Query/Poll: How do you naviagte? (or Tags in Blogs)

Anyone who is here reads blogs (at least one) and some of you also write your own blogs.  I am curious about the use of tags in blogging.

It seems to me that the main point of tags in blogging is to drive page hits, up a blogs interaction with search engines, and generally drive traffic to a blog.

It does not seem to me from the blogs that i read or use in research that tags are particularly useful as navigational tools within a blog.  I believe this holds true for regular as well as new readers, but these are just my impressions.  It is also conceivable that tags could be useful for navigation on a complex or poorly organized blog as well.

So far, i am not using tags.  I am using categories and i believe that is working well for now, and i think that the structures i am building will work well into the future (granted that i do still need some re-writing/re-design on my static pages).

What have your experiences been? What do you think?  Do you use tags on your blog(s)?  If so, why (driving publicity, navigation, organization)?  Do you use tags to navigate blogs you visit?  Have you wished there were tags on my blog?  Would it be helpful to you if there were tags here?  Do you want to see tags here  Do you not care about this subject in the slightest?

Any and all feedback will be welcome and appreciated!

 

Thrashin' up France

 

 

A little bit of random for you (or welcome to my head)

I am still here, still doing ok, and still committed to writing in this blog.  I have not run for several days, but i have stayed on the abstinence plan.  I celebrated 4 weeks of cleansing on the 4th with a nice bottle of tap water!  Without thinking about the larger context, i ate a chocolate covered coffee bean in Giant.  It was awesome, but after 4 weeks with no caffeine or coffee – it took about 3 seconds before i REALLY wanted a smoke.

I am currently working on a few different, hopefully brief, personal writing projects offline that i will bring here when they are a little more advanced. {Current difficulties with the running/exercise, why i hate the holidays, the general anxiety/dread/discomfort i feel related to impending life changes, the golf basics project, and a political mash-up (voting, the state of public discourse, the “discussion” about health care reform, taxes, government spending, and more!) that will take a while to untangle into manageable chunks.}

I also still have a lot of my least favorite kind of  writing to do for work (corporate re-branding) involving my least favorite professional subject matter and format (me, my career, the resume, and the short form narrative bio).

Redesigning schematics at midnight

I have made some good progress, but i need a few more hours of dedicated but undirected writing to get more of the broad strokes down.  I will also need another brainstorming session and review of my notes and emails to jog my memory and capture some critical past events and projects.  (For example, i forgot all about developing a TV show in India, and writing and doing the voice-overs for commercials/promotional videos in Doha and India until a short work session this morning.)  Then i have to craft that mess into sections and sift and evaluate.  What should go on the website to describe capability?  What should go into the projects archive? And the challenge for long-winded bastards like me, The One Pagers!!  What gets cut from the narrative bio?  How to mash all this crap into something attractive for a resume?

Sorting out the Tents

I will get there – but i hate this.  The last time i was even asked to submit a resume to get a job was at Borders in 1998 (maybe 99 – i am no good at historical time-lines), so this is not a simple update.  It is really hard to figure out how truthful to be also.  I don’t mean “should i embellish”? I mean “should i leave most of this out”?  Will people hire a dude who has been largely self-employed for 11 years, who founded/or co-founded six companies on three continents, who is still the CEO of three of those, and a Senior Partner in another? But who only has a BA (technically three, but no one really cares about that) and is not in a higher ed program currently?

Enough.  I gotta do some head clearing with the books or the tube for a bit and sleep.

I did golf today.  The first time i played 18 holes in a long while.  I did many things that i have been working on quite well, but i could not put it/keep it all together to avoid a few of the big numbers.  After 7 holes, i was feeling good and thought, “i will break 90 again today”.  But i carded a 101/98 (there was no one out there and i played 2 balls on two holes). My best score ever is still an 82, and i did not think i would beat that, but i feel like i should be breaking 90 much more often.

More practice required…

WordPress Weirdness

When i logged in this morning to moderate a comment to a recent post, i noticed that all my categories were missing.  I first read and commented on the comment, then went to “New Post” to write about the missing categories.  But, when the new post window opened, all the categories were present.  I went back to check the publicly visible section and the categories were there too.

I went back into the post to add links that i should have put in when i wrote it, but i was too tired.  When i finished adding the links and updated the post, all the categories were missing.  No problem, i know this fix.  I mashed “New Post” and – all the categories are missing.  Grrr.

So this is just to inform you that i don’t know why all the categories are missing and to ask for some input.  If i do end up having to re-create my category list, would you like to see any changes?  It seemed to me to be working out fine and building a decent guide for the future, but i know what all this stuff is.  Was it useful for you?

* This would be filed under, Birth of this Blog, Tech, and I’ve got a Bone to Pick…

and i mashed “publish” and they are back…

Location, location, location

Just an FYI – i will be moving this blog sometime “soon” – meaning probably before 2011.  I am midway through both the research and the process of doing this.  I need to create some more time to finish reading a few articles in order to learn more about what to expect. I know how to do it technically, but not what all the fallout and unintended consequences may be.

