Friday, December 22, 2006

Casual Friday blog watching

Friday morning and I'm starting off in bed with the laptop and 96 blog posts to clear, 53 of which were from the Capital Press Agriculture News. Well, at least I don't have to check every post for profanity.

Beancounter has distracted me again with her tip about Linerider.

And if that's not bad enough, try The 10 Best Fake Movie Trailers that House of Eratosthenes touts.

Having fought off the weapons of mass distraction, I'm finished at 8:43 a.m.

At work, the blog posts keep piling up. At 12:39 p.m. Google Reader reports 48 posts in the queue. By 1 p.m. the line is gone.

The distraction this time was provided by the Trout Underground. Low and behold, it turns out that today is Global Orgasm Day.

By 4:07 I'm the last man standing. Everyone else has left. It's Christmas Eve Eve Eve. Meanwhile, another 26 blog posts have arrived. I've dispatched them by 4:21. Now if I can get my proofs for the weekend pages, I'll be off to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve Eve.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday of the blogs

Since I -- gasp -- didn't work at home on the blogs, it's now more than 12 hours since I last cleared out Google Reader. I had 96 posts to sort at 10:26 a.m., and it was 11:15 before I finished.

Of course, I was delayed by the need to post this comment: Everyone knows the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. I also had to watch a squirrel waterski and an orchestra perform the James Bond movie theme with Santa Claus.

By 2:18 p.m. another 23 blog posts had piled up in the queue. They were cleared by 2:43, delayed a bit with office gossip.

Favorite phrase from a blog: woolgathering, used to describe the aimless daydreaming of a child who is NOT being productive. Off I go woolgathering.

Spent a couple of moments to install a Live Chat feature. This is powered by Crafty Syntax. I have used it before on other sites I've run. If you are looking for a free open source live chat plugin on a PHP-based web site, I highly recommend Crafty Syntax .

No rest for the wicked: 95 blogs in the queue at 10:40 and by 10:56 I was down to 58 when Firefox crashed. The cause: Jackie Christie's web site. That's Jackie and in Doug and Jackie Christie, the former Kings couple. Oh, well. Finished for the night at 11:16 p.m.

Google Reader started dishing up blog posts from 2005. This happens occasionally. I'm unsure whether it's Google Reader's bug or a bug on the server dishing up the feed. In any event, the blog posts are "dated" as if they are only minutes old. A bit annoying. If you ever find a year-old post shared, that will be the culprit.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hump day

Can Wednesday still be Hump Day when the job of watching blogs never ends?

At 10:13 a.m., Google Reader reports 71 blog posts in the queue. By 11:06 the queue is empty. It would have taken less time but I was distracted by responsibilities of my day job.

Afternoon update: 47 blogs to process at 3:29 p.m. Done at 3:51 p.m.

Best blog news tip: Small plane crashes into raw sewage tank and the rescue divers refuse to dive in to see who died.

The last check of the blogs at work at 5:20 p.m. finds 21 in the queue. And at 5:38 p.m. I'm done with blogs.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday at The Bee and at home

It's 10:55 a.m. and I went into The Bee to pick up my paycheck from last week. It really is sad that I can earn as much as I do and still feel as if I'm living check to check.

Anyway, Google Reader told me I had 50 blog posts to review and it took until 11:33 to finish.

The posts from the California Conservative writers are troubling because most of them are coming from the Los Angeles area and deal with local issues. I may have to turn off the politics tag that allows this blog to feed unmonitored into the politics category.

Several of what I call the professional blogs feed unmonitored into the politics category. The FlashReport and California Majority Report are two examples. This is the sort of content I'd like to feed into a politics-only content at sacbee. I could then add individual posts from people who talk about politics and other issues. A great example is Ruck Pad, which proclaims "because rugby and politics are both contact sports."

This arrangement would keep the timeliness of the "official" blogs while adding the value of content I've identified.

For the most part I skim the longer posts, especially the regular writers on politics. My desire to get the job of sorting done pushes against the requirement that I meet a profanity standard that remain undefined. OK, it isn't undefined. The standard is just one I don't think can be applied. Basically, I've been told "shit" in any context taints a blog beyond salvation. Since the VP for News at McClatchy has posted intelligent commentary that included "shit," I'm trying to hold out for a different standard.

Of course reading blogs is not all tedium. I found out today you can find out "Which historical lunatic are you? " by filling out a survey.

My favorite personal post among the early blogs was a discussion of dating. I marked the blog for sharing but it doesn't fit into any of the categories I now have. Unless sacbee takes a massive turn in a new direction, I don't see the people who are in theory supervising my work ever agreeing to a dating subject. But if the goal is to get people to browse sacbee, it is just this sort of content that will attract readers. Here's the post .

Finally, it is 11:48 a.m. when I leave the office.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Working on the railroad

UPDATE: In the move to Blogspot from ipsoSacto, I haven't bothered to move over several posts that simply counted how many posts I processed. The post below explains my objective in keeping track of the work spent on the project.

For the next few days I'm going to keep a running log of the time spent related Blog Watch and other aspects of this site. I'm interested in how much time it takes and the goal is to decide if the product is worth the effort.

For instance, I've been off on vacation all of this week and yet I produced a weekly Blog Watch article for Forum and still updated the categories for the Feed Your Interest.

So, today, I started at 2:22 with more than 100 blog items to review in Google Reader.

By 3:10 I was close to being done, but I had to take a break to bring Richard home from school.

Back at 3:32 to take care of the last eight blog posts.

And done at 3:36.

It occurred to me that the whole Blog Watch and related efforts have timeliness issues that ought to be addressed. For instance, some of this stuff won't appear until I "make it so ." That's not going to work with the "politics" section since at least two sites currently offer live blog aggregation efforts. But there is no reason why most of the politics stuff couldn't be fed live. The only reason I have to look at anything at all is the whole issue of profanity and that's not an issue with at least 90 percent of the politics content.

But on the other topics something else is needed. Today as I was going through the blogs it occurred to me that it would be fun to provide a running commentary on the blogosphere, a little value-added for the stream of content I'm generating. As far as I am concerned, the potential benefit for the program is the ability to slice and dice the content so that everyone can find something to interest them.

Got a message from a blogger about a move of his blog to a new domain. I took care of adding the new blog and deleting the old reference.

Back with the blogs at 8:14 while taking a break from the Friday night SciFi channel ritual. At least next year Battlestar Galactica moves to Sunday evenings.

Done at 8:41 but I must admit to some heavy distraction first from Time Magazine's 2006 in photos. Having studied photography in college and landed my first job as a combo reporter/photographer I'm always interested in images. Then another blogger mentioned being inundated with office party sweets and I suggested using the Party Excuse Generator.

Both distractions point up one of the side benefits of the project: I get to hear about neat stuff. OK, it's maybe not important stuff, but it is neat.

... to be continuted throughout the day ...

Friday, December 1, 2006

NaBloPoMo Day 30: The Party's Over

UPDATE: During November I participated in National Blog Posting Month. I did not bring those blog posts here when I moved from ipsosacto to Blogspot.

NaBloPoMo randomizer

"30 days hath September,

April, June and November"

and we should all be thankful that November doesn't have one day more.

Whew, I made it -- I blogged at least one time each day for the month of November. Now if only my dental hygiene were as good.

Between my painful example of blogging this month and the example I witness daily while monitoring the regional blogosphere, I have developed a real appreciation for those bloggers who seem to crank out 1,000-plus word essays as if they were just notes on the back of a vacation postcard.

Maybe next year I will take on National Novel Writing Month. Tongue out