Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Elsewhere

I wrote a posting for the blog of a conference for which I am a co-chair of the program committee. You should totally read it, if you are interested in reading a blog posting about how many people submitted abstracts to that conference. Also, it contains a loathed pie chart, but also an infographic that I made. Hooray for infographics!

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Happy 10th Blogiversary to Me!

Number 1010 years. A decade. One-tenth of a century. Whatever way you look at it, it’s an awful long time. Unless you are looking at it in geological time, in which case it’s not even noticeable. Thankfully, neither me nor my blog is a rock.

Obviously things have changed a lot during that time. In fact, blogging itself has gone from “You write a what? A “blog”? What the hell is a blog?” (when I started in 2005) to *everyone* is blogging (in maybe 2007 or 2008) to “You write a what? A blog? How antiquated. Can I Instagram a photo of you? #OldLady #GetWithTheTimes”1.

I obviously don’t blog anywhere near as often as I used to – the days of the 231-day blogging streaks are over2. Even at my peak, I never had a tonne of comments on my blog postings, but the comments section has been a veritable wasteland for years now, with the few people who choose to comment doing so on the Facebook posting linked to my blog posting.

I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out why me – and pretty much every else – is blogging so much less these days. There are just so many more ways to publish your ideas online now. Back in 2005, Facebook wasn’t yet open to the public – you had to have a university-affiliated address to join back then – and Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the myriad other ways we have of sharing our ideas online weren’t even invented. And it’s a lot easier to write 140 characters or copy-and-paste a link to something than it is to sit down and think enough to write a coherent blog posting. And, likewise, it takes a lot more attention to read a blog posting than to flip through a bunch of tweets and Facebook statuses. As Mitch Joel said in his blog posting Blogging is Dead (Again):

Blogging is hard because writing is hard. Writing is hard because finding the time to do real critical thinking and then to put those thoughts down in writing is even more complex. Reading, research, critical thinking, writing, editing and publishing isn’t like posting a picture to tumblr or texting off a tweet. They’re different beasts and they deserve different forms of metrics and comparison.

When I used to not have those other outlets, I channeled all of my creative energies into blog postings. Now it’s much easier to post a funny one liner on Twitter and go on about my day.

But the thing is, I’m still constantly thinking of ideas that would  take more than 140 characters to write, and I often find myself making a mental note about something that I want to blog about3. I currently have 63 draft postings sitting in my blog in various states of being written (from just a title to remind me of something I wanted to blog about to some half-baked postings that I haven’t found the time to finish baking), not to mention other ideas jotted on my whiteboard and still others floating around in my brain. But, as Joel says, finding the time to actually craft a blog posting is the real challenge. It’s not just that other social media platforms are competing with blogs, it’s that all the other stuff I do in my life is competing for my time.

Anyway, after all this talk about needing to spend time to think critically to write blog postings, I’m pretty much just rambling on at this point. So I should probably find some way to wrap this thing up. But now I can’t think of a good ending. Gah! The pressure is too much. Oh wait, I know! How about a quiz to see if anyone is actually reading this. 1000 points to anyone who actually posts a comment on this blog posting (and you lose one million points if you post a comment on the link to this blog posting that appears on my Facebook).

10th Birthday Cakey

Omg, why didn’t anyone make this cake for me today?

Image Credits:

-Number 10 image osted by draml on Flickr with a Creative Commons license4.
-Sheep cake photo posted by darkdwarf on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

Footnotes:

  1. See here for a report on how blogging is for old folks… and this was back in 2010! []
  2. Though you may have noticed that I’m currently on a 6-day blogging streak, which I started when I noticed “blogiversary” in my Google calendar. []
  3. Something that frustrates me is that I never seem to get a blog posting written on current events because I need to take my time to learn about them, to think critically about them, and to decide what I’d even want to say about them and by the time I’m done all of that, everyone will have stopped posting links to that news story on their Facebook, having moved on to the next big thing. []
  4. While searching for an image for this blog posting, I searched Flickr for “number 10” and got a lot of photos of the house of the British Prime Minister. []

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Twelve Months of NTBTWK

As I’m doing a bunch of year-end type postings, I figured I’d do the “twelve months” one where you post the first line of the first blog posting of each month of the year (and the name of the month is a link to the full posting). But I like to post the first *two* lines of every posting, because it’s my blog and I’ll post the first two lines if I want to.

