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Old 03-08-2013, 10:31   #76
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

Don't blog... love the net and like to read blogs of sailors. Voyeurism at its best. Some are slick and some not. Just like life. I appreciate them all.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:35   #77
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

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Originally Posted by Sailor_Hutch View Post
Most bloggers are better writers than they think they are. Sampling a couple dozen sailblogs this morning, I was impressed with the idea that average bloggers write well enough ... at least as a matter of technical correctness.

Two thirds of the blogs, at least, had not been updated by their owners in years ... often many years. A significant number of the blogs had not been updated in five years or more. Most of the articles in them had not been noted by the presence of even a single visitor's comment. Naturally, these erstwhile bloggers realized, after time passed, that very few people ever visited their little places on the internet highway. Their words, they soon realized, lived on an address on the old road through the Nevada desert ... the one bypassed by the highway twenty years before ...

For these bloggers, the first five articles became the last five. I felt badly for them. I posted a comment (a first comment) to a number of those lonely blogs. "Nice blog. Beautiful boat."

It's not the technical correctness of their prose that is the issue. It's the failure of those authors to ask themselves a simple question: "Could this material be of any interest to unrelated people?" Pictures of grandkids are great, but unrelated people pictures will quickly change a visitor's reading speed to "skim mode" when presented with a series of such (precious to author, of course) photos. If the rest of the article takes the form of a diary, any would-be visitor/commentor soon clicks his way back to the CruisersForum.

Most people don't want to read another person's diary. The bland facts of the mechanics of sailing, detailed over the course of days, are the same for everyone. There's no point.

The writer of the blog must capture the reader's imagination, and he can do so by attaching those "bland ordinary sailing facts" to a larger story that has general relevance and interest. Take the diary apart, and make it into a sailing saga. I guess that's what a writer really is, rather than just someone who can connect grammatically correct sentences. And some sailing blogs are excellent sagas. In fact, I found a couple diamonds in the rough this morning. It was worth wading through the diaries, to pick up the couple gems that I found in the bottom of the gold pan ...

I have the stats showing me the my blog is being read, but numerous people have told me that they can't post anything. I've been skidding here for a little bit (now I have food poisoning, I want the interferences to stop!), but when I get back to it I'm going to have to figure that one out.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:36   #78
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

Writing my boat log is probably my second favorite thing after actual sailing. I don't go to exotic destinations or have any tips on how to pack for an ocean crossing, but I seem to be able to knock out a couple hundred words here and there about our relatively mundane day sailing, and I like the process. As we've stumbled through learning how to sail, it's also been interesting to be able to look back...I started our site when we got the boat, so I can see the whole arc.

I hope that I'm occasionally helpful and maybe entertaining, but I mostly do it because I like doing it. If you don't honestly enjoy the "writing" part it will probably quickly become a chore, and I think that's probably why so many wind up derelict.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:35   #79
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

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Writing my boat log is probably my second favorite thing after actual sailing. I don't go to exotic destinations or have any tips on how to pack for an ocean crossing, but I seem to be able to knock out a couple hundred words here and there about our relatively mundane day sailing, and I like the process. As we've stumbled through learning how to sail, it's also been interesting to be able to look back...I started our site when we got the boat, so I can see the whole arc.

I hope that I'm occasionally helpful and maybe entertaining, but I mostly do it because I like doing it. If you don't honestly enjoy the "writing" part it will probably quickly become a chore, and I think that's probably why so many wind up derelict.

Welcome to CF.
Looks like you've been lurking for about 6 months.
Nice looking site.

Vic
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:56   #80
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

I deliberately have the comments turned off on my blog. When they were enabled, 90% of the comments were spam. I might look into the available anti-spam features. Of course I haven't updated the blog in about a year...
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Old 03-08-2013, 13:06   #81
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

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Welcome to CF.
Looks like you've been lurking for about 6 months.
Nice looking site.
Thank you. Yeah, I read from time to time but I don't often have much to say.

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I deliberately have the comments turned off on my blog. When they were enabled, 90% of the comments were spam. I might look into the available anti-spam features. Of course I haven't updated the blog in about a year...
Captchas help a lot (those things where you have to type in the squiggly letters and numbers) but they can be really annoying to use. Sometimes I can't figure them out, and I'm definitely not a robot. I made something for my boat log where users have to enter a designated word from a list of random nautical words. It's not perfect but it keeps out the vast majority of nonsense, and it's much easier for a human to do.
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Old 03-08-2013, 13:50   #82
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

I just enabled the "Akismet" spam filter for my blog, and enabled comments. The old posts still have comments blocked, but I might be able to unlock those too.

