Fuzzy - not just a name, a way of life

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A new year, blog clean out, and more

Most people make new year's resolutions, but I seem to have been busy making all of mine in the last 3 months of 2008. I've started a Ph.D, been asked to write a second book, and came within a hair's breadth of moving to Ireland. It's enough to cover multiple new years' commitments.

The near-move brought out a latent desire to throw out a bunch of stuff, a la the Zen less is more movement. Previous intercontinental moves have seen me scan countless old documents, paper materials, etc., and then junk the hard copy. This time around, it was a little more hi-tech. CDs, DVDs? Rip em, or consolidate old CDs onto fewer DVDs. This still meant the yearly redundant backup hit 47 DVD's worth of data.

The cleanup also extends to blogs. About 3 months ago, I looked at the 200-odd feeds I read, and made a little script to plot their posting frequency. Turns out about 50 of them saw next-to-no activity in the time, so today is the day of the great blog cleanout. This leads me to a taxanomy to help diagnose imminent blog infarction, chronic blog sclerosis, and acute blog "non-entertainment-itis".

1. Blog infarction, aka sudden death. The signs of this one are obvious. Usually a slightly erratic posting frequency, followed by sudden, usually-permanent silence. The blog is dead. Attempts at CPR and defibrillation might bring the patient back, but this is rare, and even then often is the prelude to a latter, final repeat episode.

2. Chronic blog sclerosis. The hallmarks can take a little while to notice, as sometimes this masquerades as seasonal blog disorder ... i.e. the author taking summer holidays. The trend is confirmed when the number of posts withers from its normal pace, and ultimately only one or two posts a year are seen, perhaps with the markers of I-blogged-this-while-drunk syndrome. One treatment for this syndrome is "comment goading", but the sclerosis can be so pervasive as to affect the authors care factor for even deliberately provocative comments. Look for one word posts like "Meh" as a sure indicator of the condition.

3. Acute non-entertainment-itis. Collectively posting your banal twitters, ass-book profile, or the hideously spotty "week in links" marks you as having this disease. Stop it, you will go blind, and then I'll pour my beer on you when you can't see me. Often seen in conjunction with blog-whoring, a.k.a. milking other people's content for ad impressions, if you're doing this I hope your keyboard give you leprosy.

So having surveyed my feeds, the cull saw 51 sent to the bit bucket in the sky. Adios!


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