Judd Corizan, from whom I acquired The Rising Blogger, recently launched Sunday Stealing. Each Sunday, he rips off a meme from another blogger — giving full credit and a link back to that author’s site, of course — and invite everyone to play along.
This week, Judd, et al. ripped off The Meme About Blogging from Momma at Momma Blogs A Lot. Actually, this particular meme bears some similarity to the What’s Your Story? exercise that was popular in 2007.
Participating in this writing exercise presents an opportunity to pause, reflect, and enunciate your perspectives on blogging. If you do not have a blog, you can adapt the questions to focus on why you write. I hope that many of you will take a few minutes to contemplate and respond to the questions. Feel free to provide your answers in the form of a comment or post a link to your own post!
1. How long have you been blogging?
I founded Colloquium in March 2005.
2. Any advice to beginners?
It it best to establish your own domain from the outset, but if you are undecided about the name or overall concept, you might wish to begin by using a free software platform like Blogger or WordPress. You can transition to your own domain later, although there are associated drawbacks.
Bloggers should acquaint themselves with prudent, conservative blogging practices and judiciously abide by those guidelines. For instance, you must pick the topics you blog about carefully,never revealing information about your employer, fellow employees, and professional pursuits. The most important things to keep in mind are: 1) You are never truly anonymous online, even if you select and utilize a pseudonym; and 2) everything you write and publish online will remain there indefinitely, even if you delete your entire blog. Caches are forever!
For more information, refer to my six-part series: Your Online Writing Life: Protect Your Reputation — and Future.
3. What are the good things blogging has brought to your life?
I have “met” some wonderful blogging friends and associates, most particularly my colleagues at Write Anything. I have improved my writing and bolstered my confidence in my abilities. I learn something new each and every day!
4. What would you consider the pitfalls?
Blogging can be time-consuming. I wish that I had more time to devote to reading and commenting on other folks’ blogs because I always enjoy and learn from what my fellow bloggers write.
5. Tell us about your blog name. Ever think of changing it? If so, to what? Why?
I founded my site on Blogger with the title “Robert’s Legacy,” because I initially wrote about my experiences litigating Conservatorship of Wendland, and the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. However, I changed the name when I began exploring other topics and eventually transferred my early, initial posts on those topics to a new site with the same title: Robert’s Legacy.
Sometimes I consider abandoning Colloquium in favor of a more descriptive title related to writing and blogging. But so far, I haven’t thought a creative title or concept. I also think it was a mistake to establish a domain based upon my real name — largely because people misspell it nearly as often as they spell it correctly.
6. Knowing what you know now, was starting a blog a good thing for you? Why or why not?
Yes! I need the creative outlet! I have an extremely stressful, demanding career and I look forward to sitting down in front of my computer after a long day, completely switching gears, and unwinding by reading and writing about anything and everything other than the topics I focus upon when working. In fact, within the next couple of days, my new personal laptop will be arriving, enabling me to read others’ work and draft posts when I have a spare moment while traveling on business.
7. How do you think blogging, bloggers, or the blogosphere has changed since you started?
When I started blogging, “Web 2.0” and “social marketing” were not yet a way of life. I recall when it was a big deal to be using the “new” Blogger and remember being very excited when my site was selected as one of the first transitioned to Blogger Beta! I shudder when I think about all the hours I spent modifying my template, implementing hacks to achieve features that we all take for granted now. The advances in blogging software that have been made in the less than four years I have been blogging are mind-boggling, and WordPress upgrades seem to be issued in increasingly-rapid succession. I can’t even imagine what it will be like in another three to four years.
8. Ultimately, what would you like your blog to accomplish for you or others?
I’m only in it for enjoyment and stress reduction. When it ceases to be fun, I will disappear from the blogosphere. But if, while I’m here, I can impart some useful information or encourage a fellow writer to keep working to improve his/her technique, I will consider my time to have been well spent.