How many are not enough?

Mark over at Weblog Tools Collection asks How many posts are too many posts? and compares a selection of blogs with different posting frequencies. He doesn’t really come to a conclusion, other than that it depends quite a bit on post length and type.

For me, it also depends on how much time I have to catch up with updated blogs and how much I enjoy reading that particular writer. When time is short, I prefer blogs that don’t update too often and avoid those that do, simply because seeing too many unread posts in my aggregator can be a bit overwhelming. Instead of thinking “Cool! Lots to read!” I think “I’m never going to get through that lot in time” and so I never start on the backlog.

But let’s turn the question on its head and ask not “How many are posts are too many”, but “How many are not enough?” Given enough time, I would be posting on Strange Attractor at least once a day, preferably more, but as you may have noticed if you are a regular visitor either here or to Chocolate and Vodka, lately I haven’t had enough time.

I have a tendency towards writing longer, more considered posts with the occasional short linklog style post, and wherever possible I like to add to the conversation rather than just repeat what others are saying. Sometimes, of course, someone else has said it all so succinctly that all I can do is point to their post and say “Look at this!”.

However, although it seems like a bit of a cop out to convert to linklog style, to be a really good linklog you have to do a lot of reading and, as we have already established, time is short. So it seems that I’m stuck either way. Essayist or linklog, blogging takes time and lack of time means that I am posting a lot less here than I had originally hoped.

Mark also asks another question: “Is there such a thing as too much bloggage in a day?”

A couple of months ago, I would have said “No, there can never be too much bloggage” but now I have four blogs on the go and another in the pipeline I am understanding the nature of the overblogged. Don’t get me wrong, I love my blogs, but they’re like little kittens – fun to play with but very demanding. Where other people struggle with their work/life balance, I’m struggling with my work/blog balance, (having given up on the whole having a life thing a long time ago).

I was thinking this morning that I need to rearrange my life a bit to enable more quality blogging time, but then I realised that I’ve already cut out TV, I am barely on IRC anymore and I have pretty much stopped reading magazines (I have a huge stack of unread issues of New Scientist and Scientific American staring balefully at me from a shelf at this very moment). Other than cutting out sleeping and eating, I really can’t see that I have any ‘spare time’ to turn over to more blogging.

Two conclusions can be drawn from this. Firstly, I need to hope that you, my readers, prefer infrequent posts to hourly updates. Secondly, this issue of balance is a far bigger problem for business bloggers who are blogging at and for work – starting a business blog is a potentially time-consuming commitment, and that needs to be worked into the plan right from the start.

5 thoughts on “How many are not enough?

  1. Frankly, your announcement to blog less sounds significantly healthier than seeing you turn into some kind of Glenn Reynolds clone (in terms of blog posts of course, not content – your content is already better). Bloggers who seem to have no real life are just spooky.

  2. There is of course the slight problem that in order to blog anything of any interest, you must of course have something to blog about. Be it about your latest exploits with work, or an interesting article you read.

    I try to blog at least once a day, but I’m now trying to do 12-hour updates. Just to increase the traffic!

  3. I can sympathise, since having a multiplicity of outputs can make life a lot harder for someone who writes for a living. You write something, but then have to decide: where do I post this? Shall I post it in one place, or cross-post it in several? It can get frustrating.

    There’s a lot to be said for keeping everything in one place, for posting all your thoughts about all your $topics_of_interest together. I’ve moaned about this myself[1].

    It can make things especially hard for someone in the lucky position of being *paid* to post on weblogs. In order to satisfy the people paying the money, the writer has to be that much more prolific. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best policy is to write *more* than you’re actually being paid to write; then you have the freedom (luxury) of being able to ditch some of it and only post the best stuff. Or, post the best stuff on sites you’re paid to post on, and stick the rest of the gubbins on a blog.

    [1] http://gorjuss.com/luvly/20030802-outputs.html

  4. Well, instapundit is a filter, not a content blog, so there is no comparison between his blog and Sue’s original content.

  5. Giles: If only I had the time to write more and discard the rubbish! Instead I find myself now assessing before I start a post whether I can make it a short and snappy one, or whether it’s going to take time, thought and energy. If it’s the latter, I have started avoiding those, although I hope that this is a temporary thing because I don’t want to sacrific thought for immediacy.

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