January 2014

As you know, I love setting goals. And what better time than New Year’s Day to do some goal setting!

February 2014

For the next week, I’m going to be curating the @PeopleofCanada Twitter account! From the @PeopleofCanada Tumblr blog:

About

A rotating crew of Canadians sharing their lives in with Canada and the world.

March 2014

So, I totally thought that I’d written a blog posting about this before, but apparently not. Sometimes I compose blog postings in my brain when I’m not in a position to write stuff down and then forget that I never actually wrote them down

April 2014

Hey, remember that time I played hockey for 10 days to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis? Well, yesterday when I picked up a copy of the Royal City Record (my local paper), I saw a familiar face from that game: Bill Markvoort.

May 2014

Today marked the first time since before my MBA program started that I *wasn’t* in class during the BMO Vancouver International Marathon. Since I just ran a half marathon less than a month ago, I didn’t think it was wise to run another half marathon so soon, and thus I registered for the 8 km race instead.

June 2014

Last Wednesday, I attended my fourth – and final – university convocation as a graduate1, receiving my hard earned MBA2. It’s hard to believe that just 28 months ago3, me and 50 other brave souls embarked on the intense and life changing journey that is the part-time MBA program at UBC.

July 2014

Hey, remember that time I bought a condo? That was pretty awesome and also stressful but mostly awesome.

August 2014

Apparently I’m really into theatre all of the sudden, as last night I saw Red Rock Diner at the Arts Club Granville Island Stage.

Here the trailer.

September 2014

Last week was a bittersweet one1. Sweet, because I started my awesome new job.

October 2014

Photos of my running shoes tend to be some of my most favourited photos on my Flickr account. So my all the running shoe aficionados, here are some photos of my newest pair of running shoes.

November 2014

So here I find myself on a plane heading to Toronto and I realize that I haven’t even mentioned a thing about my trip here on ye old blog! But now I’ve got 4+ hours on a plane and, sure, I have work I could be doing, but my brain is pretty fried from all the work I’ve been doing of late, so I figure I’ll write this blog posting now and leave the work for later, as there will be plenty more flights and sitting around in airports in the next week!

December 2014

My going away present from my coworkers at my old job was two tickets for a tour of three breweries – obviously, my former coworkers know me very well! The tour company,Vancouver Brewery Tours1 picks you up at Waterfront Station, takes you around to tour three different breweries – going behind the scenes to see all the cool equipment and learning about all the cool techniques of how they brew their beer – and then drops you back at Waterfront, so you can enjoy all the beery goodness – a flight at each brewery – in a responsible fashion.

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Nerd Stats 2013

Here is a quick summary of my blog and Twitter stats for 20131:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 % change from 2012
Blog postings: 423 357 344 380 201 213 +6%
Tweets: 2,227 1,815 2302 3,625 8752
945 +8%
Visits to my blog 32,410 45,153 44,689 60,560 63,844 46,665 -27%
Average number of blog visits per day 93. 126
122 166 175 128 -27%
Busiest day on my blog: Sept 26, 2008 (460 views)
July 25, 2009 (1,181 views
Feb 9, 2010 (233 views)  Oct 10, 2011 (374 views) Feb 13, 2012 (350 views)
Sept 4, 2013 (721)3,((Note to self: You get this information from the “annual report” that WordPress.com sends to you.)) +106%

My blog readership took a big hit this year, but that’s not surprising as my blogging was fairly inconsistent. Case in point: 32% of my blog postings for the year were in the month of December, when I went on this crazy blogging spree to hit my goal of 213 postings. Moreover, blogging is a social activity that requires you to engage with others to build community, and I’ve not done much to do that, so my blog readership is generally people that I already know (or who already know my blog) and continue to follow along. Given that I’m done classes now (boy, I’ve been saying that a lot lately, haven’t I?), I expect to blog more consistently – and engage with others more – in 2014, so we’ll see if there’s any merit to this hypothesis.

