March 07, 2008

Making the (loose) connection between blog and blogger

Loose_connections Twice in the past two minutes I've had an "a ha" moment as I finally place the people behind blogs that I really enjoy reading through my anonymising blog reader each day. You see, that's the problem with a feed reader: you miss all the design, quirks, feel and emotion that people put into the look of their actual web page.

First up came a search through the feed reader for continued discussion of this week's Naace conference in Torquay. This led me to realise that Memex 1.1 from my feed reader was, in fact, John Naughton, whose keynote preceded mine on the first day of the conference. I didn't agree with everything he said, and brought it up in my keynote. He doesn't know this, perhaps, and doesn't mention it in his own blog. Alas, the discussion will never happen, I will never have my own mind swayed, since his blog doesn't allow comments. A shame. Another connection lost.

The second "a ha" is of a far more conversational variety. While Twittering away that I was happily in my new hotel room (as in it was still being built as I arrived), one AmyPalko gets in touch to ask if I'm still around, as she's finishing off some PhD work down in my old office building at the university. I flick onto her Twitter profile to remind myself how I know this virtual connaissance, click through to her blog and realise that hers is one of my favourite design/photography/cool stuff blogs. I'm currently listening to a recent "Oistrakh plays Debussy" video that she posted a few days ago. Listening for the sixth time.

How many bloggers are there in your feed reader who you think you know, only to find out that they are down the road or completely uncontactable? Which ones will you choose to stay in touch with? Whose blogs will remain in your reader? In the meantime, some more Debussy...

Pic: Loose Connections

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Blogging can be a very anonymous business, can't it, Ewan! That's one of the reasons why it was so lovely to having a brief blether with you over the phone this evening. I'm sure we'll get a chance to meet properly soon. Until then, I hope you enjoy Stirling, and the conference at the weekend goes smoothly.
Oh, and I'm pleased you like my blog. The Debussy piece was such a find - I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

I tend to glance at the posts through my google reader but if I like something I read, I usually open the actual blog because I like to see it in its original form. The blogs that I will keep reading are the ones that provide meaningful information or opinions. I don't like the ones where it seems that the author just likes to ramble with no direction or tries to impress others.

In my blog reader, I rename all of the feeds to which I subscribe by the author's name. I find that this better personalizes the blog content in my mind and makes it more likely that I will remember who said what when I bump into authors in other contexts.

- Richard

Bloggers Anonymous
My name is Ian and I am a Blogger

Not the most efficient way of doing things, but I actually do prefer going to bloggers' blog sites and scanning/reading - occasionally at least. I like checking out tag clouds, badges/banners of conferences and SIGs and other knick-knacks that embellish the blog. I get your blog feed through 'blog friends' on facebook, but like dropping in here every now and then.

I've also realized that I tend to comment more often when I'm on a blog site rather than when I'm reading posts in the reader - that one extra step to click to go to the site to comment is perhaps an inhibitor?

-Shuchi Grover

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

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In a keynote or masterclass we can give them concrete ideas based on experience, enthusiasm fired by a vision of what can be, and backup before and after to make it happen for them.

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