Tag Archives: open post

I just don’t know what to do with this thing.

The fact of the matter is that this blog has gotten a bit boring. Book reviews are all well and good, but wouldn’t you like to see something else on here from time to time? ATC Sundays were fun, then I ran out of ATCs and promptly failed to make any more. Art blogging is very difficult for me anyway because I’m very bad about photographing or scanning things, even when I do manage to actually finish something (which is rare). My primary medium is and always has been language.

I’ve thought about adding some new features here, but I shy away from any kind of schedule because I’m terrible at keeping such commitments and the last thing I want is for this blog to become a chore. That said, I could do recurring themes, assuming no one expects anything to recur with any kind of regularity. Some ideas I’ve had:

  • Hyper-local tourism – that is, posts about places within the city limits of my hometown
  • Movie/television commentary – mostly older stuff as most everything I encounter anymore is via DVD or Netflix Streaming
  • Art experiments – to include playing with assorted art supplies, participation in the occasional art challenge, working through books, that sort of thing

…okay, so I don’t actually have that many ideas. I’m open to suggestions. I already have separate blogs for glue stick tourism, my 101 Things in 1001 Days project, and assorted silly stories from my daily life, so that leaves me unsure with what to do with this, my “main” blog.

Another thing to ponder is post frequency. I was doing really well with the Tuesday/Friday posting schedule but it all ended up being book reviews because I am very bad about doing anything else on any kind of regular basis. I used to just schedule everything for the next available day at noon, meaning I’d often have a string of daily posts and then nothing for weeks. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than the regular twice-a-week gig, especially since the book reviews meant I could get many weeks ahead so every post was kind of a trip down memory lane for me because whatever book that day’s post was about was certain to be something I’d read and reviewed multiple weeks prior. The “daily” posts are more immediate but also far more irregular. Another option is to keep the T/F schedule for book reviews and just post everything else on the next available day as it comes up.

So what do you think? Should I branch out? Should I post more randomly or keep a set schedule? Do you mind the dearth of images on this here blog? Anything in particular you’d like to see more of/at all?

Survey Says…

A little over a month ago, I posted a survey asking what people would like to see and not see on this here blog. The responses were interesting. In general, people seem to want more of everything and less of nothing. But here are some bits that particularly interested me:

  • A request for more color. That’s fair. I’ve had intentions for months to create a blog mascot (which is a little doodle I already draw everywhere; I just need to vectorize one so it’s easily resizable), and once I have that I’ll probably be able to move on to a color scheme. I’ve kept my site design purposely minimal because I’m kind of crap at those sorts of things, but I think it’s time to make things more interesting. Alas, I don’t have two minutes to rub together these days for such things, but hopefully once things have quieted down (this Autumn, with any luck) I’ll put in some time on a redesign.
  • Most people wanted to see more projects in progress and personal essays, with finished drawings and photography in a close second. I am the first to admit that I am absolutely terrible about scanning in stuff, largely because my study is on the second floor and the scanner is in the basement. It’s encouraging to hear that people actually want to see that stuff, though. As for the personal essays, most of that ends up on my LiveJournal but if there’s anything of more general interest (that is, stuff you don’t have to know me personally to appreciate), I’ll post it here.
  • Very few people wanted to see less of anything: one each of book-related stuff, memes, and gluebooking. Which is fine. I became a book blog completely by accident, and I read/review books frequently enough that there’s no need for additional literary posts. I will probably post some more about gluebooking, but only when I finish projects. I currently have two completed that I need to photograph and write about, and two others in progress with no end in sight.
  • People have no particular opinion on how often I post. I’m thinking, what with this insane summer I’m currently having, that I’ll switch to twice a week for a while. I hope that way to be more consistent, rather than having weeks with five days of posts and weeks with none (like, oh, last week). I’m thinking Tuesdays and Fridays. That way I’ll have more than enough content to keep up for some time to come.
  • People would like to see more new stuff in general, but the interactive stuff (interviews, tutorials, and blog hops, with giveaways and guest posts as runners up) won the day. I have absolutely no idea what I’d do a tutorial on (I don’t really know how to do anything), or whom I’d interview, but I’m certainly open to looking into it.
  • I was asked what a blog hop was. As far as I have experienced, it’s a bunch of blogs all posting on a similar theme on the same day. The person who hosts the hop has links to all the other blogs on their post, then provides that list for inclusion on all the other participating blogs. I’d like to note that all the blog hops I have seen have been giveaways, but I don’t think that’s a requirement. Here‘s a little more information.

Thanks for participating; I really appreciate it. As always, comments are welcome. This summer may be a little sparse in terms of non-book-review content, but I’m looking forward to Good Things for this Fall.

Humbly Requesting Your Assistance

On August 22, this blog will turn 8 years old. Well, technically, I started on Blogger and didn’t migrate everything over to Zoiks until 2009, but my blogging went uninterrupted, so I’m counting it as one continuous span of time. Don’t be too impressed – I’ve already hit a decade over at LiveJournal, and have been using “melydia” as my primary online handle since 1993. This all makes me something like 237 in Internet Years. (Get off my lawn!)

Despite all this, I’ve never really been part of the blogging community. I read a lot of blogs, sure, but it took me ages to bother with things like Google Friend Connect, BlogHer, or Ning communities. My site design is intentionally sparse. I don’t hold giveaways or host interviews or blog tours. Then again, I also don’t need to have a good cry if no one comments on my posts – that is, blogging has never been a purely social activity for me. It’s enough that it’s out there and being appreciated, whether or not folks are being vocal about it. (Don’t get me wrong: comments totally make my day.)