Also, if you are interested, you can also check out my blogging annual report from WordPress.

  1. To see previous years’ nerd stats postings, click the year in the table. []
  2. note to self: You started Tweeting in 2008, so you get these totals by simple subtraction, not by some fancy pants program or anything. I hope this helps you when you write your “Nerd Stats 2014″ posting when you think “how the hell did I figure out how many times I tweeted in a given year??” []
  3. Thanks to my blog posting “Why You Should Always Proofread“, with Cath posted in a comment on another blog. []

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Twelve Months of NTBTWK

While looking for old blog postings to link to on some of the postings I’ve been writing, I came across this meme that I did in 2010 and it seemed like a good time to do it again.

The idea is to post the first line of the first blog posting of each month of the year (and the name of each month is a link to the full posting). But I posting the first *two* lines of every posting, because that’s just the way I roll.

January

Tonight marks the end of my holidays – for tomorrow I head back to work. My clothes for work tomorrow are selected and hang waiting for me to put them on in the morning.

February

How, exactly, is it February? It seems like just yesterday I was finishing up my lovely restful Christmas holidays and *poof* it’s February!

March

Note: I wrote this posting on March 11 and totally thought I’d posted it (and I was wondering why no one had commented on it), but I just discovered it in my drafts, so apparently I had saved it rather than posting it.

Things have not been going well in the tank.

April

So the fine people over at Farm to Fork are in need of your help. Farm to Fork, for the uninitiated:

… began with a simple question: in a culture that wastes nearly 40% of all food produced, how do we connect the people who have fresh food to give to those who need it most?

May

I’ve long been absentminded, but I can now add “Professor” on to that, for, as you will already know if you are linked in to me on Linked In, I have a shiny new title to add to my resume: Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Science at Simon Fraser University.

Adjunct Professor, unlike the regular kind, is a title that signifies that one is associated with the university through their professional work.

June

Because I am crazy, I decided to sign up for a half marathon that occurs on the only weekend I have off in a month1! Yet despite the fact that I am robbing myself of my only chance to sleep in for 32 days, I’m still pretty excited about a weekend trip to Tofino – which is beautiful.

July

Don’t you just love when a holiday falls on a Monday? And don’t you extra super duper love it when it falls on a Monday and the entire long weekend has been super hot and sunny?

August

Apparently my blog was down for a bit – I think leprechauns got in the tubes and messed thing up, but thankfully, unlike me, Kalev, the Tsar of the Geekery and Overseer of Deb0rking is not on vacation from overseeing the necessary deb0rking and my blog was returned to its fully functioning form, just in time for me to write a quick blog posting from Ireland!

I’m taking most of my photos on my real camera (as opposed to on my iPhone or iPad), so won’t be able to show you them here until I get home, as I didn’t bring my laptop and have no way of getting them off the SD card.

September

This is the first of a bunch of blog postings that I’ve been putting together from my trip. Rather than going through chronologically, as I’ve already done a quick chronology of the trip, I’ve done these more detailed postings by themes.

October

So it’s that time of year again – National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), the month in which bloggers blog every. single. day. I was seriously considering skipping NaBloPoMo this year, because omg so busy, but then I thought “how many years have I done NaBloPoMo?” and it turns out the answer is the last FIVE YEARS.

November

Yesterday I totally wrote and posted a blog posting about how I’m going to do National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) again this year, for the sixth year running. It was a fairly reasonable sized post and I put the NaBloPoMo badge into it and everything.

December

So I posted for 29 of 30 days in National Blog Posting Month (missing the full completion only because of a technical glitch)… and then disappeared for a week. Typical.

