Wednesday, October 29, 2003

How could I forget?

I meant to say, when i got in on Monday I had an email regarding a persons interest in my work? Li'l ol' moi? Not that mentioning it here is all that important...but I thought if I did, it would spur me on to reply...because I'm bad about things like that. And once an email disappears off the front page of my I'll do it now


oops...took me all day it seems. But then I had to go to a meeting halfway through. So I have responded to said interested party. Apologies for the slow response...I know how annoying that can be.

In other comments are being silly. Thanks to Gnomom for letting me know...but things are no ok in Kansas anymore...or something. Some posts have more comments attributed to them are. Now some have less. And NOW Enetation seems to be down. If anyone has had any problems commenting please let me know. If all else fails, i can always post you comments directly here.
Monday, October 27, 2003

A side note on editing

i'm really bad. I never read over what I've written. 19 years in education...and I'm still not good at that. So I don't read over my entries. My typing is normally pretty self aware, so I correct most mistakes as I go, but I never read back over my post. If i see a glaring error later on, I Might correct it. But essentially, my blog is full of spelling and punctuation errors.

Apart from the fact that this kind of thing is going to mess up my data, what do you think of it? Does it annoy you when people don't spell check their blogs? (Oh...there's a spell check in blogger? Cool.) Does it put you off reading? Does it distract you? Have your say...

Need to post more

I really do. I'm sorry I haven't posted, i just keep forgetting. It's what happened with any diary I ever kept. I'd be so keen, and then I'd let it slide. It's certainly no way to keep people informed and interested...

SO, work has slightly shifted focus these past days. I find writing a struggle long is time to start playing with data. I'm hoping writing can continue in the background. I really need to get better at multitasking, but I'm no good at it...i need to focus on just one bit of work at a time, and find it hard to do anything else. Maybe i can have like, wednesday and friday as writing days, and the rest for data. or something. whatever

so yeah, data. At first i am going to perform a quick analysis of my demographic data, find out where my subjects are from, age ranges, etc. Then I'll move onto the actual text data. First stage though, is to decide who's in, and who's out.

It seems harsh, because all my subjects were kind enough to fill in my questionnaire, and send me data, but some of them simply cannot be included. It has nothing to do with quantity or data, or my perception of's more about the nature of the data. I asked for journals, but some blogs aren't journals. Some blogs i have are more like discussion, commenting blogs, and do not reflect the authors day to day life. They are personal writing, yes, but they are not the diary style i am looking for, and i think at this early stage in blog analysis, i should stick with the one genre of blog that i have defined.

so far, thankfully, i have mostly yes, with some maybe and one or two no.

Once i've downloaded all the data from my email to my filespace, i can compile the data, and stick it in a spreadsheet for analysis. There are various ways i could do this, but my preferred method is using Perl. Perl, for those who don't know, is a scripting language, it's really good for text manipulation, and it's very compatible with Unix. Actually, come to think of it, i've written plenty of cool Perl scripts on my old Unix box, this will be my first on Linux...I hope the version of Perl is the same or I'll be well cheesed.

At the moment, I'm thinking I'll put some of my stats here, but I'll also prepare a webpage, and email it to all those people who requested to be kept in formed. But we'll see... :D
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Something rotten something cool

Blah blah computers been a pain in the ass...blah blah.

Work...blah blahblah...

Now to something far more interesting...last week i was contacted by a producer with BBC Radio Scotland. She was putting together a documentary featuring bloggers and wanted to have a chat.

First the papers, now the radio...what next? Blog: The Movie?

Anyway, so I spoke to her last week, as she wanted to pick my brains. Her name is Margaret Telfer and she's, well, i'll let he tell you:

The idea is that on the 5th of November, Bonfire Night, we keep a log of 10 or 12 bloggers writing about their day. There will probably be a couple of themes we'll focus on but essentially it's people's thoughts and everyday events that we want to feature. I'd then like to record people reading their blogs (this is not essential) from the Orkneys to Dumfries and mix it in with news and events from a day in Scotland.

so basically, she is looking for Scottish bloggers, who will all blog the same day then some of it will be used in their programme. Ideally, the person will read it out themselves but this is not essential, so if you don't want to be on radio, but would still like to contribute, you can.

Margaret is keeping a blog, much like myself, partially to get in to the spirit of her medium, but unlike mine it's not just about work. Take a look, have a read, and if you are interested...get in touch.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Curse of the Black Hole Memory

What you need is some kind of search engine, where you can put in a film title, and it searches for all the blog/newsgroup/forum post title that are based on that film. That would be so...useless :)

But that's not very work related...sorry. The reason for the title is that i had an idea in mind of what to post but i've forgotten it. It was something about the meta-blogging from my last post, and to do with the fact that i've been writing about blogs. I think it involved some kind of new level of blogging about blogging about blogging or something. It was going to be really cool. You'll just have to trust me on that.

So i've been writing a draft of the section for my thesis on blogs, and i'm finally finished. It was part introduction to blogs, part methodoloy explanation. It greatly expands on the information on my website, and, conveniently ties in with the information that i gave the Herald journalist.

