Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Forgive me reader(s), for I have sinned

With the coming of the new year, I promised myself that this space would not fall victim to expiration -- that is, I would commit to posting frequently. Not because I expect to become UCD's answer to Arianna Huffington, but because amateur writers can be very much like infants, in that they tend to thrive on routine and regularity. I reasoned that if I could commit to posting at least once a week, I would eventually not need to remind myself to post at least once a week. (Sharp moviegoers will notice that I'm borrowing here almost verbatim from Sleepless in Seattle, so disclosure is warranted.)

So here it is, almost April, and I've not posted in more than a month. (There are reasons, as you will undoubtedly see in this space as spring unfolds, but I can't use it as an excuse.) I'm also far, far behind in the monitoring of my industry-related RSS feeds.

Leave it to the powers that be to send me a loud-and-clear wake-up call, in the form of Linda Bustos' recent article, The 10 Sins of Blog Usability.

I'm not sure whether or not the title represents a mixed metaphor -- there are 7 Deadly Sins, and 10 Commandments (I suppose it depends on the way they are worded.) In any event, I am clearly in violation of #8 -- Inconsistent Posting:

Now that you have a loyal fan base who are notified of every new
post, don’t disappoint them with time lags between posts. Pick a posting
schedule that’s realistic for your time schedule and stick to it. If you can’t
think of anything to post about, blog about someone else’s post related to your
topic and include a link back to that post . . .

(You'll note that not only does she wake me out of my self-imposed slumber, but she gives me the means of rectifying it.)

Fortunately, this space appears to hold up fairly well against Bustos' criteria -- comments are moderated, there is no advertising to "get in the way" of the message, there's no mixing of subject matter (no matter how much I might want to brag about my daughters), the pages are easy to read (dark text on a light background), and references to previous posts are link-enabled. My two failings against the list are (a) not having a search functionality and (b) an awkward means of subscribing via RSS feed, but until I noticed huge increases in my Site Meter reports, I'm going to let those pass.

What I can't afford to let pass, regardless of the size of my "loyal fan base," is old #8. My hope is that if I make my intentions public here, I'll hold myself more accountable -- or, to carry the analogy further, I'll have given myself the leeway to "go forth and sin no more."

Your kind indulgence is greatly appreciated.

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