Sunday, February 06, 2005

(D) A New Plan

I have never been a very systematic person. Get me interested in something and I don't figure out one book to read on the subject. I figure out thirty or fifty or ninety. And I don't read them in some predetermined order, but rather dip into them all at once. It isn't the most efficient use of time and effort. It's merely the use that suits me.

As with reading, so too with things analogous. Until it was noticed by a significant number of readers (or until those readers were noticed by it), War Historian had only one gait: the discursive or diary-type entry (D), though some of these were developed sufficiently to merit the name of informal essay (E). Safe to say, however, that I had never tried the sort of entry that is composed mainly of a link to a newsworthy item; i.e., a "filter" blog entry (F). That last type, however, has been the mainstay of War Historian since about Jan. 22. And useful such entries have been as a way of letting me post daily (at least) while having time to gain a better handle on the blogosphere. I've found a lot of stuff I never would have guessed was up here. Who would have thought, for instance, that online users would handicap sites like this one as if they were shares on the New York Stock Exchange?

You might call all this surfing the blogosphere the equivalent of a reconnaissance. Maybe even a reconnaisance in force. But it's time to recover the patrol to make its report, and time to regularize the blog once more.

People seem willing to let a blog be about anything, and yet they also appear to insist on certain conventions. For example, you have to post regularly, at more or less predictable intervals. You have to have a consistent style or voice. You have to have a focused "beat," or range of topics that come under discussion. Apparently it helps to be pithy. I've somewhere read that most readers prefer posts they can digest in a couple of minutes.

I can't be helpful on the last score, because I find the discursive entry more useful for my purposes. But I can certainly be better organized in other ways, and I'm ready to routinize the blog again. Basically here's the plan:

One diary- or discursive-type (D) entry per day;
one or more filter-type (F) entries per day;
one essay-type (E) entry per week, to appear on Fridays.

I'll try to incorporate as many links as I can, so that readers can move smoothly from one discursive entry to the next. But since I actually have a life and may not always have time to do this, starting with the February entries I am adding D, E, or F at the start of the title to each entry, so that readers will have an easier time navigating on their own.

Continue to next discursive entry.

1 comment:

alex said...

Sounds like a good plan.

Keep in mind though that the blogosphere is awash in F-type entries. Its the D and E type entries that make your blog stand out among the rest.