Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Salon 9: Why Do We Blog Survey

Good morning and happy Sunday! Hope everyone's having a great weekend so far. We've finally come into full blown summer in Dallas and I feel like I'm wilting. Don't know what that means for August!

I saw this over at Molly's (Cozy Book Nook) and I couldn't resist doing this little survey for this week's Sunday Salon. I've been thinking about these types of questions a lot lately, so I hope you'll join in and do the survey as well.

Why Do We Blog?
1. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in June 2007. I can't believe it has been almost two years! (technically I had a blog in grad school for one of my teaching courses--if you pop over you'll see my last assignment which was a literacy autobiography. Kind of fitting that my last entry there was about reading and this blog is dedicated to reading. Most of the other posts are mostly my woes of teaching freshman English at Texas Tech. Kind of funny to look back on. I should save these posts before they vanish into neverneverland).

2. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging about reading when I stumbled upon another book blog through Yahoo Book Clubs. I was intrigued that there was this whole other booking world on the Internet. Honestly, I wish I could remember what exactly I thought when I started discovering book blogs. I don't know that I thought I would still be blogging two years later or that this world would become such an important one to me.

3. What have you found to be the benefits of blogging?
Many benefits! I've talked about this a lot lately, so I'll keep it pretty brief (ha! can Trish keep anything brief, you're thinking?)
**Interaction with other readers all over the world. Really, if you guys weren't so awesome, I'm not sure I would still be blogging.
**Record of my reading thoughts. I did this on paper once upon a time, but I got lazy with it. And I can type faster than I can handwrite.
**Challenges! I've always been an eclectic reader, but I've now realized my boundaries are limitless.

4. How many times a week do you post an entry?
I usually end up with two posts a week on average but I think I'd like to be at three a week. Right now I think I'm averaging one Sunday Salon post and one book review. I'd like to get two book reviews up a week, but I haven't been reading that fast. Truthfully, I don't understand the need to post something every day, but I guess if I read faster or if I had something interesting to say I would?

5. How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis?
Right now I am subscribed to 85 blogs in my Google Reader. But about a dozen of these are family and friends and some are just challenge blogs, so maybe 65-70 book blogs. Some I read religiously when I get a spare moment, some I just skim through. I've been subscribing to a lot of blogs lately and then taking some off and resubscribing to more. It's a constant cycle, but I will always have that handful that are my favorites.

6. Do you comment on other people’s blogs?
Yes!! Get ready for a long answer because I am really passionate about commenting. I don't think I'm the best commenter in the world, but I do try really hard. It's tough to keep up with so many blogs, especially when some of these have posts multiple times a day. I'd like to be able to comment on everything but I can't. And you all know I'm really hard on myself about this. I've been a little bit better about my self-guilt lately, especially when I realize that not everyone comments on every one of my posts. It's just impossible to be everywhere all the time. But if I had to guess? I'd say I leave at least 50-100 comments a week? Wow--would be interesting to keep track of this!

Part of what makes blogging so worthwhile for me is the interaction with other bloggers and I get this through commenting, especially when the blogger comments back to my comments as I try to do here on my blog. I've really gotten to know other bloggers through comments and I feel like my personality really comes out in my own comments. Sometimes snarky and sarcastic, usually enthusiastic, mostly interested and caring. I think my posts have become a lot more personal over the past few months and my voice comes out more and more, but I'm still a huge fan of comments--leaving and receiving. Even though we can say that we blog for ourselves, isn't it more fun when blogging becomes a discussion or dialogue between two people who are interested in the same thing?

7. Do you keep track of how many visitors you have?
I do use Google Analytics, but I don't think those stats are really indicative of anything useful. The amount of visitors I receive is pretty constant, dipping a little on Friday and Saturday and spiking a little on Sunday and Monday. My two biggest spikes since keeping track are during the read-a-thon and that ARC post. I don't know how many visitors a "normal" book blog receives a day, so it doesn't really matter to me either way. And most of my visitors are probably random search engine hits. It's funny to me to see my most hit on posts--they are usually the same posts each month and they are older ones. Portrait of a Lady (maybe my first book post and it is awful), A Rumor of War, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Keeping Faith, Snow Country. Interesting, huh? Part of me thinks it's high school students wanting information for papers. Ha! Anyway, this is why I don't put a huge stock in visitors.

8. Do you ever regret a post that you wrote?
No. There have been a few times when I've been reluctant to hit the "publish post" button and a few times when I've gone back to my post and edited things, but I don't regret anything I've posted. Although, I've wondered about some of my comments on other people's blogs. I'm a playful and snarky person by nature and my tone is sometimes misconstrued, when I'm teasing the other blogger. But I think by now most of you know that I'm poking you in the ribs a bit. :) I always wonder if I've offended someone, but I can't worry about it too much. I guess I just have to know that my intentions were good and that's what matters. Right?

