Je’s Blogging Demo

Published: 01/22/04

Here are some notes from Jay’s tour of his blog makeoutcity at Thursday night’s meeting at the Berkman Center.

Here has an incredible index by people’s name and by subject.

He uses CSS to make his dashed borders.

He has 2,000-3,000 new items in his aggregator a day. He can read them quickly because he kinda knows which feeds are going to have what. He knows certain people write about some subjects or have certain styles (like only pointing to other people), so he can either skip them if he wants to or read them if he thinks they’ll have something interesting to say. There are certain people he reads because they always have interesting stuff, but he didn’t name names. He reads about 20% of what’s there. He’ll use his intuition for the other 80% to decide whether he needs to read them or not. It takes him about an 1 1/2 hour to “consume” 1,000 feeds. He links to a lot of blogs instead of reading the feeds in his aggregator. He mostly uses an RSS feed to know which sites have updated. If a site doesn’t have an RSS feed, he won’t visit the site. He interprets it as someone who doesn’t want to be read. He won’t use a third-party service to create an RSS feed for a site that doesn’t have one unless it’s a really good site.

He links through because he wants the permalink and pictures and other features of a blog that don’t appear in NetNewsWire.

He was working on a way to do this in an outline, but it’s not working right now.

When he types, he writes a title, then a creation date. (His blog is static and he updates it manually. He doesn’t blog online, like many of us who use blogs on Harvard’s server do.)

Jay has a text editor open on the screen and is writing a blog post. We can see the HTML code and such that he uses in his post. He uses two blockquotes to do the indents. In his outliner (which is broken), it indents automatically.

How he chooses what to post: He likes to focus on what he thinks the most important point is or his favorite part of the post, but he really wants people to read the entire post, so sometimes, he’ll cut it off so that people have to go to the original blog post to read the entire thing.

He doesn’t write so that other people will link to him. He writes as a way to take notes about what he’s read. It’s his knowledge management tool. He thinks, “I’m going to go read what’s online tonight” instead of deciding to blog. He doesn’t read 1,000+ feeds so that people will say, “Hey, Jay McCarthy reads 1,000+ posts.”

He often groups posts by subject, so that posts on similar topics are next to each other. “So that it’s like they’re having a conversation, whether they know it or not.” Then he adds categories to the metadata.

He uploads it to the server and runs a script to complete the update. The script is modeled after Blosxom. He faked uploading a file, so it’s not really there. I can’t link to it.

It takes him about 4 hours to do the reading and the update.

He doesn’t listen to music while he blogs, but he listens to music while he selects categories. He often uses song lyrics as inspiration for his titles.

And Jay works 9 hours a day, is in school 6 hours a day, sleeps 6 hours a night, and reads when he’s not blogging.

Today, Jay woke at 5 am and blogged until 1 pm because he didn’t blog yesterday. He usually blogs before work, which takes about 3 hours, so he makes sure he wakes up with enough time to blog.

If anyone wants to pay him to blog, he’ll be happy to accept the payment.

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