Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Night Owl's Best Blogs List Got Me Thinking (And I Need to Thank You)

A few days ago, Night Owl posted his list of his favorite blogs.  When your average blogger posts such a list, it can safely be ignored - but when the Twenty-Five (roughly speaking) Time reigning Blogger of the Year speaks, the masses listen.

Before getting to my thoughts on his post, I need to give my own ego a slight boost by saying that Night Owl reads my stuff (I made his "best of those not good enough to be written specifically about" list).  Actually, he had a bunch of great blogs listed in that list and I'm only jesting - but my ego did like seeing my blog listed!  

Anyhow, my blog's place on that list isn't the point.  My point is a bit greater - taking a look at what a guy like Greg (aka Night Owl) likes can be an interesting experiment into what probably makes for a good blog.  After all, Greg works in the newspaper business - he knows his stuff, and he knows words.

He also probably cringes with my abominable comma usage and over reliance on dashes and ellipses.  Sorry about that, Greg.

Greg's list struck a chord with me because of how he chose his favorite blogs.  All of the blogs he chose were active, but only a few post on a daily basis.  This was interesting to me for a couple of reasons.  One, I guess taking a bit more time to craft a blog post can be worthwhile - and it can make for an all-around stronger blog if done consistently.  Two, posting fewer times a week probably leads to a higher density of interesting posts and original thoughts.  The first observation isn't terribly earth shattering, but the second helped to solidify something that I've long feared in my own writing.

Namely, I post too much.

Or, more accurately, my quality post density level is much, much too low.

I'm someone who likes to write, though I don't consider myself terribly good at it.  Writing this blog has helped me maintain some level of written practice which has proved to be valuable for me at work (especially considering how few mathematicians are willing to write much of anything).  Furthermore, I find writing my blog helps me continually craft logical arguments which has direct ties to my own career.  That said, if that was all this blog did for me, there are a million other ways where I could gain such an experience (personal journal, spray painting highway underpasses, etc.).

No, this blog is for me.

I take a bit of pleasure in writing posts.  But I get a ton of pleasure in interacting with my readers.  I get a ton of pleasure completing trades.  And, especially recently, I get many tons of pleasure in both giving and receiving surprise packages and PWEs.

This blog is for me and I have no plans to ever change.

Yes, that means you won't see this blog listed as a Blog of the Year.  You won't see articles on a daily basis that make you sit up and say "woah."  You won't see awesome customs made by me, you won't see the latest hot thing, and you certainly won't see much in the way of big money items.

Instead, you get me.

I'm simple.  I like baseball cards.  I like collecting.  I especially enjoy collecting baseball cards.

I'm also a completionist.

When playing a video game, I have to get all the hidden collectibles and unlockables.  When buying baseball cards, if it's a set I like it almost always ends up on my want list.  I need things complete.

But I like the chase.  You won't catch me buying a complete set of baseball cards all that often.

Even if it is more cost effective.  

This blog is mine.  And with it, so is my journey.

For now, and hopefully far into the future, you will all continue to come back and enjoy that journey with me.  Sure, you might not care much for 1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice (something I spent a solid pair of weeks talking about on my blog recently), and you almost certainly don't care about the Reds (my teams has been incredibly frustrating lately)...but hopefully my writing makes you care about what I care about at least once in a while.

And if I post twice a day?

Well, then I am able to increase my post density of what you might care about too.

Because what you and you (the you reading in a different state) might like are different.

One you might love LEGO related posts, another you only cares about Allen & Ginter.  The third you, maybe Barry Larkin.  The fourth you might like to read about my trading adventures, the fifth you might be a Cardinals fan reveling in how my Reds are inept, etc.  Whatever it is, I appreciate each and every one of you (even the Cardinals fans).

And I'm honored to be appreciated in return.

So thanks, Greg.  You probably threw together your list without too much effort (or else you took a ton of time and made it look effortless as with your other posts), but it means a lot to me.  It means that while I'm not the best writer, nor will I ever be, I can still produce something that's interesting to more people than just me.

I can interest a guy who makes his living reading and editing quality writing.  I can also interest another 80 - 190 of you (depending on the day) who also visit my blog.  I can interesting around of 100 or so of you each year to trade with me.  I interest a bunch of you enough to add me to your blog rolls.

I can be me.

And, sometimes at least, you like it.


2 comments:

P-town Tom said...

You really think Cardinal fans read your blog reveling in how inept your Reds are? Nah, if they are they're lurking in the shadows. There's not too much snark within the blogosphere from what I have noticed.

Congrats on making N.O.'s list!

Play at the Plate said...

Well said. I think anyone who writes a baseball card blog expecting to reach a mass of humanity is in for a major disappointment. When you consider that some blogs out there have thousands and even 10s of thousands of followers, we are all just small players in a big pond. I say write for yourself and if others enjoy it, that's icing on the proverbial cake. I will say that I read far more blogs than I comment on. I want to read everyone's writing, but I can't comment on all of them or I'll never get done. Keep up the great work Chris and did you see my post from Wednesday. I pulled a card you might want.

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