Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Welcome back.

Hits were for sure an all time high yesterday, and i'll tell you why: blogdex For those who don't know, which included me until this moring, blogdex is "a research project of the MIT Media Laboratory tracking the diffusion of information through the weblog community." Which means that they keep a track of very many blogs, and they look at the links these blogs contain. The front page gives you a run down of the top fifty things across the internet being linked today. And yesterday, i was on the front page it seems.

But now I have a quandry. I don't put links to anyone who has done my experiment. But if I link to the page bearing information regarding those person registered on blogdex who are linking to me, I am kind of doing the same thing. Not that linking me means one definitley did the experiment...but...i'm not sure. i'll consider this.

Which is something I was going to talk about anyway. A recent completer of my experiment had some questions about why I didn't link to people. Their main, and valid, point was that blogs are quite public, so why would anyone not want to be linked. Also, blogging is often about links, and these are normally reciprocal. you link me and i'll link you. So there are all these people linking to me, and they are getting nothing in return.

My argument was that I've told people it will be confidential, so I have to keep it like that, i'm sure I could get into trouble with the University ethics commitee if I didn't. And blogs may well be public, but the person behind them isn't always. I have data from people who write anonymously, from people who have expressly reminded me of my pledge to anonymity. And Whilst I would never reveal ANY of the information in the survey part of the questionnaire, the two (survey results and blog text) are linked as far as I am concerned.

What I should really have done is put a question in the survey asking if respondants wanted me to link to them. I could have had a big list on my website or something. So for know I won't link to my blogdex entry. You can find it if you want to, but then there are various ways you can find the people that link to me, I'm just not going to tell you who they are myself. This would be a good topic for discussion, if I had one of those commenting systems that I see on so many people blogs. Which brings me to my next topic of conversation...

The Future

A number of people when responding to my survey have said that they read this blog, and they wondered if I was going to keep it up. The plan was just during this "project" but this is my PhD, so I guess I could continue, and regardless, I will be doing work on my data (analysis, stats, etc) for some time. I did actually start up a diary of my PhD, long ago, before I evne started. Before I knew about blogs (meaning it was all done shoddily in basic HTML by hand) I started my diary of a PhD: I started with the application process, I was going to talk about getting funding, that sort of thing. I had grand plans that it would be the ultimate insight into ALL the work involved in getting a PhD, but I didn't really keep it up, it stopped, just as the one I did for my MSc project. I resurrected it as a place where i could keep all the details of my supervision meetings, but again that didn't last. I shall try and keep this up though. At the very least posting once a week so that I can say what I've been doing.

Of course people who ticked the "be updated" box on my survey will receive emails whenever there is anything worth saying.

The problem is, my blog, this blog, sucks. As you can imagine, I've seen MANY blogs. There are many that look like mine, just using the simple blogger templates, but there are so many out there that look so good. What's worse is that many of those people are considerably less technically oriented than geeky ol' me. Loads of people has blog rolling. I don't know what that is exactly, other than a list of blogs. I see a lot of RSS around, and it seems like it might have something to do with XML, but again I am clueless.

I had a look at the code for this place, and I'm really not sure what to do with it. I've said before that I want this page to look more like my own homepages, but I don't know if i'm capable of it. I want to have links. I want to have all sorts of exciting things. I came across a site detailing the 10 habits of highly annoying bloggers a while ago. I'm going to waste some time and space discussing these. Just for fun.

1. Bloggers who don't enable comments on their blogs.

I don't. i don't know how. Sorry.

2. Bloggers who rarely produce original content, instead simply aggregating links to other blogs that I already read.

So far, since I am talking about my work, everything is original content. Except this. ironic huh.

3. Bloggers who spend more time blogging about blogging than anything else.

Well dur. I guess this applies to me, because I'm blogging about my work on blogs. Meta-blogging. Sorry.

4. Bloggers who are FontBitches and don't care.

Well that's not me. I just use the font provided by Blogger. I have seen some teeny tiny fonted blogs on my travels. They're annoying.

5. Bloggers who don't provide any "about me" info on their blog, or pointers to it elsewhere on their site. I like to know more about the people I'm reading.

i'd like an about me bit, but until i know what i'm doing, you'll have to wait. Sorry.

6. Bloggers who don't provide a blogroll.


7. Bloggers who post excuses for not posting. I don't care if you're busy today. If you're not posting, fine. I'll just assume you had other things to do.

I might have done this. Thing is, it dpends on the type of blog. If It is a diary style blog, you are reading about someones day to day life. If they don't post for a while, you should be equally interested in why they haven't. Not sorry.

8. Bloggers who react but rarely act. Commenting on what other people say or do is interesting, but I'm annoyed by folks who never seem to have original material. (Yes, this is like #2 but it's not quite the same.)

Again, i'm original material boy. Most of the people I want to link to I won't for the anonymity reasons stated above.

9. Bloggers who don't provide obvious RSS links for their blog. Yes, I know that RSS auto-discovery is great, but not all tools do it.

RSS, schmaressess. Sorry.

10. Bloggers who have TrackBack but don't use it.

I don't use it, but i don't have it, so that's ok right?

well, that's at least 5/10. I'm 50% annoying. Which makes a change.

So, I need to learn a little bit more about making my blog, so I can make it all pretty, and have comments and blogrolls and all these trendy things. One thing I can do however, is have a temporary "about me" section...

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