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Best Laid Plans

So last night I wrote two scheduled posts for today and was just starting on the postings that I had planned for yesterday when my blog decided it wanted to take Christmas Eve off. Perhaps it was wrapping presents or drinking egg nog, but whatever it was doing, it was not working for me. Happily, it’s back now, so I’m going to finish them now, while the little ones are napping, having gotten up at 6 am to see what Santa had brought them and then tired themselves out after playing with the million and one toys they received.

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Backlog of Drafts

I’ve just realized that I have 80 (!) draft blog postings in my appropriately named “Drafts” folder1. Some are partially written, some are just a title to remind me to blog about something. Since I’m looking for ideas for blog postings this month, I figure why not use it as an opportunity to clear out that backlog? So I will look at the drafts and either complete them or, if they are no longer relevant, then I’ll delete them!

I’ve also gotten some great ideas in the comments on my previous posting asking for ideas, so I’ve started a list! Feel free to feed me more ideas if you have something you’d like to see me write about!

  1. Apparently I’m a digital pack rat in addition to being a pack rat in real life. []

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Blog Posting Ideas

So, as it turns out, it’s pretty challenging to come up with four new blog posting ideas per day, especially when you are trying to think of ideas that can make for short but interesting postings. I have a few ideas for more involved postings, but during the past few days I’ve been working on writing my industry project paper (that last bit of my MBA that I need to finish up) so that I could have something halfway decent to show my project supervisor to get some feedback and so haven’t had time for such endeavours as long blog postings. But at the same time I don’t want to write tiny postings about nothing.

And so I turn to you, dear readers, for ideas. What do you think I should write about?

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65 Blog Postings

So speaking of goals, when I was looking at my list of 2013 goals for that last blog posting, it reminded me that I’m a wee bit behind on my goal of publishing 213 blog postings in 2013. And by “wee bit”, I mean 65 blog postings. And there are only 16 days left in 2013. For the less mathematically inclined, it would require an average of 4.06 blog postings per day between now and New Year’s Eve for me to achieve that goal. Do you think I can do it1? And, more importantly, do you think I can do it without completely phoning it in on any blog postings (i.e., at least having some reasonable amount of coherent content in each posting)? And, most importantly of all, do you think I can do it without annoying the hell out of my readers so much that they all unsubscribe to me? Only time will tell.

Also, with the publishing of this posting, I now only need to publish 64 more postings. Huzzah!

  1. I usually do a flurry of end-of-the-year blog postings, with recaps and goal check ins, and next year’s goals, and early warnings that my birthday is approaching. But will all that be enough []

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Nothing To See Here

I didn’t have time to write anything new and exciting here because I spent my evening (a) running around a track over and over again as part of the running study I’m in and (b) writing over on my other blog. As part of my digital marketing class, I have to write at least 5 blog postings1 on my “professional” blog2. I’d already written up three (one on brain science, an interview with Tod Maffin from engageQ, and an interview with Dr. Dan from Farm to Fork). So tonight I wrote up two more – one that I just posted and another that I’ll post tomorrow after I proofread it. And I’ve got one more in my brain that I just need to type out3 before Friday (which is our deadline to have postings up on our blogs for the prof to mark). All this to say, you should go check out my other blog if you are looking for something to read, though if you are looking for pictures of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats, you will be greatly disappointed.

  1. Because even though I’m done going to classes, I still have some assignments to wrap up. []
  2. For a “professional blog”, you have to actually do research and write something that adds value to the world, rather than just posting pictures of cats or hot hockey players with no shirts on or hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats. Please tell me there are photos on the internets of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats… OK, I just Googled “hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats” and there are NO photos of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats – at least not in the first few screens of the Google Image search results and, as I learned in my digital marketing class, nobody looks beyond the first few screens of any Google search results because we are all lazy. At any rate, clearly this is a blue ocean in the market and some entrepreneur should really get on that. []
  3. Since the app that reads my mind and types up the blog postings and various other brilliant ideas in my brain has still yet to be developed. Another blue ocean for you entrepreneurs out there! []