• el
  • pt
  • by Frank Paynter on December 12, 2024

    Howblog_1When one asks a lot of bloggers how they blog, one must be prepared for the results.  Naturally, I was not.  Prepared for the results, I mean.  Answers to the question came in via email, via comments, via trackbacks, via posts on other sites.  Gathering this material into a few posts won’t be easy.  Acknowledging with kind regards the work of everyone who participates will result in someone being overlooked.  Yet I soldier on, creating content from other people’s work, the consummate editor, hobbled by tools like a spell checker that wants to change "Google" to "Go ogle," facing deadlines, and ultimately responsible for discovering an organizational principle that will make sense of the mountain of information before me.

    Thank god for adverbs.  Thank god for Shelley Powers who was unafraid to use a few adverbs in describing just how she blogs.  Shelley says:

    Painfully. Sometimes humorously, other times insightfully, here and
    there technically or artistically. Too frequently boringly. Lately
    though, I blog painfully.

    Yet her description, I think, is incomplete because she also blogs "authentically."  Shelley’s voice and purpose are authentic and true.  Here are some other bloggers whose authenticity I find moving:


    Jeneane Sessum:

    1.) HOW do you blog?

    Position: Generally laying down on king-size bed with papers akimbo.

    State of Mind: Variable, ranging from: sleepy, manic, rageful, euphoric, puzzled, sad, gung-ho, confused.

    Method: Open Blogger Window, write write write, link link link, re-read, publish, edit, republish.

    Length of time: 2 minutes to 12 hours daily (including reading time).

    2.) How DO you blog?

    I don’t know - it’s a royal pain in the ass most of the time, but it’s something I’m compelled to do because I started one day more than 4 years ago. It’s kind of like taking out the garbage. Some days you’re REALLY excited to be throwing out a bunch of junk, and some days it’s just taking out the garbage.  I keep blogging because I blogged once. I blogged once because I had something to say. How do I fit it in among my "real" work? More and more it IS my real work. Half of my consulting business is now blog-related work.

    3.) How do YOU blog?

    Better than some, not as great as others.

    4.) How do you BLOG?

    Yah ha ha ha, blogging is the big "joke" of 2024, Forbes wannabes and mainstream purists laugh and mock us in the men’s rooms at conferences around the globe. Yeah well joke’s on you, blogging nay sayers. WE have good friends in this - colleagues, comrades, cousins even. WE’re making money. WE’re teaching other people how to make you more and more obsolete. Retire now while there’s still time. (Okay, that last one was personal.)

    Rebecca Blood:

    I collect URLs via RSS, Google Alerts, and all the sites I visit throughout the day. I keep a running text file called "tomorrow" where I can put any interesting news stories and links I may find. I mine this page when it’s time to update, either for stories to supplement the ones I’ve selected for the day, or for a whole days worth of material, depending.

    I blog the old-fashioned way, by hand, using NoteTab Pro

    , the best little text editor in the world. I type in my entries around the URLs I have collected, read what I’ve written, and rinse and repeat until I am satisfied — or run out of time. I add the permalinks and then look at everything in my browser to see how it all looks together on the page. Next, I order the day’s entries on the page to create a flow (or, in some lucky instances, an oblique sort of story). Creating this flow may entail some re-writing. Finally, I copy everything to my archive page and FTP the whole lot to my server. Validate. Correct any coding errors. Ping everyone via Ping-o-matic.

    Ronni Bennett:

    Having discovered, after a lifetime as a generalist, a single subject
    I’m passionate about, my blog consumes me. I have a long list of Google
    Alerts that fall into my mailbox each day with the latest newspaper,
    magazine, blog and website writing on aging, age discrimination, baby
    boomers, Social Security and a bunch of other words and phrases likely
    to keep me current on general news, information and ideas about getting

    I’m on the email lists of many organizations for and about elders. These
    days, more and more publishers send me books on aspects of aging. I
    track general publications for their occasional takes on older people. I
    keep an eye out for television programs and movies that deal well - or
    not so well - with elders. And there is one reader, Melinda Applegate -
    not a blogger - who has appointed herself my unofficial researcher; she
    sends me a lot of material, greatly appreciated, that doesn’t turn up in
    my usual research haunts.

    So I spend much more time reading and researching than I do actually
    blogging, although it all feeds into the blog one way or another over time.

    I also keep a handwritten blog journal - two versions: one on my desk,
    the other in my handbag, always with me so there is a place to jot down
    stray thoughts and ideas for blog posts as they occur to me because I’ve
    learned the hard way that even the few ideas I think are spectacular
    when they come to me, disappear if I don’t get them down on paper.

    Almost all my blog writing is done a day or more ahead of posting to
    give it time to rest a bit and give me some distance - and I’m still
    waiting for one that doesn’t need more editing before publishing. Also,
    I always write in the first half of the day; after 2:00 or 2:30PM, I get
    stupid and can’t think worth a damn. (That’s not age - I’ve always been
    that way.)

    For all the media hype about us bloggers in our pajamas, I’ve never
    blogged wearing them. I don’t own any. But I will admit to blogging in a
    flannel granny gown and fuzzy, sheepskin slippers.

    { 13 comments… read them below or add one }

    meg 12.12.05 at 11:37

    How do you comment?

    Not often enough, but you have two bloggers who are an inspiration to all of us - Shelly and Jeneane. Shelly has taken us along with her on paths never ventured. Writers (bloggers) will think that means something different than it is. Shelly photographs her walks, her thoughts on the walks, and inspired us to not lose our desire to walk.

    Shelly, if you read this I want you to know that I ran this morning for the first time, before reading fp’s post here, and thought of you.

