Saturday, February 04, 2006


A few days ago I turned the comments on for this blog. Since I wasn't doing anything remotely like daily posts -- I barely do weeklies -- I thought that visitor commentary, praise, and ridicule might spur me to do more. I received my first comment today from a reader who says "You should post more often." Got it.

I'm new to this blogging deal and haven't found my footing yet. It's a different discipline than what I usually do, which is think of a marginally interesting idea I can sound off about, try to think of something new to say about it, and make sure it reads out between 3 and 4 minutes so I can put it on the radio somewhere.

This is different. This is like writing emails to friends when I'm supposed to be working. Come to think of it, this might not be a difficult habit to get into.


Anonymous elliot/michael said...

I think blogging can be a surprising challenge for most writers.

Shorter, more frequent posts (I aim for three posts a day) seem to be more succesful than longer (and often better thought out) commentary.

I tend to think of posts as pithy paragraphs. If they hold one good idea, you've probably done your job.

(Of course, it's a non-paying job. You might want to keep those radio commentaries coming. ;)

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Bryan Green said...

Happy to see that you're blogging, Tom. Here are some requests:

1. Would you mind turning on RSS? It's what all the cool kids are using these days.
2. If you want to keep in touch with lots of blogs (or web sites) at once, use NetNewsWire: It's really the way to go. it uses RSS.
3. Blogging is much easier with ecto: It is like an e-mail editor for blog entries.

I've loved your stuff since Alaska days. You might recall the article you wrote for Cabin magazine circa 1985. It was about that ancient eskimo who was uncovered in Barrow. I was working for Brett Thomas and Pam branche at TimeFrame in Anchorage way back then. Cabin was a labor of love for all of us. It was made on a Mac of course.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll ask my web person what she thinks. Of course I want to do what the cool kids are doing. However I'd like to do it without having to actually study or master any new skills myself.
I remember Cabin Mag. well. Those were the early early days for sure. I published the Ancient Eskimo piece in my second book, Small Comforts. I loved that story.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Cyn said...

Welcome to the world of blogs. I started one to just have a diary for my family to read and it is addictive but fun to go back and read myself. Much easier than actually having to put pen to paper.

FYI the link for your videos isn't working. I've tried three days in a row thinking it might be a temporary problem but I just get an "Oops" page each time I try.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Cyn, Thanks, I wasn't aware of the problem. I'll see what's up with that.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Michael Mace said...

I'm a longtime admirer of your work, going back to the days of your radio show (which I still miss). So I was very happy to run across your webog today.

I'd like to give you a slightly different piece of advice than you've received from some others. In the early days of weblogs, it was important to frequently post short articles because you needed to incent your readers to make a habit of coming back to the blog.

But if you turn on an RSS feed, people can subscribe to your weblog. Whenever you post something, it will be sent to them automatically. Then you can post whenever you feel like it. If you're inspired only twice a month, no problem.

The main downside is that they won't be coming to your page to view what you write, so it'll be harder to sell ads. But you're not selling ads on your site anyway.

It's a lot more fun to have a blog when you don't feel constant pressure to post something to it. That's what turns it into a chore rather than a pleasure.

Best of luck, and thanks for allowing folks to comment.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...


I'm still trying to figure out what I want to use this blog for. I had imagined it as a way to simply keep something fresh happening on the website since I only change the front piece once or twice a month. The rest of the site is all promotion and background and once a person gets through that once there's not much reason to return. Come to think of it, there may not be much reason to go through it the first time. In any case, I hadn't figured on using the blog as a way for me spread my good word around the web to RSS subscribers. It may just be a repository for the half-baked notions I know will never turn into a righteous essay. In fact, it may be every bit as worthless as 95% of the rest of the blogs out there. I'm almost sure it is. But, it's kind of fun. Thanks for checking in.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Dean said...

One of the great things about blogs is that they offer a kind of interaction with your audience almost no other media provide.

For example, when I leave a comment on your blog, there's a chance you might respond.

This is one way blogs are superior to books.
When I've been sitting alone in a room reading one of your books and I say something in response to what I've read, I notice you almost never reply.

9:01 PM  

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