Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo AAR: "Close" only counts in hand grenades and horse shoes

It's midnight and National Blog Posting Month has come to an end. Here is my After Action Review.

My goal was to post every day in the month of November. I missed a day here and there. But I had a ton of ideas and I rationalized that if  I ended up with 30 posts at the end of the month, that would be good enough. I made it to 28, with 2 drafts that need more work. 

Close, but not quite!

Lessons learned:

1. I was able to figure out how to use my phone to post to the blog, so my travel schedule was not really an impediment.

2. I like to write and express myself in writing, especially when I have an audience. So it is work, yes, but there is a payoff.

3. Despite the time demands, there really is a value-add in blogging, even though I also have a job and school and kids and a house and cats and friends and.... Why blog? Each and every day, several times a day, I see many, many things that excite or amuse me. If I want to share or build upon the moment, I have options: 

  • a quick Tweet, 
  • a longer email to one or more targeted recipients, 
  • a Facebook status update, 
  • a post in someone else's forum (I have so many from which to choose!), 
  • a journal entry if it's too private, or
  • a blog post. 

The blog is perfect when I want to post in my own forum, preferably if the post engenders a response or starts a virtual dialog. I could also phone a friend, but the phone is rapidly falling out of favor. The phone is good in a teleconference, but not so good in a "I have something to share" moment. Most people prefer to pull that type of information, rather than have it pushed.

4. My fledgling blog is slowly morphing into a philosopher's hang out. One-to-one emails are more intimate, of course. In fact, most people send me emails instead of commenting publicly on the blog. But I find that many exchanges are enhanced when third parties are allowed to participate. I cross-post to BeerPal and FaceBook, and my Yahoo signature block includes my blog address. It's getting there.

5. I probably spend too much time editing content. Some readers will protest, based on the quality of the published product, that I did not edit enough! But I am referring to the use of time. I would like to improve my first draft writing skills and reduce the time spent editing so that I get better quality faster. One way to do that is to set a high standard and then analyze, edit, rewrite, and polish everything to death. Another is just to try typing as fast as i think and let the conversation flow, with out all the analysis.   

I didn't make the goal. It was not for lack of interest, desire, or ability. I let lots of other things capture my attention. Yes, that is the story of my life.