9. Do you think your audience has a true sense of who you are based on your blog?
I hope so. I used to be really guarded when I first started blogging, not wanting to get too personal. But as I started getting to know bloggers better, I felt more comfortable letting my personality out a little more. Now I'm full blown rambly Trish like I am in real life. Aren't you sorry! Although my blog is book based, I have talked a lot about myself and while we can't really know know know someone we haven't met and interacted with face to face, I'd like to think that if we met, the dynamics would be the same. In some sense I'm even more me here and in my comments than I am in real life. What? There are no pretenses here. I can be who I am and you can take it or leave it. Doesn't always work that way in real life.

10. Do you blog under your real name?
Yes. When I started my book blog my name was "Bookaholic" but as soon as someone responded to me by that name, I changed it to Trish. I didn't like the anonymity. Maybe it was just the negative connotations of the name.

11. Are there topics that you would never blog about?
Yes. Religion and politics immediately come into mind. But since this is a book blog, I don't have to worry about that. :)

12. What is the theme/topic of your blog?

13. Do you have more than one blog?
Yes. I also have a personal/travel blog but I'm lazy and don't update it often. I still laugh at the thought of someone who writes about books for fun as being lazy. I've thought about doing a blog about working out, but I think I'd be too lazy to update that one too.

**Molly originally did the survey for a teacher Ms. Mazzola--you can leave your meme link over at Ms. Mazzola's original post

On another note, my fingers are getting restless, so I'm gonna make another quilt! I feel like I've kind of reached the big girl leagues with my fancy cutting mat and rotary blade that I got on Lisa's suggestion. My design will be a disappearing nine patch, but I think I picked too many bright colors. Really--I have NO idea what I'm doing! Of course I'll keep you posted. I've thought about doing a Friday feature like Lisa does about In Real Life stuff, but I'm not sure I can commit to another post--especially on Fridays. Hmmmm....


Amanda said...

You know, I don't feel compelled to put up a post every day, but sometimes I read so much I feel like I have to meter out when the posts are going to go up, and plan longer books when I've read too many in advance. I don't like putting up more than one post a day, but have been doing that when it comes to completing challenges (though I don't expect anyone to comment on those sorts of things). I'm kind of freaking out because I had 33 posts in May, without even trying. Ah! I wanted to slow down my reading this month!

I haven't decided to get into Sunday Salon yet. I started doing that Monday post and I'm not sure how much longer I'll do so...

Lisa said...

Wow, only subscribed to 85 blogs! You leave a ton more comments than I do, I think. My goal is to comment on someone's blog once a week- if they post once or if they post daily. Of course sometimes I leave lots more, but once a week at least so that I feel friendly. I do a lot of blog reading at work, so I don't comment a lot.

I LOVE the fabric you picked, esp the top two blue ones. I think that adding some white would keep it bright, but also somehow tone down the colors, if you wanted.

Lisa said...

Oh, and the Friday post is the easiest one of all- just keep a draft in your email account and add to it all week. On Friday email it to your blog as a draft, go in and add a picture (if you want one!) and done!

Scrap girl said...

I feel compelled to blog every day and often feel guilty if I don't and that is just silly really. I struggle to keep up with every one's blogs, but I do like to leave comments as I know they are nice to read.
I can't wait to see your quilt, this is something I would love to try, but I just don't seem to have the time.

Anonymous said...

That's going to be a beautiful quilt! Those colors are gorgeous. I too am trying to comment more. I'm not the best at it, but I'm getting better :)

Anonymous said...

That was a really interesting post! I love to hear about why and how people blog or read blogs. And the fabric you chose look so nice! Very colorful with the summer coming, they are perfect!

Trish said...

*Amanda - If I read more I'd post more, but I've barely been averaging a book a week lately. :( Are you still focusing on writing? You should definitely do Sunday Salon posts!

*Lisa - I did pick up some cream fabric, but I think I'll get these quarters cut up and see what I need and go back for more. I was hoping for charm packs, but they didn't have any. Commenting is tough, but I try to do it as much as I can.

*Scrap girl - Many people feel the need to post every day and there isn't anything wrong with that. I just don't feel like I have enough interesting things to say. :) I'll be sure to post pictures of my quilting progress. This will only be my third.

*Regularrumination - Thanks--the colors are brighter than I was intially thinking, but I couldn't help myself. :) Commenting takes a lot of time but I find it really rewarding.

*Infiniteshelf - I hope you'll do the survey, too! It's always fun to hear everyone's different answers. I can't wait to see how the quilt comes out--hopefully not too bright, but definitely cheery.

