I'm Listening

It’s been a quiet year in blogging for me. I haven’t posted nearly as much as I had intended to – in fact my blog has been largely neglected for much of this year – especially since the summer ended.

So when my blog was scratched by a cat yesterday, it was a timely reminder that I’ve been meaning to do something about this for a while.

K T Cat titles his post ” Barriers to Entry in Blog Reading” and cites my blog as a prime example. Now, I’m not in the habit of conversing with felines, but inasmuch as Mr. Cat has an expressed interest in geology I’m open to new experiences. So here goes…

My initial pleasure at being linked to was somewhat tempered by being used as an example of being a barrier to blog reading. On the face of it I have to disagree with Mr. Cat that I’ve erected any barriers whatsoever to blog reading – he was able to read my blog as easily as anyone – logging in was no requirement and therefore no barrier there. In a larger sense, though, K T has a point, because inasmuch as blogs are conversations (and I do indeed subscribe to tenets of the Cluetrain Manifesto), the necessessity to login to leave a comment is indeed a barrier to at least the immediate gratification that cats seem to desire. My e-mail is also not accessible directly from my blog page (which, remarkably, hasn’t deterred the spammers), Mr. Cat complains. Here I plead guilty as charged. My blog lacks some fundamental usability features such as an about page – something I hope to address within the next few days (if not hours). Perhaps I should set as a goal for 2007 to become the top Ron Schott in Google (I’m numbers 3-10, currently). My e-mail is no secret – it’s splashed all over most of those pages. The login requirement for posting comments was aimed at helping me weed out comment spam – I’m willing to rethink this decision if I can find a compelling alternative.

Does this mean that I’m deaf to my readers? Certainly not! I am listening… intently. Though my blog’s design and postings have suffered from neglect as I pursue other aspects of my life, I am watching my RSS feeds like a hawk (among them, an ego search). E-mail and blog comments are not the only way to have a conversation. Mr. Cat and I are involved in a blog conversation as real as any other, thanks to the power of RSS, trackbacks, and search. That said, I am willing to try to make my blog more accessible in my copious free time (yes, now).

I wonder if the Mr. Cat knows any humans that want to have a conversation about geology?