I don’t think that any faithful readers will have to do anything different if i do my job correctly, but that is one of the things i have yet to verify.  I also do not know if, similar to switching web hosts or locations with more traditional sites, can i leave it up in both places for awhile, or is it instantaneous?  I will get it figured out and moved, just wanted to let you know that it is in process in case you come to this page and it is not here, or it looks real weird, or you feel like sharing your experience moving from a free blog hosted by X to hosting your blog on your own domain…

If you want to slap a bookmark up in advance because you know, who wouldn’t?!:

Click Here!  This is also a great place to click if you want to bask in the glow of amazing graphics brought to you by me!

I am going to start a blog…

From October 7th – In preparation for the launch of this blog:

I have been thinking about this for over 10 years because there is a lot to consider.  I have not started it yet and am not starting it now because I still need more information, but I have resolved enough of my concerns to know that I am going to start a blog.

Considerations:

I am a writer.  For a long while I was hung up on putting my product ‘out there’ for free.  Three elements have eased me over that hump.

1: The immense success of the two-fold Scott Sigler podcast novel publishing model – give it away for free and be able to demonstrate to traditional publishers that you have a following of size X – and also self publish limited runs but only after half your target run has been pre-ordered guaranteeing that your personal costs are covered.

2: The ‘new’ Creative Commons relatively easy copyright formula.  (I probably should have figured out how to trademark that use of ‘Creative Commons’…)

3: The success of other writers who have used blogging as a means of honing their craft and transmuted their free blogs into product.  I don’t really care about ‘product’ in the strict marketing sense, but I have had people steal my words for their benefit before we even really had the net – and I would like to make money because not having any and living in your parents’ basement is – less than ideal.

It is both hard for me and uninteresting to me to tell incomplete tales.  I tell pretty long stories.  I don’t have short answers to questions, and I really like to explain why and how it is that I have come to certain conclusions.

1: One of my overseas 18 month adventures needs to be told and has fascinating stuff in it.  I was on that adventure to Doha, Qatar for my family company, Renfroe Associates International.  Some of the things that happened, my reactions, and my feelings about all of it pose complications.  The core of RAI is me and my Dad.  I have to consider how anything I say about that may impact our current and future business, our relationship with certain companies and individuals (and maybe countries and governments) and it is possible that some of it could be classified.  The tales from Doha will largely just not enter into the blog.  One day, when we are all more financially secure – I will put it out there.  Hopefully that will be sooner than later, but who knows.

2: Another overseas adventure, my 18 months in India founding 3 companies, also really needs to be told.  It is marvy!  But there too we find complications, fewer than with RAI, but similar.  I love my chief partner in India, RamKamal.  There is less danger of saying anything that could have any negative impact on Ram or our companies, but I am currently searching for new contracts and very soon will re-enter the world of consulting/full-out working for someone else who is DC based.  I am not embarrassed about any of the things I have done, even the embarrassing ones, and I am not afraid to share these stories, with one small caveat.  I can’t tell them incompletely, and I have to recognize that what I write can impact whether or not I get interviewed.  I don’t think that anyone at the top of any company, anyone else who is or has been a CEO or President or Big Kahuna or Whatever, would have a real problem with my take on business development, team building, operations management, marketing, and the real deal on how that does or doesn’t work (and the rest of what goes into building an organization), but they are not going to be deciding who gets the interview.  That person may not have ever been in the position to understand the pressure and the kinds of decisions I had to make.  Hopefully I can tell the India tale sooner than later, probably much sooner than the Doha adventure, but who knows.

I can tell you anything you want to know about Renfroe Tile as long as Mike, Steve, Matt, and Tony sign consent waivers and that would probably be pretty easy to acquire.

There are some of my book projects that will not come into it.  I am not going to blog about my intense beef with what is happening in Epistemology or philosophy in general, or some of the other technical concepts like use/mention distinctions and other minutia.  I probably won’t blog about “how to fix education at the collegiate level” – or “what’s wrong with universities”, because I am still trying to decide if I need this as my fall-back business.  I’d rather give it away for free, but if I can’t get another job…

But that still leaves a whole bunch.  I write constantly – but I do all of my writing in my head.  Since I got out of college in 1998, I stopped putting it also onto paper or electrons.  Since I have ceased to utilize an outlet for all this stuff it is cramming up my head and driving me a little nuts, so I am going to start giving it to internetica.

A few things I still have to research – Form and Function.  I am pretty anal about most things, but most especially how information is organized.  It should be easy to find whatever you are looking for really quickly.  I am going to write about golf, and cooking, and running, and smoking/not smoking, and my family, and dogs, and hiking, and travel, and religion, and politics, and everything.  I don’t want 15 blogs or even two.  I want to do it all in one place.  I could probably have figured out how to do it in the time it took me to write this (and read it 700 times), but then I couldn’t sleep because I would still be writing this in my head until I got up and typed it out.  So research comes later.  Good night…

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