Nymeth said...

Thank you for reminding me that I've been meaning to answer this survey!

You really shouldn't feel guilty about commenting, Trish. You're one of the best commenters... you really are. I love how you always take the time to say something thoughtful, how you come back and keep the conversation going. The fact that commenting matters to you really shows.

And lol, I get lots of visits from lazy students as well :P My most viewed post ever is my review of Miguel Street by V.S. Naipul. I'm guessing that's because it's studied in schools, but it's not on sparknotes or anything. I've even received e-mails with what are obviously essay questions about it :P

I love those bits of fabric! I bet the quilt will be gorgeous :)

Laura said...

I love the material you picked out for your quilt! (do you call it material, or fabric?) I'm hoping you post updates of your progress because I would love to see them!

Your passion for commenting definitely is obvious--you always leave such thoughtful comments! Your Sunday Salon posts are always so fun, and your personality defintiely is apparant! ent?

Debi said...

"Now I'm full blown rambly Trish like I am in real life. Aren't you sorry!"...NO, NO, NO, NO, NO WAY on the sorry bit! I LOVE full blown rambly Trish!!!!

Your quilt is going to be gorgeous, Trish! I can't wait to see you progress. Oooh, and don't you just love your rotary cutter! I have bazillions of squares cut thanks to that handy dandy gadget. Now if I could only get around to the sewing part. :)

Melody said...

I enjoyed reading this post, Trish!

Lately I've been subscribed to a few blogs which are new to me, and no doubt I feel overwhelming at times, but I really enjoy reading what other readers have to say! And of course, it's all about interaction!!! :D

I love your quilt, Trish! The colours are so vibrant IMO! I can't wait to see the end result! :)

Anonymous said...

50-100 comments is my range of commenting too. I love commenting but as you said it's difficult when bloggers do more than 2 posts a day. I can average about 2-3 a week. This survey is interesting. I might do it if I don't have a review up on time :)

I get a lot of hits on my review of 'The world's most famous serial killers', I didn't know there were so many people interested in them :)

Trish said...

*Nymeth - I hope you'll do the survey! Too funny that you've actually received emails from people with "essay" questions!

*Laura - What is "ent?" :) I'm not sure if the technical term is fabric or material--I interchange the two. I do know that they are fat quarters, though! (Had to look up that term).

*Debi - Well, full blown rambly Trish is what you've got. :P The rotary cutter has already saved me an amazing amount of time, but that thing is sharp! I got a little cut yesterday when I wasn't paying attention. The sewing part isn't the problem for me--it's figuring out how to quilt it.

*Melody - I love meeting new bloggers as well and discovering what they love and what we have in common. There are so many book bloggers! I'll keep you guys updated on the quilt for sure.

*Violetcrush - Definitely do the survey! It was a lot of fun to think about the answers even though there are quite a bit of questions. I've gotten a lot of hits lately on The Hot House about Leavenworth Prison--I definitely think there are a lot of people out there interested in convicts and serial killers.

Laura said...

Oh, I was just questioning how to spell apparent. I actually spelled it wrong with the first try, but I didn't look it up until after I had already posted the comment. Anyways...I should have used my dictionary sooner...

Janssen said...

Great post. And you are an amazing commenter! I'm totally impressed.

Paxton said...

Good post, Trish! I really liked this one. I would have had many of the same answers as you. Great job!

Hey, my wife is big into quilting, also. She learned from her mother who learned from her mother. My wife is a teacher so during summer breaks she breaks out the quilting stuff and furiously works on like 6 quilts. She and her mom are quilting animals. Her mom actually has a HUGE long arm quilting machine and quilts professionally. It's a great hobby for my wife and I enjoy watching her go to town on a new quilt.

You ever read the Elm Creek books by Jennifer Chiaverini? They are actually pretty good. Give them a look-see.

LOL...this comment got much longer than I expected.

Rae said...

Yaaaaaay, I love the personal stuff!
Fun survey, think I'll do it too.

joanna said...

I think you're really good at commenting, Trish! And yes, your personal voice has come out more recently and I must say that that's what got me reading your blog more often than used to. I like the personal touch!

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

Very cool, thanks for sharing!

I'm not the best at commenting either buy I try to leave comments as much as possible. Otherwise it just feels like you are talking to yourself. :)

bermudaonion said...

Reading this was so much fun! I do think you can get a real sense for a person from reading their blog. Every blogger I've met has been exactly how I thought they would be.

Michelle said...

great survey Trish. I love reading about your start. I can't wait to see your quilt when you are finished!

Linda Ellen said...

