stomach being among "the leading" owners of literary blogs for more than two minutes. I ask you, isn´t that label laughable? Meanwhile, some of these "leading literary blogs" have lapsed into paroxysms of self-congratulations and forums for personal vendettas (lit types are often surly and bellicose), replete with talk of the authors´ own book deals and invective against the very system they hope to usurp.

Sorry, by the way, to soapbox (hehehe). Lit blogs being the blogs I know best, I´ve been really peeved lately at the way their clarity and sense of purpose gets murkier and murkier.

I think that there´s a certain set who is not interested in blogs as a medium of the masses, but instead sees a potential there for a cottage industry. They dream of a changing of the guard, of taking power away from old-guard institutions like the press and the corporate conglomerate, but only as a means of personal gain. And so blogging as a cultural implement might pass into the hands of the new blogging elite soon. And the rest of us schmucks will have to pay to blog, or there´ll be some other equally vile outcome. And we´ll have let a wonderful opportunity escape us to really establish a dialogue of individuals.

That´s what I´m afraid of. And that´s why I´d like to see more focus and "the leading bloggers" set high standards and blaze a trail in the right direction for the rest of us.

Yours truly,


carrie said...

well, i think that ted koppel could link to a separate blog where he talks about butter pecan ice cream. i would rather read that than his political views or whatever. :^P

Zafufilia said...

It may indeed come down to personal preferences as your responses imply, Carrie.

carrie said...

well, i still enjoy reading what you are saying here, zafu/cassandra... i'm just argumentative. ;-)

steven edward streight said...

Bah! A girl's idea of blogocombat, "arugumentative", is where two gals sweetly agree to disagree, then go have a cup of tea.

A manly idea of blogocombat is bashing the other guy's brains out, then laughing as he tries to get up, and when he does, spitting out teeth, nose out of joint, a bloody lip, then says:

"Have you had enough yet?"

zafu said...


Milk? Sugar? Lemon?


(Steven, How about some snails and puppy dog tails to go with that bloody nose?)

steven edward streight said...

bloggers, don't let your blog buddy blog drunk

don't blog and drive

I brake for bloggers

bloggers do it beter

bloggers are smartur than otherz

married to a blog with a blogger attached to it

blog on and on and on and on and on