That said, if I had no interest whatsoever in what my readers thought, I would keep all this stuff to myself rather than posting it where the world can see. Once in a blue moon I look at my blog and I think, “I wonder if there’s something different I could be doing with this.” That’s where you come in. In the past I’ve invited people to comment on what they’d like to see, but I think there are probably a fair number of lurkers who don’t feel comfortable making suggestions on a blog written by someone who doesn’t know them from Adam.

Aside: the internet is funny about lopsided friendships. Take Cleolinda Jones, for example. I read her blog regularly, to the point where my sister commented that she kept forgetting I’d never met Cleolinda in person. On the flip side, I am 99% sure that Cleolinda has absolutely no idea who I am.

As I was saying, a lot of people are timid about leaving their first comment on a blog, so I decided to experiment with an alternate method of getting feedback: an anonymous poll. Fill it out, have your friends fill it out, fill it out multiple times, whatever, just please spread the word. I’m looking for a general consensus, and the more data points the better. Keep in mind that I won’t know who you are unless you tell me in the comment field.

One last thing before we get started: the fact of the matter is that I’m not going to reduce the number of book reviews. It is what it is. However, I’d like to sprinkle in a fair number of posts on other things, too. So if you’d like to help me decide what those things should be (please please please!), then click this link:

Take the Survey!

(Thank you!)

Open post: to read or not to read

This is an open post. Comments welcome and encouraged. (Not that they aren’t normally, but this time I’m actually asking for opinions.)

My to-be-read pile, generally referred to as Mt. TBR, is occasionally overwhelming. (Ignore the colors; the only one that means anything of interest is yellow, which is what I’m currently reading.) One of my 101 things in 1001 days is to get Mt. TBR under 50 books, even just temporarily. I’m over 150 days in and have not been able to reduce the size of the pile, despite having read over 30 books in that time.

So I’m thinking it might be time for a cull. The following are books I’m thinking of chucking unread. (And by “chucking” I mean wild releasing.) If anyone has any thoughts on any of these, please let me know. I’m willing to keep anything on the list if someone says it’s a good read. But for now, here are my maybes:

  • The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul by Douglas Adams – As much as I love Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency left me wanting.
  • Push Comes to Shove by Wesley Brown – I was lured in by the promise of a free book from Concord Free Press but the subject matter doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
  • Virtual Light by William Gibson – Neuromancer was okay but hard to follow, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for me to read any more Gibson. (I also have Pattern Recognition on Mt. TBR, but a friend told me it was really good.)
  • James Herriot’s vet tales quadrilogy – I like Herriot just fine, but I have a feeling a bunch of touching stories about injured/sick animals might make me cry more than is strictly healthy.
  • Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead – As much as I like Arthurian legend, I’m not sure I really need to read another one unless it’s totally awesome.
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis – A friend “lent” this to me years ago. I assume he never wanted it back since he’s since moved to Florida. It looks…dense. Is it good?
  • Rabbit, Run by John Updike – As far as I can tell, this is about basketball and a selfish man. Nothing in the Amazon reviews convinced me it was really worth reading.

So what do you think? Any of these something I should not pass up? Any that you’d like me to send to you if I do decide not to read it? (That holds for any of them except the Adams one, because that one belongs to my husband.)

And if you want to add books to Mt. TBR, well, I suppose that’s okay too. I’m always up for a good recommendation.

Open post: what now?

This is an open post to my regular readers (of which I think there are roughly three) and anyone else who happens upon this post.

My blogging has been pretty sporadic lately. Truth be told, I’ve been in a bit of a rut. Book reviews are all fine and dandy but I’ve been uninspired by my regularly scheduled memes and I haven’t had much to say about anything else. I’d really like to get back into the swing of things again, but I need some help from you all. Here are some possibilities for posts:

Art – My husband suggested I start scanning and posting more of my sketches and doodles, and generally discussing the artistic process more. Another idea is to post about my current projects, swaps, and other artistic endeavors.

Writing – I like to pretend I’m a writer. Would you like me to post short stories from time to time, or even as a regular (perhaps monthly) feature?

Events – I do, believe it or not, go to concerts and other events from time to time. Would you like me to report back on these more often?

Links – I’m an avid Google Reader user, and am always looking for more blogs to follow and posts to check out. Would you like me to do occasional blog reviews of the ones I really enjoy? Shall I do a regular roundup of pages I stumble upon?

Memes – I have an extensive list of writing prompt websites; should I start looking into answering some of them?

Photos – One of my “things” in my 101 things in 1001 days project is to take and post a photo a day for a month. Would anyone be interested in having that posted here, or should I leave it on my personal blog?

Other – Anything I haven’t thought of, including longer and more thoroughly researched posts (i.e., single topic with lots of links), contests and giveaways, additional subjects to write about, movie/music reviews, etc.

What would you like to see more of? I’d ask what you’d like to see less of, but the only real possibility there is book reviews, and I’m afraid I’m not going to reduce those. If there are any other “feature requests” for my site, I’m open to those too – more regular posting schedule, better comment system, additional pages, whatever. Don’t be afraid to give ideas, no matter how specific or general.


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