Where Have All The Good Posts Gone?

Yesterday, I ran across a really good blog post.  It was from Caitlin Tucker and called “Making the Most of Google Docs:  Tips & Lesson Ideas“.  The post was really good; really inclusive; certainly it was a keeper.  It was well worth keeping around for later reference or to share with others.  So, I reached over to bookmark it on my Diigo account – I always check to make sure that it’s not been bookmarked before by looking for this  instead of this .  No red bookmark ribbon so it wasn’t already in my library.  A click, a description, some tags and it now is.

The post struck me as being something that I know I’ll use so I went back and read it again.  Then, I checked the date of her post and it was May 21.  That’s a month ago.  Ever the egoist, I wonder how I had missed the post and just caught it now!  A smile later and I had moved on but I must have kept thinking about her post.  As with any good blogger, I’m sure that she put a great deal of thought into the post and those who read via RSS or Twitter announcement or something else would have enjoyed it on May 21 or May 22.  Then, sadly, the post is history.  

I wonder.  Is any blogger just as good as her/his last post?

When you blog directly into the WordPress editor, you get a cute little challenge when you click the submit button.  The other day, I received this.

Son of a gun.  I’ve published over 3 000 posts.  My next goal is 3 170.  Wow, I’ve posted 3 168 times?  Guess who needs to get a life.  Now, if you look around, a lot of them are automatically generated by my daily reads through Diigo, but there are many that are crafted like this one is – inside an editor so that I can share my current thinking.

I put a lot of thought (or at least as much as I’m capable of) into each post.  When I hit the SUBMIT or PUBLISH button, I’ve converted thoughts, links, reviews, ideas, concepts graphically organized into a post.  I hope that it’s helpful to let me remember the content at a later time.  I hope that I’ve proofread it – I know that WordPress complains that I write in the passive mode which is something I need to work on – and that there’s enough detail that I can use it later.  If someone happens to read the post, I hope that it’s of value to them.  

Does anyone give a rat’s butt about post #672 or post #2 222 or any of the others?  Probably not.  The nature of the blog is that you’ll visit the blog and draw value from the most recent post.  Maybe you’re interested enough to read a couple of the most recent.  But certainly, nobody reads all 3 000 of them at a single sitting.

WordPress does provide a calendar feature to dig back into posts by a date or a search field to look for a key concept.  Then, there’s Bing and Google that index the content to serve it up in response to a search query.  A while back, I had added an “Archive” page that you can access from the menu bar above and at least get the titles of my blog posts if you’re interested.  Does anyone?  Probably not.  I don’t think that’s the nature of any blog reader but it’s there to access if desired.

While I’m proud of all of my posts, upon reflection, there were some that do stand out in my mind.  In the deep recesses of memory, a few come to mind and I’m deliberately going for some older posts.

Some of the more memorable educational posts that spring to mind are:

Not everything that I blog about is directly educational though.  Some of the less educational posts that spring to mind include:

Even a guest post by The Boy

The reality is though, that unless I dug these links from the archives, they would have been there for a moment and then forgotten.  Isn’t that just strange?  It’s the nature of the beast though.

My challenge to you, gentle reader, is there a better way to share thoughts?  Or does the blog post live for the day or two after it’s posted and then just relegated to “something I wrote once…”

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4 thoughts on “Where Have All The Good Posts Gone?

  1. Andrew Forgrave says:

    Doug,

    I believe blog posts exist for two good reasons.

    The first, and probably the most commonly-accepted reason, is that they exist to be read. Ideally, the post results in some benefit to some (or many) of the readers, and perhaps sparks some kind of conversation, either in the form of comments, or bookmarks, or maybe just some reflection in the mind of the reader that interacts with the other experiences of the day to help them form new meaning.

    The second reason blog posts exist, and likely less acknowledged (but I would claim just as valuable), is that they exist to be written. That you have taken the time to write/curate over 3000 posts (not to forget all the other resources you have developed and posted over the years) represents an incredible reflective and cognitive effort, discipline, and habit. One might call that a conversation with oneself. And that daily conversation Represents and reflects your ongoing influences, experiences, and learning.

    It’s all to easy to let things bubble on by without truly digging in and reflecting and taking a stance on things. You do this publicly on your blog EVERY day. So not only do WE benefit, when we take a moment to read (and ideally, comment, thus generating the potential for further conversation), but YOU benefit, EVERY TIME you take a moment to write (and curate!).

    As for your closing question, whether or not there is a “better” way to share thoughts (and I’ve been hard-pressed to come up with one since reading your question), I’ve believed for a while now that blogging publicly (as opposed to solely reflecting/writing privately) is an extremely valuable process/product for the writer — and I know you believe this, too.

    Which is why you do it every day. 5:01 AM is frequently my first “internal” conversation of the day. 🙂

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  2. Mr. Cummings says:

    This has me thinking, Doug. I think most posts have a shelf life of just a few days, and I find this unfortunate as a blogger. Yet, I understand it as a reader. I do not really have time to explore your 3000+ posts looking for relevant posts. That said, I really appreciated your linking to a few posts that you feel are most memorable. As a subscriber to your blog, I appreciate these pingbacks and would encourage you to include more of them whenever you have an older post that relates to a topic in your current posts. Thanks.

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  3. I like how this has me reflecting on my own blogging. This past year, I have been linking back to ideas from older posts to trace my history of thinking for the reader but also as a way from me to grow through progressive metacognition (reflecting as I progress with new or morphed ideas).

    I hope this show that posts aren’t but raindrops that disappear into the void as quickly as they appear.

    So this makes me wonder about the process of blogging and revisiting the past with fidelity.

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  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Ryan. I often wonder if I shouldn’t revisit the past to correct my previous thinking based upon new knowledge. On the other hand, there is some good thinking in the past and I worry that it’s lost. Is there a better way than the humble blog post to share thoughts and keep them alive?

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