Speaking of my 15 sign yet. Soon though. Apparently.

Next on my work appear to have lost my work plan. Rats. Where could i have put it. I've searched my desk...hmm. Well, ok, i think i'm going to start planning out my analysis, and maybe do some reading and writing. yeah, that'll be fun huh!

Friday, October 10, 2003

I do see a slight problem...

That last post...there is a big gap between title and text. That looks silly. Maybe this one will be better with no extra line. we'll see.

It strikes me that a lot of what i've been blogging recently has been about this blog, instead of my work on blogging in general. This makes the whole blogging about blogging argument even more cyclical: Clearly I am blogging about blogging, though my intention was to blog blogs, but in order to blog blogs, i have to blog blogging so that my blog is a better blog. It's all part of the blogging experience i guess.


The title of this post is h3

How does it look? does it work for you?

Maybe h2 would be more suitable?


Then maybe h1 is more your cup of tea?

Let's have a quick look at these bad boys...

I'm thinking h3 has it. But h2 is a close second. H1 is right out.

Thank you to my blog man Gnomon.

In other news, work is progressing, but slower than previously anticipated. I'm still writing the first junk of writing that i had intended to get done for the end of last week. I was possibly a little optimistic in my original planning, and so it's ben suggested that i just move everything back. It's the most realistic practical option, but it's just depressing to know that the actual proper work, the meat of the thesis meal, is going to have to be delayed further.

And I've still not been in the Herald yet. Soon though i hear. I'll let you know.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Diary Vs Journal Vs Blog

It's a straightforward proposition...what's the difference between a diary and a journal, and where does a blog fit into that? It occurs to me since i tend to use the term interchangeably.

I came across a post on Wild Mind discussing a piece found here about the differences. If you are in anyway interested, you should give them both a read, they won't take long.

The Lost Muse summarises the differences thusly:

If you want to vent, write about your day, or put an event on paper, you are keeping a diary.

If you are writing with a goal in mind, or your writing has a specific purpose, then you are journaling.

If you host your log on the internet, and are writing about your opinion and not intimate details, then you are blogging.

Like Wild Mind, I'm not so sure the distinction is that clear. The dictionary definition of journal and diary are almost identical, referencing each other in fact. And while a weblog does in fact cover a whole range of things, when most people say they blog, they mean the keep an on-line diary, or journal. Of course some people don't like the term blog, and in fact prefer to say they are writing an online journal.

I am wondering this as i write for my thesis on blogs. Or should I say, as I write on blogs for my thesis. I'm just thinking that I should make it clear what I'm talking about. I clearly explain what a weblog is, and that there are different kinds of weblogs, but from that point on, i will only be talking about diary-style blogs.

So, what do you think? do you see a distinction? feel free to comment on this issue...
Ok, so that doesn't really work. There is a thing in my template about but i'm not really sure what to do with it. All so, i've seen people link to specific posts on other blogs, and you can't do that with mine. Again, in the template i see but don't know what to do with it. I think i might need some kind of permalinking type thing. must look into that. you know, you incase anyone finds anything interesting on my page and wants to link to it.

Anyway, the main reason i was posting today...
What I need, are titles to my posts, so that it can easily be seen what I'm talking about. Maybe if i bold things:

This could be the title of a post

and then the post text could follow below. i'm going to have to post this so I can have a look at it, and if it works, adopt it as my formal strategy. Of course, there is probably a better way i can do it, like a tag for post title or something, so they would all be regularly formated by my template, but i don't know. maybe i should have a look. If anyone has any ideas?
Friday, October 03, 2003
So, and end of week update on how work has been going. This week i've had two things on my list of things to do. One of them was already practically done, so it's ready to go. The second was the first of my pieces of writing. It's been hard getting into it, and slower going than i anticipated, so it's not going to be finished for me meeting today, but it is going well.

And since my work is on writing style, some observations. Last night, I was getting into quite a flow, but it occurred to me that i was writing differently than normally. Oh, before i go on, i should say that by writing style i don't mean the language is was using, or that aspect of writing, i mean the actually way i was writing, the method i was using to write. not clear? it will be.

So normally, i start a document, and work my way through it. Writing it prettty much in sequential order. This can be good, when you get a good flow, but can be a pain if you are stuck for any length of time. Last night, I realised that i had started writing four sections at once. i'd do a couple of lines of one, and then a couple of another. If i was stuck for the right words, rather than dwell i'd move on, and come back to it. It was going quite well. In some respects it doesn't look like you are doing much, because each section grows so slowly, but really, since it's many sections growing, you are doing well. i was doing well.

right, i suppose, rather than writing here, i should be writing the work bit that i am meant to be doing.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
of course, having a counter thing not only allows me to see how many people actually read my blog, but also how many people actually don't. which is most of them.

stupid counter.

anyway, i'm busy working away. After my blog fiddling yesterday, i got down to some hardcore actual proper work. I actually wrote words, and did some genuine research. Of course, since I am researching blogs, technically you could say i was surfing the web, but damn it it's work!!! Tes i do need all those browsers open actually thank you for asking.

So back to working...

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