I try to post an entry about 3 times a week: 1 is usually for a Teaser Tuesdays, 1 for a book review, and another event. With summer around though, it looks like I'll be blogging more, even though I've just started.

Gah! I forgot about the Non-Fiction Five! I have to work on that pronto.

On another note, I have been tagged for What's on your Desk Wednesday. I hope it's okay that I've chosen you.

Here's more info about the meme.

Since it's a weekly meme, I'd say you have until next Wednesday.

If for whatever reason you don't want to follow the meme, just pass it forward. Otherwise, I hope you will enjoy it.

Have a nice day! =)

Dar said...

Trish, you're a great commenter. I've gotten bad about answering the ones on my blog and I must get better. Posts-you do great. Me, it depends on how I feel. Today I posted 3 which I don't like doing. Bad me. lol.

I love all those colors you've chosen for the new quilt. ARe you going to incorporate them all? It will be so pretty and colorful. I really would love to learn how to quilt...maybe some day.

Ti said...

I don't think it's necessary to post just for the sake of posting. A blogger should post whenever they feel the need to do so.

I know that when I first started I felt the need to put content out there regularly but then what ended up happening, is that I used a lot of memes for that and that's just not the same as original content.

Now, I am more casual about it and I've noticed a spike in readership so I guess I am going in the right direction.

Trish said...

*Laura - I always remember that it has "parent" in the word. Anyway, I obviously didn't notice you spelled it wrong in the first place. :)

*Janssen - Thank you--some weeks are better than others. I haven't been able to get on my google reader at all this week!

*Paxton - I haven't heard of the Elm Creek books, but I'll give them a look! How great that your wife is able to quilt so much during the summers. I'm a very beginner quilter, but I enjoy learning!

*Rae - :P My book posts are more personal than you think, dodo. :)

*Joanna - I don't want to say I've been working on the personality coming through, but I guess I've stopped making everything so formal and fussy!

*Melissa - Ya, without comments it would be a very quiet hobby. I wish I had more time to bloghop, but we all do what we can, right?

*Bermuda - I would love to meet other blogger someday and I imagine that many are just like they are in their blogs--sometimes its hard to get a feel for someone's personality through blogging, though.

*Michelle - I'll post some pictures as I get more progress done. Have you had a chance to start back on Emmory's quilt?

*Linda Ellen - I'm hosting the NF challenge and haven't even started yet! Such a shame since I've been able to read a NF book every month except last month. :( Thanks for coming by--I'll pop by and look at the meme.

*Dar - I haven't been as good responding to comments lately, but I try and make the time (time has been slipping away from me!). I'm going to use all the colors and actually bought 9 more--so there are 18 colors! It will be pretty mis-matched, but I think it will be OK. Quilting is pretty easy if you can sew in a straight line. This is only my third quilt!

*Ti - Memes are interesting because in the beginning they do bring people together--they're a great way for new bloggers to meet other bloggers. But with so many other posts in my Google Reader, memes are the first ones to get marked as read without a comment. Interesting that your readership has gone up since you stopped doing memes!

Stephanie said...

I certainly don't post every day. I wish I could, A. I don't really have the time and B. I think I would run out of things to say!! I don't read 16 books a month, so I have all of that to review. I review my 8 or so books a month, with some stuff in between. And I'm happy with that.

Thanks for answering all the questions. I feel like I'm getting to know the real Trish the last few weeks!!

Joanne said...

I love all the fabrics you chose for your quilt! I think they will look great together even if they are bright - they are still complimentary to one another which is all that matters imo :)

And I really liked the survey, I'll have to save/borrow it for this week's sunday salon. It was so interesting to hear about how you decided to change from an anon name to your real name - I like the familiarity of real names on blogs :)

Gwendolyn B. said...

Wow! You really can get to know a person through blogging! I'm with you - the interaction is half the fun!

Trish said...

*Stephanie - LOL--I'd definitely be doing some boring posts if I posted something everyday! :) And thanks--it's been fun putting myself out there a little more lately. For better or worse.

*Joanne - I hope you'll do the survey if you haven't already (I'm terribly behind in my blog reading--boo!). I like the familiarity of real names on blogs as well, but some of my favorite bloggers don't use their real names.

*Gwendolyn - I think you can get to know people through blogging, but it takes interaction. I think it took me a year before I really felt I knew fellow bloggers, but I think it's easier now for people to get to know each other.

Petunia said...

I'm a quilter too but I haven't had the time to make anything in a long time. I love the colors in the fabrics you pictured. Any color that reminds me of fruit and makes my mouth water is a favorite. I hope you will post a photo when your quilt is finished.

Petunia said...

BTW, I like the meme. I'll likely post my own answers next week.