    You don’t know me, I am reading blogger (not a writer) and your words are sometimes lost on me - one who looks at the photographs and reads just enough to have caught your “Above all, do not lose your desire to walk…” (Soren Kierkegard, letter to Jette). Thank you for the walks.

    Jeneane kindly shares Jenna with us and just blurts it out like Shelly. No censoring of thoughts.

    We can read the other bloggers now - Rebecca and Ronni today. We will rarely comment but we are reading,enjoying, and have already read the nuts and bolts other bloggers have written about in response to your question. Blogging will all make sense when we know HOW others blog.

    Thanks for doing this Frank. The HOW one blogs is facinating so far. We’ll stay tuned for the Blogging soap opera you have opened. You go boy!

    Be well my friend.

    Ronni Bennett 12.12.05 at 2:34

    This is terrific, Frank and I’m not saying that just because you’ve included me. meg is right - the “how” of everyone is fascinating.

    Now, are you going to tell us how you blog?

    jeneane 12.12.05 at 3:08

    Frank, thank you for continuing to ask questions in a medium that has become exceedingly dominated by punditized answers in the last year or two.

    I’m honored to be included.

    Amen to what you said Meg, and you Ronni.

    ARJ 12.12.05 at 5:31

    HA! “Go ogle.” I love that. The secret imperative of Google.

    Keep them coming. This is quality stuff!

    madame l. 12.12.05 at 10:53

    i don’t mean to be rude but aren’t you showing somewhat of a gender bias here? i would like to see some middle aged white men bloggers included.

    Tutor 12.12.05 at 11:03

    Mostly these days I blog from links sent me by Dumpster Denizens or left in comments at Wealth Bondage. I follow the link, then figure out what the dumbest, most enthusiastic peice of credible idiocy that could be written around the link, then with the Author Function’s permission I assign the post to an appropriate Fetish Action Figure to read the lines, just like on TV News or in politics. Thus we create a version of our Spectacular Culture, a blooming buzzing confusion of self-confident roistering fools and knaves.

    Tutor 12.12.05 at 11:06

    Mostly these days I blog from links sent me by Dumpster Denizens or left in comments at Wealth Bondage. I follow the link, then figure out what the dumbest, most enthusiastic peice of credible idiocy that could be written around the link, then with the Author Function’s permission I assign the post to an appropriate Fetish Action Figure to read the lines, just like on TV News or in politics. Thus we create a version of our Spectacular Culture, a blooming buzzing confusion of self-confident roistering fools and knaves.

    I use typepad and movable type. To insert the heads and bylines of the Fetish Action figures I used a little popup macro program called Phrase Express Pro.

    Brian 12.13.05 at 7:19

    i would like to see some middle aged white men bloggers included.

    Madame, just last night Frank wrote back and asked for permission to include my email submission in a future post.

    I am about as white-bread and middle aged as you can get. Double bonus points for a) working for a geeky startup and b) being a computer nerd.

    McD McBlog 12.13.05 at 7:10

    Frank Paynter Asks How Do You Blog?

    If you go to Franks Blog for Monday Dec 12th you *again* learn what I already told you.
    Shelley and Jeneane can write and they have made the blog their medium.
    For my How Do You Blog? response Id like to say:
    I Blog w…

    mcd 12.13.05 at 7:18

    I Blog with a reckless joy but I blog anonymously because there are children and a wife in my world and my joy cannot be reckless with those relationships.

    I blog to feel the rush of creation and ideally trigger a conversation or extend one that is currently in play.

    I blog at work (when I should be producing wealth for my masters) and at home when I should be a better husband, father and householder.

    I blog with some embarassment at the sheer indulgence of it all… Just who do I think I am with all these ideas and why should anyone care about my reckless ravings… they shouldn’t, but there’s still this desparate need to connect, converse and inspire.

    I blog to show myself: I live, I matter, even if only to myself.

    And that is enough.

    That is affirming.

    I blog for me.

    It just plain feels good when it comes out right and when someone responds it’s like finding another soul in this big room we all live in that has no lights, no dimensions and no signs… the room called ego.

    The room where we were born and where we will all die… alone but with fingers outstretched seeking someone to share the experience. Someone we may never meet again and having touched we feel less alone… less vulnerable and more human.

    I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t blog.

    I think they don’t like being reminded of the room… the loneliness and the rejection of days on end without any contact.

    TV is easier.

    Reading is nothing but a great set of fingers to hold.

    But blogging is to risk… everything… for nothing assured.

    How Do I Blog?

    Alone. Scared some days… when the room is just dark… again.

    Shelley 12.13.05 at 10:12

    Frank, thank you for the generous words. And Meg, running! You are so much more ambitious than me. Thank you, also.

    I have the big head now.

    McD 12.14.05 at 4:43

    Shelley: You deserve this praise and more for the hours of pleasure you’ve given us with your skills. I just wish I had independent wealth and could throw you a contract to write even more. But alas… That would have required that I take money a lot more seriously over the years and saved and… well, you know the drill.

    I wish you a big head… for the Holidays. Feel free to cry with tears of joy and let us know how Joy Feels For Christmas… Joy to the (Blogging) World. Too tacky?

    fp 12.14.05 at 7:35

    Yes Shelley. We like you with the big head. Over twenty years ago, IBM issued a marketing poster for VM/CMS that based on Hokusai’s “View of Mount Fuji Beneath the Great Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa.” The IBM version had deeper blues (of course) and while faithful to the Japanese master’s design on the left, it morphed into digits, ones and zeroes, on the right. I thought it was cool. And what I thought was cool about it was that segue from art to technology, and the almost Escher like quality of the integration. And that’s what I think is cool about you too.

    Leave a Comment

    You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>