Now, I just need something interesting to blog about!
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Old 03-08-2013, 14:12   #83
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

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I like what David says about writing stuff that has technical merit - and putting the material out there for the point of educating/informing others rather than just providing entertainment. I like David's writing style because it's like Russian: minimal extraneous word clutter, and maxium information. I sometimes wish I could write like that. I'm genetically challenged to be verbose to a fault. Sometimes the Russian "Pass salt" is way more efficient than the verbose english - "Would you please be so kind as to pass the salt shaker down to me ..." The shorter stuff can often be the more attractive style ... it's the more work, less dancing philosophy.
Am not sure if that David is me , the writing stuff that has technical merit certainly fits in with what I said - but the stuff on the writing style being minimal extraneous doesn't often get mentioned . (even if reads like a foreign language does!). I always feel like I use 10 words when one could (or should) do .

Of course you could be referring to another David in this thread - and therefore my comments above make me look like a plank . But do I care? Nah .
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:44   #84
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

Sheryl and I have maintained a website for more than 10 years, but not really a normal blog. I have what I call a "technical blog" but only post every week or 2 when there is a useful technical issue to discuss. For example, we recently went through tropical storm Dorian when it passed directly over Martinique, so I posted about how we tied up in the mangrove - it was our first time to try that.

Otherwise we make a television program about the cruising life, so I suppose we sort of video-log - except it takes a tremendous amount of filming and editing work to produce just one 24 minute program

I find regular blogs can be very entertaining when written with the larger community in mind, less so when they are just written as a "dear-diary" style.

Good luck with your cruise!

Paul Shard
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:27   #85
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Re: To blog or not to blog ?

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I have a website as distinct from a blog.
[FONT=Verdana]I find website are more malleable, personal and easier to use multi media. A downside of a blog is the indexing of posts being poor generally, and too much information in another way: They show when a blogger has lost interest in their blog. Their first few months were hectic with a blog post per day, that, by the fifth month came down to one per week. A website its easier to disguise the times of web apathy...
I do see your point here, I have found that my blog is more of a book than a journal. The stories I'm telling aren't in chronological order, so when I post them I think it is confusing, a website would help me guide people through the story better I think.

BTW, wicked fire pics, sorry about your boat mate, full coverage by any chance?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:04   #86
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

I don't really understand the website vs. blog distinction. All blogs are websites. Some of them are more full-featured than others. Some of them use dedicated blogging software/services and some don't. Some take a default theme or very basic HTML and some are beautifully designed. There are well-written blogs and long form blogs, and then there are poorly-written blogs and semi-useless lunch logs. I get the desire to separate yourself from the lesser versions of your genre. Hell, I jokingly claim that in my case blog stands for "boat log" as opposed to "web log"...but it's a joke. The reality is that if people are getting to it with a web browser, it's a web site. If you write a novel, you can't separate yourself from dime romances just by going up a level of taxonomy and saying "this isn't so much a novel as a book."
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:04   #87
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

The difference between most blogs and (most) websites is that the website is fairly static. I only update my website when I'm on shore with access to my web-editing tools and high-speed internet connection. My updates are usually large photo albums, technical pieces, etc.

When I'm at sea I update my blog daily, or more often if something interesting happens, and use SSB or satphone email to do it. The blog can be updated or edited from shore, but the bulk of the postings are at sea via email.

The blog serves a different purpose than the website. Sure, the readers access them both via the web, but that's only one side of the equation.

Of course this is pretty obvious, but there is a functional difference between the two.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:10   #88
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I don't really understand the website vs. blog distinction. All blogs are websites. Some of them are more full-featured than others. Some of them use dedicated blogging software/services and some don't. Some take a default theme or very basic HTML and some are beautifully designed. There are well-written blogs and long form blogs, and then there are poorly-written blogs and semi-useless lunch logs. I get the desire to separate yourself from the lesser versions of your genre. Hell, I jokingly claim that in my case blog stands for "boat log" as opposed to "web log"...but it's a joke. The reality is that if people are getting to it with a web browser, it's a web site. If you write a novel, you can't separate yourself from dime romances just by going up a level of taxonomy and saying "this isn't so much a novel as a book."
To me, the difference lies in the word "log" - with a blog, there is more of an expectation that it will be updated "regularly" (whatever that means) and be a chronological accounting of someone's travels - whether actual or interior.

I don't think anyone is trying to say that a "website" is better than a "blog" - for s/v more JOY everywhere, we have both, and we keep the more static info on the site, and our ramblings on the blog. We have both mainly because my hubby was a web designer in a previous life and he enjoys "playing" on the computer. But the great thing about blogging services is they allow us all to put together a nice-looking site without much technological knowledge.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:48   #89
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

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To me, the difference lies in the word "log" - with a blog, there is more of an expectation that it will be updated "regularly" (whatever that means) and be a chronological accounting of someone's travels - whether actual or interior.
I think the line has become blurred now that adding links and other content windows to blogs and/or websites is relatively easy thing to do. A "blog" that is not updated regularly and only has static information would look like a webpage and visa versa IMO. I still get hits on my blog for posts that I wrote years ago. IMO it's all good no matter what you call your site.
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Old 04-08-2013, 18:40   #90
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Re: To Blog or not to Blog?

I think I'll skirt the distinction and refer to mine as my GeoCities Page.
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