Category Archives: blogging

Posts about blogging

Ego Blogging

Time to blog about blogging.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a new blog related to sustainable living/better living in the suburbs. In researching some of the topics I discovered an entire genre of blogs about “minimalist lifestyle”. I dug into this area a bit and came upon notions like “lifestyle design”, “digital nomads”, etc.

The unifying theme of most of these ideas and blogs is that one can live in a “minimalist” way, foregoing many of the trappings of modern, consumerist American society, and effectively live a “location independent” lifestyle, gaining lots of leisure time, time to travel, etc.

I have looked at a lot of these blogs, and really, they all seem like digitial version of 1)self-help books or 2)a non-materialistic verson of those “get rich and live like a millionaire” infomercials you see on TV. Most of them are full of advice and encouragement, but not a lot in the way of actual “how to” information.

Now, that being said, I have seen some very good advice on a couple of them. I happen to agree with a lot the the “get rid of your stuff” mentality. I hate consumerism. I don’t think owning a home or car is necessary for one to have a good life. I encourage people to THINK about how they are living, and make changes when they want to. I am not slagging these bloggers at all, but I do find a lot of their post to be 1)reworded versions of their earlier posts or 2)fluff.

Enough about the content. Now I want to talk about the style of their blogging.

I have found that the style of these blogs, and in fact MANY blogs out there, fall into either of two categories.

  • Blogs that contain great information, and make information the star of the show. These tend to be light on cool pictures of the author, and heavy on good info.
  • Blogs that may contain great info, but regardless of whether they do or not, they tend to emphasize the author of the blog as kind of a blogging rock star. Lots of pictures of the author looking cool and happy, living the free lifestyle, beating the system.

It is my intention that my new blog be full of extremely useful info, rather than being like that second type. I don’t look cool enough to pull that off.

Most popular posts

I’ve been running this blog for a while now, and thought I’d post up the all-time stats for most popular posts. These are the ones over 100 views. Pretty cool. My skateboarding stuff is popular, as well as any technical stuff about Macs, blogging, Linux, etc. I’ve been blown away by the interest in my Streit Slumber Chair.

Some downhill longboard carving 4,114 More stats
RSS Readers: Google Reader vs. Bloglines 1,496 More stats
My new MacBook – problem – solution? 1,391 More stats
the Streit Slumber Chair 869 More stats
Some downhill skateboard racing 855 More stats
bob’s trick tips videos 797 More stats
Importing problem with iPhoto and Canon 743 More stats
MacBook WiFi problem/solution 646 More stats
Silverback at the Fort Worth Zoo 608 More stats
Combining free blog hosting with your ow 436 More stats
Canon SD750 and video 408 More stats
Comet Longboard 357 More stats
Longboard ditch skating 204 More stats
Canon PowerShot SD750 199 More stats
about bsk8 191 More stats
yet another cat drawing. 182 More stats
Skateboarding, Germany, and Information 180 More stats
Ice Cave in Austria 159 More stats
“Hip” librarians… 156 More stats
Aikido image “art”. 148 More stats and the death of a website 131 More stats
Comet longboard: pre-review article 128 More stats
MacBook update 125 More stats
Moving your site to a new server: some t 103 More stats

RSS Readers: Google Reader vs. Bloglines

I’ve had a account for some time now. Honestly, I haven’t used it that much, but I do think it is useful from time to time. For those who don’t know, among other things, allows you to aggregate posts from any site with an RSS feed, and read/link to the posted items from, rather than having to check lots of sites every day.  In other words, if you read lots of news sites, blogs, etc., you check one spot instead of dozens.

At the Computers In Libraries conference last week, Steven Cohen sung the praises of the Google Reader — Google’s RSS reader. Since I’ve seen him speak at several conferences and he’s never given me bad advice, I checked out Google Reader.

As usual, Steven is right. Google Reader is cool. But first, let me tell you what is STILL good about :

  • When you set up an account with bloglines, you are not only automatically set up to subscribe to RSS feeds, but you are also immediately able to start your own blog. Is it pretty? No. It is a simple blog, with from what I can tell no options for different themes, layouts, etc. But it is a blog, and is right there.
  • I still think bloglines has a nice page layout. It isn’t fancy, but it is functional. The majority of the page is the window in which posts are displayed — nice and wide. Looks good. Displays images from the posts.
  • When you are reading a post on bloglines, you can click a link to see who else subscribes to that feed. Nice feature for finding other interested in the same stuff. Not sure if Google Reader does this — I’ll check.

 So, what is so great about Google Reader?

  • Well, if you have gmail account you an just go right into Google Reader with no sign up.
  • You can import your subscription list from another reader. Don’t have to re-enter all your info.
  • Since it is part of the Google system, you have easy access to all the other Google tools.
  • Most important: Google Reader allows you to click a link and share items to a public page that it creates for you. For example, here’s my public page. As you will notice, there is an RSS stream for your public page, which allows other people to subscribe to it. Yes, you can create an RSS stream of what you are reading. Sort of cool.
  • There’s also a “friends” function in Google Reader. Haven’t played with it much.

As you can see, Google has included a lot of social networking tools within Reader. I think this is what bloglines was missing.  They both allow you to aggregate information for your own use, but Google Reader has added the ability to share that info with the group.

Anyway, pretty cool.

Do I want the extra functionality? Probably. Do I want to sign over more of my online activities to Google? Maybe not. Will I continue to ask questions like this and then answer them? Most definately.


UPDATE: I added a link to my shared matrial from Google Reader over in the sidebar, under bibliosk8 stuff.


OK, I set up a tumblelog using Tumblr. Pretty great little service/site they’re running. The beauty-part…I was able to include my RSS feed from that site here on my WordPress blog — over in the sidebar — using an RSS widget.

There is a very cool dashboard widget for the Mac, that allows you to make Tumblr posts without going to that site too. So from my desktop, if I want to just make a short post, I can use the Tumblr widget, and have the post show up in both place. Of course it looks better on Tumblr, but still pretty cool.

It would be even cooler if I actually had readers.